Leave them Drooling – How Good Food Photography Can Win You Customers
You’ve seen them, and your restaurant may be guilty of it – pictures of food featured in unfortunate prominence on menus and websites that are poorly lit, yellow in color, and highly contrasted to the point that you’re not entirely sure what you’re looking at.
And what’s worse, the pictures of the food actually make the food less appetizing than the menu description would have you believe.
You know you’ve got problems when your customers find themselves wondering whether they are looking at a burrito or a large toe smothered in queso.
Don’t be that restaurant. Boost your image and bottom line with good food photography.
With Food Photography, a Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words
Most businesses that sell products don’t rely on their descriptions alone. Your restaurant should be no exception. True, a good description can go a long way, but a picture can help seal the deal when it comes to enticing customers to come into your restaurant and buy your food.
Think about it this way – when shopping online, would you buy a shirt based only on a detailed description of the fabric qualities (it’s really soft!), style (hipster-classic-retro-casual), and color (pinkish brown!)? You probably wouldn’t do it, because you haven’t been given enough information to make an informed decision.
The same goes for quality food photography. It dispels any myth or preconceived notions of what your food looks like.
Food Photos – Some Examples of the Good and the Bad
We can go on and on about what’s acceptable when it comes to your restaurant’s food photography, but much like the entire point of this post, we wouldn’t be doing a good job of illustrating our point without providing some photographic evidence.
When your photo quality is bad, you are sending the wrong message and could potentially become a star player in this guy’s hobby.
Some prime examples that he’s captured include this:
And this (what is that?!):
With good food imagery of your food, you elicit a reaction of desire; not disgust. Your customers would probably want to see something more like this on your online channels or in-house menu:
Or maybe this:
Neurogastronomy – Food is a Multisensory Experience
Oxford University Professor Charles Spence says that flavor perception is multi-sensory.
And he should know.
As one of the fathers of Neurogastronomy, his work world utilizes the latest insights from brain science to help chefs develop more engaging dishes.
Spence says, “What we see plays a far bigger role in our expectations and hence experience of food than many of us realize.”
Food photography plays a major part in convincing the brain whether or not it will be an enjoyable experience to eat your menu item, so use it to your advantage and hit as many of the five senses as you can.
Showcase Your Menu
You won’t always have room on your website (or in your web design budget) to include glamourous pictures of every dish that comes out of your kitchen. But that can be OK! You can always take advantage of good food photography to:
- Help enhance the brand and personality of your restaurant,
- Strategically showcase big-ticket menu items to encourage them to sell,
- Feature dishes that your restaurant is well known for,
- Or to highlight daily specials on your website or social media.
Don’t keep your restaurant’s works of art hidden – place them front and center for everyone to see.