In the Spoon series Buttered Up, we interview content creators in the food space about what their job is like. This month, we chatted with Morgan Raum of @tooomuchfoood.

Morgan Raum is a 26-year-old food influencer. Her account, which she created her sophomore year of high school, began as a place for her to repost great food content shot by others. However, as she went onto college, she found a love of food photography, which marked the true start of @tooomuchfoood, her Instagram account with over 137K followers. On this account, Raum not only posts food pictures but also shares food guides. Think “trying the viral Italian sandwich shop that opened in NYC” or “the best vodka pasta in NYC.”

She also has a TikTok (morgan.raum) with over 110K followers, where she shows her followers her favorite spots to get sushi takeout or fun ideas to do on Valentine’s Day.

We sat down with Raum to chat with her about the content she makes and learn what life is like as a food influencer. 

Spoon University: Can you walk me through the process of creating your @toomuchfoood account. How has it changed since you first started it?

Morgan Raum: I started it nine years ago this month. I was a junior in high school, and I'm from New York, so I started it here in the city. Then, I went to NYU for one year, and then to Barnard for the last three years of college, so I never ever left the city. When I was at NYU and my first year at Barnard, I would repost other food bloggers' photos. I started getting invited to restaurants, and I got a job and started making my own money. By the time my junior and senior years rolled around, I was able to produce enough of my own content to run a blog.

SU: How did you originally get noticed by these restaurants?

MR: Food Instagram didn't exist when I first started. The restaurant influencer/food influencer world was very new and grew as I grew my account. I started getting reached out to my sophomore year of college, and it just kept going and never stopped. Restaurants will either reach out to me, or PR firms that represent many restaurants will reach out to me.

At this point, there are a lot of options, and I have to really narrow down where I'm spending my time. It is fun, but at the same time, I don't want to be eating out for every meal. Now eating at restaurants feels like work to me, and I don't feel like I can order takeout or go to a restaurant without [getting] content. It is hard when the things you do for fun are mixed with the things you do professionally.

SU: Where you come up with content ideas?

MR: In terms of finding restaurants, I love the Beli app. It's such a fun spot, and it really knows me well in terms of finding recommended spots. It uses the places you've already been to and ranked to determine where you would like to go. I also use Yelp, Instagram, and TikTok to find new places. I'm always trying to find new places by reading articles online, too. People will even send me recommendations.

For example, I have this third wheel series, but I came up with that the week after my boyfriend broke up with me. Some of my other series are inspired by other creators that I follow like @sisterssnacking.

SU: What kind of content gets you the most likes and views? 

MR: I think the easiest content to get likes on is Italian food, like pasta and cheesy pizza. I also think what works and what doesn't work has changed a lot. For example, I only used to post photos [no videos], and I always saw that my vodka pasta posts would do the best. However, photos don't do really well anymore. Also, any reels with a voiceover are 100% the best key to success.

SU: What do you love most about being a food influencer?

MR: I think the most fulfilling aspect is when my posts do really well, and these small businesses get all of this new business because of something I did. For example, I just posted this video for Gooey On The Inside,  a cookie shop on the Lower East Side, and it has almost a million and a half views. The owner messaged me the other day, thanking me for the content that I made for her and for helping her stay in business. Ultimately, it makes me want to keep doing this because I'm actually helping people in their real lives.