HT City


A recent fictional satire piece on a food blogger being arrested by the Delhi Police throws spotlight on the blogging culture, and restaurant­eurs reveal that they face such incidents in reality

- Ruchika Garg ■ ruchika.garg@hindustant­

Recently, an article made waves on the Internet where a food blogger was arrested by Delhi Police for faking her/his way into cafe and restaurant. For free food, of course! While the story was a satirical piece on the blogger boom, it did strike some resemblanc­e to many such real-life regular occurrence­s.

Social media users poured in with their own accounts of being fooled by such bloggers, and that’s when we decided to look further into this.

Inderjeet Singh Banga, owner of Prankster, a restaurant in Gurugram, says, “We get a lot of requests from individual­s claiming to be bloggers, but they have no credibilit­y and can barely differenti­ate between a sandwich and a burger. We have dealt with many such people.”

Manvi Chaudhary, director, Pier 38, CyberHub, concurs, “Trusting a blogger is difficult. Not just one but most of them are fake. They have no knowledge of food, ingredient­s and other stuff. They just have a smartphone with a good camera, and can click and write random things (they sometimes don’t even do that). If the police were to arrest such people, our prisons would run full.”

The emergence of such bloggers is one reason many restaurant owners prefer to go through agencies to procure legit food bloggers. “We get few bloggers, but all of them are credible. The responsibi­lity for that lies with the agency,” says Abhinav Sharma, director of Urban Grill by Chef Scotty.

However, agencies too feel helpless when it comes to checking the bloggers’ credibilit­y. An independen­t publicist who looks after pubs and clubs in Delhi-NCR, says, “I, too, encountere­d some [fake bloggers] initially, who ate free food, and then vanished. I kept chasing them... Now, I am more careful and check the credibilit­y before engaging with food bloggers.”

However, the ‘credible’ food bloggers blame restaurant­eurs for this sudden rise in ‘fake’ bloggers. Sneha Saikia, a Delhibased food blogger, says, “I

have been writing about food for nine years, and have now stopped going out for the reviews. All thanks to these so-called ‘food bloggers’.”

She adds, “First of all, they have minimum knowledge of food and it’s because of them, that our whole community gets blamed for being fake. I have even seen bloggers asking restaurant­s to pack the food. But, I blame owners for that. For the sake of publicity and gathering views, they invite random bloggers. They should check the credibilit­y prior to sending the invites.”

Another food blogger, Maneesh Srivastava, says, “It’s a very complicate­d situation. Nobody is going to

Not just one [blogger] but most of them are fake. They have no knowledge of food... They just have a smartphone and can write random stuff. MANVI CHAUDHARY RESTAURANT­EUR

If you are offering food, you are responsibl­e to make sure you’ve invited the right person. Restaurant­s crave publicity, that is where they are at fault. MANEESH SRIVASTAVA FOOD BLOGGER

really benefit from this. I believe if restaurate­urs have problems with somebody, they should talk it out openly. If you are offering the food, you are responsibl­e to make sure you’ve invited the right person, and if they are leaving without paying the bill, and you let them be, it is your fault. Restaurant­s crave publicity, they need stories and that is where they are at fault.”


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