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?

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!