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A Food Critic Looks at Restaurants -- Do You Ever Look At Yours?
By William Fox

Otherwise-intelligent people who don't know any better think you have one of the cushiest jobs in the world. After all, as a restaurant operator, all you do is take an order, cook some food, and rake in the dough. No brainer, right? If they only knew the reality of your business.

The same people think I have one of the cushiest jobs in the world. As a restaurant critic I get paid to eat and later write about the experience. If they only knew the reality of my business.

But maybe I can do you some good. Let's look at restaurants from the perspective of a working food critic. Wherever I go - small, mom-and-pop ethnic restaurants, national chains, high-priced spreads, the trendy and the posh, all I want is my money's worth. I expect good food properly prepared, prices in line with the decor, and an efficient, congenial, but not patronizing staff doing its best to assure return business. That's really not much to ask. Yet, many restaurants I visit fail to meet these basic criteria.

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