The cost of FREE dinner invitation for a food blogger

As food bloggers are more often and often getting invited to fancy dinners, it's no wonder that this hobby is quickly viewed as an alluring one; especially considering dinner invitations held by famous restaurants and hotels are ranging between 600K to 900K, or 1.2Mil IDR including wines or cocktails.

However should you are familiar with the phrase "With great powers comes great responsibilities," those dinner invitations usually comes with an unwritten obligation. Quickly recognized as alternative media, food bloggers too, are expected to broadcast about the event on their own media channels; blog and social network, so there's no such thing as a free loading folks!

Therefore while those invitations in your inbox might excites you, or even makes you proud, let's have a look at what's really going on.

The Costs

Wait? What costs? Aren't we talking about FREE invitations?

Well yeah, but let's not forget that it still requires time, and time is your biggest asset. In this case then, to be able to produce a quality writing, the blogger must go through a series of pre and post-event activities, for example:
  1. Research: what's being recommended the most, what's the chef specialities: 30 minutes
  2. Travelling back and forth: 1-2 hours
  3. Food tasting, taking photos, and interviewing the chef: 3-4 hours
  4. Photo editing: 2-4 hours
  5. Writing: 2-4 hours
  6. Publishing multiple photos on Twitter, Intagram, Facebook: 30 minutes-1 hour
Hence for a night out enjoying fancy dinners, there's at least 9 hours required for pre and post efforts, not to mention the 1-2 hours spent for exercising and recovery to burn those extra calories.

If you value your time for as low as 100K IDR/hour, that means you spent 900K IDR worth of efforts for committing to one FREE dinner invitation. And that's excluding travel expenses, camera's cost, internet bills or electricity. Or the pain of building up your skill to become the food blogger you are now.

Suddenly the "FREE" invitations doesn't sound like one any more eh?

The Rewards

To be fair though, let's have a look at rewards offered from such invitations:
  1. A good night out
  2. Content for your blog
  3. Acquaintance with chefs and their cooking styles
  4. Chance of networking with people in the industry
  5. Expanding your gastronomic knowledge
  6. Goodie bags, sometimes
  7. Etc.
While there's no real money put on the table, depending what you're food blogging for, you might find those rewards interesting, and worth the efforts. 

I myself found #3 and #4 worth for now (and #6 for the wifey), that's why I do accepts dinner invitation, especially when there will be interesting people attending.

What about you? Do you find dinner invitations worth the time spent, and why? (byms)