During COVID-19, restaurants have had to be increasingly adaptive and creative in order to survive. Here at ezCater, we have been gathering information from restaurants and customers to provide our catering partners with the tools to keep their doors open. A common topic during our research was the use of photos on the ezCater Marketplace. The demand for quality photos that accurately reflect items has never been greater, and we are here to help you provide this to customers.
A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words
Customers want to see exactly what they are getting, and a lack of photos creates uncertainty for them while ordering. Imagine you are online ordering a new pair of shoes. You might find a pair with a brand and description that you like, but would you be willing to purchase them if you didn’t know what they looked like?
“The description is nice, but I had to look the restaurant up elsewhere to figure out what it was. I didn’t know if it was pasta or anything like that kind of thing, so pictures just help to kind of know what it is. Like what’s a po’boy? I didn’t know if that was just a sandwich.”
-Vanessa, ezCater Customer
First Impressions: the Search Page Photo
For many customers, evaluating a restaurant begins before even clicking into a menu on the marketplace. Assumptions are made about the food type, quality of food, and packaging options all from the search page.
Setting yourself apart from the competition with an original image that is unique to your restaurant and food can create a great first impression. This is the only image that customers get to see when they’re deciding which restaurant to order from; make it count with an enticing, authentic photo that will drive customers in your direction.
The Details: Item Level Photos
If search page images are used to make assumptions about a restaurant, then item level images are where these theories are either confirmed or busted.
It is important to show how items are going to be packaged. Customers want to know if their team lunch is going to come in a large tray, or in individual bowls. Questions of item size and food quality will also be answered using item images. Even with serving sizes as a guide, it can be difficult for customers to tell how large portions will be for group or individual meals. Item photos can clear this up and ensure customers order exactly the amount they need. And if you offer large portions, show it off!
Item photos also expedite the ordering process. When sifting through two dozen types of pastas for a meeting, words may start blending together a little bit. Photos create a visual experience for our customers who are often ordering in a hurry. It may seem redundant, but we encourage adding your photos to each and every menu item. The item photo is where you can show and tell exactly what the customer can expect, going a step beyond the description. Sell the item.
“I always like when they show the pictures of what a particular package would be, it just helps in kind of visualizing, okay, this, this is what this will come looking like.”
-Carole, ezCater Customer
Photo Requirements, Tips & Tricks
It is important to note that search page photos and item photos involve slightly different guidelines. For a more in-depth look at each of them, please check out our ezPhoto Guide. With just a smartphone, a flat surface with window lighting, and these tips, you will be able to capture your own food images to be used on our marketplace.
- Accurately represent the food and its packaging
- Provide space around the food for cropping
- Own the image
- Include people, text, or graphics (exception for logos on packaging/plating)
- Contain collages
- Have insufficient lighting or shadows
Let’s improve your photos together
With all of this information, where does one begin?
If you have freshly curated photos ready for the big stage, please reach out to our talented Photo Team by filling out this update form and we will get them onto your menu.
For specific questions regarding your menu and photos, reach out to the Photo Team by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.