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Paid Food Reviews – Response

Share: Press Release 10th October 2023

Singapore Food Blogs taking payment for falsified food reviews, and hierarchy placements

Paid Food Reviews Paid Food Reviews - Response

Dear reader, You may have seen some rather bad and damning press of late concerning Singapore Food Blogs taking payment for falsified food reviews, and hierarchy placements in Top restaurant/hawker lists. ISLIFEARECIPE feels the need to write and give you all our personal assurances of the integrity of our blog site and the authenticity of the food reviews we write. We do not get paid directly.

The Importance of Authenticity of content and ratings:

One of the key factors that set apart from other Singapore Food Blogs is our unwavering commitment to authenticity in our content and ratings. The importance of this cannot be overstated, as it directly impacts the credibility and reliability of the information we provide to you. By ensuring that all content and ratings are authentic, has gained the trust of our audience, and we believe we have established ourselves as a reputable source in the culinary and travel world.

We pride ourselves on this, and state, with force, that we have never taken payments for creating false listings of Top 10 Restaurants positions, or Best Restaurants listings.

We’re a Team of two at ISLIFEARECIPE: we don’t have multiple employees scouring the island, cutting paid-for deals with restaurants and hawkers for placement positions in blog listicles (listicles are blogs that usually begin: Best of xxx, Top 13 yyy, or Best stall in a hawker center, and so on).

We write honest personal opinion-based restaurant/hawker reviews, and travel/hotel reviews. We don’t have multiple employed writers, and/or ghost-writers taking content from restaurants and hawkers, and then re-factoring it into paid-for blog posts, having never visited the restaurant. We write all our content from scratch. ISLIFEARECIPE does write listicles, but you’ll notice we have eaten at pretty much every place we write about in that list.

That integrity has had us requested to work closely with Embassy Teams and Foreign Trade Teams of late from Mexico, Spain, and the Philippines. Something of which we are very proud of being asked to be part of. Again, this is not sponsored, this is something we enjoy doing and being part of.

We disclose that occasionally we get FREE Cakes, Hot Sauces, and Hairy Crabs (for which I had to rely on my Wife for the blog review), Drinks, and the occasional dinner/event with an Embassy/Ambassador. So, yes, we will sing for food, but mostly for beer. But, even then, we will absolutely reflect an honest opinion and posture about the experience. We are committed to that.

Our credentials stand us out in Singapore Food Blogs…

We also pride ourselves on being one of the only Singapore food bloggers that have actually walked the walk not just talked the talk and used others to write the talking for them.  

  • The two founders have thirty-nine years combined of living in Singapore.
  • Brian has full kitchen cleanliness certifications.
  • Brian won Kilo Under Pressure kitchen take-over as Head Chef.
  • Brian won Jamie Oliver’s Pizza Competition
  • Brian regularly provides Chef Tables for clients and friends as ChillaxBBQ.
  • Brian wrote and self-published a cookbook to raise money for an NGO in Cambodia, Tabitha Foundation.
  • Brian was a Season 3 top 13 Finalist on Singapore Master Chef.

To close, our little website is committed to upholding the highest standards in providing trustworthy and reliable information to you as one of your Singapore Food Blogs. And we are unwavering in that regard. That is our commitment. ‘FAQ open-book’ on our funding, paid-for content, and sponsorship posture:

Question 1: Does have sponsored content?

Answer 1: Yes, and we call it out as sponsored if so, but you will see this is less than 1% of our content. Sometimes we may have been invited to a soft launch of a new locale, and that may include free food and drinks, but we’ll still write an honest review of our personal experiences of the event, and restaurant. Again, this is in the low single-digit % of our written content.

Our preference is to write honest reviews, not reviews that have been paid for, our have a social stigma of owing to the restaurant because they picked the tab up for the meal. No money is paid for the review itself.

Question 2: How does ISLIFEARECIPE make money?

Answer 2:  To be honest we make very little, and every cent we earn goes back into keeping the site running, but for full disclosure:

·      Most of our ‘funds’ to date come from those rather annoying pop-up ads, which are a necessity to keep the blog running. In fact, we’d rather not have these as they slow the site and make it look rather messy.

·      We have affiliate advertising: such as Allianz travel insurance, Sky Scanner, and so on.

·      We’re hoping to have some banner sponsorship coming to the site soon, which means we can remove a vast proportion of the pop-up ads (yes, we hear your sighs of relief).

·      We also get paid for the occasional press release, which you will see under press releases.

Question 3: Why does write only good reviews about restaurants and hawkers?

Answer 3: is not here to put people out of business. We’re here to promote good food and support our local hawkers. If we have a bad food experience, in the main, we won’t write about it. Conversely, if we have had a good food experience, we’ll sing about it from the rafters. It’s a decision we made from the start, we don’t want to ‘bad-mouth’, but rather sing praise and share where we love to go to dine on Red Dot.

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