An Irish restaurant has asked the internet for advice after being shocked by an influencer’s request in the middle of a global pandemic.
Dublin’s La Peniche restaurant explained an influencer had contacted them to book a table and asked whether there were “influencer rates” available. According to the series of tweets, the unnamed influencer is verified with over 100,000 followers.
“Is this a thing?” the restaurant asked on Twitter, noting that during these difficult times, it’s really not plausible to be ‘giving away’ bookings.
“We are a small business and in these times we all need to support each other.”
Many Twitter users were equally shocked by the influencer’s demands at this particular time, with some labelling the request ‘entitled’.
“Do these ‘influencers’ know that there’s a pandemic going on at the moment??” one person asked. “People have lost their lives, jobs, loved ones and they want a few quid off??? WTH….”
“I live for the day that influencers can read the mood of the room, never mind the country,” another one said.
“They should be paying their way,” was a third response.
However, other users defended the influencer, noting that exposure on such a large account could actually drive business.
“We sent out our at home boxes to influencers when we had to shut the rest. (For FREE). It proved to be massively successful for us triggering a lot of sales. It’s just marketing. Worked for us,” another Irish restaurant owner pointed out.
The eatery explained that though they’d normally be amenable to the idea of an influencer rate, it’s just not feasible during the pandemic.
“In the past we would have done stuff and we would have approached people, but [during] these times we have very little tables to work with [because of] social distancing,” they said in an interview with 98FM.
“The last thing we want to do is give a table away for nothing, in a sense, or [with] a discount when we have to pay staff.”
A Reddit user went viral after revealing how the family’s restaurant on the island of Kos in Greece handles the requests, sharing a screenshot of one of the many exchanges.
“I recently heard about your restaurant from a friend of mine who mentioned you serve great Greek dishes and vegan options. Would love to come here with my friend in exchange for social media tagging,” the message read.
The eatery responds to bloggers by saying, “For every meal an influencer buys, we offer another free meal of equal value to someone who needs it (homeless, refugee). This way we gain publicity from your post and you improve your public image by showing that you return something to the community.”
And sadly the restaurant said not one influencer had taken up the offer.
With additional reporting by In The Know.