The hashtag set up by FooDiva writer Samantha Wood to help support the local restaurant community in the UAE has passed over five million impressions in its first month.
#UAERestaurantsUnite has been the tag to follow on social media since the lockdown took place with restaurants big and small joining in to help promote one another, and proving even more popular than Wood expected.
The restaurant reviewer and writer said to Caterer Middle East: “When I started the hashtag, I only expected to share a few posts a day – and was surprised with the overwhelming response of hundreds of posts. It’s a reflection of the sheer number of restaurants with an appetite for news and offers. In addition, other media, as well as high profile and small accounts are using the hashtag, as are restaurants and F&B businesses - so we’ve seen a total of nearly 6,000 posts and stories shared across Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn in the first month.”
Wood added that the feedback from restaurants has been hugely positive, with some saying it has led to an increase in deliveries at a time when coronavirus has led to dine-in being suspended.
While lockdown looks set to continue until further notice, Wood hopes the campaign can continue to promote the industry for the foreseeable future, including when a sense of normality is achieved.
She said: “The plan is three-fold: One: To continue to support restaurants with the hashtag campaign whilst dine-in operations are closed. Given the influx of posts and with Ramadan approaching, to ensure that I am not ‘spamming’ my followers with too much content, I will limit to sharing one story per day for each restaurant. Provided their call to action is clear, that will still provide plenty of support.
“Two: As for a return to ‘a new normal’, I will continue to support for the first week of dine-in operations – and then move to a ‘one story per week for each restaurant’ strategy. That will ensure that the restaurants are strategic with their content, whilst also providing useful, newsworthy information to my following and the restaurants’ customer base.
“Three: The #UAERestaurantsUnite hashtag has generated so much goodwill that I am exploring other long term opportunities and activations to maximise the campaign. I am also open to any industry suggestions!”
Anyone wishing to contribute to the campaign simply has to use #UAERestaurantsUnite whenever they post across social media.