One of the most popular hashtags in Instagram is #food. That’s a clear indication that people love sharing what they’ve eaten or are eating with their Instagram followers. Each Instagram post is an ad and testimony for your restaurant or café. A good photo can speak volumes about the dishes you serve, and can help attract potential diners.
Here are some basics that you need to have in place:
- Be searchable and shareable – Establish a social presence so that diners can tag something when they take photos of your food. Update your account by including hashtags in your food posts so that potential customers can find your posts as well. Some key hashtags to include are your restaurant’s name and a signature dish or drink.
You should also create a Location page for your restaurant or café so that users will be able to tag you by checking in at your restaurant.
- Integrate Instagram with other social media accounts – Share photos on all your network to increase views and gain followers.
- Branded deco and utensils – Napkins, bowls, walls and many more could feature your restaurant’s or café’s name or branding.
Here are a few ways you can make your restaurant or café more Instagram-worthy:
The camera eats first! In this age of social media, food bloggers have even begun to rate restaurants based on their “Instagrammability”. Ambience and food presentation feeds the eyes and could entice crowds to your restaurant.
So when it comes to plating, get creative. Vertical, nature-themed, abstract art, and alternative plates (that are not round!) are just a few possibilities when it comes to elevating food presentation.
With decorative items, from tablecloths to napkins and utensils, opportunities to take Instagram-worthy photos seem to be always around the corner. Not only do these items complement the beautiful dishes your chefs have prepared, but they play muse to your diners for their Insta-photo compositions too. Set your decor according to the theme of your restaurant, and change it up every now and then so your guests will always have something new to come back to.
Diners today want to be “first” and “different”. They want to be able to say, “Hey, I was here first.” or “Hey, I shot this composition first.” Encourage this by setting up quirky, whimsical props worthy of thumb-stopping Instagram posts – think pirate ship wheels in a seafood restaurant or a unicorn bust in a Mamak cafe – and your crowd will come.
Let there be light!
Light and shadow are important elements that will either make or break photo composition. With the right colour and brightness, your Insta-guests can take effortlessly pretty pics, and will be more than willing to plaster them all over their virtual walls. Put in the extra effort to properly set up lighting that works at night, and you’ll have Insta-gratitude and Insta-fame, too.
Consider printing your Instagram and other social media account names and handles in the menu. You can also add hashtags in tent cards or create special promos that diners can post about.
This way, diners need only to look at the menu or tent card to tag you in their latest foodie post. However, keep your clientele in mind. Casual restaurants attract more hashtag-happy crowds, but an outlet with an older client base can do without including the social media handles.
Your restaurant or café could also host multiple photo contests and reward customers, such as asking customers to upload photos of certain food using a specific hashtag and offer gift cards for their effort. Other popular marketing efforts are “fill-in-the-blank” posts and rewards for customer shares.