The restaurant business has always been fueled by word-of-mouth marketing. As much as you can describe a dish of food, one can only assess when one has experienced said dish. This marketing is mostly impulsive. When and if you are impressed with the quality of food or service at a particular restaurant, you feel compelled to tell your friends and family about it. Till now, that is.
We often hear about how social media is shaking up different industries. Our means of communication, gathering information and validating information is nowadays entirely through the digital medium. You can find a chiropractor in downey and have their ratings instantly. The same for food, you may want to see what it looks like before you show up.
Instagram is one of the key digital media that many of us use. Instagram is leading a revolution on how food is perceived and restaurants chosen. People take photos of what they eat and post it on Instagram, partly to impress others and partly to spread the message.
The Instagram snaps market themselves. In fact the adjective “Instagrammable” is increasingly being used to classify food. And it is not just the food, but also the décor and general hygiene in the vicinity. Restaurants have to ensure that their establishments are customer friendly and clean so as to avoid any unwanted digital attention. They aren’t complaining though. With Instagram, they have an additional media to generate organic marketing without exhausting any resources.
Furthermore, new concepts are arising and spreading due to Instagram. All you need to take a decision on whether to introduce a recipe in your restaurant today is to look at the response online. If a particular dish or ingredient generates substantial likes/comments in Instagram, the product fit has already been validated. Even the farm-to-table concept has been aided by food travel bloggers posting content in social media.
All these change in perceptions are good for the end user. However, there are disadvantages. Restaurants have become increasingly vain.The arrangement of food on a plate is seemingly more important than preparing the perfect dish. The use of ingredients in such a way as to make the plate more colorful is yet another obsessive need that is entirely irrelevant to food quality.
At the end of the day, we are aware that Instagram exerts pressure on the Restaurant industry. However, it is important to remember that it is not the sole deciding factor behind customer acquisition. Other digital media such as TripAdvisor, Facebook, Yelp etc. and old school offline marketing also influence customer decision making. And those platforms focus more on product and service quality than just vanity.