Turning Passion into Profit: Instagram Restaurants


Payton Lum, a 19-year-old McGill University food sciences student, was forced to return home to Vancouver when the pandemic hit. Lum started posting to his followers on Instagram about his latest sourdough doughnut creations.

Now, Lum is getting dozens of messages every day asking about his next sale. He can’t keep up with the order. Lum credits COVID-19 for enabling him to try new hobbies. His first batch was last summer, and for months he has been doing the daily test for the various recipes.
Lum says that the process of making sourdough is different from the traditional yeast doughnuts. In sourdough, the treating of dough begins 72 hours in advance. Lum is still studying, and the demand has caught him unprepared.

Lum also informs Instagram followers about the flavors he will be serving and places they can buy them. He says that coffee shops and grocery are reaching up to him to host his doughnuts. However, he cannot answer every request, given that he is currently studying for his midterms.

Apart from Lum doughnuts, Bibiks business which involves serving Singaporean meals, also took off during the pandemic. The business has been operational since 2018 and used Instagram to market its rotating menu.

Customers put orders days in advance and can takeout their orders from a Burnaby location. However, Bibiks business will open other locations in Metro Vancouver to reach more customers. However, they still hope they will open a physical storefront one day and offer a traditional dining experience.


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