Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives
Source: Food Network

Do Restaurants Pay to Appear on 'Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives'? The Answer Will Surprise You

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Dec. 10 2021, Published 1:02 p.m. ET

Calling all food lovers! Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives has become one of the most popular food features on the Food Network. Since its inception in 2006, the show has come across restaurants that offer a plethora of different cuisines, with enthusiastic host Guy Fieri giving us the lay of the land. And with a whopping 33 seasons under its belt, the show has yet to lose its momentum.

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There’s no arguing that being featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives provides an insane level of exposure for the restaurants, and since many of these spots have become hometown fixtures in their respective cities, viewers often wonder: what's the catch. Do restaurants have to pay to be on Diner, Drive-Ins and Dives? Here’s the 4-1-1.

Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives
Source: Food Network
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Fortunately, selected restaurants don't have to pay for a feature.

It’s quite common to come across viewers that believe restaurant owners have to pay to be fractured on the popular food show. After all, money always talks. However, it’s not enough to woo production on the show.

According to Delish, there is no way for restaurants to pay in order to be featured on the show. In fact, the process of actually landing a spot is pretty tedious.

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The outlet shares that the process kicks off when a restaurant is either recommended via the Food Network website or scouted out by the show's producers. If selected, restaurant owners will then have to endure an extensive vetting process that includes sharing recipes, enduring a ton of phone calls, and taking part in various meetings prior to filming.

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The production team then has to curate a final list of prospective restaurants to share with Guy, who ultimately makes the final decision on who to feature. In other words, the perfect combination of amazing food and a great presence is the only way to earn a coveted spot on the show.

Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives
Source: Food Network
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Unfortunately, restaurants are also not paid to be featured on the show.

While the idea of receiving a few coins for allowing producers to feature your restaurant is enticing, it simply won’t happen. Delish shares that producers absolutely do not pay the restaurants in any capacity — which also includes being reimbursed for their time and what they spend on ingredients.

While the restaurant owners aren't directly being paid, the free publicity they receive is likely to bring in the big bucks — maybe even more than they would've gotten in the first place.

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Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives
Source: Food Network

Josh Thoma, owner of Smack Shack in Minneapolis, reportedly told the Twin City Business Magazine that business has been booming ever since the restaurant was featured on the show.

“They told us to get ready,” Josh told the outlet. “I was like, ‘I got it.’ I did not get it.”

A month after being featured, Josh shared that the customer count and sales were up by 500 percent.

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Cheers to free publicity! So, restaurant owners who are interested in taking things to the next level, an appearance on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives can definitely make that happen.

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