The atmosphere and aesthetics can play a key role in the satisfaction of your customers and their perception of the meal. But in the digital age, we also need to understand that presentation of food goes beyond immediate customer satisfaction. Indeed, the presentation of any given menu item may end up being seen by exponentially more people than who you served it to originally thanks to social media. Instagram is playing a huge role in getting customers to walk in the door, and the best part is that the people who are marketing are your customers themselves.
We’ve all seen it: That social media user who constantly takes pictures of their food. Whether it’s an at-home meal or their platter of sushi during an evening out and about, they’re updating everyone on social media of each and every meal they consume. But it doesn’t stop there; People who don’t post every meal still tend to snap a pic and post it on social media when a meal is extremely well-presented or a complete disaster.
These viral posts have the ability to garner a whole new clientele for your restaurant or completely break down your marketing efforts. There are more than 178 million photos tagged #food on Instagram and 56 million tagged #foodporn which goes to show that people are obsessed with sharing pictures of their food!
The best way to utilize these trends is to embrace the changes and use them to your advantage. Make presentation a vital component to your menu. Emphasize to chefs that the way a meal tastes is of equal importance to how it looks on the plate. “I’ll be honest. If I have a better-looking dish, I give that one to the people taking photos,” says Benedict Reade, the former chef at Nordic Food Lab in Copenhagen who recently opened a pop-up restaurant in Scotland. And make sure that your plates and dishes are chip- and stain-free.
This word-of-mouth marketing is free to use but can be costly if ignored. “It affects me when I see a bad review,” says chef Ned Bell of the Four Seasons Hotel in Vancouver. “But it affects me more when someone takes a bad photo of my food. I worry about what my food looks like on the social media world.” And people aren’t just posting images of food. Make sure that your entire restaurant is on par, as an unsightly bathroom can turn into a viral disaster with one snap of a picture.
E Friedman Associates Inc