Case Study: How to use Tinder to fill a restaurant.


Among the most exciting stories in marketing, is the one of Ibrahim Hanif filling up a restaurant with Tinder. Making it even more interesting is the fact that he came up with the idea after one of his friends was catfished and robbed on a Tinder date. “Men will risk getting robbed for sex,” Ibrahim explains in his business book Paper Dolls and Cash Cows.

Soon after realizing the lengths to which men would go for women they have only interacted with on Tinder, Ibrahim hired a part-time model to catfish over a hundred people. For an undisclosed client’s restaurant launch event, the promoter swiped right on every male within a short radius of the restaurant. This strategy resulted in over one hundred interested matches committing to a “date” on the restaurant’s launch night. The engagement rate on this campaign was astronomical for a fraction of a conventional digital campaign’s cost. Since there was no competition with other businesses, no bidding on ad spend, the campaign could be executed on a small budget.

Moreover, with no indication of a business being behind the campaign, the incentive to engage was much higher than advertising. With more people expressing interest than the restaurant’s capacity, the odds were in Ibrahim’s favor.

However, it could fall apart if it was not for precise execution. The model sent a last-minute apology to all matched contacts and deactivated her account. However, this had to be done at the time the guests had joined the queue. Beautiful women were incentivized to attend for retention purposes. As soon as the promoter backed out, the attendees would want to leave. Seeing the party filled with gorgeous women, persuaded them otherwise. The launch party was packed. The exact conversion figures remain unavailable, but this was the only marketing strategy used for the event aside from on-venue flyers.

The lesson to learn, for marketers, is not to get dragged down into bidding competitions on popular platforms but to find creative ways to reach clients where they are. By doing so, and with their desires in mind, a marketer can replicate the success of this case study.

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