Ever wonder how the people behind your favorite food Instagram accounts can afford all of those mouth-watering #eeeeeeats? Thanks to a new , it turns out that social media "influencers" can barter free food and sometimes even actual money for coming to a restaurant to snap a few pics. Says an unnamed restaurant publicist: "I get emails: 'I have 114.3K followers. Here's where I'd like to go.'" The 'grammers will often ask to bring along a friend (or eight!), as well.
And strangely, it actually seems kind of worth it for the restaurants to go along with it. The article points to the massive success of Black Tap Burgers in Soho thanks to a slew of Instagram posts about their insanely delicious-looking milkshakes dubbed "candy stores in a glass." Emily Morse, of says that, after she shared a photo of a Long Island bakery's cinnamon bun, they were sold out "by 10 in the morning," the next day."[The bakery had] never experienced anything like it."
"I know people who, literally, haven't paid for food in months," said Jackie Gebel, the 26-year-old behind , which has149,000 followers (Gebel added that she does leave a tip though). "My parents think it's absolutely crazy that I eat like a king like this at 26. I'm eating, like, caviar and lobster every night. It's awesome. It's really crazy. I know how insane that is."
But Instagramming your free caviar is hard, too, OK, guys?
"I think people get tired," Gebel said. "You're always on the brand's agenda … you're in this amazing place and you're not able to do your own thing. That can be hard for some people, understandably." But surely it's a #problem some free ice cream can solve?!
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