Food and restaurant critics are exactly what they sound like. They try different restaurants and eateries and give their critiques of the food, the atmosphere, the service and other aspects of dining out. You need more than simply a refined palate for this job. You also need a flair for writing, an attention to detail, a knowledge of your subject. Your reviews could appear in blogs, newspapers or restaurant and travel guides. Some food critics work freelance, and some work on the staff of specific publications. The more respected a critic you are, the more valuable your reviews are — and the more money you could make. And the cost of dining should be covered by the publication for which you're working.
Food critics visit different restaurants and sample their menu, usually with a companion and usually multiple times, never revealing their identity or why they're visiting. Anonymity ensures that the chef and staff don't give them preferred service. A critic's reviews should be detailed and describe the food experience in depth, and place the subject of review into a larger cultural context. Sometimes a critic's review can make or break a new restaurant. So if you're thinking of entering this line of work, make sure your reviews are fair, descriptive and informative.
Not all food critics need to be fancy, however. One of the Internet's most famous food critics is Marilyn Hagerty, who writes for the Grand Forks Herald in North Dakota. Her earnest reviews of places like Olive Garden, McDonald's and Applebee's have won her legions of fans. She's been reviewing restaurants like these for 30 years and, as of 2015, shows no signs of slowing down [source: Ledbetter].