OPINION | It seems like every day we at the City Lane hear another story from a restaurant that can’t afford to get coverage from food media. It’s a restrictive and divisive situation, and we think there is a better way.
For new and original restaurants to thrive, we need more than just fee-for-service exposure. We all need to pay the bills, and we know that with the public’s expectation of free content those bills need to be paid somehow, but current approaches (that all of us in the food media have contributed to, including ourselves) have created a state where only the richest restaurants can get exposure. We think this is a disservice to all restaurants and diners and to everything that makes our food culture great.
With all this in mind, we here at The City Lane would like to start changing this situation for the better. Because while we still want to tell you about the big restaurants, the ones with the financial resources to get your attention, we also want to tell you about the other restaurants, the ones that don’t have those same resources. In short, we want to even the playing field.
And this is where we need your help.
If you are a restaurant that can’t afford the high cost of exposure, get in touch and if we think our readers will want to know about you, we’ll come and visit and it won’t cost you a cent. And similarly, if you, as a reader, know of somewhere great that you think doesn’t get the attention it deserves, get in touch. This is crowd-sourced PR at its finest.
What’s in it for us? We get to dine at interesting restaurants and then write articles and reviews about them. We get to talk with chefs and staff and people we wouldn’t normally meet and find out their often-amazing stories. And we get to draw attention to people doing great things. In turn, this makes us more informed, more interesting, and a more valuable resource.
What’s in it for you? You get a proven, reliable barometer of where to dine. You get to discover the places that are great because of what they make, irrespective of whether they can afford exposure in food media. And you get to support businesses to help foster culinary creativity and quality. In turn, this could make you more informed, expose you to new and different dining experiences, and generally help more voices be heard.
So if you want to make this scene a better place for all restaurants and diners, you can help by letting us know where we should try. Because we sure there is a better way, but we need your help to get there.
Get in touch with us here or on social media and let’s change food media for the better.