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Foodom, short for “Food Fandom,” is a loosely connected network of either official or fan-made blogs on Tumblr that are meant to represent various brand names in casual dining restaurant chains. Many of these brands have been shipped into romantic pairings by the subscribers on Tumblr, with the most notable example being the romantic pairing of Denny’s and LongHorn Steakhouse dubbed “Denhouse.”
Casual family restaurant chain Denny’s launched their official Tumblr blog on April 9th, 2013 in support of their Baconalia campaign, during which the restaurant offered a special menu of seven bacon-themed dishes. In addition to posting promotional GIFs and images, the account also began interacting with the Tumblr community, reblogging interactive comment threads and personal anecdotes found on the Tumblr tag #dennys, while referencing relevant Tumblr memes like I Hope Senpai Will Notice Me. Their community engagement lead them to be named one of the Best Brands on Tumblr by Huffington Post Tech on June 10th, 2013.
In June, an unofficial account for the restaurant chain LongHorn Steakhouse was created, allegedly by an employee of the company as a hobby. As of June 24th, the blog has been deleted. By the second week of June, the Tumblr community began to create fanfiction and fan art surrounding anthropomorphized versions of LongHorn Steakhouse and Denny’s as if they were in a romantic relationship. The relationship was given the blended name Denhouse as users began to submit fanfiction and fan art to the LongHorn Steakhouse Tumblr, as well as on the Denhouse tag. ’
On June 14th, the Daily Dot reported on the ship, providing excerpts from two fanfiction stories that were submitted to the LongHorn Steakhouse Tumblr. The same day, Tumblr user narwhalbuddies notified the Denny’s blog about Denhouse. Denny’s blog curator Amber Gordon told the Daily Dot that she didn’t understand it at first, but enjoyed the practice after shipping was explained to her. On June 15th, the first Denhouse single topic blog Denhouse5ever was created, followed by Fuck Yeah Denhouse! five days later.
As popularity for Denhouse grew, a number of unofficial Tumblr blogs for chain restaurants claiming to be representative of the brand began appearing as early as June 19th. That day, Official Cracker Barrel was established, recreating the snarky voice established by LongHorn Steakhouse. In the following days, blogs were created for Culver’s, Olive Garden, Waffle House, and Arby’s, among many others. On June 22nd, social media blogger Andrea Lopez commented on the phenomenon, noting many of these novelty accounts were interacting with each other in a positive manner. Posts containing discussion between the blogs, as well as art and screen shots from fans, can be found on the tags Foodom, Restaurant Blogs and Restaurant Fandom. Additionally, Culver’s maintains a list of the active restaurant blogs.
List of Restaurant Blogs
Steak ’n Shake
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