Social media food pictures, and unintended consequences...

04/06/2015

Restaurants have been using tricks to make their food look better in pictures on menus and posters for a long time. It’s become a common experience to gaze at the beautiful, succulent burger and mouthwateringly crispy chips pictured on a menu, and then find that they don’t quite match up to the floppy, greyish meat patty and soggy, limp fries that you’re presented with. However, with the rise of social media food pics, restaurants can no longer get away with their food looking lame in real life. They’re having to up their game to extraordinary extents, as Dan Calladine, Carat’s head of media futures, explains…

Dan Calladine Dan Calladine Head Of Media Futures London Dan Calladine social media tech trends Instagram
http://carat-cdn.azureedge.net/media/2048/burger_square.jpg
I take food pics. You take food pics. Lots of us take food pics. I'm such a food pic geek that when I order at some places I ask them to 'make me a photogenic one'... 
 
I even know a cake company who directs you to their Instagram page when you want to order something from them.
 
So it’s a pretty logical step, and a good example of 'thinking six moves ahead', that Chili's restaurant in the US should tweak its menu items and change the ingredients so that the food looks more photogenic.
 
"Chili’s recently committed to making its food more 'shareable'. No, they’re not further increasing the size of their portions. Rather, they’re spending millions to make their food look more photogenic.
 
"Nearly a million dollars for an egg wash to give its buns a photogenic glaze, that 'glistens', to use an adjective from Wyman Roberts, CEO of Chili’s' parent company, Brinker International. A new way of stacking ribs to look better in photos. Sexy stainless steel baskets to fetchingly hold its fries."
 
You can see some examples on Chili's Instagram account here.
 
I love this example. I love the ridiculousness but also the logic of it. But mostly I love how it's rooted in a mass experience, because this is how smartphones have changed the world - fundamentally, but in lots of unintended ways.
Dan Calladine Dan Calladine Head Of Media Futures London Dan Calladine social media tech trends Instagram
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