Chefs in the Spotlight: “InstaFame” Means Business
When guest come to your restaurant and have a fantastic dining experience, they all do two things at the end of the meal. First, the guest will give their compliments to a familiar face, their server. Second, the guest will leave a respectable tip, if they themselves are respectable. Third, the guest will either ask that the chef or owner is told how amazing their food is, or, they will ask to speak to the chef or owner themselves.
What does this sequence tell us? Your guests are interested in the people making their food.
Instagram is one of the fastest growing social platforms in the world. Not surprisingly given the recent trend of food obsession, accounts and hashtags featuring #foodporn and other culinary creations are on the rise. According to Wired, There are upwards of 178 million photos with the hashtag #food on Instagram. Professional chefs can not only learn from what’s trending on social media and adapt their menus accordingly, but they can create #InstaFame for themselves, their food, and most importantly, your restaurant.
Dominique Crenn of Atelier Crenn in San Francisco tells Wired that “It’s all about exposure” and “Instagram came to give a voice to chefs and to the food they serve.” Instagram is the platform that caters most to the food industry because of the visual aspect. Drool-worthy photos of food create buzz and make people interested in your restaurant and the person behind the plating.
When your chef posts a stunning photo of your newest menu item, describing the combination of ingredients and the textures, your guests are motivated to make a reservation or walk in immediately to try that dish, photograph it themselves, and share on their personal social accounts.
Israel’s Carmel Winery teamed up recently with Tel Aviv restaurant Catit, with the goal to offer guests Instagram-worthy food. According to Mashable, “the restaurant says that it’s looking “to reconnect with a new generation of consumers – youngsters who connect with food through the lens of a smartphone.” While we wouldn’t go so far as to suggest your restaurant serves food on custom-designed plates with built-in phone stands like Catit…There is a lot to say for offering guests beautifully-presented food and encouraging social sharing.
While many professional chefs have jumped on board with Instagram, there are those who believe that this social sharing platform is actually ruining the dining experience. Some restaurants go so far as to ban patrons from photographing the food.
What do you think? Is Instagram helping, or hurting, the dining experience?
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