SA’s best guide to SA’s best food, Eat Out is one of South Africa’s most loved food brands. What started in 1998 as the country’s definitive restaurant guide has evolved into a brand covering all aspects of food. The new magazine for 2016 includes the Eat Out 500, a power list of great restaurants across South Africa, as rated by a panel of 42 food and restaurant industry experts. The annual Eat Out Restaurant Awards celebrate the South African restaurant industry with accolades including the Top 10 Restaurants, Chef of the Year, Restaurant of the Year and Service Excellence.
Buy the 2016 edition of Eat Out magazine at major retailers or online.
The Eat Out editorial policy
At Eat Out we take our integrity seriously. Our policy is to write fair, independent and objective reviews and articles about topics we believe in. Please read about how things work behind the scenes and let us know if you have any queries.
1. Restaurant reviews
Reviews on our site originate in one of two ways:
A) They are written by professional Eat Out reviewers and are marked as critics’ reviews. Meals are paid for and our critics dine anonymously as normal customers to guarantee an objective experience. (See points 2 and 3 below.) In most of these cases the restaurant has come to the attention of the Eat Out editorial staff – via word-of-mouth, social media, or our team of critics around the country – and the review is then commissioned to one of our professional reviewers. We are not compensated for our reviews and we never have them sanctioned by anyone but ourselves.
B) Members of the public visit a restaurant of their own accord and write about their experience. These are marked as user reviews.
Restaurant owners and other readers can comment on and reply to both kinds of reviews by using the comments function.
2. Paying for meals
Eat Out critics pay for their meals as any normal diner would and are later reimbursed by Eat Out. The meal and service should be experienced as ordinary customers do in order for the review to be credible.
Eat Out critics make reservations under their own names – not for Eat Out – and do not reveal their identity as reviewers at any point. (See above.) Their anonymity ensures that the restaurant isn’t aware of their identity and does not offer free goods or any special treatment that would compromise the objectivity of the review.
4. Negative reviews
Some reviews might contain points of criticism. Our critics are professionals in the industry and we rely on them to be fair and constructive in their reviews. Conversely, our readers (who write the ‘user reviews’) are members of the public and their views are their own, but we ask them to adhere to our commenting guidelines. Eat Out will not remove negative reviews, at the request of restaurateurs or otherwise. We do, however, encourage restaurateurs to engage with these readers using the comments function. Also, they are welcome to invite happy customers to write reviews too. Sharing views and opinions is the purpose of these commenting and reviewing platforms.
5. Invitations to events
Eat Out staff will sometimes be invited to attend an opening or event at a restaurant. In these cases, we always inform the PR/marketing person or host that our attendance is no guarantee of a story. In fact, chances are we won’t write specifically about an event or a dinner to which we’ve been invited. Our policy is to feature what we independently decide is worthy of coverage, not write something glowing – or anything at all – in return for invitations. However, on the strength of an impressive event or opening we might commission an anonymous review by a critic at a later point. Not everyone in the restaurant reviewing industry follows these rules, but with Eat Out you can trust that we mean what we say and are never compensated for our good (or bad) reviews.
6. Social media
When attending functions as described above, we might tweet at our discretion. Again, we don’t make deals and don’t promise anything. If we tweet or put something on Facebook that means we genuinely like it and/or think it might be interesting for our followers and fans.
Competitions on our site are hosted at our discretion, depending on the appropriateness of the prize for our audience and its value. We usually reserve competitions for clients who support Eat Out with other advertising. The winners are chosen at random and are verified by an external auditor before being notified.
The images used on listings, galleries and articles are provided by the restaurants, stores or markets themselves or their marketing people. While we have permission to use them on our site, we do not own the images and therefore cannot give permission for them to be taken off our site and used in any way.
9. Gifts and samples
We love supporting fantastic restaurants, produce and local food producers. You are welcome to send us samples of your great new product or items from a new menu you’re trying in your restaurant. We cannot, however, guarantee any reciprocation or airtime (on our site, in our print publications or on social media) for these items. But if we tweet or put something on Facebook that means we genuinely like it and/or think it might be interesting for our followers and fans.
Do you have any questions about our editorial policy? Write to us on email@example.com.
Eat Out is published by New Media Publishing Pty Ltd, New Media House, 19 Bree Street, Cape Town, 8001
PO Box 440, Green Point, Cape Town, 8051
Telephone: +27 (021) 417 1111