Why Professional Photography is Vital to the Restaurant Industry
To a millennial, this is a no brainer. Beautification always has an advantage. It’s not that younger people have more intuitive business minds, it’s that they spend so much time engulfed in the online world.
Even millennials with no business experience can instinctively understand what works and what doesn’t in online marketing. Millennials spend so much time, energy, and money on posting the perfect photo online because it sells. To an individual, in that circumstance, a “sell” is a “like” and the more perfect the photo, the more “sales” they get. This holds true in business marketing as well.
Instagram has become the “modern-day magazine” for both individuals and businesses. Everything is as perfect as can be: the angles, the lighting, the quality of the pixels, the object or person being photographed, what’s in the background, the editing, the list goes on.
When a user comes across a subpar photo on the app, they are subconsciously trained not to spend any more time looking at it. This is what Instagram culture has evolved to. And if you think about it, it makes sense. It is a photo-sharing app! Why wouldn’t it turn into a digital magazine?
The good news is: you can take advantage of this as a restaurant owner because you’re selling food! That’s a gift from God in 2020. People enjoy looking at beautiful pictures of food. Entire Instagram accounts exist which generate their revenue solely from pictures of food. I look at it like this: if concrete companies can take their Instagrams seriously and find it worth it enough to continue deploying energy there, then the food industry has it easy! All you have to do is dedicate time and energy.
Restaurants in downtown areas have adopted the idea of hiring professionals to photograph their food more so than suburban ones. Eating downtown is an experience in itself, and making it look as appetizing, peaceful, and happy as possible only helps. These restaurants capture such crisp photos of their physical location, seating area, their sign, the candles at the table, the flowers on the patio, the ambient lighting, and most importantly the FOOD. When both current fans and first-timers see their food online, they have something inside them that says “I need to go there.” It’s simple, show people how amazing your food and restaurant is in the most pleasing, aesthetic way possible, and people will regularly show up.
Here is an example of a Restaurant in downtown Chicago using Food Photography to promote their brand on the popular website, Yelp.
Alright here’s my giveaway for today, and it’s a big one. I especially believe in this because I had a family member utilize this tactic for their bar, and was pleasantly surprised by the results. If I were a restaurant owner who was looking to gain an uptick in foot traffic, I would take advantage of Facebook and Instagram ads in a very specific way.
I think restaurant owners underestimate how many people in a 10-mile radius of their brick and mortar location have no idea what they are, let alone have never heard of their name. That said, I’d hire some guys to come in and take their time with professional photos and videography. You’ll be left with an abundance of eye candy to choose from, pick one to be the highlighted post. It should be like something you’d see in a magazine.
Then, create a simple Facebook/Instagram post and run it through their ad program. Set the radius to 10 miles and send it out there. Even on a tight budget, it should be very easy for that advertisement to reach 5,000 people; more if you’re willing to spend a little more money. Since the radius is so small relative to most Facebook ads, I would recommend using a landmark in the copy, so residents understand who you are and that you’re very local.
Something like, “Hey everybody! We have randomly decided to sell our burgers for ½ price this Friday! Come on out to meet us and enjoy our delicious corn-fed beef burgers. Located at (address) near the corner of blank and blank behind the mall.”That coupled with an outstanding photo is a lock for a packed Friday night at your restaurant.