Australian restaurant Miss Katie’s Crab Shack criticizes an influencer who asks to “collaborate”

The owner of a Victorian restaurant has publicly posted a food influencer in explosion after she asked to “collaborate” with her in exchange for free meals.

Katie Brown, who directs Miss Katie’s Crab Shack in Fitzroy, shared screenshots of Instagram messages between her and a popular blogger to notorious influencer-shamer John Lethlean.

Lethlean, who is also a well-known food critic, often publicly mocks influencers who ask for free food in the name of “social media exposure” and he published the exchange on your profile.

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Miss Katie's Crab Shack
Miss Katie’s Crab Shack will close its doors on July 29. (Facebook)

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the messages showed that an influencer with 10,000 followers contacted Katie and asked if she would be willing to collaborate with food bloggers before closing.

Katie plans to close the doors of Miss Katie’s Crab Shack after nine years due to falling sales of COVID-19 and responded to the request with anger.

“Hi, do you collaborate with food bloggers to review your place before you close?” the initial message was read.

The restaurateur then responded by asking the influencer what she meant by “collaborating.”

In response, the blogger said that she works “with local restaurants and comes to try some of their popular dishes and creates video reels and TikTok content.”

She said restaurants often compensate her with free food or coupons to sample the menu.

A confused Katie then asked the blogger how the deal would help her business if she closed her doors at the end of this month.

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“Could you explain to me how this would be beneficial to me and my struggling business that is weeks away from closing due to financial pressure?” she hit back. “May I ask how much the coupon you need might be worth?”

When the influencer applied for a $100 coupon and claimed “a lot of people would come” to the restaurant after she promoted it, Katie was fed up.

She responded with a lengthy message about how the financial strain of COVID-19 means restaurant owners can’t just give away free food and encouraged the woman to reserve a table and pay for her meals.

“‘After an absolutely crippling couple of years the hospitality industry has been swept away, what I’d really like to see is people like you have a greater understanding of what it takes to put that plate of food on the table. a customer’s table,” Katie wrote.

“Clearly he is interested in visiting my restaurant and is a fan of hospitality venues so I would invite him to come and support my business in his last days and pay for a meal in full.”

Miss Katie's Crab Shack
The owner of the restaurant did not like being asked for free food. (instagram)

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She added: “Sadly your posts, as beautiful as they are, just won’t pay my bills. Please let me know if you’d like me to reserve a table for you, I’ll be more than happy to oblige.”

Lethlean, who shared the screenshots on her popular food page, captioned the images: “Coming into @misskatiescrabshack and offering what, exactly? Shame. Shame. Shame.”

Many of Miss Katie’s Lethlean followers and fans of Crab Shack were outraged by the influencer’s attempts to “collaborate” and shared their disgust in the comments.

“It’s embarrassing that these bloggers are so deaf to the closure of their business,” one person wrote.

“‘Influencers’ with the audacity,” said another.

Miss Katie’s Crab Shack will close its doors on July 29 after a rough few years and will reopen in August as Suzi Cheeks, a bar with drinks and snacks.

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