Food influencers, restaurants turn Instagram into recipe for success

Instagram influencing has been a growing market in today’s technologically savvy society. More specifically, food influencers have been helping the restaurant industry really thrive.

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Food influencer Dina Deleasa-Gonsar told FOX Business’ Stuart Varney that she was once a school counselor. After becoming more involved in the food industry, joining in as a recipe writer and food television contributor, she said she “fell into” influencing.

Deleasa-Gonsar said her involvement in the food community helped grow her credibility, and her followers “look to see where she’s going to eat.”

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“They see me going to a certain place to eat, they see me eating a certain dish and they become curious and interested as well,” she said.

Deleasa-Gonsar has more than 122,000 followers on Instagram and, for influencers, income increases with every follower.

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But it’s not just about the numbers, according to Deleasa-Gonsar.

“The type of work you're doing – if you're putting out good work as far as good recipes, reliable recipes – brands like to work with you, restaurants like to work with you,” she said. “So it's not just pure numbers. You need to have the credibility in order to continue growing.”

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Gerber Group CEO and restaurant and bar owner Scott Gerber was also part of the interview and said he loves having influencers come to his locations.

“We're very confident in the product that we put out,” Gerber said. “And it's really important today. Social media is the way you get the word out.”

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Gerber said influencing eliminates having to spend thousands on expensive advertising. Outright paying influencers, both Deleasa-Gonsar and Gerber believe, loses credibility in the trade.

“[Influencers] really have to put out a message and have people follow that message,” Gerber said. “And then go and try the bar and say, 'You know what? He's right. It really was that good.'”