Rabih Skini is the man behind the account: BeirutFood. The account was launched on November 20, 2014. Two weeks ago it celebrated its first anniversary, one year of delicious food and trendy places to visit on Instagram 🙂
- Who is behind Beirut Food?
My name is Rabih Skini. I’m a 21 year-old student majoring in multimedia engineering. I also work as a part time social media executive. I gained a lot of experience in the social media field having worked multiple jobs in this department. I am very ambitious, independent, social, and outgoing person, with indescribable love for food. I live to eat. BeirutFood is a reflection of who I am, that’s why it keeps evolving and I don’t seem to be letting it go anytime soon!
- Knowing there are a lot of food blogs and Instagram accounts out there what pushed you to start your own?
I was born a foodie! I started trying all the restaurants in town as a hobby and posted a lot of food pictures on my private Instagram page. I was even crowned the Classic Burger Joint King! After a while my friends started encouraging me to start my own page for fun, and I just did!
- Do you actually eat all of the meals you post?
I would love to eat all the meals that I post, but it’s impossible plus I would have become morbidly obese by now! I get a lot of food pictures from friends and family and I end up posting them. (They insist a lot too!)
- How do you find all the restaurants and locations?
First I started visiting all the restaurants that I already knew. When the page started getting a bit more popular, the awesome followers were suggesting some new places to try and I started getting invitations from restaurant owners and managers from all across Lebanon.
I’d like to mention that I have a small circle of foodies and food bloggers who share their love of food and social media with me. They sometimes suggest places they’ve been to already or would like to try.
- Was getting the right exposure, easy?
Not at all! When I first started the page, I never expected to come this far. In the beginning it was just a matter of having fun and posting pictures. Although it was all fun and games, I consider myself kind of a perfectionist so I was being very professional with the page, which quickly started getting me positive feedbacks and got a lot of followers curious to get to know more about different food chains in Lebanon. In addition, I started focusing on making special posts, related to holidays or national/international days (cancer day, Independence Day, etc.) treating the page like a brand. That, I think made my followers happy that the page is being active on different levels!
- Did you predict that the page would be successful?
I honestly never thought my page would become this popular. It just started growing more and more every day, and I just went with the flow. There is one thing that I truly believe was more than essential for this page’s success, it’s branding. Given the fact that today there are a lot of pages and food bloggers, one has to come up with something special to distinguish his page from the others. So I really worked hard on the logo. I used it on different posts, I printed it on business cards, and it’s also present near almost every meal that I post on the page. That, I think, had a huge impact and created more engagement and positivity. My goal was to give BeirutFood its special identity! The logo did its job. Now I have full confidence that all my followers know the logo and its colors, they’d recognize it everywhere, which is kind of a huge mission accomplished for me!
- After a year of doing all this blogging, what are you planning next for your page knowing that your following is getting pretty big?
The followers are definitely getting the chance to see who is behind BeirutFood hoping they would like me just as much as they like my pictures! There are a lot of ideas that are being discussed at the moment regarding BeirutFood’s future, which I rather keep private. I’m just going to mention a little something, BeirutFood is going to launch its own YouTube channel, and believe me, it would be worth hitting that subscribe button and watch the clips! J
- What is the best meal you’ve ever had? (Knowing that your mom might read this.)
My mom’s Kebbeh be Laban plate 🙂
- Any good food recommendations?
Get a little creative! Forget about your average late night meal or lunch. I strongly recommend for people to try dishes that come with a special sauce, made out of fruit! I couldn’t get enough of this one meal that had chicken served with mango sauce! It was delicious and new to me! Plus, let’s talk about the importance of homemade food and traditional Lebanese cooking people! Do not let these authentic dishes fade away like this. Take a trip every once and a while, and go visit your traditional Lebanese restaurants in different regions of Lebanon, taste the homemade goodness that our Lebanese grannies make with love and passion.
Keep our kitchen alive! (Preach!)