• Live Oak Management

5 Tips to Make your Food Instagram More Aesthetically Pleasing

By Sophia Oritz, Creative Content Executive

Have you ever sat down at a restaurant, taken out your phone and photographed the best angles of your dish before even picking up a utensil? The rise of social media platforms directly impacts the restaurant industry and how it markets food/products. Instagram stories specifically contribute to consumer marketing and user-generated content of restaurant chains, boutique cafes, eateries, and even food markets. As a result, restaurants must consider not just the presentation of their food, but the style and mood of their branding including menu, website, and interior design. Consumers use a brand’s aesthetic to build trust, making Instagram an effective and creative outlet built on consumer loyalty. This can be done not only through photography, but also hashtag campaigns, coupon codes, giveaways and exclusive online promotions. 


One of the most popular methods in finding a new spot to eat is by searching through Facebook, Google or Yelp for reviews. Often, these include pictures of the location and menu items. If the photos do not fit the identity of the brand or company, there is less chance of profit. To avoid this, it begins with chefs and kitchen staff being cognizant of the impact of plate presentation. In addition, marketers and advertisers should allow themselves to be creative and think outside the box, maybe even working with chefs to ensure success. 


By using Instagram stories, consumers utilize word-of-mouth on a digital scale especially Generation Z and Millennials. This allows restaurants to have an international reach, highlighting the importance of a brand’s aesthetic. If it is not consistent with the image a food company tries to portray, consumers lack trust or hope for satisfaction. This further emphasizes the significance chefs should place on the aesthetic of a dish and marketers on its digital presentation, especially because it can make or break the restaurant’s profit.


Here are 5 Tips on how to make your food photography more ‘aesthetically pleasing’: 


1. Edit for the grid: Using the same filter or color scheme will make the grid look cohesive and professional. In addition, this is the most effective way to make an account look aesthetically pleasing. (Credit: @sweetgreen on Instagram)




2. Bright colors: In an individual dish, bright colors are the most eye-catching on an Instagram feed. If the color scheme is muted, this is most effective when a certain color is prioritized when creating a dish. (Credit: @shakeshack on Instagram)



3. Clean plates: Unless there are toppings that deliberately contribute to the aesthetic of the dish, clean plates show professionalism and dedication to health and safety standards. (Credit: @elondining on Instagram)




4. Fill the frame: A great way to fill the frame is through layering the main star of the dish with garnishes, utensils and sauces/drizzles. It can sometimes overwhelm the viewer, but if the food looks appetizing enough they will stay on the page longer.  (Credit: @bunsandbuns on Instagram)





5. Be creative with angles: Don’t be afraid to capture the details of a specific part of a dish or take a step back to capture the plate in its environment. This will show a brand’s personality, especially when playing with negative space, color and food placement. (Credit: @chickfila on Instagram)




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