If you love to write, have an eye for detail and enjoy eating new cuisine, working as a freelance Restaurant Rater and food critic might be ideal for you. A freelance rater reviews not just the food but includes the type of service received and describes the atmosphere and overall experience of the establishments she visits. Certification will allow you to sell your service directly to the restaurant and media outlets may pay for your reviews. Many magazines, guidebooks and websites allow you to post too.
Certification is a requirement before being accepted as a Restaurant Rater member.
This service is in high demand and competition is fierce, so you'll need to sharpen your observation skills and prove your abilities if you want to get paid for your work.
That's why the Restaurant Raters Association exists to help guide you along the way! We offer industry standard certification and can train you to do the job properly. Our membership sets the highest standard where we offer a uniform rating system that allows our certified raters the tools and ability to comprehensively rate eateries.
In preparation of your certification and your acceptance in the RRA consider doing the following steps that will help you set-up your Restaurant Rater business practice:
1. Practice writing. While rating a restaurant uses a standardized form you will need exceptional writing skills if you wish to sell your freelance reviews to any professional publication. Work on descriptive writing, grammar, spelling and sentence flow.
2. Expand your horizons and dine at restaurants offering food you normally wouldn't try. Freelance reviewers can't afford to be picky eaters. Review restaurants in all price ranges, from neighborhood diners to pricy four-star establishments. Travel around!
3. Call or email the publication for which you want to freelance. Find out their policy on freelance restaurant reviews. Ask about the pay and find out if the publication will reimburse you for the meal or pay for gas and mileage expenses. Determine what the publication expects to see in a review and tell the editors you are RRA certified!
4. Visit a restaurant at least two times before you post or publish a review to ensure accuracy. If you only visit once and have a poor experience, the staff may have just been having a rare bad night. The service and food might improve on your next visit.
5. Order a variety of foods at each restaurant, including at least one appetizer, a main course and a dessert. If you drink alcohol, consider ordering a beverage or two to review. Get a good sense of the restaurant by walking around, how is the parking and how clean are the tables, floors, the bathrooms, etc. How would you rate them?
6. Understand the criteria for rating a restaurant. Most publications want you to rate a restaurant on several categories, such as level of customer service, quality of food, cost, atmosphere which includes lighting, smell, space layout and cleanliness.
7. Write a few unpaid reviews to get some experience. You could start a website or just offer your work to major publications for free. If they don't accept your reviews, consider writing for a site as a guest blogger, or submit reviews to websites such as Yelp, Urbanspoon or TripAdvisor. The more you do it, the more you'll get noticed!
8. Send your reviews to publications by the requested deadline, if applicable, to ensure prompt payment and future assignment offers. If you are on assignment as a Restaurant Rater be sure you complete the forms as required before submitting.
9. Once you are a Certified Restaurant Rater member you can make direct contact with restaurant owners and explain what you do. Have them visit our website and if they need to verify your membership - they can call us! Many restaurants will want you to rate their restaurant and give them a detailed report on how they are doing.
Restaurant Raters eat for free and get paid for giving a detailed rating's report that owners and managers will really appreciate you for. Give them professional insight!