Have you spotted the ‘#yesmichelinguide’ tag on Instagram yet? This recent hashtag has exploded with 27,940 posts now using it, and some are suggesting the Michelin team are planning on using the content gathered under the tag for their latest guide.
London Eater have reported that they think it could be a telling sign for which restaurants will be given Michelin Stars or Bib Gourmands in 2019, with plenty of firm favourites and new hot spots being rounded up under the hashtag. British stand-outs like pasta restaurant Bancone and popular gastro pub The Lickfold Inn, from Michelin chef Tom Sellers, both have pictures featured under the tag. Could it be a giveaway that they’re due an award? Michelin, however, don’t mention printing the images in their guides when contacting Instagram users.
The etiquette of the hashtag goes a little like this: Michelin’s official account comments on Instagram users’ food snaps saying, ‘Hello! We love your photo and would like to feature it in Michelin’s emailings, social channels, and websites. If you agree with our terms (https://goo.gl/9gVLjK), please respond with #yesmichelinguideand @michelinguide. You can share more photos of your experience here: http://bit.ly/2j54HbS. Thank you!’ Then users reply with #yesmichelinguide (if they so wish) and pretty much sign all rights away on their images to the foodie brand. Within the terms and conditions Michelin do however state they are allowed to ‘publish, publicly display and perform, modify, edit, alter and otherwise use the Content in whole or in part, without further consent, review or participation from you, for any purpose throughout the world’ - so there is potential for the pictures to be used in future guides.
Some are critical of the practice, saying Michelin are ‘content farming’ and looking for free imagery from users, rather than paying for photography. Elsewhere Instagram users look happy to be sharing their foodie pictures with a world-leading brand.
It would also appear that restaurants themselves are catching on to the trend with plenty of UK eateries tagging their own posts with #yesmichelinguide – clearly hoping it acts as a little nudge to judges.
What do you think of this latest Michelin development? Fair or foul play? Would you share your pictures with them? Let us know over on our Facebook page.