Restaurant UGC Taken to a New Level in NJ

The culture of user-generated content and reviews, which has especially focused on the restaurant category, is taken to a new level with a proliferation of food bloggers in New Jersey according to an article in the NY Times:

“People come in with iPhones, and it might have seemed strange at first, but now we’re used to it,” Mr. Catlett said. “I’ve seen pictures of our food and of the waiters on the Internet and on Facebook.”

As he and other restaurateurs have found, the era of food bloggers — who routinely photograph a restaurant’s entrees, staff and décor — is upon us. And they seem to be especially active in New Jersey.

“I’ve been in the restaurant business my whole life in New York City, and in New York City restaurant bloggers don’t exist on the level they do in New Jersey,” said Michael Liristis, 34, the former manager and sommelier at Thalassa Restaurant in TriBeCa and at Kellari Taverna in Midtown. He is now a partner in and general manager of Nisi Estiatorio in Englewood, which opened in January 2009.

There’s not much more to say about this except this is a level of critical attention and scrutiny that will accelerate the boom or bust cycle of these businesses. There’s probably little or no need to actively “market” for these restaurants because they’re being so heavily covered.

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