Restaurant influencers are a relatively new breed of marketing professionals. With some exceptions, they are, first and foremost, in the business of marketing themselves. But a sort of symbiotic relationship has emerged between restaurant influencers and restaurant owners. Influencers need to produce regular, high-quality content for social media, and restaurant owners crave the kind of exposure that these influencers can provide.

For a pizzeria owner, a glowing review from a local or regional pizza influencer can boost traffic and sales significantly—for a while, at least. Once the review has dropped on social media, it’s up to you to capitalize on it over the long term. But how do you get an influencer to show up at your pizza shop in the first place, especially if you’re a newcomer on the local restaurant scene?

First of all, your pizza had better be pretty darn good, according to Jim Mirabelli, the popular influencer behind NEPA Pizza Review in Northeastern Pennsylvania. In a recent episode of Peel: A PMQ Pizza Podcast, Mirabelli noted that the influencer has to spend their time, gas money and creative energy to visit and review your shop. So the biggest mistake, he said, is “to have an average pizza…that’s not content-worthy and doesn’t have a story to tell. Then my brand takes a hit because I’m upselling something that’s not that good. You know, ordinary stuff does not sell.”

Related: How micro-influencers can help you better market your pizzeria

But let’s assume your pizza is, indeed, “content-worthy.” What’s next? Here are 10 tips for attracting pizza influencers to your new restaurant.

1. Engage With the Influencer’s Content: You want that influencer to know that you’re a ready and willing content partner. Regularly engage with the influencer’s content through likes, comments and shares. Try to build a genuine relationship over time before you reach out to that person.

2. Know the Influencer’s Tastes: Review the influencer’s content over a period of several months to get a better understanding of what appeals to them. Are they adventurous types in search of unusual pizza topping combos or regional styles? Do they get excited about a thicker or thinner crust or a sweet-and-spicy sauce? Do they prefer the classics, starting with the perfect cheese slice? If you don’t know what they like, you’ll struggle to draw them in for a positive review. “The best way to get [an influencer] to come to your restaurant is not just ask us to come, but to create something special that makes us want to come,” Mirabelli told PMQ in a previous interview. “And it should also be something that creates excitement with your customers, so that they will tell us to come,” he says.

3. Be Ready to Tell Your Story: Every pizzeria has a story to tell, and it’s probably a good one, even if it doesn’t feel extraordinary to you. Remember, every pizza restaurant claims to use “only the best and freshest ingredients.” What makes your food truly special? Can you describe, in vivid terms, what’s so delightful and different about it—and about the experience you create at your restaurant? Be ready to share that story with the influencer, and let that influencer share it with the world. “I want to find something I really believe in,” Mirabelli said. “And when I find it, I talk about the pizza, the place and the people. When those three align and you share that story and there’s something compelling to tell and a beautiful pizza and a show that’s unique, it blows up. And my followers head there, and it’s really cool to see.”

4. Create Targeted Social Media Content: To catch the influencer’s attention on Instagram, TikTok or Facebook, create engaging and visually appealing content (including still photos, videos and stories) that conveys your story with accuracy and authenticity. (In other words, don’t to be someone you’re not.) Tag the influencer and use popular food-related hashtags for increased visibility. Don’t expect the influencer to find you on their own. At the same time, take a respectful and courteous approach. Never complain that the influencer hasn’t visited your pizzeria yet or make demands. That will turn them off straight out of the gate.

5. Host a Tasting Event: Once you’ve identified the influencer’s culinary preferences and nailed down the story you want to tell, invite that person to your pizzeria. If they haven’t responded to several invitations, consider offering a special exclusive tasting event tailored to their tastes. Emphasize the exclusivity of this event and try to accommodate the influencer’s schedule. Assign your best servers to that shift to create an experience the influencer will love and want to share with their followers.

6. Craft a Memorable Invitation: If possible, offer to send your favorite influencer a special-delivery pizza directly to their home address (with their permission). Include a handwritten note that’s warm and heartfelt or funny and quirky, depending on the influencer’s personality. (Note: If you’re not good at “funny and quirky,” just stick with “warm and heartfelt.” Or solicit help from a manager or a team member with a knack for verbal humor.)

7. Create a Pizza in Their Honor:
 Propose a limited-time collaboration with the influencer, letting them design a pizza to be featured on the menu. Name the specialty pizza in the influencer’s honor or let them come up with the name. Share the promotion on social media and ask the influencer to do the same.

8. Spotlight the Influencer’s Favorite Causes: Is the influencer a proponent of autism awareness or fundraising for cancer research? Does this person care passionately about homelessness, food insecurity or women’s issues? Invite the influencer to join you in an event or fundraiser related to their favorite cause. But if you’re going to get behind a cause, you need to believe in it, too. Make sure that your own values align with the influencer’s, or they’ll see right through the deception.

9. Make It a Real Collaboration: Influencers tend to be creative, high-energy people who can bring fresh, fun ideas to the table. If they’ve got their own ideas for an event, fundraiser or social media campaign, listen to them and learn. The result could be even better than you’d hoped for.

10. Collaborate on Giveaways: Partner with the local influencer on a giveaway, offering their followers in the area a chance to win a free meal or one year of free pizza at your store. Ask those followers to share or comment on the post and tag your pizzeria for a shot at the prize.

In short, any collaboration with a pizza influencer should be a win-win opportunity. Influencers are more likely to seize on an offer that offers them value in return. And forging a mutually beneficial relationship can lead to ongoing collaborations, such as annual fundraisers for their favorite social causes, which leads to a win-win-win—your pizzeria, the influencer and the nonprofit all become marketing partners!