New Zealand Restaurant Owner Pens Open Letter To Influencers Still Requesting Free Food For Promo

by : Emily Brown on : 08 May 2020 16:43
New Zealand Restaurant Owner Pens Open Letter To Influencers Still Requesting Free Food For PromoBrian Campbell/Instagram/miann_fortstreet/Instagram

A New Zealand pastry chef has written an open letter to influencers who are requesting restaurants send them free food in exchange for promotion during the current outbreak. 

Brian Campbell is originally from Scotland, but now owns and runs the Miann dessert restaurant, patisserie and chocolate factory in Auckland.


Campbell was forced to close his business and go without custom as the country enforced social distancing rules, but last week prime minister Jacinda Ardern announced the country’s alert level would be lowered to three, meaning businesses would be allowed to re-open.

While Campbell still can’t interact with customers, he was able to start taking online and takeaway orders, meaning he could start earning money again.

As he prepared to re-open, Campbell received a message from an influencer asking him to send them some of his products in exchange for promotion. By the time he’d finished working that day, Campbell had received ‘five or six’ requests from various influencers.


Speaking to Buzzfeed News, the pastry chef commented:

Literally in 10 minutes, I was getting messages from influencers requesting that we send free stuff so they could post it on their profile. I was like, f*cking hell, this is such a p*ss take.

Campbell responded to each request individually, but decided to address all influencers with a letter he shared on Instagram, in which he asked them to consider how chefs like him had been affected as a result of the outbreak.


He wrote:

Dear Influencer.

PLEASE STOP FOR A SECOND AND THINK, Think about the Restauranters, food producers that have had ZERO income for a month, the possibility of 50% drop in revenue for the next few months. Think about the PEOPLE whom you are asking for stuff for free from, to boost your own profile.

It’s time for YOU to bring VALUE to your LOCAL BUSINESSES and go order some food from your favourite places, PAY FOR IT, POST IT, FEEL GOOD ABOUT IT. YOU JUST HELPED A SMALL BUSINESS!

Campbell said he has no hard feelings towards influencers in general, but urged people to take into account the fact that business owners rely on money to stay afloat.


The chef said:

I think a lot of people don’t understand what we’re going through. Going from having business to having zero business is quite a tough situation to be in. We’re supporting families, trying to keep our staff employed.

Campbell has received a lot of appreciation for his post, with many Instagram users praising him for ‘speaking up’ about the issue.


However, one person argued that influencers often help small businesses through promotion, responding:

The reason most companies do well is because of influencers promoting them for free, most of the time, and advertising for them.

Campbell stands by his post though, and has noticed some of the influencers who messaged him have since deleted their requests.

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: Life, Coronavirus, Influencer, Instagram, New Zealand, restaurant, Social Distancing


Buzzfeed News and 1 other
  1. Buzzfeed News

    Influencers Asked This Pastry Chef For Free Food In Exchange For Promotion In The Pandemic. He Called Them Out.

  2. Miann Fortstreet/Instagram