Social media influencers should pay for their own meals at restaurants if they wish to write reviews, according to British chef, restaurateur, author and television personality Gordon Ramsay.
“I think every influencer, if they pay, have the right to write whatever they wish,” he said.
Ramsay’s comment was in response to a question regarding chef Izu Ani’s ban on Foodiva blogger Samantha Wood from his restaurant Gaia at DIFC after the social media personality wrote a negative review of the outlet in November last year.
Ani claimed the review was “personal” and was due to the chef refusing Wood’s demand for thousands of dirhams to include his other restaurant Carine in her ‘Dine Around Dubai’ experience, which sees customers pay to be taken to mystery restaurants.
“I’ve worked two years on this project. What have you done? You want freebies everywhere. You want people to pay you. I don’t pay you for articles. If you like what I do, you like it, if you personally don’t, that’s fine,” the chef said.
Wood denied the claims and said the review, which was referred to as “Fawlty-esque” in reference to British sitcom Fawlty Towers about a shoddily run hotel, was “objective and constructive”.
Ramsay said that while everybody who comes into his restaurants “is a critic,” he would “welcome the feedback there and then, not three weeks later in a leading publication.”
“We wake up in the morning with the ambition to please everybody. But what you got to understand is you can’t make everybody happy. You try, but you’re not going to make everybody happy. Everyone is a critic. My daughters criticise my burgers. [But] I’ve never walked in fear of an influencer, definitely not. If I made a mistake and it had been written about, then I deserve that kicking. But if it was a good meal and they’re unhappy with it then that’s their choice,” he said.
However, Ramsay said social media has brought “a massive benefit to every chef,” and added that “some chefs can’t get their head around it."
Ramsay opened his second Dubai restaurant, Hell’s Kitchen, at Caesars Palace Bluewaters Dubai last year. The concept is based on the celebrity chef’s infamous reality show, and is only the second brand worldwide after its Las Vegas outlet.
Hell’s Kitchen is the chef’s second existing Dubai restaurant. He also currently operates Bread Street Kitchen at Atlantis, The Palm.For all the latest gourmet news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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