A restaurateur is stirring a major online
debate after calling out a group of social media
influencers who asked him for free food.
Brian Campbell owns Miann, a dessert restaurant
and pastry shop in Auckland, New Zealand.
The business owner told BuzzFeed News that his
restaurant, which was closed for several weeks
amid the country’s lockdown, began opening for
online orders during the week of April 20.
Almost immediately, he started receiving
messages from social media influencers
asking to “collab” with his shop.
Those messages, which totaled to at
least six in a single day, essentially
amounted to requests for free food.
In exchange, the influencers said
they would promote Miann online.
Campbell was not pleased by that
idea, and on April 24 he shared a message
on Instagram, calling out the users who
had asked him for “free products”.
“PLEASE STOP FOR A SECOND AND THINK,
Think about the Restauranters, food producers
that have had ZERO income for a month”.
Think about the PEOPLE whom you are asking for
stuff for free from, to boost your own profile”.
Many commenters were incredibly
supportive of Campbell, calling the
influencers’ requests “shameful”.
Still, not everyone was as outraged. Some users
argued that influencers provide advertising for
restaurants, which ultimately helps their business.
But Campbell says the response has been largely
positive, telling BuzzFeed News that other industry
professionals have reached out to thank him.
“People in the industry are being like ‘thank f***
someone spoke up’ and just general customers
[have been] asking if these requests really happen”