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Instagram takes over Restaurant Design

Has the art of restaurant design changed and now revolves around creating eye-catching photographs for social media fanatics? In a way, for restaurant owners this is free marketing, therefore it would be silly not to think about amateur photographer’s desires to spread the word.

While design has always been at the forefront of a restaurant, beautiful backdrops that take into consideration the lighting, the colours and the utensils are now becoming just as important as the food. But the one big question on everyone’s mind is “What’s going to be your Instagram moment” – In short, what looks unique, dazzling or quirky enough to make the cut.

Instagram has become a factor of driving business. Lighting is everything for a good picture, so why not get that valued marketing done for you by providing highlighted lighting throughout your restaurants.  Bloggers and social media stars flocked to the perfectly lit space — on their own dime — snapping photos of the artistically plated fare and the utensils the chef spent weeks searching for.

For restaurant owners and designers, social media hasn’t necessarily changed the way they do business, but it has affected how they conceptualize spaces. But it doesn’t stop at the food. Diners are memorized by stand out features that call out where they are. Instagram acts as a visual passport, and diners will do what they can to show off their footprints to their social following. Everything from striking wall paper to patterned floor tiles 

Installations and feature items can be done very well, or just poorly presented and ill thought. Thus, it takes careful planning and design research to ensure they are aesthetically beautiful and act as a magnet for diner’s cameras. The smallest things could make an impact - Dark metal stools sit under light wood table-tops, creating just the right contrast against the white handmade plates, accented with brushstrokes of pale purple, orange and blue. For lighting, yellow spotlight shining down on each plate, so diners could not only see their food, but could also photograph it without requiring extra lighting.

A well-executed, show-stopping design lends itself to be photographers for social media. In recent years, restaurants have largely welcomed social media, and even go to the point of providing hashtags and social media handles on the back of menus or on walls. This is how you spread the word, and encourage photo sharing. 

Serving delicious food is just part of the experience. But the way the food is served can be everything to getting that diner to take that picture. A patterned plate, a sushi boat, or even a cocktail made in a wacky jar- now those are the photo grabbers. When you hear your diners say ‘Don’t cut that yet, I need to take a picture’ or ‘Move that, you’re ruining my picture’ That’s when you know you’ve done your job well- you’re heading for social media feeds. 

Get that photoshoot ready lighting, create your brand image through those iconic pieces and think about the way your food and drinks are served Getting your customers to tweeting, sharing, instagramming- whatever it takes, it’s free marketing, so why not make it worth that picture? Make it easier by making your social media handles and hashtags visible – it may even just plant the idea of that photo opportunity!