A restaurant in Greece has shared its clever answer to influencers who ask for a free meal in return for a social media post.
An unnamed British Reddit user went viral on the platform this week after sharing that his family's vegetarian restaurant often gets these requests from social media stars, according to the Daily Mail.
He revealed that they respond by offering to donate a free meal to a homeless person for each meal bought by an influencer, and that "no one ever gets back to them".
"Dear influencers: You are just making a fool out of yourselves by trying to create a fake cosmopolitan lifestyle based on begging," he said.
One influencer request reads: "I recently heard about your restaurant from a friend of mine who mentioned you serve great Greek dishes and vegan options.
"Would love to come here with my friend in exchange for social media tagging.
"I've visited Greece quite a few times and one thing I struggle to find is places with veggie and vegan options. Would love to speak about this to my audience. I'll be in Kos from the 18-21 July."
The restaurant's blanket reply, which it's been sending to influencers for the past three years, says: "Thank you very much, however our restaurant has a policy. We charge every influencer who wants to eat here normally, however we offer food of equal value to people in need instead.
"In that way we gain publicity from your posts, and you improve your brand image by showing that you return something to the community.
'We always post the influencers that join the initiative and usually receive hundreds of positive responses."
But he went on to reveal that no one has ever accepted the condition.
"That is, to pay for his food even if I will then offer free food of the same value to people in need. Most of the time they don't even reply and some even delete their original message."
The post had over 76,000 likes on Reddit and hundreds of shocked replies.
"The funniest thing to me about these people is they don't usually have THAT high of a follower count, or they do and it's bot/inactive followers lol," one person commented.
"Most of the people who actually have influence have influence in one specific area and have enough fans that people are OFFERING for them to use their product. If you're at a level where you're begging to 'influence' for their product, you have very little actual influence," another wrote.
It's added to increasing calls for influencers to stop asking for freebies.
"It's time to go. To say down with influencing, it's an industry that needs to die," another commented.
"How long are consumers going to let advertising rule their lives like a carrot on the end of stick in front of a horse? At some point the consumer class needs to stand up and say, we reject your immoral attempts to control us for profit and we collectively agree that these practices should be outlawed."