Restaurant Pays Employees to Spot Food Critics


We’ve all heard anecdotes about kitchens that keep photos of food critics on the wall so they can spot them when they walk in, but one restaurant is allegedly going a step further – by offering staff cash rewards if they spot a food critic.

According to a report in the Washington City Paper, Fiola Mare in Georgetown, Washington, D.C. offers staff a $500 reward if they spot a reviewer in the dining room, that is according to one former and one current employee who wish to remain anonymous.

The restaurant is owned by the Fabio Trabocchi Restaurants group, and chef Fabio Trabocchi hasn’t thus far denied the claims, telling the Paper: “Recognition of all types of guests is a defining characteristic of our service program … from food critics, to members of Congress, to our investors, to VIP Club members, to first time diners.”

With the ability of critics to make or break a restaurant, some would say $500 is a small price to kick a business up a level.