If you’re looking to promote your restaurant via social media, you might be wondering about reaching out to local food influencers. Love it or loathe it, foodie influencers have engaged followers who absolutely make their restaurant purchasing decisions based on what they’re favorite accounts are posting. By working with some of Utah’s best social media influencers – you can reach potentially millions of potential customers in an impactful, meaningful way.
With that in mind we created the following list of Utah foodie influencers. Influencers are listed in alphabetical order and categorized by the total number of followers across their various social media accounts. Remember that follower account isn’t the be all and end all – read more on that below.
Mile High Food Fairy
Amber, a Denver transplant to Utah, runs this multi-platform account. MHFF predominantly operates on Instagram and TikTok, with the latter being one of the biggest in the state. You can find them active here:
The Bella My Adventures
Active on several platforms but most prominently TikTok with one of the largest local foodie presences in Utah. You can find them active here:
The Eat Freaks page is dedicated to rating local restaurants on a variety of categories in an attempt to make sure none of their followers are gambling on a good meal. You can find them active here:
Chase runs this popular Utah food account. Chase is active on several platforms as well as appearing on FOX13 on a weekly basis. You can find them active here:
Utah Grubs is operated by Will and Olivia Gochmour. They also operate a website and are active on several other platforms. You can find them active here:
Leah In SLC
Salt Plate City
Lala and Ryan are the duo that run this very popular local Instagram account. SPC began life as an Instagram focused account, but in recent times has developed a robust website presence too. You can find them active here:
Cindy England is the name behind the scenes of this account. You can find them active here:
Female Foodie SLC
Brooke Eliason’s Female Foodie concept covers a variety of states, Utah included. You can find them active here:
You can find them active here:
Steve Kinyon’s local food coverage is mainly via his Instagram account. Steve also has appearances on local station ABC4. You can find them active here:
Heather L. King is a writer at the SL Tribune, Devour and Downtown SLC magazine. Heather is also active across several platforms.
Emily Miller is the name behind this account. She is based in Ogden, UT and loves to shed light on local northern Utah food and treats! You can find them active here:
Collin started his account to help local business in the time of the pandemic. He has appeared on Good Things Utah, and does social media marketing for many local business. He encourages everyone to eat local and loves to spotlight great food all over Utah! You can find them active here:
Eat Drink Utah
You can find them active here:
Christy’s runs this popular Instagram account, and is also a contributor to Gastronomic SLC. You can find them active here:
Gather Nosh And Savor
Aimee Cook is a food writer in Utah that writes for a variety of print and online publications as well as runs this popular Instqgram account.
Sara Day’s Instagram account covers many aspects of SLC life, but with a predominant focus on the food scene. Local Enthusiast previously won City Weekly’s best local IG account. You can find them active here:
New In Utah
One of the smaller Sister accounts to Gastronomic SLC. On New In Utah we cover everything brand new on the Salt Lake City dining scene, as it happens.
Restauranteur Inner Circle
Focused on community The R.I.C. Is a group full of food professionals and food fans.Started in Utah with plans to expand worldwide, their platform exists as a network of groups on Facebook.They use their platform to help industry folks connect with each other and their followers. They also post on Instagram and Tik Tok with plans to start building a strong subscription base on YouTube as well.
Seeking Good Food
Courtney is a California transplant trying to find the best food in Utah. You can find them active here:
SLC Food Scene
Corrine runs this popular IG account as well as also running the Hone Your Social company that works to help local businesses with their social media presence. You can find them active here:
Utah’s Best Bites
Susannah and Bryce are a foodie couple trying the best bites throughout Utah and telling you all about them. We are active mostly on Instagram and dabble on Tik Tok and Facebook. You can find them active here:
Utah Foodie Girl
Utah Foodie Girl
My goal is to share my love of food with honest reviews here in Utah hoping to guide people to not Rely so much on the comfort of fast food and chain options. Sometimes I’ll share a few of my adventures out of state as well. Utah Foodie Girls is also a certified KCBS and SCA judge too! You can find them active here:
We Eat SLC
Followers counts were last collated on October 8th 2023. While we work to update this list periodically through the year, please do check and confirm precise details.
Things to consider when working with food influencers
Free vs paid
Smaller influencer accounts will typically work with your business free of charge, a free meal is usually sufficient to get them through the door. Generally speaking, the smaller the account the more receptive your offer will likely be received. Larger social media accounts can be inundated with offers for their attention and time – as such they often require payment to really focus on your restaurant. While you might initially flinch at this, remember the larger accounts are run like businesses.
In promoting your restaurant you might want to pay for one really large account, or simply go with lots of freebies to lots of smaller accounts. Or even a mix of the two. Whatever you decide, remember that…
Food doesn’t pay mortgages
I can speak to this one personally. I receive multiple offers to dine out for free every week. Oftentimes more than once per day. I’ll start by saying I’m incredibly humbled and thankful to have that position and respect in the food community. That said, if I took every restaurant up on their offer, I’d have little time for anything else; and ultimately I have a mortgage to pay like everyone else. Be aware that the larger accounts you contact have the same pressures on their time. Again, that means the bigger accounts with more reach, often charge for their services.
How much does it cost to pay a food influencer
Prices vary considerably and many influencers like to keep their pricing private. Very broadly speaking you can expect to pay anywhere from $250-$500 for a one off post with larger account in the 25k-50K follower range. Don’t be surprised to hit four figures though, specially for larger accounts or multiple posts. Some influencers offer discounts for multiple posts in a recurring series, or might offer in-trade discounts at your restaurant.
Again, while you might feel uncomfortable with paying for a social media post, do consider the costs in comparison to traditional print media, or the likes of billboard and radio advertising. Well executed social media posts can potentially be more orders of impactful. Would you rather see a plain greyscale ad in the newspaper, of a full color video showcasing your latest greatest dish in all its glory?
Beyond the simple fact that the FTC requires disclosure of paid/sponsored or endorsed content – it’s simply good practice to ensure those you work with disclose that fact. The world of influencers is becoming increasingly tarnished due to the blurriness between organic and sponsored content. Don’t contribute to the confusion, make sure the accounts you work with are open and honest. Transparency will only grow and grow in importance over the years to come.
Don’t demand content
Try to avoid leading your influencer pitch with the following gambit, “Hey we can give you a free meal for a post or review”. By all means offer local foodies a comp, but don’t attach strings if at all possible. It feels tacky – and speaking personally – it’s off putting and the delete button usually follows quickly afterwards. Again, for me, this is usually a sign of a very inexperienced marketer and I tend to shy away. If you have great food, a compelling restaurant and story, *trust me*, influencers will want to share the content with their followers. You don’t need to make stipulations.
Don’t obsess over follower count
Follower count isn’t the be all an end all when deciding who to work with on social media. Of course the bigger the following the more chance that your message will be seen by more people. That doesn’t tell the full story though. Different influencers connect with different audiences – that might be great for your business, it might not.
Also dig into those followers – who are they? Go and have a browse through the people commenting on an influencers posts, have a scroll through their follower list. Are they clearly local accounts, not bots or obviously spam. Most influencers have long since moved on from engaging in boosting their numbers with fake followers, but I still see this from time to time. See an account for 60,000 followers and only two comments per post, you might want to review that. Speaking of which…
Engagement is king
Different accounts also have different engagements rates – how do their fans resonate with their posts and content? Check out the likes and comments when an influencers posts, does their community seem Utah based, do they seem engaged?
You might also be surprised to see that the smaller accounts are more closely engaged with their followers. Larger accounts can often have something of a gravitational pull of followers from myriad places, small accounts are more tightly focused with better engagement. Connecting with “micro” influencers is very popular with big national brands for this very reason.
Attribution and ROI
Attribution is a fancy marketing term for figuring out how successful your marketing campaign was. This is critically important if you’re spending cold, hard cash on sponsored content with influencers. A simple way to do this is provide a code for accounts to give to their followers – a way to incentives diners; something like a buy one get one free offer, maybe a free dessert, drink, or appetizer. You don’t have to break the bank – but you need to be able to link foot traffic through your door, with your paid promotional efforts, be that a print ad, radio, or working with influencers.
This can be more pressing if you’re working with multiple influencers on promoting your business. Attribution is especially important when you consider local press, bloggers, TV and radio might also be independently talking about your business; do you really know if your last paid promotion was a hit, or were you simply lucky enough to receive great free press coverage?
Does promoting your restaurant on social media work?
Here are some studies on the effect of social media marketing for restaurants:
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