For foodies who enjoy eating out and writing, the job of a food critic may appear to be a dream job. Aside from having keen writing skills, successful food critics have an adventurous appetite and a desire to try new foods. Through their writing, food critics aid readers in making informed choices on selecting quality restaurants. Job competition is fierce, particularly for writers at the top of the salary scale.
Food critics research restaurants by dining at a variety of establishments and ordering many different dishes while inconspicuously taking notes on the ambiance, service, flavors and food quality offered at the establishment. It is also not uncommon for food critics to make repeat visits to a single restaurant for fact-checking purposes. Food critics then use that information to write articles for newspapers, magazines or websites. According to My Foot Path, food critics also review smaller dining venues such as farmer's markets and food stands.
Although a degree is not necessary in becoming a food critic, the occupation requires strong writing and reporting skills to skillfully convey their expertise to readers. For this reason, many food critics have college degrees in English, journalism or communications. According to Chef Schools, food critics also possess a strong knowledge of restaurant management and food preparation. Many food critics have honed their skills with a culinary arts background.
Although many food critics work as freelance writers, some are employed through newspapers and magazines. My Footpath states that food critics also work in television media such as food shows, or write content for websites related to culinary topics.
According to My Footpath, job prospects for food critics show mixed results. While budget cuts in print media have marked the loss of many food feature sections, the increase in web publishing opportunities coupled with the recent popularity of food shows has increased the need for food critics.
According to My Foot Path, the salary of a food critic depends on the writers experience level as well as their geographic location. CB Salary states that the annual salaries of food critics range from $51,295 to $93,846 with $65,873 as the national average.
According to My Foot Path, the salaries of freelance writers are affected by factors such as the number of articles written and the varying salaries offered by the different publications, with larger publications offering more pay.