When you are brainstorming your next big restaurant marketing ideas, how often does someone say, “let’s get better at presenting our food”? But if your customers post photos of your food on Instagram, it can drive new business. Your current and recurring customers can be your best cheerleaders. And with a little prompting, they can also serve as off-the-cuff social media influencers. There are some things you can do to nudge them in the right direction. Here are six ways to create #InstagramReady food that your customers can’t resist sharing.
1) Provide Your Hashtag
According to Sprout Social, Instagram posts with at least one hashtag have 12.6% greater engagement than those without. Create a fun and unique hashtag for your catering company. And then provide a list of a few other hashtags that are personal and related to the event or company you’re catering. Place them in a nice picture frame alongside the food and say: “When posting, please use the following hashtags.” Just that subtle message will ask them to post, without asking them to post.
2) Finish the Presentation On-site
Height, dimension, and color are all important for that Instagram moment. But your beautiful presentations might not always travel. Sometimes you need to finish presentation on-site. Be prepared with the proper utensils, cutting boards, knives, and bowls that might be needed to plate on site. But stay away from cliches, like edible flowers on the food. You want to stand out, but you want it to be for the creative presentation of your meal.
3) Dress Up Those Ugly Foil Containers
Let’s face it. The foil hotel pans are practical, inexpensive, and great for transporting food and keeping it hot. But they’re also ugly. However, there are ways to dress them up. Consider boxes that can be branded with your logos. Companies like Your Brand Cafe and The Catering Box offer solutions to help with branding and presentation that make your restaurant marketing ideas come to life.
4) Think About Your Lighting
Lighting is one of the most important elements to great food photography. So when you’re setting up, think about lighting and how your guests will be viewing the table to take their photos. You might not have control of where your food is set up, but you can bring other items to jazz up the area. Flowers, rocks, wooden planks, crates, and other organic materials will soften the overall presentation.
5) Practice and Prepare
The catering business is competitive. And so you need your customers’ help to get the word out. Practice your presentation in advance so you’re ready when you arrive on scene. Create a sample table before you drop things off. Your presentation should never be an afterthought. A little preparation in advance will ensure you get it right when you’re on-site. Even when — especially when — you’re not working with a large budget, you still want to make a big impact. Remember that anything less than epic is average. People share photos when they see something memorable.
When it comes to restaurant marketing ideas, take a departure from the traditional advertising and networking. Wow your guests and they will help spread the word for you. Take as much time thinking about the final presentation as you do creating the menu and selling the event. The next thing you know, Instagram will be blowing up with pictures of all your amazing work.