I will start by saying I have been very impressed with the Herald Democrat of late. The new content and formats have helped to liven up what was once dreary. The Best in Texoma campaign was pure genius this year. Ad money generated must have been great for the paper. The Herald Democrat used to be riddled with typos and mistakes. It was a comical read before and now seems to have addressed many editing issues. Talk around town shows it is gaining new respect.
That said, the food critic does not reflect well on the paper. It seems she deserves a critique herself. What qualifies her to judge and write? She obviously knows nothing about the restaurant business. Really good food takes time to prepare. She exhibits a fixation on instant gratification by the way she details the minutes and seconds it takes to deliver her food. Perhaps she would do better judging fast food joints.
The restaurant business is very hard. The last thing our area restaurants need is to have someone judge them on the language they speak, their parking lot, what their staff wears, or the exact seconds it takes to get food. No one cares what brand of soda she drinks or if she salts her food. The paper was doing well to deliver positive press until it allowed this person to gnaw on some of our favorite local eateries.
I am not alone in finding this feature offensive. Constructive criticism can be helpful or hurtful, but I cannot imagine being one of those restaurants that feel they have been personally attacked and publicly humiliated without any opportunity for rebuttal. At least with social media reviews there is an option to respond. Her writing is often nothing less than cheap shots at hard working people who lack any recourse or opportunity to reply. Perhaps you will consider employing an alternate angle that will boost our local businesses rather than assault them. Finding fault is easy. You have the opportunity to be a positive influence.