Instagram is pushing restaurants to be kitschy, colorful, and irresistible to photographers

 

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When it came time to design their first restaurant, Media Noche, San Francisco entrepreneurs Madelyn Markoe and Jessie Barker found themselves lacking inspiration. Their designer had asked them for ideas and they felt like “deer in headlights.” Ultimately, Markoe says, they came up with a single instruction: “We wanted to be Instagrammable.”

For years now, Instagram has sat at the center of trends in food and beverages. Rainbow-colored “unicorn foods” are often designed with Instagram in mind, and entrepreneurs responsible for popular treats like the galaxy donut and Sugar Factory milkshake often see lines around the block after images of their products go viral. Firms like Paperwhite Studio specialize in turning restaurants into Instagram bait by designing twee sugar packets, menus, and coasters bearing slogans like “hello, my sweet” and “hug more.

Now some entrepreneurs are taking the idea a step further, designing their physical spaces in the hopes of inspiring the maximum number of photos.

What Your Yelp Review Says About You

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Here are a few common examples of Yelp review comments and their actual meanings:

“The staff was snooty” I felt intimidated by how fancy this place was and/or arrived underdressed.

“The actor/waiter was…” My waiter was extremely good-looking and I resent that.

“Not authentic” I’d like to take this opportunity to brag about my world travels to a bunch of strangers online.

“Hipster” There was kale on the menu and nobody else was wearing UGG boots.

“We didn’t get a free ____” I am a terrible human being who doesn’t comprehend how the economy works.

“The portions were too small” I’m probably from the Midwest and/or typically dine at large chains where I’m accustomed to being served a giant trough of food.

“Too scene-y” Nobody hit on me.

“Not enough vegetarian options” I use my dietary restrictions as a means to get attention and can’t accomplish that at an actual vegetarian restaurant, which is where I should have gone in the first place.

“The ______ was terrible” I lack a basic understanding of the concept of personal preference.

 

 

Your romantic first dates? Restaurants hate them.

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Your awkward first date can amuse restaurant staff. But other patrons may not be that delighted. And because every seat is a piece of money-making real estate, the dozens of dates you’ve gone on this year may also be affecting many businesses’ bottom line.

Particularly when daters stare into their phones for 30 minutes without ordering, waiting for their match to turn up. And when they spend another two hours talking about their childhood and lactose intolerance while nursing a single, happy-hour-priced beer.

As the number of first dates taking place every night explodes — Tinder alone purports to generate 1.3 million dates per week — it’s transforming restaurants in numerous ways, affecting their ambience, their table timing, even the way they’re designed.

Restaurant Owner Wages All-Out Yelp Assault on Customers Who Leave Bad Reviews

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In the most recent — and perhaps most extreme — instance of Neary’s Yelper-directed rage, a Yelp Elite user who left a bad review calling Onefold “perhaps his most hilariously bad dining experience of all time” has now been accused by Neary of viewing illegal pornography on his laptop while at the restaurant.

Of course, Neary’s not the first chef or restaurant owner to bite back at Yelp reviewers: A Boston restaurant owner posted photos of two badly behaved Yelpers on Instagram to publicly shame them, while a Vancouver chef confronted a Yelp user who left a bad review on live radio.

How Instagram is weaving its way into restaurant design

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Aliza Sokolow, who owns the Poppyseed Agency, which provides social media consulting (and Instagram services) for various restaurants in L.A., tells clients: “I can’t tell you how much money you’re going to make by investing in social media,” but if you/customers post a photo of an incredible egg sandwich, “people will think about that fried egg sandwich until they get it.”

Instagram’s role in a restaurant these days is more than just the stunningly plated (or intentionally wacky) food that compels a diner to whip out one’s phone and take a photo. Instagram is starting to weave its way—both consciously and unconsciously—into restaurant design, impacting table surfaces, focal point art, lighting and more.

These Plates Exist Purely So You Can Take the Perfect Instagram

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Low restaurant lighting, basic plating and ineffective Nashville filters ruining your damn life? This social media-savvy restaurant knows your struggle. Israel establishment Carmel Winery have been working tirelessly against low-lit, poorly-composed foodstagrams, teaming up with Tel Aviv restaurant Catit to create special Instagrammable meals on tailor-made crockery.

Available only on certain nights, the art project/gastronomy experience/publicity stunt is called ‘Foodography‘ and is probably the most serious control we’ve ever seen a restaurant take over their social media presence. Created by ceramic design artist Adi Nissani, the Foodography dishes have been crafted to make your food look as good as it possibly could on Instagram.

10 brilliant digital marketing campaigns from McDonald’s

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As the largest restaurant chain in the world, McDonald’s is no stranger to the effects that digital has had on consumers.

Those who are responsible for using digital to drive people towards those magical Golden Arches have thought of some clever digital marketing campaigns over the past couple of years. These campaigns not only drive footfall to stores, but also help to increase brand loyalty and engagement.

In an age where customers are deserting offline shopping, campaigns that blend the physical and the digital offer an opportunity to connect with digitally-savvy consumers.

We’ve put together ten examples from across the world where this brand has succeeded. Read below for more…