A couple of weeks ago I had a conversation with a friend about the relationship between restaurants and content creators (influencers, bloggers, or whichever term you choose to identify them with). The conversation revolved around the idea that in an ideal world, there would be a symbiotic mutualism between the two. Restaurants receive the exposure from creators, while creators get to have a space to create their content. Win and win—everyone’s happy. In reality, the case is not that easy.
I’m sure you’ve heard of cases where restaurants ban any use of camera in their place, or when creators ask their photos to be taken down from a social media page because they haven’t given any consent. Social media is relatively new; understandably there are a lot of grey areas. Finding a balance that makes both parties happy is not easy.
Creators, keep in mind that restaurants also need, besides exposure, revenue. Say you’re spending two to three hours in a cafe with one cake and one cup of coffee to take multiple OOTD shots. In that span amount of time, the cafe might be able to serve two additional customers (or more during peak hours), which equals to multiple profits compared to your visit. The situation gets even trickier when you are wearing or photographing items you’re endorsed with, as you’re technically doing a commercial photoshoot.
Is there any one true tried-and-tested solution to this? No, there’s none. Asking nicely always helps. Shoot the cafe an e-mail or ask via social media beforehand. If you’re too lazy to do this and decide to come anyway, stay respectful when a restaurant forbids you to use your camera, as it is its right to employ any kind of policy. And even when the cafe allows you to, be mindful of the other customers. You’re not the only one paying there, plus remember that your presence and content creating process might make others feel uncomfortable. When in Rome, do as the Romans do. The restaurant might already have an unpleasant experience before your visit, such as dealing with online shops who overstayed their welcome. Thus, be aware of the situation in order to create a win-win situation for both parties.
We understand that social media has changed a lot of things. It’s new and confusing, but be smart about it. It’s your choice to employ a minimum charge policy or ban camera use completely, but remember that not all camera users are online shops. Having said that, there’s one thing we know for sure: social media is here to stay whether you like it or not.
Facebook is being used by 1 billion people, while Instagram has 400 million users—almost twice the number of the whole population of Indonesia. Although some people have disregarded Twitter, it’s still alive and creating ripples. Social media is a nation of its own, and you can’t just disband a nation. Going against the current is no longer an option. Embrace it. Jump on board. Ride the wave. We believe you can find a way to make it work for your benefit.
The Bottom Line
As cliche as it may sound, open communication is key. More talks are needed between restaurants and content creators. As we are exposed to both sides, we’ll be more than happy to be the medium who is willing to publicly discuss about it. This article is a start. Restaurants should be more open to the idea of creators creating at their place. On the other hand, creators should be mindful of the restaurant’s need for revenue to survive. We believe that everyone can win from this. There are multiple scenarios that you can come up with to make it work. Let’s co-exist peacefully and find a common ground that can benefit both restaurants and creators instead of fighting it out.
We can all win.