Frequently Asked Questions
Hi there, all you lovely readers (old and new) of the Sticky Beak Blog. Just recently we have been getting a lot more enquiries, so I thought a few answers to some of your more burning questions might help you get to know us a bit better :)
Q: You only do positive reviews, why?
A: I get really bugged by reading seemingly negative for the need to be negative reviews on places I want to go. All too often they serve no purpose but to be the personal gripe of the writer; they don’t tell me whether the food was any good, or hot, or if the service was the issue. So they don’t actually inform me of what I want to be informed about. I wanted my blog to be different. That being said, I don’t expect things to be perfect when I go somewhere.
Q: How do you decide if somewhere gets a review, and what are the criteria for writing a review?
A: The criteria for getting a review written is the simplest thing in the world, namely would I recommend friends or family to pay the establishment a visit themselves. For me personally, the premises have got to be clean and hygienic; I don’t mind it being in need of a fresh coat of paint, but dust and dirt is a no-no. Likewise, I don’t mind a wait for my food if it’s being cooked to order but if I’ve waited 20-30 minutes for something clearly reheated or served lukewarm then I’ll be miffed. Rude staff members are a huge bugbear too; if you don’t want to be in the service industry, don’t be, just don’t take your frustration out on me please.
Q: Do you get paid by the restaurant to do the review?
A: Monetary payment, no, never. What tends to happen is that the establishment will offer to cover the cost of the food for two people (so often we will pay for the other diners with us), or they will cover food and drink costs for two people, or they will offer a reduced price for the meal. Everywhere is different. We do pay for meals ourselves too, and any incentives are always clearly shown at the bottom of each review.
Q: So, if a place pays for your meal are they guaranteed a review?
A: Again, no. Our terms and conditions are clearly written for all to see, and when we are initially approached we do make sure that the restaurant is fully aware that there is no guarantee of a review. In case you are wondering, yes, there have been places that haven’t “passed muster” and haven’t received a review, despite having paid for the meals. No, I will not reveal where they are, that isn’t professional, and goes against the grain of the ethos of my blog.
Q: Do you just do restaurant reviews?
A: No, we also review products from independent producers, such as cheeses, cakes, preserves etc. One of the things we enjoy is going to food fairs and actually meeting the people that make these items; their passion is clearly evident and you learn so much too.
Q: Do you just review places in Derbyshire?
A: Our main focus is restaurants and all things foodie in Derbyshire, but we actually live close to the border of Nottinghamshire so very often pop over into “foreign” territory. That said, we are increasingly getting approached by establishments in neighbouring counties and because we are an increasingly mobile society have made the decision that in 2017 we will be more flexible in our area to visit. So if you know of anywhere roughly within 30 miles of J28 of the M1 then feel free to contact us; obviously if it is something/somewhere extraordinary then we would consider travelling a bit further.
Q: If I know of somewhere/someone that I think the wider public needs to know about, then how do I contact the Sticky Beak Blog?
A: Simply visit the contact page and send me a message :) One of the things we get really excited about is the interaction between ourselves and our readers; at the end of the day if we can share knowledge of excellent eateries with each other that can only be a good thing, right?
Q: I sometimes notice that you remove comments from your page, why is this?
A: There is never anything malicious behind our doing this, more that the only thing we ask is that the blog be kept strictly food and drink (and this includes hotels/inns that offer food) related, and kept relevant. So without wishing to sound rude or patronising, if you have been somewhere and had a gripe relating to deposits taken for bookings and miscommunications, could you contact the venue themselves and not put it on our page please? Likewise, with weigh loss products or groups, we don’t appreciate our page being used to further your agendas; there is nothing at all to stop you setting up your own pages to do this, but please don’t piggy back on my hard work, I think it is disrespectful and I won’t do it to you. Animal rights/welfare/field sports opinions will also be deleted for the same reason; not that I have a problem with other people’s opinions, but my blog page is not the forum for it.
Q: How many visits does your site get per month?
A: I would say it averages between four and five thousand visits each month to the website, although we are ending the year 2016 with a whopping eight thousand + visits! Our most popular feature has had over two thousand reads to date, and we do have a “Hall of Fame” chart just as a bit of fun for our readers to see.
Q: Are you on social media?
A: Yes, we are on Twitter @stickybeakblog with over fifteen thousand followers. We also have a Facebook page, www.facebook.com/stickybeakblog with about 1800 followers. The popularity of the blog has taken us a bit by surprise to be perfectly honest, but it is so fantastic to see that there are a lot of fellow foodies out there.
Well, I hope we’ve answered a few of the more common questions for you all, but if you have anything else you want to know or ask then feel free to contact us, we don’t bite! Most of all though, keep reading the blog (I hope it makes you chuckle sometimes), enjoy life to the max because you only get one chance and don’t forget to let us know if you come across something/somewhere awesome. Good Health and Happiness to you all :)