Eat & Drink Out

Food, Drink, PR & Social Media Trends 2019: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly and The Ass Award

I wasn’t going to do one this year but I know that I have one reader/colleague (ok, maybe two) who loves this yearly diatribe (actually three), so here it goes.

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly 2019

“Photos in hi-res landscape format please!”

It’s that time of the year again, a period of reflection on food/drink/PR/influencer trends of 2019 when the usually mild-mannered, bespectacled Ms Gourmantic lets it out with no holding back while she kicks diplomacy in the teeth.

Yes, in the spirit of “same old same old” and the era of “copy and paste”, I totally ‘borrowed’ the intro from a previous article (at least I wrote it, ha!) so here we go.

Food, Drink, PR & Social Media Trends 2019


  1. Restaurants that don’t sell you their menu as “designed to be shared” and serve you the courses one at a time. More please.
  2. A new breed of sommeliers putting the fun back into wine.
  3. The Sydney bar scene. Seriously. How many great Sydney bars have opened of late bringing unique flavours and experiences.
  4. Sydney venues with great offerings and late opening hours.
  5. Goodbye lockout laws, and about bloody time. Still holding hope for Kings Cross.
  6. PR who send a highly relevant media release that fits our content like a glove, along with all the information, his res images in landscape format, address, opening date etc so I don’t have to go back and forth asking for missing info – which means I’m more likely to publish an article.
  7. Following that up with an awesome event invitation? We’re very grateful.
  8. Sending us an embargoed media release so we can be ready to publish as soon as the embargo is lifted? Life is good.


  1. Photos in hi-res landscape format please. How hard does it have to be? I publish a website and that’s been our format for the last 10+ years. Portrait photos can’t be cropped properly and don’t get me started on square format. You’re paying a photographer, ask them to provide all formats. Not rocket science, innit?
  2. “One of 2019’s most anticipated restaurant openings”. Yawn. And so 2010.
  3. Repeat after me. “It’s much quicker to check the website to see if the article was published”. (And it was published, 2 weeks ago and your client has already thanked me publicly on social media) So why are you wasting my time with an email asking? Ooh, unless you want to bill the client for the time it took you to write that email. Silly me! (where’s that face palm emoji…)
  4. Verbose media releases filled with inflated pompous adjectives are so much fun to receive. As much fun as saying palette or pallet when meaning palate. We all need a good laugh every now and then, hey?
  5. When providing a date for an invitation, why isn’t the day stated as well? I know what I’m doing next Wednesday but not on 29th of whatever month. And neither do you, when you send a follow up apology email because you stuffed up the date.
  6. Correcting poor grammar and spelling in media releases always gives me a hearty chuckle and breaks the monotony of the day. It’s like pulling the overgrown weed from my edible garden.
  7. Food photography. I can’t tell if it belongs to Restaurant X, Y or Z because it all looks same same same.
  8. PR interns take note: you’ll be given the job of contacting media asking for their vital stats, like their favourite sexual position, safe word and how much money they make. Be prepared for the backlash when you’re asked in return how much the agency is charging their client.
  9. Ending the media release with “Look forward to hearing your thoughts”. I don’t even know where to start on that one!
  10. Can we please reserve the title “Master Distiller” to someone who has several years experience in distilling not someone who’s been doing it for 5 minutes. It’s making us Aussies sound like a joke.


  1. Sure, I know where Venue X is. I’ve been there many times. But omitting vital details in a media release such as address and website url is lazy PR. And while I’m at it, if you’re pitching for a new venue, “the former site of” does not constitute an address.
  2. Unless you and I have shared a bespoke Martini or you know the single malt I like to sip while watching episodes of Doctor Who and Sherlock, don’t assume you know what I like. Telling me in a pitch “I think you’ll like…” has me hovering on the delete button.
  3. Sooooo… you didn’t want to send us that highly relevant media release which we would have published (but you’ve sent so many we have zero interest in). Then your client asks me if I’ve received it, and I say noooooo… then you make up some lie on why you’re sending it to me, late. Note: we’ve been in the food and drink media industry for over 10 years and we don’t publish old news.
  4. Sending a post event media release to an event we did not attend or worse, weren’t invited to. Tsk. Tsk. Tsk. Then sending a follow up email.
  5. If your event is full of instagram “influencers” posing for selfies 9 times out of 10 without even showing your brand, don’t chase me up for a free article. Ditto when you’ve paid them to turn up to your event.
  6. Actually, don’t chase me up for a free article. Period.
  7. Read your emails. Seriously. If I have already RSVP’d, don’t ask me again. If I’ve already given the name of my plus one, don’t ask me again. And if I’ve given dietary requirements, don’t ask me again. Basic communication fail.
  8. Drinkstagrammers, influencers, whatever you call yourselves. Flower garnishes the size of your head may get you oohs and aahs but I’d never want to drink a cocktail from a vase. Haven’t you heard about the latest cocktail trends?
  9. Whether you’re an influencer, restaurant, bar  or whatever, when a) you tag me on every instagram post and b) you’re not even following me and c) you don’t engage with any of my posts, you’re getting me spammed with other people’s comments on your post and I will block you.


  1. What’s that? You’ve pitched me something I’m not interested in, then you send a follow up email, then another reminder, then another one of those “I’m sorry to bug you but” emails (hint: you are bugging me and bordering on harassment) and you get upset when I tell you to guarantee an article, ask your client to pay for it? Geez, have some respect. I’m not your slave.
  2. Whoever thought it was a good idea to provide a take home gift (appreciated) from a booze event in a BIG box that a) doesn’t close properly b) has the brand name all over it in BIG letters and c) NOT provide a carry bag is out of their mind. I love your brand and appreciate the gift but I don’t want to be mugged walking down the street.
  3. Sure, we’re not 20 years old any more (and wouldn’t want to be!) but that’s no reason for your event photographer to take photos of everyone except us (and the two size 16 journos you deemed unattractive). Worse when your event photographer acts like anyone who isn’t a size zero is invisible.
  4. Invitations (notice the plural) to media famils which were never followed up on despite numerous emails asking for confirmation and itinerary. Thanks for wasting my time. I’m sure your clients would love to hear about that!


  • Of all the irrelevant-time-wasting-frustrating-wtf emails I’ve received in 2019, this one takes the inaugural ‘Ass Award’: a media release about donkey rides and the Greek consulate.

Let’s hope 2020 brings better clarity of vision. Until next year!

About the author

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is a drinks writer, author of GROW YOUR OWN COCKTAIL GARDEN, SHRUBS & BOTANICAL SODAS and founder/editor of Gourmantic, Cocktails & Bars and The Gourmantic Garden. She has been writing extensively about spirits, cocktails, bars and cocktail gardening in more recent years. She is a spirits and cocktail competition judge, Icons of Whisky Australia nominee, contributor to Diageo Bar Academy, cocktail developer and is named in Australian Bartender Magazine's Top 100 Most Influential List. Her cocktail garden was featured on ABC TV’s Gardening Australia and has won several awards. She is a contributor to Real World Gardener radio program and is featured in several publications including Pip Magazine, Organic Gardener, Australian Bartender and Breathe (UK). Read the full bio here.