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Charlotte blogger praises local food specialties

Blogger Cory Wilkins created the Daily Special CLT website to highlight food and drink specialties at local restaurants.

Social media is changing the way people do business.

With most of our news coming from smartphones, companies have had to adapt to a new way of advertising. Cory Wilkins of Daily Special CLT saw the impact of social media on promoting restaurants in Charlotte and beyond.

Charlotte’s food blogger started the Daily Special CLT website about three years ago to feature the specialty foods and drinks from restaurants around Charlotte. Inspiration for the page began when Wilkins walked past restaurants and saw an offer for a daily special. Sometimes the case was already over, or his reservation was fixed for another location.

He wanted to create a space that would bring everything together in one place online so that diners would have an easier time choosing a place to eat at a good price.

“From there, I created an Instagram where I posted the places I ate,” Wilkins said. “I eat in a lot of places that aren’t in the mainstream Charlotte media so my posts started to be shared and the page started to grow. ”

Wilkins wanted to highlight businesses he felt were not getting the recognition they deserved, such as black-owned restaurants or little mom and pop spots.

“There weren’t a lot of black bloggers in the food scene when it came to the media,” he said. “I had no connection when I started. It was hard to make connections, especially when people ask me why I only support black owned businesses, and I said, because of the representation.

Wilkins took his blog to the next level by launching a TikTok called @blackguyscook which garnered over 80,000 subscribers and 495,500 likes by highlighting short clips of the restaurant’s food and atmosphere. A quick voiceover gives recommendations on what to order based on your own experiences. Subscribers have an easy way to not only find places to eat, but also what to order when they get there, in addition to the increased business video brings to restaurants.

“TikTok is really what blew up the restaurants that I publish,” Wilkins said. “For example, I posted The Premier Chef on TikTok and it went viral, receiving about 2.3 million views. That video kicked off the whole business. There are people who come from Detroit and all. the country just to try it TikTok has enticed people from outside Charlotte to come and eat and explore the food scene I don’t think Charlotte has ever been a foodie destination before.

In addition to TikTok and Instagram, Wilkins joined friends and foodies to start the #EatBlackCLT hashtag movement where they dined at a restaurant and posted a photo with the hashtag to attract more people to black-owned businesses.

Wilkins believes that if businesses are to grow, they need to embrace social media, and the sooner restaurants learn how to run a social media account for promotional purposes, the better.

“I think TikTok and now Instagram reels, those short form video platforms, are going to advance the food scene in Charlotte and everywhere else because that’s how the younger generations get information,” he said. he declares.

“Right now it’s pretty new. Lots of people use it to view stuff, but there aren’t that many people creating TikToks yet since it’s too saturated. I think over the next year or so you will start to see more and more restaurants and businesses trying to create their own TikToks. That’s why I recommend people to go ahead and do it now, before it gets too saturated.