Influencer marketing 'easy, quick way' to fill F&B venues, says Ritz-Carlton GM

The hotel focuses on working with few, 'quality' influencers, according to GM Tareq Derbas

Tareq Derbas
Tareq Derbas

Marketing with social media influencers offers an ‘easy, quick way’ for F&B venues in Dubai to attract customers and fill tables, according to the Tareq Derbas, general manager of The Ritz-Carlton, DIFC.

Speaking to sister title Arabian Business, Tareq Derbas said the hotel works with social media influencers to bring traffic to its F&B venues, including its outdoor lounge Flair No.5.

“We have a great product and venue, but you need to bring the traffic in, and doing it through [social media] influencers is an easy and quick way. We used them for 3-4 weeks and now, [Flair No.5] is full,” Derbas said.

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However, the GM said the hotel focuses on working with few, ‘quality’ influencers.

“We headhunt the influencers. Our corporate team [finds out] what they know about the person. We do our due diligence, because it’s the market. It’s not a one size fits all. We’re keen on quality, not quantity,” he said.

Derbas said the hotel has “changed the way” it does business to make sure it attracts the right audience, including millennials, adding that social media marketing is not its standard marketing strategy.

“…we’ve been shifting to influencers so they can influence their social network. Every week, we have a couple of influencers, so we fish where the fish is. They come and experience the hotel and they talk about us to their social network,” he said.

The GM added that the introduction of events such as Friday brunches has also attracted more customers to Flair No.5.

“… we started with 50 people [at the Friday brunch] and now, we’re getting 400 people,” he said.

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