If you are an avid follower of my Instagram, you may have noticed a ridiculous amount of food posts.
Aside from my obvious obsession with delicious food, this is also because I am part of BruneiFoodies.
It’s mostly managed by Marul, while the rest of us churn out accompanying content. We have daily Whatsapp meetings, we maintain a considerably packed food calendar, and I think @bruneifoodies now is one of the most active and engaged account on Brunei’s social media scene.
We love it! It’s a whole lot of eating I admit but I get to do it with people I have plenty of laughs with, and I get to meet the people behind the restaurant! I love the dynamic between us and each of us bring something different to the table.
To get to where we are today, we have done a lot of hard work – promotions, proposals, events. We invested on an app, to enhance the food lover experience, and help connect people and restaurants better. BTW download it if u haven’t!
So it’s also not a secret that we make money from advertising, and plenty of restaurants, food vendors, and such approach us to be featured. It’s not much – we won’t be on the top 10 millionaire list anytime soon – and it doesn’t really flow constantly or consistently, but it is enough to help us maintain the website and the app, as well as provide us enough seed money to do stuff like pay people to create our logo, or fun projects like the one we have with Volkswagen now.
One thing I love about being part of BruneiFoodies is that it helps my personal account stay personal. There it’s ad free, my opinions are my own, and I reserve the right to say whatever I like.
YET, I will NEVER say an XX Restaurant has disgusting food, the chef cooks like he hasn’t seen seasoning in 10 years, or that the toilets make me feel like throwing up.
No, if the meat is tough, I tell the chef.
If the bread was dry, I tell the chef.
If the restaurant has terrible service, I tell the owner.
To, the 23,000 followers on Brunei Foodies, I will tell you what is good about the restaurant like how the ambience is, how you’d appreciate the drinks, and highlight that they have delivery or other value add services.
That’s what we do, we will recommend what’s good and if something is bad or needs improvement, we tell the owner/chef and discuss solutions, and gladly leave that out of the social media world for now. We withhold posts.
The thing is, readers can’t change the situation, the sauce, the service. Only the restaurant can.
We have never been dishonest. We have always posted accurately, albeit more positively, and we recommend dishes which we all think is nice.
(Yes since the matter of taste is subjective, we reach around for consensus. That’s why there must always be more than 3 of us.)
Why do we do this?
We know how hard it is to set up a business, especially a restaurant, u have to deal with A LOT – halal certification, health certification, labour issues- plus omg how competitive it is now. Any small news about your food or service can actually destroy you, so what more when it is coming from us who have considerable influence, broadcasted to some 23,000 Bruneians on social media?
Atu namanya membunuh bisnes orang.
Trust me, NO RESTAURANT will want to serve you yucky food on purpose. They want the customers to enjoy themselves, eat yummy food and leave happy.
It is our responsibility to give them a chance.
Some people can’t get it right the first time and need feedback.
We are here not to destroy businesses, we are here to help them.
We want our food and restaurant to flourish and grow! We want people to be excited to start new restaurants knowing there are support systems (not just faceless, anonymous ones that seek out their mistakes).
We never claim to be food critics. We connect food lovers and restaurants. Our readers understand that they can find out new places to dine from us. Restaurant owners know that if they want to get the word out about their new place, or new menu, they can look for us.
If you have opinions about a certain restaurant’s food or service, by all means, go right ahead post it on your own IG.
For us, we have a responsibility to help restaurants.
“Bruneians are their own biggest critic”
So no we don’t post up stuff that we give negative reviews for, we are forthright with the restaurant on what would be popular and what needs improving. To the readers, we recommend what is good.
I hope this post clarifies what we do.
Lastly, don’t forget to join in on the BruneiFoodies X Volkswagen Foodie Trail competition. Promise it’ll be fun and u actually get to see how it works! 😍