By Dennis Seid
TUPELO – It’s a ubiquitous sight at any restaurant: a diner taking a photo of a dish and posting it on social media.
The Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau is getting in on the act as well, having developed a new blog where anyone can post a photo of their favorite dishes from any Tupelo restaurant.
The idea was discussed in January, said Lance Ingram, Tupelo CVB online content manager.
“We noticed a lot of people sharing pictures of food on social media, and we thought there are a lot of places in Tupelo offering different culinary experiences, too,” he said. “We wanted something to feature, like a local restaurant.”
So the “Tupelo Foodie” brand was developed initially as a food competition – called the Tupelo Foodie Challenge – to encourage people to dine out, share their photos with social media (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) and inspire others to eat at a Tupelo restaurant.
The initial Tupelo Foodie Challenge earlier this year invited restaurants to share photos of their dishes. Ingram said 10 or 15 restaurants were expected to participate, but 30 ended up joining the week-long event.
The second Tupelo Foodie Challenge wrapped up March 28, and diners were asked to take a photo of their favorite dish from a Tupelo restaurant, tag it with the #TupeloFoodie hashtag on Twitter and Instagram or tag the My Tupelo page on Facebook. A winning entry was selected to receive a $25 gift card to Blue Canoe, and the dish will be featured on #TupeloFoodie on all of the My Tupelo platforms.
In addition, the blog, www.tupelofoodie.blogspot.com, was launched that week, and it has around 1,000 views, Ingram said.
Participation in the challenges isn’t limited – any photo from any restaurant in Tupelo is welcome. And people also can use the hashtag #TupeloFoodie at any time, not just during challenge weeks.
And both locally owned and chain restaurants can be tagged.
“We’re including everybody – somebody might have a favorite dish at O’Charley’s for example or it could be from a locally owned restaurant – so there’s no reason to discriminate,” Ingram said.
Also, as part of the Tupelo Foodie Challenges, a restaurant will be featured each month to coincide with each competition.
The next challenge is scheduled for April 28-May 2.