Influencer shamed for 'embarrassing' request for free meal: 'Just no'

An Instagram influencer has been publicly shamed on social media after approaching a restaurant for free meals so she can help them "grow".

Brisbane-based influencer Jasmine Rollason, who has over 36,000 followers, messaged the owner of the restaurant over Instagram, letting them know she'd be in Noosa and would like to collaborate.

Influencer Jasmin Rollason message to restaurant
An influencer has been publicly shamed for asking a restaurant for a free meal and offering her 'help' to grow their business. Photo: Instagram/jatece2001 and johnlethlean

The message, which was shared by The Australian's restaurant critic John Lethlean, read: "Hey my name is Jasmine, I love your Instagram, you restaurant looks Devine (sic).

"I am heading to Noosa in just under 2 weeks and I am sharing and reviewing my experiences. I would love to have the privilege to help your business grow..."

She adds, "I have 35,000 followers that trust me and will value my opinions and posts on your restaurant xx. I love creating content for brands and I would be more then happy to supply your company images you can share on your channels that are aligned with your current feed aesthetic or values (sic). I also like to add my little touch too."


Jasmine adds that she is a model and has "lots for experience" and is "more than happy to help out".

John jokingly captioned the post, "A model and a reviewer."

The post was shared with the hashtag #couscousforcomment, a movement that, according to The Guardian, began in 2016 by a Sydney restaurant owner after an influencer offered them a review in exchange for a free meal.

"FFS #buyyourowndinner," one commenter wrote, while another added, "That’s a bit embarrassing."

Others were more irritated by the grammatical errors, "Perhaps Spellcheck is as optional as the food and wine check?"

Jasmine Rollason
Many social media users slammed Jasmine, with some calling her message "embarrassing". Photo: Instagram/jatece2001

"Ffs when will the freeloading end! You had me at 'Devine'!" another said. "How about buy your own meal and then tell your followers about your experience!"

"I just wish people could spell," a third said.

"Oh honey no. Just no," someone else wrote.

"Just pay for your dinner sweetie and leave a review on their website like normal people do," another said.

"Is there no end to this madness?" one questioned.

It comes after an unnamed restaurant owner recently hit back at Elle Groves and Annie Knight, owners of the @twoteaspoons account after they asked to try out the eatery in exchange for social posts.

The owner's response, was likely not what the women expected, and read: "Hey Elle, apologies for the delay...I've been grappling with how much rage to demonstrate/throw in your direction.

"I've decided to take the high road and explain a few things to you in the hope that you'll learn something and become a better person.

"Reaching out blind to a venue you know nothing about looking for free stuff is a s****y enough thing to do in the best of times.

"But it's even worse when Covid is still very much a thing, affecting small businesses like us devastatingly for two years now."

They continued, "Reaching out blind to a venue you know nothing about might also just trigger the owner (like me), who (as I have had to) might have even had to take a job at another venue on their days off just so they can continue to pay their staff properly and still be able to pay their rent."

The owner added that many hospitality venues are trying to catch up from "devastating losses and stresses over the past two years".

"In lieu of a 'collab', I thought I'd throw you some advice," they said. "Maybe give it a year or so and see how the business landscape looks, and see if you can amass enough followers for your 'collabs' to actually be of benefit to the venues you approach so naively, instead of them being only of benefit to you.

"In the meantime, maybe exchange money for the things you want to eat and drink, up your content quality and volume, and post those stories and posts anyway as a way of supporting a decimated industry. Eat, drink, spend and tip instead of beg and you'll probably be on the right path."

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