Behind the Scenes of For the Gram Restaurant Reviews

Today on the blog, I’m dishing some JUICY secrets from what goes on behind For the Gram Restaurant Reviews. I receive questions about it all the time so I thought I would share what REALLY goes on – here we go!

kelowna blogger

Q: When did you start FTGRR?

A: May 2019

Q: How did you come up with the idea?

A: I actually stumbled into it! Back in 2019, I was living with some girlfriends. My roommate and I got into a playful but heated conversation about where the best Laksa in Kelowna was. The OG place was always Mad Mango but Kelowna at that time had been popping up with more restaurants that offered Laksa so we were arguing where the best was. I was drinking some wine (oopsies) and decided to bring you guys into it and ask where you thought the best Laksa was! I think the decision was pretty split so I decided I was going to just go and try them all myself and film on my stories what my thoughts were. I ended up doing a blog post after trying them all to compile what I thought. That blog (at that time) was the most highly viewed blog I had ever posted on StuffwithSvet! It blew me away!

Q: Do you get paid for it?

A: No. FTGRR is a side hustle I do for the blog. I wanted to do it out of the goodness of my heart and support local restaurants. When COVID happened, I especially wanted to help because I knew a lot of the restaurants were struggling and I wanted to feature the community.

Q: Do you have to pay for the food?

A: Since we aren’t being compensated, all I ask is for the restaurants to host us when we come as we are advertising for them for free.

Q: How do you pick the restaurants? Will you do any chain restaurants?

A: I only feature local restaurants. I support chains but for this segment, I choose to specifically support local.

Q: I remember you used to do professional videos, why don’t you do them anymore?

A: If you’re an OG follower, you would’ve remember that yes, I used to have a videographer film me when we did the reviews! You can check them out under my IGTV tab on my Instagram. Because I don’t get paid for this segment, doing the professional videos was a lot of work. It was hours of work to go to three restaurants every month and film them and edit them. I also found the videos looked a little too perfect sometimes. One day I did a poll asking if you guys preferred videos or Instagram Stories and you all voted Stories so it’s been Stories every since!

Q: How do you pick your guests?

A: I get asked this quite a bit! I try to choose business owners/entrepreneurs/foodies in Kelowna. Lately, I’ve always been trying to select people that I don’t know. It’s a great way to meet and connect with other entrepreneurs in Kelowna. I also love having guests from the food industry because they love food as much as I do! It doesn’t make sense to bring somebody along that doesn’t enjoy food. I get people reaching out to me all the time saying they want to come along, so it can be hard to choose!

kelowna icecream

Q: What happens if you don’t like the food?

A: Haha. This has happened many times. In the beginning when I first started, I would critique the restaurants more and used to pick a winner or my ‘favorite’ restaurant that month. I ended up switching that concept when COVID hit because I didn’t have the heart to critique restaurants that were barely getting by through the pandemic. So I ended up switching FTGRR to “highlighting” the restaurants as opposed to critiquing them against each other. If I don’t like the food, I’ll never say that it is bad. But if you pay attention closely, you’ll see that I don’t say much about it. The food that I really love I’ll go on and on about and rave about it.

Q: Has there every been a guest you didn’t like?

A: Another one I always get asked LOL. There have been some awkward guests for sure. Everybody has been lovely and it’s so interesting meeting so many new people. Sometimes the guests have been really shy which is totally fine! But it makes it hard to film when you’re asking them to talk on camera and they don’t say much. I always try to be outgoing and positive even if it is awkward but maybe if you pay close enough attention you can tell haha. Sometimes guests are hard to coordinate with. We have to meet on three separate occasions and the odd time I’ll have somebody that is hard to schedule with but overall, everybody has been great and it’s nice to have variety.

Q: How did you come up with the name FTGRR?

A: A follower actually came up with it! I’m so grateful to her – it has a nice ring to it.

Q: Are you planning on stopping FTGRR any time soon?

A: At this time I still plan on doing it. There has been a lot of factors thrown my way i.e. when COVID hit I had to do some take out and patio versions. Sometimes I consider stopping it as it’s a lot of time and effort, but I love doing it and I know you guys do too. If I ever get to a point where it gets to be too much or I get too busy I might but for now it’s still here!

Q: What’s your favorite FTGRR you’ve ever done?

A: Hmm that’s a hard one! In terms of food, fish tacos were yummy and when we did steak I had one of the best meals I had ever had. Pancakes were fun (who doesn’t love breakfast food). Creme brulee was also fun. In terms of guests, @themarkdshow was so fun and @denaijohnson (they are both radio people so talking on camera came natural to them), @onepeakcreative was great as there were three of them so it was fun to have a group, and @basicswithbails cause she’s a foodie and blunt AF hahaha. I also loved having @pattyray10 as he is in the food industry and was so easy to hang out with. I would be curious to know your guys favorites! Send me a DM.

There we have it! I hope I answered all your burning questions.

-Jenna xoxo

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