Let Best Food Feed help you take a tour of Ann Arbor's food scene

A chat with one of the minds behind Instagram account BestFoodAnnArbor

By Sarah M. Parlette - Associated Producer
© Brandpoint

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Looking for restaurant and food recommendations but can’t stand complaints? Neither can we, which is why BestFoodAnnArbor has caught our eye.

A food culture Instagram account, BestFoodAnnArbor is one of the 45 accounts powered by Ann Arbor-based startup, Best Food Feed, and its global community of food bloggers and content creators.

The brainchild of co-founders Omeid Seirafi-pour and Calvin Schemanski, who met while attending the same class at the University of Michigan, Best Food Feed prides itself on genuine recommendations and positivity.

Started in May 2012, as MyFab5, the startup rebranded to Best Food Feed and has grown organically over the past five years through building relationships with food bloggers in different cities in the United States, Australia, Hong Kong, the Philippines, India, Singapore, the United Kingdom and Canada. As a super cool bonus, you won’t find ads or promotions on this site -- just photos that look so good you’ll lick your phone screen (don’t worry, we won’t judge). 

While the young startup has rebranded and gone through changes, the mission has remained the same throughout -- to improve and share local food culture.

We talked with Seirafi-pour over the phone about how he and co-founder Schemanski manage all the Best Food Feed accounts through software they created for their original startup app. Food bloggers can post content, which meets a specific set of editorial guidelines and photo guidelines, to a dashboard. The content is then reviewed and published to each of the 45 accounts.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

ZA’ATAR FLATBREAD from @spencerannarbor - made to order za’atar bread topped with feta, farm egg, squash, lentils & yogurt — We enjoyed this a week ago so I’m not sure if it’s still on the brunch menu! Spencer’s menu changes constantly since all of their ingredients are as local and seasonal as possible. They’re open for brunch on the weekends and dinner six nights a week (closed on Tuesdays). — 📍 @spencerannarbor 🗺 113 E Liberty St, Ann Arbor, Mi 48104 ☎️ 734-369-3979 — 📷 @bfomeid — #BestFoodAnnArbor #BestFoodFeed #MyFab5 #AnnArbor #UMich #GoBlue #VisitAnnArbor #PureMichigan #Michigan #Food #Restaurants #Eater #EEEEEATS #BuzzFeast #BuzzFeedFood #HuffPostTaste #Restaurant #EatFamous #ForkYeah #Breakfast #Lunch #Dinner #zaatar #Brunch #bread #SpencerAnnArbor

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We asked Seirafi-pour what the motivations were behind MyFab5, now Best Food Feed. He told us that earlier on, around 2012-2013, when Yelp was the main source of recommendations, he found too many negative reviews that contradicted word-of-mouth recommendations. The idea for a positive recommendation site was born.

Seirafi-pour said that Ann Arbor was actually the first account that the small startup created, followed by its Detroit account -- which is also full of mouth-watering photos of Motor City favorites.

While all of the Best Food Feed accounts, such as BestFoodAnnArbor, include blogger recommendations to specific restaurants, Seirafi-pour told us that restaurants have to agree to not compensate bloggers if the restaurant has asked for a blogger to visit. While the blogger’s meal can be free, extra experiences such as gift cards or special treatment aren’t allowed. All recommendations are genuine and have to abide by editorial standards and mission of the startup. Best Food Feed also won’t guarantee that a restaurant will be featured even if a blogger has been asked for, especially if Best Food Feed can’t can’t provide a genuine and upbeat review. That being said, Best Food Feed does supply metrics to restaurants after a post -- numbers don’t lie when it comes to good food.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

You can find this Malva Pudding topped with blackberry swirl ice cream at Spencer's this weekend! It's a sweet pudding originating from South Africa that's traditionally made with apricot jam and has a spongy caramelized texture. This might be one of those desserts that’s too good to share 😂 Head downtown and get a taste! 😛 ----- 📸 by @spencerannarbor 📍 at @spencerannarbor ⏰ Monday 5p - 10p Tuesday CLOSED Wednesday 5p - 10p Thursday 5p - 10p Friday 5p - 11p Saturday 10a - 2p/5p - 11p Sunday 10a - 2p/5p - 10p 🗺 113 E Liberty St Ann Arbor, MI 48104 📞 734-369-3979 Featured: Malva Pudding topped with blackberry swirl ice cream ----- #BestFoodFeed #MyFab5 #BestFoodAnnArbor #AnnArbor #Spencer #Dessert #MalvaPudding #Food #Restaurant #Restaurants #EEEEEats #IceCream

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Currently, Best Food Feed is undergoing a big software update which will allow for more collaboration between creators, restaurants and the founders themselves. Seirafi-pour told us the goal is to have 30 to 40 bloggers per account instead of just three or four. Eventually, bloggers will have the ability to publish content directly without it going through a managerial review.

As the main contributor to BestFoodAnnArbor, Seirafi-pour said that Ann Arbor is one of the best food cities (we totally agree!) and that the site is always looking for more creators who love food. But like all good A2 foodies, he has some favorites and cited Frita Batidos as his go-to burger place, Sava’s for dates with his wife and Chela’s for tacos.

If you’re interested in submitting content to Best Food Feed, or if you’re a restaurant that would like a blogger to visit you, you can submit an invite or content through the Best Food Feed website.

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