Great photos for marketing your Restaurant

Date: 07-11-2012

As restaurant advertising and marketing moves from leaflets and Yellow Pages to Facebook and Websites, getting great photos of your restaurant or take out has become increasingly important.  Great images can make or break a website, and your postings on Facebook have a much better chance of going viral when they are accompanied by great photos.  In this blog article, we will look at some very cost effective ways to get your photos, discuss some great subjects for your photos and lastly, how to get the most out of your photos.

Getting a professional photographer can be very expensive, but having photos that really convey what your restaurant, food and atmosphere is an important part of your overall marketing message, so if you don’t have the money for a pro, here are some ideas to help you get the pics that you need.

  1. Approach a local college or TAFE that runs professional photography courses.  The students need to build a portfolio of commercial customers, so many will be keen to provide you with free photos in return from the ability to practice their skills on
  2. Run a competition – this helps to build customer engagement and will also provide you  feedback on what people think of the food.  Get people to post the photos to your Facebook site.  Many of your customers will have mobile phones with great cameras and if the competition is advertised on Facebook, the web and via your emails, people can bring in their good cameras to take that perfect shot.
  3. Take them yourself.  The capability of small cameras has become incredible over the last 2 years.  Last year, all of our great photos were taken with a Canon digital SLR camera which was big and bulky.  Now our camera of choice is the Panasonic Lumix ZS-19.  It takes ridiculously good photos and is compact enough to fit in my pocket, so I can take the camera everywhere I go.

What should the photos be of?  That depends on your business plan and what makes your business unique.

Food – One of the big reasons people come to your restaurant.  It is part of the story about why people will come to your restaurant.  Photos of your significant team members also creates a more personal feel to the website.

People – A bar or a more social environment lends itself to photos of people enjoying themselves and having a great time.  Don’t forget your team.  Is your chef famous?  Is the team young and vibrant, distinguished and stylish, photos and the story about them helps get the message across about your business.

Environment and surroundings – Is there something unique about your position or interior?  Are you by the beach or do you have stunning high rise views.

So now you’ve got some great photos of your food, your people and the restaurant itself.  What is the best way to use them?

Facebook – Photos should almost be the default setting for all of your posts for Facebook.  We find we get a lot more traction with posts that are accompanied with a photo than just straight text.  Great photos have the chance to go viral, where more and more people share the photo.  Photos of people work well, because if someone recognises a person in the photo, they can tag them increasing the viral effect of the photos.  Don’t forget to add your logo to the photo.  You don’t want a great photo going viral and people not knowing where it originally came from.

Website – A lot of people should be visiting your website and for new visitors who haven’t been to your restaurant, the old adage holds true, “A picture is worth a thousand words”.  Great photos can make a big difference to the conversion rate of people who see your website and who actually make a booking.  We see a lot of photos especially as new customers come on board and need help uploading photos and one of the occupational hazards is that sudden feeling of great hunger when you see a photo of a great meal.

Today we have discussed some great cost effective ways to get great restaurant photos, what the subject of those photos should be and how best to use those photos.  We hope these tips help you to find more customers.  If you have any questions or comments, please email us at morecustomers@marketing4restaurants.com.

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