A Cafe’s Guide: Working with Food Bloggers

Approaching food bloggers for your marketing is pretty fool-proof. You are on display to thousands of their followers at little cost to yourself. Compared to advertising in the mainstream media, it is a smart move.

We have noticed recently we are getting a lot more requests from cafes and restaurants regarding using our foodie Instagram to promote their business. While some cafes have gotten straight to the point and know exactly what they want, there are also places that are new to the game and aren’t sure what to expect.

We have put together a small guide to point you in the right direction and answer some of your questions.

Selecting your food bloggers

We would recommend you select quite a few. If you have a few bloggers all posting at the same time about your business, your food takes over everyone’s timelines and makes people interested in why so many people are visiting you. You also need to think about the right food bloggers for you, do they usually post the food you serve? do they post close up images of food or flat lays? do they mainly focus on cafes/restaurants or home cooking products? All of these elements matter depending on what you’re looking for.

man taking picture of food on top of table inside restaurant
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

How many followers should they have?

Once someone hits 1-2K followers, I believe they start having a decent following. Generally the more followers you have the small your engagement rate is, so keep that in mind when you approach the big guys. Of course you need to be careful of people who buy followers. You can generally check by looking at their followers list and seeing if the followers look real/are from the same country or state.

How to approach your selected food bloggers?

A simple Instagram DM is usually the best way to get a quick response. You should introduce yourself and be clear you want to collaborate. I find it best when they know what they want to acheive (eg. 2 posts and 3 instagram stories). Also be open to dates and times, don’t make them only come at awkward times of the day when you’re quiet.

Make sure your staff are prepared

You think this would be obvious, but we have arrived at cafes and the staff have no idea the manager organised for us to come. It becomes awkward when I need to show messages and prove I’m not making it up.

cheerful black waitress standing at counter
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Don’t change your dishes for us

You should serve us exactly what you would serve any other person. A few times we have been given huge proportions and then realised this isn’t a normal dish and when we post the image, it’s basically a catfish version of what they will really get. While we appreciate you going above and beyond, we want to showcase to our followers what they would actually get, if they decided to visit you. BUT do put us in a good seat next to natural light for our photos.

What are the costs involved for you?

Most bloggers will be happy to come along as long as you provide the meal. You definitely can’t expect people to go out of there way, showcase your food – and pay for it (yes we have been asked to pay for it before). Larger bloggers may requirement payment – you will have to deal with this on a case by case basis.

And to conclude, in no way are we complaining about anyone that has approached us. We are so greatful for every experience we have had. This is just a guide to help you, next time you are looking into food bloggers for your marketing.

Have you seen our latest blog on The Hideout Cafe and Pizza?

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Can greenhouses solve social distancing?

We’re sure many of you have been out since the restrictions in Australia have been lifted. Now restaurants and cafes are allowed to open as long as the follow the 1.4 social distancing rule. However, we’ve found that when we have been out dining, there may be the right amount in the space to keep the 1.4 distance but they put everyone cramped into one section. Should we be concerned if we can touch the people on the table behind us? What if we told you there are greenhouse restaurants trying to solve the problem?

Where can you find them?

We have recently come across a restaurant in Amsterdam, Mediamatic, that has used greenhouses to make sure everyone is spread out. Many restaurants have tried to be creative with ways to stand out with concepts to control social distancing. However, this would have to be our favourite!. Should there be more greenhouse restaurants?

greenhouse restaurants
Photography – news.com.au

According to the Government, these sort of measures are unnecessary, but it is a great concept for those who are more at risk of the illness or those that feel uncomfortable going to a normal dining experience. And lets not forget the Instagramers who would love this idea simply for the Instagram photo (us).

This made us think, the amount of trust we are putting in restaurants and cafes to do the right thing and keep us safe. Have they wiped down everything? did they wash their hands? Are the staff being honest about their health? On the other hand are all the guests being honest about their health? The questions are endless!

greenhouse restaurants
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Nevertheless, good luck and be safe, wherever you decide to eat! Hopefully we can find more greenhouse restaurants popping up!

Have you seen our latest blog on solo dining options in Sydney?

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Solo dining in Sydney? Here is where to go!

Are you a Sydney-sider wanting to eat out but you’re all alone? Or are you on the trip to Sydney be yourself and want to eat out? Well, not to fear, there are plenty of places to eat without feeling awkward that you are alone. You want to avoid quiet places or places like yum cha where it is probably best to have a companion. Or buffets, because who is going to mind the table haha? So, here is our list of where we would eat if we were solo dining in Sydney.

1. Sushi Rio

We personally can’t think of a better option than a sushi train. There are no tables and everyone is sitting along a bench facing the train, nothing awkward about that right? You can casually pick the options you want off the sushi train without anyone noticing you are all alone. Sushi Rio would be our pick if you are in the Sydney CBD. They have a lot of options and it is super fresh!

Where can you find them: Shop 7/339A Sussex St, Sydney (you can also find them in Westfield Sydney and Bondi)
When are they open: Mon-Sun 12pm-10pm but open till 11pm on Fri-Sat

solo dining sydney
Photo by Pablo Merchán Montes on Unsplash

2. Jimmy’s Recipe

Next on our list of options for solo dining in Sydney is Jimmy’s Recipe. During the week at lunch time this place is super busy. You order at the counter and your food is generally ready within the minute, so there is no awkward waiting around. Then you are off to find a table, it is so busy and fast paced in there, that no one will notice you are alone. Plus there are usually quite a few solo diners on their lunch break from work. We always get the Laksa from here, it’s the best!

Where can you find them: Ground Floor/500 George St, Sydney
When are they open: Sat-Sun 11am-3pm Mon-Tues 10am-6pm Wed 10am-7pm Thurs 10am-9pm and Fri 10am-8pm

3. Mister Gee Burger Truck

Last but not least, for our solo dining options in Sydney we had to add a burger truck. There is nothing awkward about ordering from these and taking a seat in a park and enjoying your meal. We picked Mister Gee Burger Truck and their burgers never disappointed. Oh and the loaded fries are amazing too! The good thing about food trucks in general is that they move around so you are bound to find one near you.

Where can you find them: Check their Instagram, they move around to different locations (this week they are at 16 George St, North Strathfield)
When are they open: Depends on where they are

solo dining sydney
Photo by Szabo Viktor on Unsplash

Enjoy your solo dining in Sydney!

Have you seen our latest blog on takeaway options in isolation?

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram to stay up to date with where are we eating: https://www.instagram.com/whatthehaloumi and subscribe to our newsletter for our next article!

Takeaway Mother’s Day hampers and high tea in Sydney

Mother’s Day 2020, looks like it is going to be spent at home. I’m sure a lot of your plans have been cancelled, just like ours – to take mum out to have high tea. So, if you’re not a chef, here are our top picks of Mother’s Day hampers in Sydney.

1. Glenorie Bakery, Glenorie

Our first takeaway Mother’s Day option can be done through Glenorie Bakery. They are doing a high tea box that includes all your favourites! The family high tea is $85 (4-5 people) and the couples high tea is $50 (2 people). So what can you find inside? savoury pastries, desserts, local flowers, a succulent plant, mini champagne and T2 teabags. What more could you ask for then to also have the decorations included! They are delivering through most of the Hills District and into Blacktown.

Takeaway mother's day
Photography – Glenorie Bakery

2. Chiswick, Woollahra

The iconic Chiswick in Woollahra is also putting on a Mother’s Day feast for your family! If it’s created by Matt Moran’s team, nothing can go wrong right? They are doing both lunch and dinner packages that you can pick up from the restaurant. The packages range from $169-$199 for the family and you can pick from chicken or lamb. They packages include your entrees, mains and desserts so everyone should be full by the end!

Takeaway mother's day
Photography – Chiswick

3. The Paper Mill, Liverpool

Why not treat your mum to a breakfast box from The Paper Mill? For just $65, your mum will be delighed with the following items; mini danish, mini croissants, carrot cake, waffles, seasonal fruit including raspberries, blueberries, & strawberries, Nutella, blueberry compote, granola, T2 teabags and a Brown Brothers Pink Moscato. (They won me with the Brown Brothers Moscato) haha! You can pick them up in store on Saturday and Sunday as well.

Takeaway mother's day
Photography – The Paper Mill

We hope one of our takeaway mother’s day options works for you! And Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there – this will surely be a Mother’s Day to remember!

Have you seen our latest blog on takeaway options while you’re in social isolation?

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Part 3: Takeaway in social isolation #covid19

So it looks like we are still in isolation and if you are still sick of cooking, your only option is takeaway at the moment. While there are some promising signs we can get back to a more normal life soon, here are some takeaway in social isolation options to fulfil your cravings until then.

1. Piccolo Me, Various Locations

These guys can be found all over the place and their coffee is great! We’ve noticed quite a few of them still open for business, maybe all of them are? Their pricing is pretty decent too, so next time you’re craving a good coffee, skip making it yourself and reward yourself with some Piccolo Me. I’d recommend their Chai Latte! (Does that count as a coffee?)

takeaway in social isolation
Photo by Thought Catalog on Pexels.com

2. Betty’s Burgers, Various Locations

I’m sure you are all missing going out and ordering a big juicy burger. Betty’s Burgers is one of the best when it comes to this and they have quite a few locations all over Sydney as well! I always go for their chicken burger and French fries option! I haven’t tried their ice cream yet, which they call ‘concrete’ but I’ve heard good things about it!

3. You Pizza, Various Locations

We can’t leave out the food trucks! We actually used these guys for catering a few of our parties and they were great! The pizzas are full of fresh toppings and there are quite a few options too. We were never disappointed – and compared to other pizza food trucks we have tried, they are the best! You’ll have to check their Instagram to see where they will be next, recently they were at Penrith!

takeaway in social isolation
Photo by Eneida Nieves on Pexels.com

4. Bubble Nini, Various Locations

Thirsty? Our favourite bubble tea place is still open for takaway! Woohoo! They have authentic tea and so many flavours to pick from. It’s a shame you can’t stay in the café because it is so pretty! Oh well, I guess you can always go back when we are back to a more normal life for that!

5. Ze Pickle, Surry Hills

Sorry, we had to add another burger place to the list! Ze Pickle has some top notch burgers on the menu and so many sides to pick from! There are also some super spicy options on the menu too for our heat lovers! Our favourite are the chicken burgers here too!

And there it is, our top picks this week for takeaway in social isolation!

Have you seen our latest blog on more places open for takeaway in Sydney?

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram to stay up to date with where are we eating: https://www.instagram.com/whatthehaloumi and subscribe to our newsletter for our next article!

Takeaway still open in Sydney during isolation

As we continue to live our lives in isolation, I’m sure many of you are just like us and looking for places that are still open for takeaway. If you can’t find any, not to worry, we’ve done the research for you, see below our recommended options for takeaway open in Sydney during the COVID-19 crisis.

1. Mark & Vinnys, Surry Hills

Mark and Vinnys is the place for all our vegan and vegetarian readers. Pick from an array of pasta options and side dishes and by the look of their Instagram everything looks delicious! If that doesn’t convince you enough, they are also offering a bottle of Paladino Sangiovese or Pinot Grigio for $16 with any pick up orders!

Takeaway open in sydney
Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

2. Duo Duo, Strathfield

We all still need ice cream while in isolation right? Well Duo Duo’s deep fried ice cream is still open for takeaway. They’re a food truck so they move around quite a bit but you can usually find them in Strathfield at night. Check out their instagram to see where they are next. They are also doing large takeaway tubs too!

3. Billy the Greek, Dural

Greek food is definitely essential during the crisis and Billy the Greek is open for takeaway. They’re open 7 days a week and will deliver locally for just $5, otherwise you can do pick up. On the menu you can chose from gyros, seafood, mains, pasta and they also have a special board!

4. Contessa, Balmain

Another takeaway open is Sydney is Contessa Balmain. Pick up a warm coffee or one of their delicious meals including burgers, omelettes and more! And you can be rest assured you will be socially distancing here as they have crosses marked on the floor!

Takeaway open in sydney
Photo by David Bares on Pexels.com

5. Aj’s Cafe, Greystanes

Aj’s Cafe is a great choice as they have basically converted their whole normal menu into the takeaway menu! Open for breakfast and lunch, their pancakes are superb and they’re burgers are bound to fill you up. Oh and make sure to get a coffee too!

Enjoy your takeaway that is still open in Sydney

Have you seen our latest blog on more places open for takeaway in Sydney?

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Takeaway options for isolation in Sydney

The world we are living in now is completely different to what we have ever experienced. What we use to take for granted is no longer possible, with restaurants no longer being able to have a dine-in option. Many places have had to quickly adapt to the world of takeaway. Here are some takeaway in Sydney options that have stood out for us:

takeaway in sydney
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

1. Belmonte Italian Cusine

One of our favourite places in the Hills District has shut up the doors to their dine-in section but continued to excel in their takeaway. Not only have they been delivering free pizzas to the local supermarket staff but they are also delivering orders free when you spend over $40 (which is pretty easy to spend on a family dinner). They will also add a garlic bread or drink on pick up orders over $40.

2. The Pie Tin

If you’re craving a pie then The Pie Tin in Newton is another places for you to take advantage of their takeaway options. They are delivering in the local area as well! Not only are they selling hot ready to eat food but also par-baked, cold or frozen items for you to save it for a later date.

takeaway in sydney
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

3. Butter

Located in Surry Hills and Parramatta, Butter only claim to be a phone call away during these uncertain times. They are offering their fried chicken via pick up or delivery – and have even signed up to deliveroo to make your experience easier if phone calls aren’t your thing! We’ve tried their burgers and ramen and both are delicious!

4. Sunset Diner

Dreaming back to our freedom during the summer months, my first thought goes to Avalon Beach! Sunset Diner is located there and are staying open for pick up and delivery via UberEats. They also created a DriveUp option where they will bring your order to your car (I like the sound of this haha). Ps. the burgers look so good here!

takeaway in sydney
Photo by Horizon Content on Pexels.com

5. Chatime

We couldn’t leave a drink option off the list and with locations all over Sydney, there is bound to be one near you. They are on their own app, UberEats and Deliveroo so take your pick! They are also taking measures via their SafeTea (haha) inclusions of contactless payments and restricting reusable cups.

Enjoy your takeaway in Sydney!

Have you seen our latest blog on our favourite coffee shops in the Hills District?

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram to stay up to date with where are we eating: https://www.instagram.com/whatthehaloumi and subscribe to our newsletter for our next article!

Top 5 Coffee Shops in the Hills District

We all love a local coffee shop that stands out from all the others. More recently, the Hills District has has a growth in cafes which has been great for the area. So whether you live there or are passing by, we’ve put a list together of our favourite coffee shops in the hills that we have come across.

1. The Borrowed Table

This new cafe recently opened underneath a block of apartments in Kellyville Ridge. The Borrowed Table has all your brunch needs! From smashed avo to eggs on toast, this cafe has a dish for everyone. Meanwhile, you’ll be surrounded by some beautiful decor. Although in cafe is technologically not in the official boundaries of the Hills, it is right on the boarder so we will let that slide haha!

Where can you find them: G7/8 Merriville Rd, Kellyville Ridge
When are they open: Tues-Sun 8am-4pm

2. The Brook Eatery

Another beautiful cafe that has made it onto our top coffee shops in the hills list, is The Brook Eatery. Situated in Cherrybrook, this cafe has a decent brunch menu and always seems to be full of locals. All your sweet and savoury brunch items can be found on the menu. And there is something there for everyone.

Where can you find them: P1/41-47 Shepherds Dr, Cherrybrook
When are they open: Mon-Sun 7am-10pm

3. Wild Pear Cafe

If you want to venture into the more rural side of the Hills District then, Wild Pear Cafe is the place! This cafe grew in popularity a few years ago and had a huge influx of visitors from all over Sydney. The cafe is beautifully situated in a garden nursery and has some great coffee! The menu gets updated regularly which is good for regular customers to try new things. On a side note, their famous Rosewater Milkshake is the best!

Where can you find them: 658 Old Northern Rd, Dural
When are they open: Mon-Sun 8am-4pm

4. The Bella Local

This cafe is located in the Bella Vista/Norwest Business Park area, which is great for people that work there. Even in the busy area, they have a nice outdoor deck and plenty of seating. All your sweet and savory options can be found on the menu. Including Nutella Waffles for all our Nutella lovers! I think this dish helps put them in the running for our favourite coffee shops in the Hills District haha!

Where can you find them: g03/33 Lexington Dr, Bella Vista
When are they open: Mon-Fri 7am-4pm or Sat 8am-12pm

5. Arthur Street Cafe

For our Baulkhum Hills residents, Arthur Street Cafe is for you. Situated amongst the homes of the area, you’ll is this coffee shop. It has been around for quite a while and gets a a decent crowd. Oh and their ‘Big Breakfast’ is truly a big breakfast and it is served all day. Make sure you’re hungry before you go haha!

Where can you find them: 26 Arthur St, Baulkham Hills
When are they open? Mon-Sun 7am-4pm

Have you seen our latest blog on the best charcoal chicken places in Sydney?

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Top 3 charcoal chicken places in Sydney

There are so many charcoal chicken shops popping around Sydney. With so many, how do you know which ones are worth a visit to? Well, we have made a list of the main ones that have various locations over Sydney so you can find one near you. So, here it is our – our top 3 charcoal chicken places in Sydney.

1. Frangos

We had to put Frangos at the top of our top charcoal chicken places in Sydney as we cannot stop going there. Maybe it is because there is one 5 minutes from our house but also because it is delicious. It is a really hard choice here between their quarter chicken or fillet burger but rest assured, both give you a generous amounts of chips. I think the aspect that wins me here is their mayo and chilli sauce, it is the best! They started in Petersham and have expanded to Bella Vista, Gregory Hills, Smithfield and Penrith.

charcoal chicken places in sydney
Photography – Frangos

2. El Jannah

Another favourite of ours is, El Jannah and their charcoal chicken with garlic sauce and pickles! There is nothing better than combining the chicken, garlic sauce, pickles and chips on Lebanese bread. The pricing is really reasonable here and the meals are quite big. The first one opened in Granville and they have slowly expanded to Blacktown and Newtown. We hope there is one near you!

charcoal chicken places in sydney
Photography – Menulog

3. Chargrill Charlies

For those living on the North Shore and Eastern Suburbs, Chargrill Charlies should be your go to chicken shop. Hence, why we had to add it to our top 3 charcoal chicken places in Sydney. I think the best thing about this place other than the chicken is their range of sides and salads. They are so fresh and delicious! You can find them at Woollahra, Annadale, Neutral Bay, Mosman, Rose Bay, Lane Cove, Willoughby, Drummoyne, Frenchs Forest and St Ives.

charcoal chicken places in sydney
Photography – Chargrill Charies

Enjoy your chicken!

Have you seen our latest blog on the our favourite noodle places in Sydney?

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram to stay up to date with where are we eating: https://www.instagram.com/whatthehaloumi and subscribe to our newsletter for our next article!

Top 5 places for noodles in Sydney

Who doesn’t love a nice big bowl of noodles for lunch? Recently, I have been loving spicy food and noodles seem to be the best place to satisfy my craving. Whether you like spicy food or not , here is a list of our top 5 places for noodles in Sydney.

1. Biang Biang

Biang Biang is definitely first on our list. Situated in Sydney’s China Town, they have the best noodle dishes we have come across. Their famous flat Biang Biang noodles are not only delicious but also extremely Instagram worthy. We tried the Biang Biang Noodle topped with chilli and the Biang Biang noodle with beef, which were both great. Maybe just bring some yogurt if you can’t handle the spice haha!

Where can you find them: 1 Dixon Street, Haymarket
When are they open: Mon-Sun 12pm-10pm

2. Chat Thai

If you’re looking for affordable Thai is the Sydney CBD, then I wouldn’t know where else to recommend you. Chat Thai is not only one of the best Thai places, it is also quite cheap and has many options to pick from. My go to is always the Pad Thai or Pad See Ew, which never disappoint. It does get busy here, so I would suggest you book.

Where can you find them: 3 locations in the Sydney CBD
When are they option: Mon-Sun 10am-6pm

3. Gami Chicken and Beer

Although they are not a noodle place, Gami Chicken and Beer have the best sweet potato noodle dishes! So we had to add them to our top 5 places for noodles in Sydney. Their dish includes the noodles with Mushrooms, chicken and a variety of vegetables with sweet soy sauce! They also have Korean fried chicken if you are dining with any non noodle loving friends.

Where can you find them: Locations all over Sydney
When are they open: Depends on your location – generally 11am-9pm

4. P’Nut Street Noodles

Is street food more your style? Well, P’Nut Street Noodles may be worth a visit. They basically just serve a whole bunch of noodle dishes from all over Asian, including: Japan, Korea and Indonesia to name a few. Whichever cuisine you are craving, there should be a dish for you. They also have Laksa for our soup lovers.

Where can you find them: Locations all over Sydney
When are they open: Depends on your location – generally 11am-8pm

5. Ippudo

And last but not least, we couldn’t leave a ramen option off the list. Ramen is probably one of my favourite noodle dishes to eat in cold weather. Ippudo, was the first place we have ever tried ramen and we haven’t had a better one elsewhere since. They have quite a few ramen options on the menu and we have never been disappointed. You can even select how well you want your noodles cooked haha!

We have you enjoy slurping up all these noodles. We know we definitely will be!

Have you seen our latest blog on our top 5 places for pizza?

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram to stay up to date with where are we eating: https://www.instagram.com/whatthehaloumi and subscribe to our newsletter for our next article!