Four in 10 diners now post photos of their meals on social media when dining out
Four in 10 diners now post photos of their meals on social media when dining out, according to a study.
Researchers who polled 2,000 adults who’ve eaten out during the past 12 months found the likes of Instagram and Facebook play a key role when going out for a meal.
The trend is most prevalent among millennials – more than a quarter of those aged 25 to 34 upload images of their food with the aim of impressing friends and followers.
And 42 per cent share images through social media in order to recommend nice places to eat out.
Around a fifth of all diners are so enthusiastic about their dinner pics they would like more restaurants to install lighting filters on table tops – to make photos look better.
Commissioned by Barclaycard, which has developed a prototype app called ‘Transplater’ – it features pics of unfamiliar ingredients along with descriptions so diners know what they’re ordering.
Kirsty Morris, director at Barclaycard Payment Solutions, said: “Simply being active on social media is no longer enough for restaurateurs, they also need to consider the quality of their content to avoid missing out on potential customers.
“Not only are diners using social as a research tool to decide where to eat, they are also integrating it into every part of their experience.
“This is particularly true of younger audiences; whether it’s taking pictures of meals, checking reviews or wanting to book directly from restaurants’ Instagram or Facebook accounts, there’s clearly a new social order for eating out.”
The research also found more than fifth of those polled check both a restaurant’s online menu and social media accounts before choosing whether to book a table there.
Twenty-one per cent visit restaurant websites and their social media accounts to see what the food looks like in advance.
Online presence is so important to dinners that 15 per cent of diners won’t visit restaurants which have no social media presence or menu to view online.
Further to this, 28 per cent would like to be able to book a restaurant through Facebook, Twitter and co.
Carried out through OnePoll, the research also found nine in 10 don’t always recognise the dishes on restaurant menus.
But a quarter are too embarrassed to ask service staff for help.
Giulia Mulè, food photographer and founder of Mondomulia [http://mondomulia.com/], said: “Barclaycard’s research shows just how powerful social influence is on dining decisions.
“As well as needing a social presence to get customers through the door, restaurants should also think about improving the aesthetics of their venue if they want to stand out on Instagram feeds.”
GIULIA MULÈ’S TOP TIPS – HOW TO TAKE THE BEST FOOD SHOTS FOR YOUR SOCIAL FEED:
1. DO YOUR RESEARCH: When it comes to taking the perfect foodie photo, try and do your research and scope out the restaurant in advance.
You can have the best camera in the world, but if the restaurant is dark or has no natural lighting, you’re not going to be able to capture your meal in its best light.
2. CHOOSE A TOP TABLE: A restaurant’s table top often features in Instagram food photos, so be sure to consider this when showing off your meal.
Look out for restaurants with trendy table tops such as marble or scratched metal as this will add an interesting background to your picture and help make your meal pop.
3. LIGHTING HACKS: These days you will be hard-pressed to find a restaurant or brunch place that doesn’t have spotlight lighting.
While these are very cool, they can often reflect on shiny surfaces and leave specks on your photos.
A quick remedy for this is to use the restaurant’s menu to block the light or choose a table by the window to take advantage of the natural light.
4. MENU CHOICES: When choosing the food to photograph, think about what the dish is going to look like.
Does it contain brightly coloured ingredients?
What colour is the plate that the food is being served on?
Choose dishes that have a mix of colours that will complement and contrast with one another to help your food stand out – for example contrasting the vibrancy of a sweet potato with a plain white plate.
5. SIZE ISN’T EVERYTHING: When you are a capturing a flat-lay image of several food dishes on a table, choose smaller starter plates over large dishes.
These will be easier to arrange and can help to add balance to the image you are creating.
Similarly, when arranging different plates on a table, use an odd number of dishes over an even number and avoid rectangular or square plates as corners are hard to photograph well.
6. IT’S ALL IN THE TIMING: If you’re shooting coffee in an image, be sure to order it so that it arrives at the same time as your food rather than before.
If it arrives before, your beautiful latte art will have disappeared and won’t end up in the final Insta shot.
7. LANDSCAPE OR PORTRAIT? It’s best to post vertical photos on Instagram rather than square ones.
This will not only make your final photo look better, but will also get more screen time on your followers’ feeds, covering 60 per cent of their screen, as opposed to 50 per cent in square mode and 40 per cent in landscape mode.
8. RULE OF THIRDS: When putting together a picture, follow the grid lines of the ‘Rule of Thirds’.
Many smartphones have these built into their camera making it easy to follow.
Simply use the grid lines as a guide to where to place your food on a table.
Placing the hero dish on the focal points, where the lines intersect, helps to draw the viewer’s attention to it.
9. SHOOTING SINGLE DISHES: If you are shooting one dish on a table do not be afraid to get up close and personal, shooting it from overhead so that the plate stands out.
Adding movement to the image will really help to bring it to life – for example, breaking a poached egg to reveal the vibrant yolk, or twirling pasta, or capturing steam coming off your coffee.
10. EDIT YOUR IMAGES: Use camera apps or Instagram filters to edit your images before uploading them.
Through simply playing around with the brightness, contrast or shadows, you can enhance your images and show off your food.