Everyone at some point has been at a restaurant, staring at a menu with an empty stomach and ended up basing their decision on what looks best. A catchy name might grab your attention or maybe you trust the server's recommendations, but that’s still only letting us know what sounds best. At the end of the day, the best method to ensuring guests select the item of the menu that they’re likely to enjoy most is serving up a visual.
Seeing Is Believing
In today’s world, many potential customers are going online to either your website or a review platform like Yelp or TripAdvisor to check out your menu and photos of the food. The better your photos, the more likely they are to visit you when it’s time to eat. Photos won’t just bring fill up your dining room, they’ll also make sure guests select the right menu option. Regardless of how hungry someone might be, if you simply read off an entree’s ingredients, it’s not likely to get anyone excited until the food is actually in front of them. Even if you have a creative name for the meal or some type of detailed description, words and still just words. A photo of the dish allows the guest to get a real idea of what the food will taste like before ordering.
Make It Count
Having images of your food available to guests is just half the battle. A bad food shot is just a likely to turn someone off to a meal as a good one is to turn them on to something, so it’s important that they’re executed well. Hiring an experienced professional is the ideal route to go, but if you’re strapped to a tight budget and need to take the photos on your own, there’s a few things to keep in mind. Style the food; don’t just throw the food on the plate, strategically place it that puts an emphasis on the key ingredients like a special sauce or fresh bun. Lighting is key; be sure your photos are not too dark as this can hide the little details that normally make food photos mouth watering. Make it pop; heavily saturating the key colors in your photo (like the red of a tomato or yellow of a cheese) will attract the eyes and make it pop.
Share With The World
Now that you’ve taken the time and efforts to prepare and capture some outstanding photos for your restaurant, it’s time to properly execute getting them on display. There’s no shortage of outlets for sharing these images and you should take advantage of as many as possible. Use them in an ad on Facebook, Instagram or another social media outlet. Pin the photos to the top of your gallery on Yelp so they’re the first one’s guests see. Tweak your website to incorporate the new images. Considering updating your menu to accommodate visuals. If you have an extra monitor, cycle the photos on a powerpoint for everyone to see. Always be thinking of new and creative ways to get your product in front of customers.
It’s easy to neglect a visual representation of your food and instead rely on word of mouth or a description to excite a guest, but it this is a huge miss. Don’t lose out on the chance to have your customers leave pleased and in need of another visit to try something else on the menu that caught their eye. Be sure to capture high quality images and openly display for everyone to see what your kitchen’s fine staff has to offer.