Road to Game Day Restaurant Week Dec. 4-13 is underway!
Each of the participating restaurants offers a Pre-Fixe Menu for Road To Game Day. $1 per meal from Restaurant Week will be donated to Feeding Tampa Bay in the fight against hunger.
Are they all just annoying, eating for free, picture taking, Instafamous Foodies? Billy knows influencers can do good works.
Photo by Nate Johnston on Unsplash
The Roll of Food Influencers in Tampa Bay
Food influencers are continually being invited by marketing firms and/or business owners, to try the food, drink, and experiences around town. Many food influencers get paid or at the very least eat for free to try restaurants in exchange for posting photos of their dining and experience on social media. It is normal to see many different foodies post mouth-watering photos of dishes from the same restaurants causing a local buzz.
Numerous Tampa Bay restaurants have significantly benefitted from this extremely frugal marketing tactic. This generates a sort of bond between foodies and local restaurants. As a matter of fact, savvy restauranteurs are aware that if the influencers genuinely love the food, non-collaborated visits and mentions on social media are very likely in the future. The influencer is now a loyal customer and giving the restaurant more free marketing.
It could seem a little unfair to the food influencers at times since restaurants tend to "pay" in comped meals. This is especially true when a marketing or public relations firm has reached out to the influencer as someone is getting paid. Free meals don't pay the bills. It is not long before some influencers stop eating for free in exchange for fantastic photography and getting thousands of their followers to want what the influencer has had. The influencer evolves to know their worth and rightfully must be paid to play.
However, many food influencers enjoy letting their cameras eat first at the latest hot spot and would be doing it at their leisure anyhow. When influencers are not pressured into posting deadlines they are usually more than happy to make time for a freebie, especially at a shiny new restaurant. The restaurants get what they “pay” for, so restaurants who offer some compensation to influencers usually get a much better effort from the influencer in terms of promotion. Influencer marketing is the least expensive, yet possibly the most effective form of marketing for small businesses.
According to a NextRestaurants.com article: “Influencer marketing is also one of the cheapest forms of online advertisement when compared to the level of engagement, awareness, and conversions you’ll earn. Depending on the relevance and size of your restaurant, influencers can be a boon even when you are on a tight budget.”
Marketing via the food influencer ends up being a continuous and sustainable way for restaurants to advertise. Most food influencers got into this "business" because they are just foodies at heart and are not necessarily business people. These "real foodies" support local establishments and Tampa Bay foodie influencers are not limited to that viewpoint. Again, the restaurant wins.