Restaurant Accepts Instagram Likes as Currency

Paying in social media currency
Source: Pixabay

In the era of digital influencers, companies are using increasingly imaginative tactics to reward people who have achieved fame on social media platforms. The more followers you have, the more influential you’re considered – and this influence could even score you a fully paid meal, should you visit the right spots.

Meet ‘This is Not a Sushi Bar’, the Milan restaurant that determines how much you pay based on how popular you are on Instagram. The owners of the boutique eatery have decided to turn Insta-fame into a currency, giving the biggest discounts to those with the most followers on their accounts.

How Does It Work?

The Japanese restaurant based in the Porta Venezia area of Milan serves delectable to the public and accepts cash like any other establishment. But, if you have enough likes and followers on your Instagram account, you can score a few plates (or even your entire meal) on the house.

Are There Hashtags Involved?

As long as you have an Instagram account all you need to do is upload a picture of your meal using the hashtag #thisisnotasushibar. Present your post when paying your bill and the manager will calculate your discount based on its reach.

How Many Followers Do You Need?

Alas, if you have fewer than 1,000 followers, you’ll have to pay full price! Diners with 1,000 to 5,000 followers are eligible for one free plate of sushi, those with 5,000 to 10,000 followers will score two plates for free, and anyone with 10,000 to 50,000 fans will receive four free plates. If you have between 50,000 and 100,000 followers, this equates to a whopping eight free plates.

How Can You Score a Free Meal?

Anyone with over 100,000 followers will get their entire meal for free!

Is This a Permanent System?

Yes! This Is Not a Sushi Bar will be the first restaurant in the world to adopt this creative policy on a permanent basis. Founder Matteo Pittarello believes that it’s a great way to engage with customers in the modern age.

Instagram drives innovative restaurant trend
Source: Pixabay

What Sparked the Idea?

According to Pittarello, the idea was born with two main goals in mind. These were to provide an innovative and inclusive way to boost in-restaurant consumption, and also to increase clients’ participation in the fun new trend.

What Are the Promo’s Benefits?

Simply put, customers gain free food and a chance to show off their Insta feeds, and the restaurant enjoys a slew of intrigued customers and some Instagram fame themselves. It’s a win-win!

Is This the Way of the Future for Businesses?

Today’s companies have realized that influencers are great organic advertisers, as they can reach thousands of people across the globe with honest and natural reviews of products and services. It makes sense, then, that businesses are willing to spend big bucks on brands with loads of followers to increase their reach through a highly relatable channel.

Although this type of discount is not available (yet!) at online casinos, there are similar reward programs for players who enjoy Blackjack and other games at their leisure. And if you buy coffee at Starbucks and other similar places, you’ll often be given a loyalty card that gets you free drinks. In time, these reward programs could well be based more on social media influence, and it will be interesting to see what other entities follow suit.

Could Any Problems Arise?

There’s one question that could be asked about this concept: isn’t it just a glorified popularity contest? The notion could indeed exclude those without big followings on social media, potentially leading to social acceptance issues as customers strive to become popular enough to be noticed.

Will Popularity Rankings Have Negative Impacts?

To answer this, think of the Black Mirror episode ‘Nosedive’, in which Lacey Pound starts to take calculated steps to boost her social acceptance ranking due to jealousy over her best friend’s perfect score.

Despite trying her best, her ratings take a dive, leaving her struggling to do everything from purchasing a coffee to catching a lift. Even her childhood pal refuses to have her attend her wedding because of her terrible score. Could the Milan restaurant’s efforts to add fun to the menu have the unintended effect of marginalizing less popular guests as well…?