If you’ve worked in foodservice long enough, you would have noticed that curious look customers give when they they’ve spotted their meal as it exits the pass (or at least think they’ve spotted it). It’s not uncommon for people to taste with their eyes, which makes food presentation such a key aspect of modern-day dining. Food presentation has always been an important factor for chefs to consider but the introduction of apps like Instagram has really elevated its importance.
As the social media giant has grown in popularity, so has its influence over the foodservice sector. Customers are becoming increasingly reliant on their social media for news, insights and updates, which makes Instagram a powerful tool for foodservice businesses. So, whether you’re a fan of Instagram or not, you’ve got to understand its influence on the way we dine to uncover the ways it can best work for you:
1) Tasting with your eyes
It’s nothing new for chefs to be dazzling people with their culinary expertise, but now they’re doing it before people have even booked a table. No longer are chefs only thinking, how will this look on the plate, but instead might think how this will look in frame. People are taking more pictures of their food than ever before, and it’s wise for chefs to be experimenting with what’s visually engaging for eaters.
2) Casting a wider net over customers
Getting people into your venue is a challenge that many foodservice businesses share. Once upon a time this meant having an attractive menu, intriguing store front and a confident Maître D'. Nowadays there’s much more you can do to reach people, and Instagram has become one of the more popular options for venues. Using Instagram regularly should become a focus of any outgoing marketing efforts (you don’t need to pay advertising dollars to see good returns).
3) Food trends
Food trends are the viral meme of the foodservice industry and have helped the likes of ‘smashed avo’ and the dalgona coffee become staples for venues here in Australia. It might be apps like Instagram that help cause these trends to catch fire, but make no mistake, it’s a chef’s innovation that keeps them around. Take advantage of Instagram’s insatiable need for new and exciting content by sharing anything out-of-the-box that you’re creating. That deep fried egg that breaks open to reveal a runny yolk? Worth filming. The freakshake with burger on top? Definitely worth a quick pic.
4) Customer communication
Apps like Instagram bring businesses and brands much closer to their audience. People no longer have to wonder what’s going on, because of the veil that’s been lifted with the help of social media. Similarly, people can now write or message with businesses to open up about their experience. So always remember to reply, even if it’s something that you don’t necessarily agree with.
Whether you’re a fan of Instagram or not, it’s important to understand its capabilities. The app can be a powerful tool if used correctly, and is something that should be strongly considered for your business. If you’re already on Insta, then that’s a great start! Be sure to give us a follow @tiptopfoodservice and join many chefs as we discuss everything foodservice.