Legal Sea Foods CEO Roger Berkowitz shares some advice for restaurant critics over on the Herald food blog Fork Lift. As the head of a restaurant chain, it's perhaps unsurprising that all of his suggestions point towards giving a restaurant like Legal a good review. He praises former Globe critic Anthony Spinazzola for having restaurant experience, saying "Food writers who lack restaurant experience may be doing a disservice to their readers." Hmm, how to get that experience? Why, at Legal Sea Foods! "So here’s an invitation: please apprentice in our kitchens for two weeks."
Berkowitz also lauds Spinazzola for being "long on insight and short on sarcasm" (sounds like he isn't too keen on the era of Yelp) and says he was less likely to be critical than to find favor, paraphrasing Spinazzola's perspective as "Hey, if the restaurant isn’t doing something well, they don’t need me to point it out!"
He then shares his vision for a successful restaurant, which is any that serves "top-notch ingredients authentically prepared while providing an enjoyable dining experience... where the public gets real value." What's more, if that's what you're doing, you should ignore all other critical feedback: "If you achieve that as a restaurateur, you don’t have to anguish over a pending review from a food critic." In conclusion, restaurant critics should work at Legal Sea Foods for a while and not point out flaws in restaurants, while restaurateurs should ignore critics as long as they're using good ingredients and serving them at a value. Wouldn't that be an ideal arrangement for a certain widespread restaurant chain?