As a restaurateur or a general food enthusiast, you might be aware of a certain marketing strategy known as Instagram. It’s an incredibly successful social media network which you’d be surprised not only features beautiful landscape posts but also delicious vibrant restaurants/cafes that you might have never known are located near you, made even more beautiful by a thoughtful and cohesive Instagram design.
Instagram is practically a mecca for all those hungry viewers looking to try something new. And it’s your job to make sure these food pilgrims know your restaurant is exactly where they need to be! In order to do this, your main focus should be your Instagram design. As a purely visual platform, it’s important your content is eye-catching, and your grids are reflective of your fantastic restaurant and its food. Here are a couple Instagrammers we think have the most beautifully curated grids and which may even influence your creative direction for your own Instagram.
Jill Fergus is a recipe developer, stylist, and photographer whose mantra is “what are you feeding the swimmers?”. When her kids began swimming competitively, she realised how important “nutrition is to performance, growth and overall health and emotional well-being”, most friends would ask the infamous question “what are you feeding the swimmers?” and since then it has paved her journey throughout the kitchen.
Fergus is seasonally driven and focuses on whole and organic foods which she also creatively conveys through her Instagram feed stylistically. Each shot is incredibly daring as she showcases her food from nearly all directions, undaunted by the not so pretty angles and even brave enough to regularly post dishes she might have already taken a few cheeky bites of (so relatable!) like this exotic heirloom tomato and sweet peach salad – some would call it ‘messy’ but it’s the bold, creative works of art like this people are drawn to the most.
Don’t be afraid to capture imagery of your food from all angles; overhead, straight-on, low angle or close-up. It’s the unordinary that people are after, and amazing food and a killer ambiance is what they’ll be able to take away from your Instagram. You may be anxious to include unfiltered photography such as this, but customers have grown tired of seeing the same imagery everywhere and @feedtheswimmers’ grids are a clear example of how well this technique could work for you.
Yossy Arefi is a cookbook author, photographer and stylist who has found her niche as a baking enthusiast with a huge, well-deserved following. She knows a thing or two about incredible food photography—she’s the author of the mouth-wateringly gorgeous Snacking Cakes, a collection of “no-fuss recipes perfect for anyone who craves near-instant cake satisfaction”. But her own feed is pretty satisfying in its own right. It’s filled with delights like chocolate malt marshmallow cookies, pumpkin cake, sweet summery cherry pie and so much crave-worthy sugary goodness it could give you a toothache (in the best way!).
Although it’s not just the content that makes her Instagram stand out, it’s the flow of her feed that truly make her grids so satisfying to look at. The trick is a simple grid layout or preview app that will help you see exactly what your Instagram will look like before you post – real life cheat codes!
You can use these free apps to rearrange the order of posts until you are happy with the overall look of your feed. The keyword is balance; to balance the flow, you must space out your photos based on the colours in them, or even the subject or background. By spacing out photos that are too similar, they create contrast between each post. This will make your overall feed look balanced and beautiful.
Judy Kim is a New York based food stylist, recipe developer, culinary producer, and creative consultant. With a background in floral design, her Instagram is heavily influenced by all things elegant and pretty from her watercress flourishes on a summer salad or her delicate buttercream flowers on cakes.
Take a peek through her feed, after a glance of her posts, you can almost smell the aromatic flavours of sweet and spicy as she tackles a range of delicious recipes from stone fruit pastry to Kalbi rib-eye steaks. She does this by relying not just on the capture stage but also the production stage, editing each image to reflect the vibrant and zesty ambience of each dish.
As mentioned before, Instagram is a visual medium, therefore it’s difficult to put together a great grid unless the individual posts are also great. Luckily there are tons of amazing and easy to use photo editing tools including apps you can download straight on to your mobile phone!
Dip into the saturation – make your colours pop, increase your exposure if the image is too dull and you want your highlights to glow. Start having some fun with your feed and you’ll find viewers’ might not be able to resist dropping you a follow or even better, popping a visit to your restaurant.
We’re convinced there isn’t one photo from Heather’s Instagram we haven’t fallen in love with. Take a look at her crumbly blueberry muffins or her ooey gooey choc chip cookies. These luxurious, indulgent desserts practically pop from the screen, Heather’s food photography is top-notch (and that’s just one of the reasons she’s one of the best food Instagrammers). It will be a challenge trying not to hit the follow button, or checking out her blog, too.
Her lighting is gorgeous, food styling is impeccable, and her sweet recipes find that happy balance between approachable yet elevated. If it’s true that you eat with your eyes first, then you’ll feel stuffed after taking in the gorgeousness of each image shared.
Heather’s brand is very clearly precise, and each post is always on brand. Creating a great Instagram grid means sticking to a plan. One off-beat photo in the wrong colour, the wrong filter, or in the wrong order can throw your whole look out of whack which is why she commits to a colour combo of whites, browns, and beige.
Pick a specific colour palette or a certain tone to feature in every photo. Viewed together, your gallery will look like a matching set, even if the content of your pics varies. This technique will help build a unified look for your brand and provide an extra visual treat to whoever visits your page.
We hope these influencers have given you an insight into your restaurants’ creative possibilities or if these tips will be incorporated into your strategy to drive your results further. Take a look at Comptoir or Firezza’s Instagram to see how we might be of service to your restaurants marketing needs. If you would like us to share further expertise, drop us a message here!
To find out how our approach can help you - drop us a line on 020 3301 5305 or send us the form below with some basic information and we’ll be in touch to discuss the finer details.