How to Promote a Restaurant on Instagram

Silvain • updated June 25. 2022 • 9 min read

Food photography: Trends and Tricks for Restaurants

Food photos for restaurants are becoming more and more important and popular, whether they are for the website, marketing, or social media.

In the past few years, the rise of food blogger and food influencer on social media has changed a lot about how food is photographed and how brands of food and drinks are brought to consumers.

Some of the most popular trends in food photography are photos taken by users and photos that show what goes on behind the scenes.


 

Why is food photography for restaurants so important?

There have never been so many photos of food taken and shared. But some of them don’t really make me want to see what’s there. Still, every restaurant owner should care that what comes out of his kitchen makes people want more.

The pictures of food that go around on the Internet definitely affect how people think of the restaurant. So it’s better for restaurants to get ahead of their customers and post photos of food on the Internet that make people hungry.

Food photography: Trends and Tricks for Restaurants, create a larger audience
Create a larger audience, @PetrSevcovic

How to use Instagram photos to promote your restaurant

Food photography is popular on Instagram. It would be a missed opportunity for a restaurant manager to not use Instagram’s popularity to promote your food and attract new clients.

It would be a missed chance as a restaurant manager if you did not use the website’s popularity to advertise your meals and attract new clients. You will learn about the advantages of Instagram food photography and how to use them in the sections that follow.


6 Benefits of Instagram for your restaurant

So, why should you spend time and money to make an Instagram account for your restaurant and post photos of your food there?

1. Develop a larger audience

There are 1.074 billion Instagram users in the world right now. Not all of these users are likely to be interested in food photography.

And it’s clear that not every one of these users is interested in food photography.
But take a look at what Instagram users are most interested in.

Still, that’s a huge number of possible followers who could become customers or at least spread the word about your business indirectly.

By liking or sharing your posts, they will tell their followers about you, which will start a chain reaction.

2. Instagram is free to use

One of the great things about Instagram food photography is that it doesn’t cost anything unless you want to buy ads.

It’s free to make an account, free to post, and free to talk with your followers.

Once you know how it works, you can also try paid advertising without feeling like you have to spend a lot of money. Instead, you can choose how much to invest and when to stop.

3. Work with food bloggers and influencer

Instagram isn’t just for restaurants when it comes to food photos. There are a lot of food influencer and food blogger ready to work with restaurants like yours on this platform.

  • Look for people with a lot of influence in your area and talk to them on Instagram.
  • Once you’ve gotten to know them, contact them and suggest that you work together.
  • Let’s say you don’t want to spend a lot of money on this. In this case, you can look for micro-influencer, who have a smaller number of followers than celebrities, and offer them a free meal in exchange for a shout-out on Instagram.
  • If you have the money, you can also ask more important people for their rates.

4. Keep in touch with your customers

Food photos on Instagram can also help you get to know your customers better. People will eat your food if you make it “Instagramable.” Most of the time, they will also tag you or share where your restaurant is.

You can also run promotions like “Take a picture at our restaurant, tag us on Instagram, and you get a free drink.” to get them to talk about your restaurant.

This will lead to free content made by other people that you can put on your page.

Watch the comments as well. Respond often, and especially if people are complaining.

Try to solve problems as quickly and well as possible. This shows people who follow your page that you care about how happy your customers are.

5. Bring in new customers

In the end, food photography on Instagram is about expanding your restaurant, which means getting more customers. There are a lot of ways to do that on the platform, which is good.

You can make your dishes look irresistible by using food styling tips, or you can tag your Instagram posts with popular food photography hashtags to get more persons to see them.

You can also put geotags on the address of your restaurant to make it possible for customers in the area to find it.

6. Instagram for business

If you’re still not sure why Instagram is important for your restaurant, here are some numbers that demonstrate why every business owner has to be on Instagram:

  • People can understand what they see 60,000 times faster than what they read. Instagram is all about photos, so it’s a great place for restaurants to show off.
  • Instagram users and brands talk to each other 84 times more than they do on Twitter.
  • About 80% of people who use Instagram follow at least one brand.
    60% of Instagram users use the site to find new products, which makes it a great place to sell.
  • When a post has at least one hashtag, it gets 12.6% more engagement, and when it includes a location, it gets 79% more engagement. Use this to your advantage by making hashtag campaigns and tagging your posts with hashtags and the location of your restaurant.
  • Pizza is the food that gets posted the most, followed by burgers, sushi, steak, and macarons. If any of these dishes are on your menu, post them on Instagram with popular hashtags to cash in on the trend.
  • Among the top 100 Instagram hashtags, #food, #instafood, #foodporn, and #yummy are some of the most used.

13 Tips for restaurant Instagram photos

Next, let’s look at how Instagram pictures of food can support you get more engagement and, in turn, more sales for your restaurant by giving you some ideas and hacks for food photos.

1. Show authenticity

This year, in particular, more and more people cooked their own food at home. Families spent more time together and were thus able to enjoy a meal together more often.

Therefore, making the food look authentic yet appealing was more important than ever this year. Crumbs, piles of plates, and meals with forks out appealed more to consumers.

Shots showing multiple servings have become more popular and will also be seen more often this year. As brands more frequently use Instagram and food bloggers to market their products and services, we see a growing need for user-generated content and photos that therefore appear authentic and credible.

2. Storytelling

Food photography with a story? Exactly. Even photos of food can tell a story, show a culture, and bring the user closer. And that is just what is wanted.

People in our society, who care about culture and the environment, want to know the story behind the food and find out about the people, the environment, and where the food comes from.

Food photography that includes people, props, and backgrounds tell a story that makes people feel something and builds trust in the brand.

3. Look behind the scenes

Over the past two years, it has become clear that behind-the-scenes looks are particularly interesting for users. People want to see how products are made or dishes are prepared.

  • More and more restaurants have also shown a look behind the scenes and given customers an insight into the entire cooking process, for example.
  • Step-by-step recipes and videos give consumers the information they need to recreate dishes at home themselves.
  • TikTok and the recently launched Reels tool on Instagram allow restaurants to produce branded video content that has various benefits.
  • Such videos are becoming increasingly popular and can be used to convey important information in an easily digestible and engaging format.

4. Optimize lighting conditions

The cornerstone of photography is light. Bright and natural light looks authentic and intimate and is also becoming increasingly popular in the social media world.

In addition, these photos are characterized by a hearty shadow dance that adds a certain elegance to the featured products.

  • Natural light is often produced with the help of studio lighting. After all, the sun doesn’t always shine. Wait a minute. Can you even call it natural light then?
  • To produce well-lit photos, however, you don’t have to go straight to the photo studio. Photographers can also work on location with various props to shoot the perfect picture.
  • You don’t need a professional camera or professional lighting equipment to produce naturally beautiful photos.
  • Even with studio lights, it is recommended to set up the photo shoot near a window. Natural light will create natural shadows on your product, bringing it to life.

In all food photography trends, food is the most important thing. It should look delicious and make you hungry.

5. Show pictures of your menu

Once you know how to take pictures of food for your menu, make the most of them by also posting them on Instagram.

  • For example, you can do a special meal spotlight on one of the items on your menu, like a favorite dish of the week.
  • Use the description to tell something unique about the item, like what it is made of, how it came to be, or a fun fact.
  • Don’t forget to use Instagram hashtags that have to do with the dish you’re taking a picture of.
  • For example, you can use #burgers, #burgerporn, #burgertime, or #burgersofinstagram when you post a picture of a burger.

6. Put up your post when people are hungry

Not all tips for food photography are about how to take photos for Instagram and when to post them.

When people are hungry and looking at their phones is the ideal time to post food pictures on Instagram.

That means at 9 in the morning, between 11am and 1pm , and then again at 6pm in the evening. People will come to your restaurant at these times.

Use this chance to promote your online ordering system by telling hungry customers where to go to place an order.

7. Pay close attention to the small stuff

Don’t rush to get the shot if it means giving up quality. It takes time to learn how to take great pictures of food. Instead, arrange the food in an attractive way, make sure it’s even, and clean up any spillages before taking the picture. When it comes to taking pictures of food for Instagram, nothing is too small.

8. Camera

Ideally, you should take photos with a camera, as these often have better image resolution and light intensity. If you want it to be fast and uncomplicated, you can also use a smartphone.

In this case, however, you need to make sure you have good lighting conditions, as smartphones quickly reach their limits when you take photos in low light.

The darker it is, the faster the pictures will blur or noise because the camera has to expose longer. It is therefore always good to use a tripod.

If you don’t have a tripod handy, you can also lean your phone against a wall or a stack of books and take pictures using the self-timer.

9. Styling and composition

To set the scene perfectly for your subject, the first thing you need to do is find the right background. Look around your restaurant to see what’s available – is there a great old wooden table somewhere that you can use?

Are there newspapers lying around? Rustic wooden cutting boards from the kitchen, stone slabs, tablecloths, and towels can also be used as backgrounds. It’s best to try different backgrounds and see what you like best.

Make sure the food, dishes, and background complement each other in some way. If they are using a distressed background, such as a flowered tablecloth, a solid colored plate will go better with it than a colorful one.

It is wise not to use too many different colors. A few accent colors often work better.

To make the picture more vivid, you can add a few props to your subject. You are sure to find suitable objects in your guest room.

From a bouquet of flowers to a pepper mill to napkins, cutlery, or a baking tray, many everyday objects are suitable props.

10. Take a look at how things work

Not every picture of food on Instagram needs to be “staged.” Instead, think of creative ways to take pictures of food that show customers what goes on behind the scenes and that you’re not afraid to be yourself on social media.

Show people what it’s like to work in the food industry. Take pictures of the food as the chef makes it, as the servers bring it to the table, and even as the guests eat it (with their permission, of course).

There is no better way to get customers to try your food than to show them a real customer who is happy and excited about it.

11. Viewing angle

The same viewing angle is not suitable for every dish.

  • A beautifully arranged salad bowl comes into its own when photographed from above.
  • The multi-layered piece of cake, on the other hand, is better shown from the side. Experiment with different angles for each subject.
  • If you’re taking a picture of a hamburger, you should hold it straight so you can see all of the layers.T
  • he best way to take a picture of a flat food like pizza is from above.
  • Close-ups of textured foods also look good.
  • Don’t be afraid to try out different things with your camera to get the best picture.
  • The angle depends on what you’re taking a picture of. Camera angles for food photos explained.

When photographing from the side, be mindful of what’s in the background. Too many things in the background can steal the show from the food.

12. The food

The food should look as fresh and appetizing as possible.

  • However, certain foods, like ice cream or salad, will melt or wilt quickly.
  • So style and arrange everything with an empty plate first. That way, they are ready and can photograph the food quickly.
  • Less is more when it comes to arranging, too! Make sure that you arrange small portions. This will show off the food better.
  • It’s all in the details: Polish cutlery and plates before the photo shoot so they are not smudged.
  • A few drops of olive oil give certain dishes a nice sheen, while fleur de sel, or fresh herbs add a little more texture.

13. Image editing

Every professional camera and smartphone offers the possibility to edit photos afterward. Try out the different options so you know and can use the effects.

A lot often goes into adjusting the white balance (often referred to as “warmth” in the editing options on your phone).

The yellow cast can be reduced somewhat by dragging the slider towards blue. You can also improve the brightness a bit afterward, if necessary.

  • But beware: even with image editing, less is often more.

Conclusion

Food photography in restaurants is an important way to successfully market your products. You can shoot great food pictures for your restaurant without much effort and costs involved.

You can learn Instagram food photography with time and effort. The benefits are worth the time spent learning to photograph food.

Be mindful of the angle from which you photograph. Keep your food as fresh as possible! Prepare everything before you start taking pictures.

Use the photo editing software or the options on your smartphone to get the most out of your pictures.

 

What is your opinion on How to Promote a Restaurant on Instagram – let us know in the comments!

By Furoore team member Silvain

Silvain is a French/German national and has been with the Furoore Team since the beginning. He likes to write about various photography themes, especially food photography. If you leave a comment, he will come back to you to answer any questions you may have.

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