Restaurants are fully embracing the Instagram era. The drool-worthy photo can pay off in big ways for restaurants. When it comes to influencing customer decisions, a well-crafted photo can be the difference between being the next hit restaurant or just another one of the crowd.
A recent survey conducted by SevenRooms, a restaurant industry analytics company, showed that 37 percent of customers choose restaurants to visit by their reputation. Another 22 percent choose restaurants from social media posts.
A restaurant’s social media posts can have strong psychological responses in customers as well. According to gastrophysicist George Spence, simply viewing food photos can make a customer more inclined to visit a restaurant. Passing glances can induce salvation and cause the release of digestive juices in the gut as it prepares to intake food. (I feel like I understand all of those highway billboards now.)
When hunger strikes, we begin to eat with our eyes. The first thing we lay eyes on typically becomes the first thing we want to eat. That’s why you can find yourself eating something you wouldn’t otherwise choose when you’re hungry. Subconsciously, your mind is telling your stomach “yes, eat that.” So, it is important that your restaurants cater to your customer’s subconscious as much as they cater to their stomachs.
Above all, nearly 70 percent of millennials take photos or videos of food. Millennials can help share your plates throughout the internet, which in turn caters to your customer’s subconscious. Now that there are multiple platforms with timelines filled with burgers, overloaded shakes, and exquisite pastries to scroll through, causing us to eat more with our eyes than ever before.
Internet of Things (IoT) and smart devices have made restaurants more accessible to large audiences. Not only can you monitor the equipment your staff uses from your phone, you can also see how much engagement your social media posts get. This amount of data can be daunting for restaurateurs to handle, but successfully incorporating this data into your operation can dramatically boost sales. Be sure to take note of what pictures customers are engaging with the most and incorporate more of them into your social media strategy.
Social media can be a make-it-or-break-it tool for a successful restaurant. Posting well-crafted, audience specific content allows restaurants to stay on top of trending topics, and share their brand. This gives customers a clear picture of the business and allows them to feel involved in the business.
Aesthetics has always been an important part of running a successful restaurant. From plating to interior design, every aesthetic part of your restaurant says something about your brand and helps cultivate your reputation. In the age of social media, aesthetics has become increasingly important. Making sure your restaurant is “Instagrammable” is something to strive for.