Eateries are ensuring good reviews by schmoozing food bloggers with free meals, the Wall Street Journal reports. While established critics pay their way and dine unnoticed, some even in disguise, bloggers are getting used to the royal treatment. "I think if I was picking up the tab I wouldn't enjoy it as much," admitted a law clerk who posted on Yelp.
So Yelp and other sites urge posters to disclose comped meals, yet struggle to enforce the rules. Worse still, waiters and bartenders post critiques without admitting where they work. Another complaint has cropped up from eatery owners: Some protest what they call unfair posts that hurt business. One, who wrote "Why I Hate Food Bloggers," fought back by starting his own website.