The Filling Station, Coffee and Donuts,  Shallotte, NC.

The Filling Station, Coffee and Donuts, Shallotte, N.C.

Find Your Writing Niche: Restaurant Reviews

An editor asked me recently if I would write some local restaurant reviews. Nothing fancy and involved: menu, specialty/ies, signature dishes, atmosphere, décor, service, hours, location and anything unique about the restaurant, e.g., the only place that serves calamari or pizza with five meats. No owners or customer comments, just a simple “here’s where you can get a good meal.”

What fun!

I searched the Chamber of Commerce to see if there were any ribbon cuttings and special events scheduled for restaurants, and there were.

I call ahead to ask some basic questions, e.g., how long the restaurant has been in business, if it’s has been in the same location throughout its history, if it’s a family-owner establishment. I get permission to take pictures of the sign, logo or display cases and dishes. I explain I’ll be visiting but don’t say when, and I never ask for a free meal.

A new coffee and donut shop opened a month before I got the assignment, so it was a perfect beginning, but there are dozens of delis, take-out and sit-down restaurants in the area. I should be busy for quite some time.

Contact local newspapers and magazines to see if they’re interested in this type of feature story. You just might hit on a new source of income——and find delicious meals along the way.

Article By: Jo Ann Mathews

I’ve been a professional freelance writer for several years and specialize in writing feature stories. I have more than a 1,000 bylines to my credit and have written on countless topics from autism to zoology. My columns on fashion and the Internet appeared in a Chicago area newspaper in the 90s. “Brunswick Buzz,” the column in The Sun News, the Myrtle Beach, S.C. daily, ran for seven years then “Events on the North Strand” took over in October 2013, also in The Sun News.

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