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Chicago Restaurant Memo: How To Spot A Food Critic

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By John Dodge

CHICAGO (CBS) — One Chicago restaurant has a protocol if workers suspect a food critic is in their presence.

Chicago Tribune writer Kevin Pang’s keen eye spotted this memo posted at a “prominent” local eatery, which he did not name.

The memo offers tips on how to spot a food critic:

  • They often dine alone. (Pro tip: If you aren’t a food critic, having no friends at least ensures you receive good service when dining out. “SINGLE DINERS: It is imperative that we are hospitable and pay close attention to these guests,” the memo states.)
  • They ask an unusual amount of questions about “the product and concept of the restaurant.”
  • They appear to pay extremely close attention to “menu spiels” and wine service.

If a server suspects their customer is a food critic the memo instructs them to remain composed, notify a manager and never, ever gossip or reveal that they know the critic’s identity.

Once a manager is notified, the restaurant selects a single server, food runner, busser and manager for the table to ensure smooth service.