The benefits of employing food photography in catering

Nearly 70% of millennials take photographs or videos of their food before eating, according to studies — clearly, we enjoy sharing our dining experiences with the world! Sharing viewable content is the point of Instagram. With 800 million monthly active users, it’s undeniable that this platform is one of the biggest contributing factors to the increase in food photography around the world.

But how can food photography help you develop your restaurant, café or other eatery? We’ve teamed up with Clifton Cameras — retailers of the sigma lens — to look at the benefits of social exposure for the businesses within the food industry and how food photography is key for commercial success.

Capitalising on social media

Using the internet and social platforms, we can now connect with the world and see images of cooking preparations and final dishes from all over the globe. By 2019, it is expected that there will be around 2.77 billion social media users, indicating that we’ve never been so connected — and catering professionals should use this to their advantage.

Food photography from overseas gives us a glimpse into new and exotic cuisines. Whether you’re sat in a restaurant, café or pub — it’s become the norm to see people taking pictures of their dishes and share them online using geotags, hashtags and more to achieve greater reach and visibility.

While this is great for a foodie who loves to scroll through Instagram, business can utilise this for marketing and financial benefit. People love seeing pictures of food on their newsfeeds. If more people are interacting with your brand across social media platforms, more people become aware of your business which could see an increase in custom.

Try to encourage customers to upload pics of their time at your eatery. Doing this will show off your business to the masses and give your establishment as a current, accessible brand. One of the biggest benefits of user-generated content is that it will allow you to analyse the demographics of your audience and gain a greater insight to what type of people they are — this will enable you to tailor not only the type of food you serve to them, but music that you play, specials that you serve and events that you host — giving people a reason to return.

Make sure people are continuously engaging with your social media platforms for the best effect. For example, introducing a “Picture of the Month” competition, which includes the person who takes the nicest picture of their food winning their next meal free. This means plenty of free advertising!

You’ll be surprised by how many people strive for the ‘ideal shot’. If you want to make the most of social media, you must understand that it’s all about aesthetics and presentation; from unique serving boards to the interior décor of your building.

Your eatery’s products

Aside from advertising online, there are other uses of food photography — including using high-quality picture on your menu and interior posters.

Encourage customers to order multiple dishes of food ‘just to try’ by making the images you use on your menu irresistible. If customers try more things and widen their palates, they’re likely to have a more memorable and better experience and will be more likely to return — which means better retention rates. If you can present your customers with a visual choice, they can make more informed decisions on what they want to order, too. Less sending back to the kitchen! As part of this, you could implement an Instagram feed widget on your website that will show pictures based on hashtags.

You could also take action shots of food being prepared and hang these on the wall to create an air of freshness and authenticity for your customers.

Food photography is critical to the catering industry. Make people aware of what you’re offering and attract more business in 2018!