Etiquette Tuesday: The Food Writer Hook Up

[ 2 ] April 30, 2013 |


Thanks to one of my fave DC food journalists for this one.  Etiquette Tuesday returns with a vengeance this week sharing a message on unsolicited suggestions.  This particular food journalist shared a story with me about a trip to a New York City restaurant where one of her invited guests quickly shared with the waitstaff “My friends a food writer!”.  As a food writer, you love that your friends and family support you but telling the restaurant staff about it is makes most writers a little uneasy especially in the situation I am about to share with you.

Upon learning about the “food writer” at the table, the restaurant owner advised them that they should ditch the menu and the restaurant wanted to send out a few things for them to try.  “Send out a few things for you to try” typically insinuates YOU will be comping the items that YOU picked out for me.  The restaurant proceeded to send out rounds and rounds of food, which at one point the subject writer had to finally decline the dishes.  When all was said and done, the waitor arrived with a bill that was well above what the subject writer or their guests expected to pay.  The friend that had announced that there was a “food writer” at the table was now saying “I am not coming out to dinner with you anymore!”.

This week’s tip serves two points: (1)  Food writer friends typically like to keep a low profile when visiting restaurants because it makes a review of a place more authentic.  (2)  Restaurants that “send out” dishes should be prepared to pay for those dishes.  I have no issue paying for what I pick out and order but I do have an issue when someone basically forces their suggestions on me and expects me to pay for it.

It’s situations like these that keep Etiquette Tuesday alive and well.  Just when you think everyone has learned their lessons, here comes another…

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Category: Etiquette Tuesday, Food.Fun.Stuff.

About the Author ()

Johnna French is a Harlem NY native with deep roots in Panama, Washington, DC and North Carolina. All four places have heavily influenced her life and the foods she loves today. After graduating Howard University School of Law and beginning her life as a young professional in the city she was led to start Johnna Knows Good Food in November 2007 to keep family, friends and colleagues updated on where to go and what to eat while dining in the nation’s capitol. French, who still practices law, leads a team of three writers to cover the ever expanding Washington, DC food scene. French has been featured in print and television, appearing in Washingtonian Magazine and is a regular contributor to various local TV affiliates including WUSA 9, FOX 5 DC and WJLA (ABC Affiliate) News Channel 8. During the 2016-2017 football season, Johnna aired on Comcast Sports Mid-Atlantic (CSN) show, Redskins Life, as the weekly tailgate host. Johnna is currently a regular contributor to the FOX Baltimore Weekend morning show.

Comments (2)

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  1. Phillis says:

    That goes beyond poor etiquette – they would have to send out the Police to make me pay for that I didn’t order.

  2. Johnna says:

    LoL, @Phillis, my sentiments exactly.

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