Her Campus got the unique opportunity to sit down with Danielle Boilen and Jordy Richman, the co-runners of a popular food Instagram account, @annarbor_eats.
HC: Why did you guys decide to run Ann Arbor eats?
JR: We decided to run @annarbor_eats because my cousin, Lindsey Shaw, and her friends started the account years ago when they attended the University of Michigan. In the summer of 2017, Lindsey asked me if I would want to take over the account as she had graduated. Having always been a food enthusiast, I excitedly took on this account and recruited Danielle to join me, as I know she appreciates food just as much as me!
HC: What is it like running the account?
DB: Running this account has been so much more rewarding for us than we ever imagined! We have loved discovering new restaurants, trying unique menu items, and collaborating with companies to advertise their products. There is no better feeling than sitting down at a meal for @annarbor_eats and receive special treatment, as we love feeling as though people value our account.
HC: What is the time commitment like?
DB: We spend about 15 minutes per day creating posts and organizing our content. We also attend about two-three meals weekly at restaurants that we partner with to post photos from their menu. Overall, we do not find that the time commitment is overwhelming, but rather a fun distraction during our busy days.
HC: What do you get out of running the account personally, academically, and professionally?
JR: Running this account has been so much fun for us as we have been able to try such delicious restaurants around Ann Arbor while meeting so many cool chefs and restaurant owners. Personally, we have enjoyed meeting new people in the restaurant business as they have all been so welcoming and excited to work with us. We also love having the opportunity to try out new restaurants through partnerships. This account has also provided us with an escape from our busy days filled with classes. We have found that no matter how stressed we are with school, there is always a free hour to try out a new restaurant! This account has taught us a lot professionally as well. We have learned about marketing, advertising and building professional relationships. We now understand how to reach out to companies and professionals in an appropriate way. Overall, we have gotten many opportunities from this account and have a deeper understanding of the worlds of marketing and business.
HC: How has it helped you when searching for future internships or generally food related opportunities?
DB: We have both found that operating @annarbor_eats has been very helpful in searching for internships. Both of us have had numerous interviews for different jobs and clubs and all of the people we have spoken to have brought up this position. Interviewers are fascinated by this role as an operator of a food account because it requires business and marketing skills. Additionally, running this Instagram account has helped us receive shipments of different products, such as Enlightened ice cream, in the mail which has been so exciting!
HC: What doors has it opened?
JR: Operating @annarbor_eats has opened many doors for us because we have met people who have connected us to additional restaurants and partnership opportunities. For example, we have partnered with marketing directors that work for more than one restaurant, allowing us to try all of their menus. Additionally, we have recently been invited to special events such as the monthly dinner with guest chefs at Zingerman’s Roadhouse. We have also been able to work with companies beyond food such as workout studios and meal plan providers. We are excited to see what other opportunities present themselves in the coming years!
HC: Where do you see the account going in the future (such as when you go abroad and even after you graduate?)
JR: We are going to continue running this account for the foreseeable future. We are both going abroad second semester so we are considering the idea of expanding our team to help contribute content from Ann Arbor. We have no intentions on passing down this account just yet! Additionally, we might stick around Ann Arbor post graduation for grad school or jobs! We have loved every minute we have spent managing this growing account and we cannot wait to see how we can increase the following and engagement moving forward.
If you would like to follow their Instagram account to salivate at delicious Ann Arbor eats, the link to their account can be found here: https://www.instagram.com/annarbor_eats/?hl=en