Taking a bite out of success on Instagram

Five Towner and friend highlight eateries


What’s not to “like” about an Instagram account that highlights delicious food in the New York metropolitan area?

Hewlett resident Rachel Fisher and Nikki Motto of Roslyn, cofounded @nyceeeeeats, a food Instagram account, in June 2014. The account has attracted 156,000 followers and counting, and has been “tagged” on Instagram accounts that have even more followers.

Fisher, 21, and Motto, 21, will be entering their senior year as psychology majors at Binghamton University this fall where they met freshmen year and became friends.

The duo posts multiple food photos per day revealing what is pictured in the caption and where it is from in the location area above the photo. Motto was inspired to start a food Instagram two years ago by an account called @new_fork_city before such accounts gained the popularity they have today.

She and Fisher began by simply posting photos of things they were eating. In regard to the account name, “I wanted to have NYC in it,” Motto said, and when asked why there are five e’s, she said, “why not?”

There are more than 300 million daily Instagrammers worldwide, according to figures posted on Instagram’s website, and 4.2 billion daily “likes.” It is no coincidence that an increasing number of businesses, including @nyceeeeeats, are focusing their attention to Instagram to reach a vast audience.

“We have the metrics to know where a lot of our followers are from,” Fisher said, and that mostly includes fans in the New York area, but also followers from around the world.

Even Five Towns eateries such as The Pizza Place in Hewlett are included as well as restaurants throughout Long Island. “I love food,” Motto said, “I eat like twice every hour.” The most popular posts are usually of desserts and anything with melted cheese.

Social media users can hashtag #nyceeeeeats or use a direct message function on Instagram to submit photos for @nyceeeeeats to repost. People reach out to them frequently for advice and to feature their food photos.

Holtsville native and recent college graduate, Lauren Eden, says, “As a foodie, I think this Instagram account is cool because it gives you a chance to have your photo featured on an account that has a huge following.”

Although the account is primarily dedicated to food in the New York metro area, sometimes, @nyceeeeeats will post a “Getaway,” which is a photo of food from outside their coverage area. On average, @nyceeeeeats posts a photo every two hours to allow for about five or six photos per day. “The more we post, the more we grow,” Fisher said.

At Hewlett High School, Fisher took part in the virtual enterprise program that allows students to create a business and run it while learning about human resources, accounting, technology, sales and marketing. “I think the virtual enterprise program is one of the most valuable things I got out of high school,” Fisher said.

Fisher and Motto said that this is their business and throughout the process of growing it, they have learned about partnerships and networking. They take a lot of their own pictures, but also work with restaurants and bakeries. Food businesses can submit a photo to @nyceeeeeats and choose from one of the packages they offer to purchase depending on what they want to be posted on the Instagram.

Occasionally, restaurants will invite @nyceeeeeats to dine at their establishment. Other times, the team will reach out to different places around the city. Fisher does most of the emailing, but other than that, the responsibilities are evenly divided between the two.

One working relationship that @nyceeeeeats maintains is with Manhattan-based Baked by Melissa. Victoria Jukofski, marketing manager for Baked by Melissa who oversees social media channels and all marketing efforts said: “We definitely choose our partners very carefully.”

The company ensures that their product is seen in the best possible light on their own social media platforms. They also work with external accounts such as @nyceeeeeats because they are able to “capture that vision and share the product in their own voice,” Jukofski said, while reaching larger audience.