June 19, 2024

2023 Recap and 2024 Goals

I can’t believe I’m on 6 years of AlexEatsTooMuch. I did a lot in 2023. I saw a lot of growth on Instagram seeing my account almost triple in reach. I started posting more regularly to TikTok and started a YouTube channel. One of the biggest decisions I made was to start focusing on more than just food and restaurants. I burned out a bit just posting about food. I go to a lot of really cool events and concerts around Pittsburgh that others should learn about and have an opportunity to attend in the future. I also started highlighting more travel on my own or through partnerships. It’s December 31 as I write this so I’m just going to rush through a review of my 2023 goals, hit on 2023 highlights and favorite posts and list my 2024 goals.

2023 Goals

  • Keep growing the socials – On Instagram I’d love to get to at least 8,000 followers before the end of the year. I’m working on building up TikTok. It’s mostly just Instagram reposts now, but I need to do more. I’m also thinking of starting to upload to YouTube.
    My Instagram is now at 15,600 followers. That was a shock after a few videos went viral. My TikTok is still mostly Instagram reposts, but it has grown to almost 1,500 followers. YouTube is started, but still kind of a struggle to get traction.
  • More funny videos – I really liked doing the pizza board video. I want do more funny food related stuff.
    I only did a few truly funny videos, but I managed to work in more jokes to other videos. I did think my partnership video with Klondike Ice Cream was pretty funny.
  • More blog posts – I keep saying this every year. More than 6 blog posts would be a big accomplishment.
    I only did a few event or restaurant specific posts, but in August I started doing monthly roundups of all that I eat and do in a month.
  • More food related travel – I want to take more fun trips this year. I also joined The Experience Creators Collaborative recently. I am really hoping this allows me to go on some exciting trips.
    I got to do three food centric trips in 2023. I was invited for an overnight at Nemacolin for their Nosh Night. I partnered with Happy Valley Adventure Bureau to highlight restaurants and tourism in the area. I took a trip to Chicago that was primarily for a concert, but got to eat my best meal of the year at Girl & the Goat.
  • Just keep doing this foodie stuff – Things keep getting busy. I’m hoping in 2023 I can consistently go out to restaurants and attend events.
    I kept doing foodie stuff. This was such a stupid goal.
  • Interact with followers – This didn’t happen much in 2022. Say hi to me at events and restaurants. Hopefully I can maybe plan some meetups.
    I didn’t do a lot of this. It was nice to be recognized and say hi to people. I didn’t plan a meetup.

2023 Highlights

  • I started 2023 with the worst hangover of my life after my birthday. I plan to do the same in 2024.
  • I was finally on the YaJagoff Podcast again. There were 3 years between appearances. I’ve grown a lot as a brand in that time. I loved being on the podcast this time. I was more relaxed and that helped.
  • I went to Dublin, Ireland, and had a lot of great food and drinks. I wish I spent more than 4 days there. Dublin and all of Ireland has so much to do.
  • I started to see some of my videos go viral on Instagram and to a lesser extent TikTok. The biggest was highlighting my favorite restaurant and meal in Pittsburgh at Chinatown Inn.
  • I got invited to my first overnight event at Nemacolin for Nosh Night. This triggered an interest in me to try to get more involved featuring local tourism.
  • A lowlight with a small positive, I got a terrible stomach bug at the beginning of May. I didn’t eat anything exciting for over a week. The positive part was I lost like 10 lbs. and looked pretty good for the summer until I gained it back.
  • I got to do an awesome partnership with Happy Valley Adventure Bureau to feature food and tourism in the region that wasn’t related to Penn State. This was the biggest partnership I ever got to do and it was so much fun. I have to thank Hello Social Co. in Bellefonte for getting it set up.
  • I partnered with Klondike Ice Cream which was the largest national brand I got to work with in 2023. I filmed a super fun video to promote a contest. It’s a shame Instagram punishes a lot of videos for being paid promotion as it was pretty funny.
  • My second biggest video of 2023 (so far) was my dinner Arlecchino’s. It’s the sister restaurant of Alla Famiglia. It was delicious.
  • I was asked to contribute to Table Magazine my favorite burgers in Pittsburgh.
  • I attended Barrel & Flow for the first time. This is a beer festival featuring Black Brewers and Artists. It is the best beer festival I have attended. I already cannot wait to go again in 2024.
  • I started a nice recurring partnership with City Kitchen at Bakery Square. I really like being able to have lasting partnerships locally. I wish more local restaurants and companies would realize this.
  • I spoke on a creator panel at the Hello Social Co. Creator Meetup. It was so fun to meet other creators and local tourism boards to hopefully work with in 2024.
  • I partnered with McDonald’s of Three Rivers on a really fun behind the scenes and taste test video of the improved Big Mac. It turned out great, I was impressed by how a McDonald’s kitchen operates, and I was surprised how much I loved the burgers I tried.
  • I ate my favorite meal of the year in Chicago at Girl & the Goat. I got to sit at the Chef’s Table looking into the kitchen. I ordered so much food. They sent over another appetizer and drink because they were disappointed I didn’t order them. I told them I was going to be taking photos and videos when I sat down. They appreciated that I asked first. Everyone was great to talk to while eating. The meal was phenomenal. My main course was the Roasted Pig Face.
  • I attended a bunch of concerts for many of my favorite bands. I got to see Queens of the Stone Age for the third time. I saw Death From Above 1979 for the third time. I saw We Are Scientists for the fourth time. The most exciting was getting to see The Hives in Chicago play a small club show. This is a band meant to be playing big venues and it was wild.
  • I found a new favorite pizza near Pittsburgh at A Slice of New York.

Favorite and most important posts of 2023

Getting to show off Blue Sparrow Bus getting officially parked at Dancing Gnome. Blue Sparrow has been one of my favorites since I started AlexEatsTooMuch and I’m so glad to see them grow.

I went crazy viral featuring my favorite restaurant in Pittsburgh, Chinatown Inn and my favorite meal there the General Tso Chicken.

I attended Pirates home opener again.

I went to the All You Can Eat Sushi restaurant Sushi Bomb. I love All You Can Eat. This video went pretty crazy.

I got to feature some great food in Happy Valley.

I did a funny video for Klondike Ice Cream.

I ate an amazing meal at Arlecchino’s and went semi-viral.

I got great photos at Picklesburgh. I was most excited about finally getting a photo with my favorite pierogi Potato Pete.

I did a great video with McDonald’s of Three Rivers.

I had my favorite meal of the year in Chicago at Girl & the Goat. I wish more people saw and appreciated this video.

I found my new favorite Pittsburgh area Pizza at A Slice of New York.

I ate at the new Kujira Suishi All You Can Eat in Shadyside. This video is currently going viral as I write this.

2024 Goals

  • Keep Growing Followers and Reach – My account grew way more than I expected in 2023. I think a great goal is 25,000 followers on Instagram by end of year. I’d love to see TikTok and YouTube grow more too.
  • More Blog Posts – I’m sticking to the monthly roundups but I also need to do more posts about places and events. I want to make sure I do more posts about restaurants, events, and travel for things that deserve a full post. I only did 4 posts like that this year.
  • More YouTube videos – I only made 3 long format videos for YouTube. I had intentions of making so many more and it didn’t happen. I’d like to double that.
  • More Travel – Every year I think I’ll go out of town more often and then I’ll not go anywhere for months. I want to go on at least two big trips in 2024. I also want to do food related travel. I think I have a couple of things in the works already.
  • Apply for My LLC – I have been meaning to do this for a long time. I need to just make it happen already.