JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. -- A new creative approach to marketing at a local restaurant is letting customers pay for dinner using Instagram.
Customers at Jaxon Social in Jacksonville Beach got a free dinner during a social media event last week if they took a picture of their food or experience at the restaurant, posted it on Instagram and showed their waiter.
"You have to do something to differentiate yourself to get people coming in," said Ben Kingsbury, General Manager at Jaxon Social previously known as KC Crave.
The restaurant hit the 'likes' jackpot with their social media event. They reached capacity at 140 people. Customers ordered and posted pictures of their food, including Jags cornerback Will Blackmon who Instagram'd his bourbon salmon and ate for free.
"It's a great idea and I don't understand why more people don't do it," said Annie Bacon who also participated in the event.
Bacon ordered the vegetarian stir fry but chose to Instagram her experience instead, putting her own style in her Jaxon Social post with a photo of her on a skateboard outside of the restaurant.
"I like to promote a really beachy and active lifestyle," added Bacon.
She says it was a way to help promote a local business to her 16,000 followers, meet new people and eat good food.
"I went on to Jaxon Social and looked at all the other people that posted," said Bacon.
The restaurant had an 89 percent spike in growth within 24 hours on social media and almost 240-thousand people viewed pictures of their unique food and drinks on Instagram.
It was a social media success and another way Jaxon Social plans to continue staying local and social.
"It's important for us to get the people in the door and let them see what an amazing place we are," added Kingsbury.
Kingsbury says he's already received 150 emails from people wanting to learn about the next social event. The events are by reservation only. Contact Jaxon Social for more info or keep scrolling through #JaxonSocial on Instagram. And don't be surprised if you see this unique marketing technique or something similar at another restaurant near you.