⟵ Back
20. July 2023, 6 min read

Captivating Cuisine: The Importance of good restaurant photos

Author: Marie Elbo
restaurant photos

Lighting. Lines. Angles. Colours. Resolution. These are all important factors to consider if you want to capture good photos of your team, restaurant, and dishes. Join us on this pixilated journey as we explore the importance of good restaurant photos and how to take them.

“Say cheeeese!”. A few clicks later and you have a memory card full of photos. At least one of them might be good, you tell yourself. Sometimes you’re lucky and you strike gold. Other times the lighting is off, one or more people in the photos have their eyes closed, or you have accidentally smudged the lenses. Many things can go wrong during a photo session, but luckily there are a lot of things you can do to improve your photo-taking skills. Here’s why having good restaurant photos is important and tips for a successful photo session.

5 Reasons to have better restaurant photos

There are many reasons why taking better photos of your restaurant is a good idea. Here are 5 good reasons to improve your photo-taking skills.

1) Guests are hungry for aesthetics

Reading a menu with a varied selection of meals can make hungry guests’ stomach rumble. However, some restaurant guests decide what to get in advance based on an image of the meal they’ve encountered online. This is why it makes sense to occasionally share photos of your newest menu items to entice your social media followers to stop by for a tasty treat.

2) Press kits

Photos of your food, team, and restaurant might already be featured on your website and social media. Consider gathering all your most excellent images in a press kit on your website or in a sharable folder online, such as on Google Docs. By doing this, you ensure that it’s easy for journalists to learn about your restaurant and access photos and videos to use in articles and news stories. Ultimately, your restaurant might appear in more articles and potentially rank higher in the search results in various search engines.

Finally, it’s important to remind the journalist and other people using your photos to credit your restaurant and/or the photographer.

3) A stronger restaurant brand

Having a good collection of photos you can easily share on your social media and with journalists will strengthen your brand. When your restaurant has a strong brand it’s easier to cultivate trust and credibility among your guests. Ultimately, this can help you stand out from competitors on the culinary scene.

4) More social media followers

People love to follow social media accounts that share aesthetic and appetising photos of delicious meals. While it’s not possible to taste scrumptious dishes online, you can whet the appetites of potential guests. Consider sharing some delicious content with your followers now and then. This can help you get more social media followers that will eventually become guests at your restaurant.

5) Influencer collaborations

An easy way to attract more hungry guests online is to use influencers. Scroll through various social media platforms to find food influencers and bloggers with content that matches your restaurant’s concept. If you succeed in finding a great profile, you can consider offering the influencer a free meal in exchange for an Instagram post or a story. Influencers often help cultivate trust and credibility among potential restaurant guests. However, keep in mind that establishing a partnership with an influencer is a lot easier if you have appetising photos on your restaurant’s social media accounts.

These are just a few reasons why the quality of your photos matters for your restaurant. Now, let’s grab the camera and find out how to capture mouthwatering photos!

An 8-step Guide to taking better restaurant photos

There are a few things to keep in mind if you wish to have a nice catalogue of restaurant photos. Here are a few important steps to follow when taking appetising photos.

1) Arrange the plate

The first step to taking a mouthwatering photo of your meal starts in the kitchen. Let the head chef arrange the different dishes beautifully on the plates as you set up the photo equipment. However, it’s important to keep in mind that colours do affect the dining experience and the overall perception of the food! This goes for the colour of your food items as well as for the plate and the table setup.

Photo: Restaurant Nolla/Nikola Tomevski

2) The background matters

This step seems obvious, but it’s an important one to keep in mind. If your restaurant serves rustic yet elegant meals, you should consider having a neutral background that won’t steal attention from your meal. However, if your restaurant serves hearty meals in idyllic surroundings, you might want to incorporate the cosiness into the background with a beautiful tablecloth, candles, flowers, and so on. Everything goes, but your choice of background should be consistent with your restaurant’s concept. Finally, it’s important to remove visual noise eg. stains on the tablecloth, personal items, and so on.

AOC restaurant photos
Photo: AOC

3) Attention to detail

Perhaps you have one or more dishes with many beautiful details that you’d want to highlight on your social media platforms. Doing this ensures that the people viewing the photo will immediately pay attention to your kitchen employees’ craftsmanship.

Fredensborg Store Kro restaurant photos
Photo: Fredensborg Store Kro

4) Highlight the things that make your restaurant special

Do you have an idyllic view of the ocean from your dining room? Or perhaps a cosy terrace or a house with an old timber frame and thatched roof? Snap it on your camera and let your followers online dream about having a chilled glass of rosé in your Orangerie, a fruit de mer platter on your terrace by the harbour, or vodka and caviar on the 20th floor with a view over the city. It’s all about visual storytelling!

Skt. Petri
Photo: Skt. Petri

5) Try different angles

Remaining consistent with your style can help you to strengthen your restaurant’s brand. However, experimenting with taking photos from different angles is a good idea. This will give your social media accounts a more dynamic and vibrant feel. Moreover, your potential guests and followers will have a 360º view of your restaurant. Fundamentally, your followers and potential guests get a visual taste sample of your food and the atmosphere in your restaurant.

Espehus Kro
Photo: Espehus Kro

6) Show your team in action

Restaurant guests are usually now allowed in the kitchen area. This is why it can be particularly interesting for potential guests to follow the cooking process that takes place in your restaurant’s kitchen. Moreover, the transparency allows the guests to get a peak “the behind the scenes” and observe the hard work, your chefs’ attention to detail, and get to know the people behind the meals.

7) Take multiple photos

Take many photos! Doing this will prevent a situation where you will have to redo an entire photo session. Perhaps one or more of the people in one photo have their eyes closed. Or maybe that meal looks a lot better from a different angle. Try many different approaches and select the photos you’re happy with..

8) Use good equipment or hire a professional photographer

If you’d like to create a press kit consisting of high-resolution photos, you should consider using some quality camera equipment. However, if you and the rest of the team aren’t sure how to use it correctly, you can consider hiring a professional photographer for the day. It might be a bit pricy, but in the long run, it contributes to a stronger brand for your restaurant.

Share restaurant videos on social media

If you decide to hire a photographer for the day, you should consider having them film a video of your restaurant. Short videos perform well as content on social media. Additionally, the variety of content on your platforms will make your followers hungry for your tasty treats and appealing atmosphere.

Eager to learn what else you can do to improve your online presence? Learn how to master SEO and reach higher rankings on search engines