Food blogging is far from a new concept. But recently..? It seems there's a new kid on the block if you're looking to successfully build an online following.

From roadside oasis Desi Dhaba in the city’s southside to the Green Onion Street kitchen hidden in Old Kilpatrick, more and more businesses have told us that it’s users of gen z's favourite app, TikTok, that have brought them much needed custom after a year of trading throughout the pandemic.

At the forefront of this new wave of social media content creators are twin brothers Kieran and Kevin D’Arcy from the Southside of Glasgow who run the immensely popular account named Foodthirst.

Glasgow Times: Pictured: Twin brothers Kevin (left) and Kieran (Right) run the popular Foodthirst TikTok accountPictured: Twin brothers Kevin (left) and Kieran (Right) run the popular Foodthirst TikTok account

Their videos, in which they seek out and review restaurants from all over the city, have seen their account grow to 34,000 followers in just six months making it clear that when it comes to exploring Glasgow’s food and drink scene, TikTok users have quite the appetite.

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Kieran said: “We were both business students until really recently but now we both work in the city and run the account in our spare time.

“Finding little hidden gems across this city is what we’re all about.

“We always gravitate towards smaller businesses because as well as liking the idea that other people might not have heard of them yet, they’re probably more in need of the business than established places.

“We’ve had people message us saying that they were on the brink of closing or felt like giving up which is so heartbreaking to hear, especially when you realise how good the food is.

“It’s crazy to think that it all could have been lost if it wasn’t for TikTok.”

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Anyone who doesn’t use the app might find it hard to fathom just how much of an impact one short video can have on a small business, but Kieran and Kevin have experienced first-hand what can happen when a review goes viral.

Their first post, which featured tiny Victoria road restaurant Sacred Tum Tacos, now has over 167,000 views and led to a sell-out day of trading for its bemused, but grateful, owners.

While they’ve had never had an audience quite like this before, food is a subject the Kieran and Kevin feel very comfortable discussing after years of being the go-to guides for recommendations amongst their social circle.

Kevin said: “We’ve always been massive foodies.

“Most of our money when we could afford it would go towards trying new places to eat so people would constantly be asking us for recommendations because they trusted us to be honest.

“We were on TikTok ourselves but never really thought about starting a dedicated food account.

“I think it’s so much better for us personally rather than Instagram because it really gives people a feel of the places.

“For example, the voiceover feature that we use makes it seem a lot more relatable, it’s as if it’s a friend talking to you.

“We’re still just getting used to it, so our videos aren’t all that polished, but we quite like that.

“We always said it would be about the food first and rather than the visuals.”

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It’s fascinating to witness the shift in restaurant reviewing that apps like TikTok have created. Suddenly, the playing field has been levelled giving ‘regular’ people a platform it's unlikely they could have achieved even a few years ago.

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An inevitable downside to this is the ever blurring line between genuine opinion and sponsored content, but for the Foodthirst brothers, the weight of their words is worth far more than a freebie meal.

Kieran said: “We would never post something that we didn’t really believe in, although at the same time, we would never want to speak badly or tarnish a company.

“That’s why we’re really careful when brands approach us for collaboration. It’s just not worth it to sell out and risk losing everyone’s trust.

Kevin added: “A good example of that is this lovely woman approached me in the street the other day and said ‘I saw the place you recommended in your video and I’m so excited to be taking my whole family there next week.

“Imagine if I knew that the place wasn’t any good and she had taken her whole family there because we had said it was great?”

Being recognised in public by their followers has now become a semi-regular occurrence for Kieran and Kevin, albeit one that they're not quite used to yet.

While this first taste of fame can be thrilling, posting content online will always go hand in hand with an inevitable side order of negative backlash.

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But, a great sense of humour and unbridled enthusiasm for what they do means that when talk turns to trolls, the twins seem refreshingly unbothered.

It’s a reassuring reaction and one that speaks volumes for the distinctly un-influencer like personalities that have seen them connect with so many people online.

Kieran said: “We do get absolutely roasted sometimes, but we always knew that that was going to be a part of it because there will always be trolls on the internet.

“The thing is it’s always from behind a keyboard. We’ve never had anyone say anything bad to us in person.

“There’s one guy who comments negatively on every single video, but it’s almost like we’ve made friends with him now. We actually look out for his name popping up.

“We don’t take ourselves too seriously, so it doesn’t put our backs up at all.

“We come from a family of five so we’re very used to teasing. I’d say we have thick skin.

Kevin added: “And even if they’re not fans of us, the food will always do the talking. We don’t really care what they think of us so long as the restaurants are getting the views.

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It must help that for every negative comment on the Foodthirst account, there are thousands of positives.

Kieran and Kevin are clearly grateful for each and every one, but say that some of their most valued praise has been that established Glasgow food bloggers who are more than happy to see this new generation of reviewers shine.

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Kieran said: “We’ve made some really good friends with people who are into food blogging.

“Mystery Diners for example were so welcoming and they’ve given us some great tips

“They’re such heavyweights when it comes to food blogging, they have this massive following and are really well thought of.

“We honestly couldn’t believe how friendly they were when we were so obviously new to the scene.

“I think they could tell how out of our depth we were, even now I feel like the stuff we produce is quite crudely done in comparison.

“They were really lovely people and made such a huge impression on us. It was really encouraging.”

Moving forward with a follower count that creeps upwards by the minute, Kieran and Kevin know all too well that the responsibility now lies with them to stay true to their starting ethos for Foodthirst while also keeping up with the demand for new content.

Kevin said: “We do like to think we’re giving underdogs a bit of a leg up, especially when there are so many established restaurants in Glasgow already.

“Finding a place that someone wouldn’t have known was there really excites us.

“But what I also really like is being able to go into places that people might feel a little intimidated by and show them that it’s actually really chilled.

“Like Gloriosa in the West End which is one of my favourites. Because it’s quite unique and small, quite often people will say to me that they would love to try it but they’re not sure what the vibe would be like.

“So, to be able to go in and do an honest review, even just to show how lovely and welcoming the staff are is great.

Kieran added: “When we make our videos, a good marker for us is to think of how our mum would feel about them because she's on social media.

“We’ll think to ourselves, do our videos make the place easy to find? Are they giving you a proper impression of what you’ll get? Are they short and engaging?

“Even when it comes to ordering food we’ll try to make sure that we get lots of different dishes that show the range of the restaurant so that it will appeal to peoples individual tastes.

“We’re definitely not complaining about that though– it’s a great part of the process.”

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The passion that Kieran and Kevin have for food is plain to see throughout our conversation. More than that though, it’s a pleasure to hear their shared values when it comes to letting Glasgow's talented chefs take the spotlight.

Far from clamouring to be the stars of the show on social media, they’re happy to stick to doing what they do best, sharing the joy of finding a truly fantastic meal, just like they have amongst their friends for years.

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Kieran “When we started out, we didn’t have any intentions for our TikToks getting this big.

“We’re so lucky to be in the position that we are now. We still can't believe it when people come up to us on the street, but we love it.

“It’s really nice to see food content on the app picking up some traction because, for us, that’s always been one of the main things we’re about.

Kevin agreed: “If these small businesses that have been struggling over the pandemic can reap the benefits of our videos, then really that’s all we ask.

“Otherwise, we’re still just chuffed as chips to think that people are want to listen to us or follow our recommendations.

To see more Foodthirst videos click here.