Here's How Millennials Are Getting Super-Fancy Meals For FREE

Photographed by Alice Gao.
It's pretty much our dream in life to get paid to dine at the trendiest, fanciest restaurants. And much to our envy, that is now a reality for Instagram users who have racked up large followings.

According to The Wall Street Journal, it is now a common practice for upscale restaurants not only to invite popular Instagram users to dine for free, but also to pay them to post images of their experiences.

This odd new profession, of sorts, exists thanks to the fact that millennials are disrupting the restaurant scene. At this point, we're all pretty used to seeing our friends and fellow diners taking photos of everything before they eat it. But we weren't expecting this habit to influence how chefs cook and plate their food. And now, it's not just about making sure the food looks Insta-worthy: Restaurant marketing teams are ensuring that those beautiful plates will make the rounds on social media.

Foodstagrammers can make around $350 per photo, not to mention all the free meals. And restaurateurs think it's worth it if it gets them more eyeballs and ultimately more reservations. “For a couple of hundred bucks for one person, I’m going to have potentially 500,000 people seeing brunch at Morini," an Italian restaurant in New York City, explains Olivia Young, brand and communications director for the Altamarea Group.

Unfortunately, not just anyone can become a professional foodstagrammer. You have to have upwards of 10,000 followers, and many of the accounts being paid by restaurants have closer to 500K. Whelp, looks like it's time for all of us to focus on building our personal brands in the name of free brunch.

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