Using FourSquare to (softly) Advocate for V*gan Restaurants

So I’m kind of bummed out by typical vegan advocacy on Twitter & Facebook:

Shop of horrors memes
Logical argument memes
Preaching to the choir
Pointless arguments with people unlikely to go veg

Foursquare is a venue where you can do “bellweather” advocacy. A bellweather is a sheep that leads the flock around, but if you weren’t paying attention, you wouldn’t notice and maybe the sheep don’t notice who the bellweather is either.

Foursquare has two parts, Foursquare and Swarm.  Foursquare is a restaurant directory like Yelp. I use it constantly when I travel or when I’m looking for new restaurants at home.

Swarm is a way to keep track of your real life friends checking in at restaurants– it creates more opportunities for serendipity. Unlike facebook, odds are your real life friends don’t use Swarm. But if they do, why not, at least it shows your friends you haven’t fallen off the wagen with respect to vegetarianism.

Follow Vegetarians
You can find them by looking for tips on vegetarians restaurants.

If you follow vegetarians, their endorsements shows up on all the search results when you search for a restaurant. If people follow you back, they will see all your endorsements of your favorite vegetarian restaurants.

Rate Vegetarian Restaurants
Non-vegetarians will go to a vegetarian restaurant if it has a good reputation.

Leave Vegetarian Tips
If you know how to goose a given restaurant into being vegetarian friendly, leave the tip. Most restaurateurs (or front line staff) are unaware of what vegetarianism is or what the point is. Learning the magical words necessary to goose them into compliance is gold. As vegetarians, we’ve all heard about the vegan who aggressively tells the waitress and chef how to cook vegan items that aren’t on the menu. But if you are them, what the magic word is to get them to leave off the f*ning cheese is a life saver. Does it work better to tell them you have a dairy allergy?

Mark your account as vegetarian.
It’s a checkbox in the profile. It seems to be used to improve recommendations & all restaurant profiles start to show “x out of y vegetarians like this place”

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