Instagram restaurant photography marketing

Is your Instagram looking a bit tired and uninspired? With the huge number of users on the platform, it's important to get your visuals up to scratch. Customers are likely to check out your Instagram page before they look at your online menu, so the saying rings true that “you eat with your eyes first.”

Turn your Instagram feed into a mouth-watering grid of delicious food and drink to entice customers in next time they're scrolling for options.

Create a Hashtag for your venue #️⃣
It can be as simple as your venue name or something more fun. Put it in your bio so your customers can find it easily, with a call to action like "Tag #acaibrothers to be featured!". Keep an eye on the tag for cool posts you can feature for bonus content, and use it to interact with your community for bonus engagement.

Make the most of food and drink holidays 🗓
Did you know that there is a Piña Colada Day? It's July 10. Food holidays are a great way to come up with content when you're feeling a little bit overwhelmed or stuck for ideas. Put relevant holidays in your editorial calendar so you have plenty of time to prepare specials and make the most of the opportunity. Don't forget the hashtags!

Create and stick to your brand colour palette 🎨
The most visually appealing feeds have one or a few colours that you can see create a specific aesthetic that it recognisable as belonging to the brand. You could use your venue decor as inspiration for your Instagram like Melrose or capture the whole vibe of an Italian afternoon like Corbett & Claude.

Create story highlights 📱
Make the most of highlights to showcase what your venue can do. Paw Paw Cafe uses highlights to show degustation offerings, menu specials, event and function packages, and online ordering. Consider fun highlights, like Furry Friends who visit your venue, and encourage people to tag you and share theirs so you can repost.

Consider your branding 💟
Have your designer create a logo that looks great inside the circular Instagram profile image, and whip up templates with logos and brand elements so you can keep your feed consistent even when you have important information to share like public holiday opening hours.

Partner With Influencers & Food Bloggers 🤳
Influencer marketing can be a super-effective method of getting more eyes on your feed, and therefore your menu. Find someone who has the same audience you're trying to reach and loves your brand, and engage them as an Ambassador. This may cost you some cash and comp meals but it will be worth it for access to their followers.

Run competitions & giveaways
You've probably seen those posts that ask followers to tag the three friends they'd invite to a free dinner or other reward. They work when the value is worth tagging friends in posts that are obviously promotions. Set up a juicy offer and ask your followers to get tagging. Make sure you follow the guidelines though!

Masters of the flat lay
Our favourite flat lay example is none other than retailer Aldi in the UK. Their Instagram flat lay game is on point. This format allows you to showcase collections of products creatively, so set up a table in a perfect order with your most visually appealing menu items and get snapping.

Let's get lit💡
Natural lighting is always the best but if you need to take photos inside make sure you have a light source behind the camera. Avoid shadows by using a reflective material or light diffuser, especially for those flat lays. Take a few different photos with lighting options and see which ones come out the best for your use.

Snap like a pro 📷
There are some obvious tips like making sure your camera lens is clean, and focus on the food, but how about tips that might help a novice photographer? Play with framing, taking photos of the food alone or with a loaded utensil mid-air, flay lat format or at a 45 degree angle. Save posts you like and try to recreate them. Have fun!

Get some inspiration from our brand partners: Belle's Hot Chicken, Nodo Donuts, Brooklyn Donut Coffee Co. and Sonoma Bakery