Instagram is launching some new features aimed at encouraging foodies to help restaurants grappling with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
Businesses across the board are being hammered by the crisis, with lockdowns and social distancing measures forcing many people to change their ways and live much of their life indoors. The restaurant trade has been particularly hard hit, with many establishments currently closed to diners as part of measures to protect workers’ health and slow the spread of the virus, officially known as COVID-19. Many eateries have continued to cook for takeout and delivery orders, while others are launching such services for the first time in a bid to survive.
Hoping to help, Facebook-owned Instagram is rolling out interactive “food order” and “gift card” Stories stickers with their own unique content aimed at driving awareness of the new ways in which people can support their favorite local restaurants.
In examples posted on its site (below), Instagram shows a message in a story from a restaurant that says: “Here’s how you can help keep our business running — tap on this sticker and make an order.” Another example shows a gift card sticker, together with a short message encouraging customer support.
Instagrammers can also share the stickers in their own Stories to help spread the word about a particular place they know and love.
To use the sticker for food orders, a business first needs to hook up with an on-demand delivery firm such as DoorDash, UberEats, or Grubhub. For gift cards, an account with payment service Square or gift card marketplace Raise is the way to go.
It’s also possible to start a fundraiser on Instagram (through Facebook), which could attract donations from restaurant regulars who are keen to support the trade in these challenging times.
Popular with foodies who love posting pics of mouthwatering meals, Instagram is the perfect platform for getting people excited about different dishes offered by local restaurants. With that in mind, let’s hope fans of eating out are able to go on supporting their favorite spots, especially the small independent places, many of which are really struggling right now.
Instagram’s new stickers arrive this week in the U.S. and Canada, with a global launch coming in the next few weeks.