Food Critic vs. Food Blogger
If you're interested in a career that involves tasting delicious food and sharing your opinions, then a career as a food critic or food blogger might be a good fit for you. A food critic visits dining establishments, tastes the food, and writes about it for an official publication. A food blogger cooks food or tastes food that others have cooked, then blogs about the taste and recipe, usually not as part of a larger publication.
|Job Title||Education Requirements||Median Salary*||Job Growth **|
|Food Critic||Bachelor's degree in English, communications, journalism, or other related field||$42,379 (for all content writers)||8% (for writers and authors)|
|Food Blogger||Bachelor's degree in English, communications, journalism, or other related field||$45,000 (for all bloggers)||8% (for writers and authors)|
Sources: *PayScale.com **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Responsibilities of Food Critics vs. Food Bloggers
Food critics and food bloggers are responsible for reporting on culinary-related topics, which may include dining establishments, taste, and recipes. However, food critics usually work for a larger publication and write formal reviews of the food, service, and ambiance of various dining establishments. Food bloggers generally work independently, often self-publishing their opinions about a wider range of culinary topics. A primary requirement of both of these positions is the ability to evaluate food and the experience surrounding it, and then clearly impart that evaluation to their particular audience.
A food critic is a lower- to mid-level position within a culinary publication or culinary department within a more diverse publication. They visit dining establishments anonymously, not revealing themselves as a food critic, in order to gain an objective report on the customer experience. It is also important that a food critic not be associated with any restaurant, food vendor, or other culinary-related institution, in keeping with the objective goal of being a critic. Following their research, they write their critique to then be published in a culinary-specific publication or a culinary column in a newspaper or other publication covering diverse topics. Most food critics do not work a standard office schedule, as their work involves going to restaurants at mealtimes, then writing a column, review, or article, which can happen at any time, depending on the publication's deadline requirements. As a type of journalist, it is possible for food critics to work full time, but pay is generally per critique, rather than hourly.
Job responsibilities of a food critic include:
- Adhere to the requirements laid out by the publication, including length, content, and deadlines
- Impart information about the food at a dining establishment, allowing readers to imagine the taste and texture of the food
- Clearly indicate the pros and cons of a dining establishment
- Objectively evaluate all aspects of a dining establishment, including the service and ambiance
A food blogger is an independent position that usually does not work for a larger publication, rather self-publishing information about various culinary topics. This may include testing out recipes in their home kitchen, tasting a certain type of food, or patronizing a particular type of dining establishment. It is important that a food blogger be a good writer, as well, particularly since they are self-publishing their work, often without any editorial oversight. Food bloggers set their own schedule, choosing when and where to complete their work. There are few advancement opportunities available for food bloggers, but they can grow their blog or use the experience to get a position with a larger culinary publication.
Job responsibilities of a food blogger include:
- Select culinary topics that readers may be interested in and report on those topics
- Write in an engaging way that makes readers come back daily or weekly to read more blog entries
- Self-edit blog entries to enhance readability, ensuring accuracy in spelling and grammar
- Continuously research and learn more about the selected topics, including experimenting with recipes and going to dining establishments
If you are interested in becoming a food critic, a career as a food scientist may be of interest to you. Both careers involve analyzing food and reporting on their findings. A career as a writer in any field may also be interesting to those looking to pursue a career as a food blogger, as both careers require the same skills, including researching, content creation, and reporting.