How To: Taking Enticing Photos For Restaurant Menus

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Menu Design Tips:

Restaurant owners know that their menu matters to their customers. But many restaurants either brush aside the need to properly design one or opt to try and stand out from the rest by having a menu covered only in words/names of their food. Why be mysterious with your food? Don’t hide them, show them off!

One key aspect of an excellent menu lies in the need for high-quality photographs/ images of your food. Pictures can trigger a certain effect in the brain, influencing or prompting an individual (your customers) to make a decision.

Brian Mennecke mentioned “If you’re hungry you respond by saying, ‘I’ll have what’s in that picture.’”

With the right pictures, customers are more often than not already tempted to make a purchase. Pretty mind-blowing to say isn’t it?

What can you do if your restaurant happens to have one of those pictureless menu? You might just be lacking that little trick to attracting more customers off and online, but don’t worry! We have a list of 5 tips to teach you a little on how you can go ahead taking enticing photos for your menu to attract more customers and ultimately increase your sales. This is especially important if you have a food ordering system, you can only attract your customers via your menu.

1)    Lighting

Having the right lighting for your food photography is really the magic you need. In this case, natural outdoor lighting is key to working even the saddest of pictures because it is not overly harsh or flat. If in the case, the sun isn’t working in your favour, then maybe you can try using a back lighting and a little shade to recreate the best hue for your photos.

2)  Background

The main character is your food, but that doesn’t mean the background is any less important. Both elements must be complementary so to make your food stand out. If your food has more colours, then it would be preferable to have a minimalistic setting for the background. For example, it would be more applicable for food items like salads or pizzas to have white backgrounds. This prevents the issue of the background overshadowing your food!

3)    Stay real (Human elements)

Customers want to see realistic pictures, not overly edited photos of your food. If your filters are overboard, it just seems unreal. Always test out the different filters on your photographs to see if it gives your food a better shade/hue. While keeping in mind the need for the food photo to look closely similar to the real thing.

Also, its quite in trend to include hand models in your shots. It is more realistic and there’s greater appeal when “another person” is presumably reaching out for the food.

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4)    Plating/ Presentation

The presentation of your food is basically the overall appearance of your food. Don’t slack on the presentation! Consumers are enticed to make an order based on what they see. Even a garnish has the power to make a difference to the visuals of your food. Much less the plates / packaging you place your food in. Take a look at the food presentation below, no cluster and no mess. Just a plain sleek wooden tray and mini pots to enhance the overall appearance of the dish. Just make sure the plating used is consistent for all food items!

5)    The Angle

Some restaurant owners lament that it’s too time consuming having to take pictures of individual food items at various directions and angles just to see if it works for their food. We totally understand! Don’t worry, we want to let you in on some exemplary angles we have decided should be used when taking food photos (saves time). Our recommended angles include shots taken while standing on the chair (topshot) and one that requires you to place your camera as close to the plate as possible (close up shot). These angles have proven to greatly enhance the appearance and appeal of the food.

Restaurant owners looking to improve their menu/ food pictures even on their online food ordering system can use these 5 tips as a guide on how to go about.

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