Q&A: Chicago Restaurant Week social media specialist

Peter Kotecki, Reporter

Putting photos of food on Instagram isn’t exactly revolutionary, but the chance to win prizes for delicious pictures is a new feature of Chicago Restaurant Week. Ranging from concert tickets to wine baskets and OpenTable gift cards, winners of the weekly CRW Instagram Contest have the chance to take home a variety of items. Though contestants can submit multiple photos of their dining experience, they can only win the contest once. The Daily spoke with Nycole Hampton, the social media and branding specialist for Choose Chicago, about the contest, which began Jan. 5 and runs for six weeks.

On the origin of the Instagram contest:

“The Chicago Restaurant Week Instagram Contest is a new contest, four weeks leading up to Chicago Restaurant Week and two weeks during. The point of the contest is really just to get people really excited about Restaurant Week.” 

On the purpose of the contest:

“We all go out to dinner weekly anyways, for the most part, so it’s just a really fun way to tie in Restaurant Week and starting promotions early with getting people to take photos of their food and sharing their experiences in advance. Also, it’s just a great way to promote all the Chicago restaurants and the culinary themes here.” 

On using Instagram to promote Chicago restaurants:

“It’s something that people are definitely kind of learning, and as each week goes by, you see more and more participation. And I’m sure that it will pick up significantly, obviously, during actual Restaurant Week. It’s definitely been great getting people thinking about Restaurant Week and kind of more toward social conversations as well.”

On the contest affecting Restaurant Week, which runs Jan. 30-Feb. 12:

“Before, you would see the occasional tweet about Restaurant Week and where people are going, but now there is just a lot of conversations happening about where people are going. And they want to enter the contest and things of that nature, so it’s been great.”

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