How To Make Your Restaurant Instagram-friendly

Last updated on: October 25, 2019
about 8 minutes

As a restaurant owner, if you’ve perhaps done some research on how to increase your restaurant’s local reach, you would have seen various suggestions with most of them telling you of how social media is important for your restaurant business.

You will be surprised to know that the human sense dominating the food industry is not just about the taste nor the smell of your food but instead, it’s about the sight and how appealing it is to the eye! It has become increasingly significant as we now have “food porn” as an established social phenomenon. No doubt! This change was majorly brought by social media, especially - Instagram.

Here are some facts about social media and food that might interest you as a restaurateur:

  • Did you know that every 60 seconds, about 90 photos are uploaded and hashtagged #foodporn?
  • As of April 2019, if you search #food and #foodporn on Instagram, you will have around 333 million and 194 million posts to view.
  • 23% of Instagram users keep a photo blog with daily meal photos.

Like food porn, we also have a global phenomenon such as foodstagramming where people first click pictures of their meal before they eat. Therefore, the question you need to ask yourself is not “how will Instagram make my restaurant famous?”, but rather “How can I make my restaurant Instagram-friendly?” In this article, we will explore exactly that.

Instagram-friendly Restaurant From an Investment Perspective

Running a restaurant is a business. Hence, adding the Instagram appeal to your restaurant will require a significant investment of both your time and money. Your concern here might be – “How do I know that Instagram will still be there after the next 5 years or more?”

Well, there is no doubt that in this technological era, various social apps tend to fade out as quickly as they grow.

However, it is not about these apps but rather, it is about the user experience. Your goal here should be to enhance the user experience for diners while making it social media friendly.

This goal is essential because it not only widens your scope, but it also introduces new things accordingly that enhances the user experience for all social media platforms. That way, you would not have to worry about changing trends or popular apps.

Instagrammable restaurant: Décor

When exploring restaurant décor ideas from the Instagram point of view, you need to see it through the lens of social media. People dine out at restaurants for memories and experiences that they click through their smartphones, keep a record of it on Instagram and show to their friends and other people.

Now, they would want their minds to reflect the best time they had. Hence, the aesthetic appeal is a must.

Lights, camera, snap!

This single factor can make or break your Insta game. No matter how spruced up your restaurant is, if people find inadequate lighting to take selfies and photos, you will find it hard for your restaurant photos to end up on Instagram.

So, here is what you need to take care of: - Ensure you have adequate lighting on all sitting angles so that people do not have to struggle for lighting while trying to take pictures. - Have the right amount of natural illumination through windows and doors. People love sun-kissed photos! - Neutralize the shadow effect from drop lights, chandeliers, LED panel lights, etc. - Lighting with ground source also adds a beautiful glow to your restaurant setting, especially during evenings.
- Choose to install lights with brightness control. That way you can easily set the mood of the place. Believe us, people would love this feature!

Dedicated Theme = a Roaring Success

When it comes to word of mouth on Instagram, the theme of a restaurant travels faster than the taste of the food! When trying to choose the theme of your restaurant, it is essential to know that there are literally endless options.

One crucial factor that will help you figure out the idea is the demographics you are aiming to target. Your demographics could help ascertain what theme to choose.

This is because your theme must resonate with your desired audience. You could do some in-depth research to understand what themes are popular among people from geography. It can be an 80s theme, Hollywood theme, western theme, sports theme, etc.

If you cannot work around the theme, you can set the tone and ambiance of the place. Try making the colors on the wall stand out. You can also experiment with wallpapers and mural art. This will help ensure that your restaurant has a great ambiance.

The Art of Food Presentation

Remember this – cameras eat first! What makes food porn enticing is the visual appearance of the food. Considering that the hashtag #foodporn is always trending, you need to make sure your food presentation ticks all the right boxes.

Some tips for food presentation:

  • The plate should not be overloaded with food
  • Garnish every dish and beverage
  • Color contrast on the plate makes up for a beautiful photo
  • Get creative with salad serving and sauces
  • The kind of cutlery you use also enhances food presentation.

Also, you can also take inspirations for food presentation from various cultures. Make sure you make your food presentation game strong.

A Spot Where People Would Love to Get Their Pictures Clicked

People these days do not mind traveling to places just to get that perfect display picture for Instagram! A restaurant with a dedicated corner for snaps is a big hit! As it is for the theme, the ideas here are endless to work on. You can have something based on the subject. 
 For instance, if you have an Elvis Presley themed restaurant, you can have an Elvis Presley statue. For a vintage theme, you can go for an old Cadillac model. For a Hollywood theme, you can have custom props made to best suit the theme.

People love things that trend. One of the best ways to become Insta-famous quickly is to be part of that trend. You can do that by having a special dish that resonates with the trending topics. For instance, if we have unicorn trending, you can serve special unicorn ice cream to your visitors! Hence, it is essential that you ensure you keep in check for the latest trends in the food industry. If your timing matches along with what you are offering, your restaurant will be famous in no time!

Instagrammable Restaurant: Customer Experience & Satisfaction

As we said in the beginning, it is the experience that truly matters. Now that we have taken care of the décor tips let us move forward to what you can do to provide your diners with an extraordinary experience.

Free Wi-Fi is a Must

You are in for immediate appreciation if your restaurant offers free Wi-Fi. Offering free Wi-Fi has many benefits. It helps you manage the mood of diners who are waiting for tables and food to arrive. People who do not have data can immediately go online and post snaps of the food and place. Thus, if you intend offering Free Wi-Fi, it is crucial that the internet speed is optimum at any given time. This is important because if you have a poor internet speed, it could infuriate your diners quickly.

It is About How You Make Them Feel

Do you know you could have an immediate negative review posted online there and then if the diner is unsatisfied with the services? Therefore, it is important to make the diner feel unique and valued. 

You can do that by offering quick and smooth services, asking them if they are enjoying their time and food if they have any concerns with food or service – making sure they are answered by the manager or chef, having feedback during the billing, and so on. This could help make them feel special.

Trick or Treat, or Both?

If your diner has his/her birthday, you can offer special discounts or a birthday cake. You could also provide Couple Treats to the couples that come to your restaurant.

You can also run various Instagram contests on your page and have special offers and discounts for the participants. This will make people check your Instagram page for discounts and deals every time they plan to dine out; hence, increasing your daily reach.

Some restaurants run a special hour where a chef walks out and demonstrate preparation of the signature that is shared among everyone. Surely this is a smart way to get everyone’s attention and raise a couple of holding phones hands in the air.

Instagram-friendly Restaurant: Conclusion

It is essential to know that at no point should your food taste be compromised for the aesthetic appeal. While this may work, for now, you will end up losing customers on the longer run.

Restaurants are all about offering a great experience. With Instagram in the picture, it is all about how you make your customer’s experience social media friendly. If you can provide tempting foods and an Insta-favorable environment, just know that your restaurant is going to be a sure-shot success.

author Karen social media tips


Karen is senior technical writer and copywriter here at GrowFollowing. She drinks 3 lattes a day and enjoys early morning run with her dog.

Copyright © 2019 • Los Angeles
Powered by DO , dc