Instagram is the beautiful, photo led social media platform that is loved by millennials. Unlike most social media before it, Instagram has changed behaviour, especially when it comes to spending money on food.
Towering burgers smothered in cheese, turmeric, beetroot and unicorn lattes, bowls of salad that look like art, Instagram has had a huge effect on how restaurants serve their food.
As little as three years ago people wouldn’t often queue for a burger, now there are lines around the block to try the latest creation. Food has become a status symbol, and according to the latest research, restaurants need to recognise this to survive.
Recent research by Zizzi found that 18-35 year olds spend the equivalent of five whole days a year searching food on Instagram. Thirty per cent of those searching said they would avoid a restaurant if their Instagram presence was weak.
So is it important that the food you are prepare is Instagram ready?
In short, yes! Business insider UK reported that millennials are eating in restaurants more than any other generation. If your Instagram is not engaging or your food is not aesthetically pleasing, you could be losing out on 30 per cent of your audience.
The 2017-18 Waitrose food and drink report emphasised the Instagram trend with items such as Buddha bowls (which started on Instagram), brunch, herbs and peanut butter. All items that are colourful, popular with millennials and can make for pleasing photos.
Is it all becoming a bit style over substance?
Many new places are making sure that not only the food looks great, but the venue it is eaten in works on the social platform too. However, not everyone agrees and some chefs are even moving towards an anti-Instagram stance after feeling like their food was all style and no substance.
Portuguese chef Leandro Carreira told The Independent that his latest venture, Londrino, did not factor in Instagram when it came to designing the dining space.
“We’d never put style before substance. We want to build a neighbourhood restaurant, where people become regulars and don’t just come to tick a photo off their list”, he told them.
Some places have become Instagram hits without even trying. Take Sketch in London with its lush pink décor and eccentric egg toilets, this place was designed 15 years ago – long before any social media or decent cameras on our phones.
“The restaurant is the result of an impulse, a mindset that understands interior architecture and how it can impact on people,” a spokesperson for Sketch told The Independent.
Tips for better Instagram photos
- Always try to use natural lighting. Electric lighting can make images dull and yellow.
- Think about your plates. Simple and classic, something that frames your food without it looking lost.
- Rule of thirds (imagine a grid and position your image to sit within the bottom and top lines and within two of the vertical lines) or symmetry is the best way to style your images. Think about the empty space, it is not always a bad thing.
- Think about your background. Shooting from above looks great but shooting from the side can work if you have an interesting background.
- Props can be good. Include cutlery, magazines, books and plants if they add colour to the image.