If you look on Instagram, there are currently over 90 million posts under the hashtag #foodstagram. This is a testament to the power of visual media, specifically pictures, when it comes to the restaurant industry.
Food Photography by the Numbers
People only remember 10% from all the information they hear and 20% from those they read about. But when you pair the same information with relevant images, people retain 65% of the information presented.
According to Grubhub, adding professional photos to your page can boost sales up by at least 30%. In addition, restaurants that went from text-based menus to photo-based ones increased their conversion rate by 25%.
For businesses’ marketing teams, these numbers are essential in deciding which medium to use to attract customers. It shows that appetizing food photos convert and invite social sharing.
More than these, though, professional food photography is crucial for food businesses in various ways. We take a look at the reasons below.
It paves the way for a great first impression
Imagine you’re the ones looking for a place to dine in and your first exposure to a restaurant is their online menu.
The menu contains pictures, but they look like they’re taken from a phone by someone who doesn’t know photography. The angles they were taken in don’t show the dishes properly, making them look unappetizing.
If you’re the restaurant owner, this is obviously not the first impression you want to leave on customers. With professional food photography, though, you can have clear, beautiful, and appetizing photos to go with your menu.
They’re a visual treat that can whet people’s appetite way more than a written menu or, worse, badly taken food photos, do.
It lends to your restaurant’s credibility
Professionally taken photos of food also offer you a chance to prove to your customers that what they see is what they get.
Serving a double cheeseburger oozing with cheese sauce, juicy slices of beef, and fresh tomatoes? A professional food photographer can capture this menu item in vivid detail that makes it drool-worthy.
When customers see the image on your menu, not only will they find it appetizing, it will also let them know what they’re going to get.
You just have to be careful of possibly overpromising. Customers know the food won’t look exactly like how they are in pictures, but the actual meal shouldn’t be that different. This way, they’re not disappointed, and they can see that they’re getting what they actually paid for.
It helps you tell a story
Product photography, in general, is a great way to showcase your brand. With photos, you can control how you present your restaurant to the world and, in turn, how your audience perceives your business.
If you’re running a place that’s ideal for romantic dinners, you can show that through professional food photography. The use of the right charger plates, dish, and utensils, the placement of a table napkin, and the right lighting can easily convey the intimacy your restaurant offers.
The same thing applies if you run a cafe. Moody shots of artistic coffee art let people know that they can stay cozy and comfortable with a hot cup of joe in your cafe with just one picture.
It appeals to customers’ emotions
It’s true that a picture paints a thousand words. With one shot, you can make people feel visceral emotions. For the restaurant industry, one emotion you want to trigger within your audience is desire.
When they see photos of your food online, you want them to think, “I want that.” With their desire triggered, they are going to want to taste the food, which prompts them to place an order or book a table.
It helps with SEO
Search engine optimization or SEO is a marketing must if you want your food business on top of relevant search results. One important aspect of this marketing strategy is the use of visual media.
Photos—and not just any photo, but clear, crisp, professionally shot ones—enhance the look and feel of your website. They make texts easier to read since you don’t have to explain the ingredients of a dish off the menu as much with a photo accompanying it.
When you attract people to your website with beautiful photos, you get more traffic. And with more traffic comes higher search rankings, increasing your online visibility.
It transcends languages
Finally, professional photos are crucial for your food business because they’re not bound by language barriers. Think of a foreign person dining in your restaurant and not having to struggle to communicate which dish they want—instead, they just point at the picture of the food they want from your menu.
Now that you know why professional food photography is important, you can bring out the best in your dishes and grow your food business one image at a time.