Photography is key in any online marketing strategy, bringing a “wow factor” to your website and creating a feast for the eyes to attract new customers. While you can’t taste food through a photo, diners want to know what the food will look like and the atmosphere of your restaurant. Now that you know to avoid bland stock photos, use the following photo categories as guidelines for what you should post to your restaurant website with your own unique images.
With the popularity of cooking TV shows and sharing food photos via social media, today’s diners are increasingly interested in the visual appeal of food. Images of your kitchen’s creations are essential elements of your website. Don’t overwhelm potential customers with images of every menu item, but do show a range of what you offer with a good variety of items from different menu sections, from appetizers to entrees and desserts. Make sure to show your most popular dishes, which drive repeat orders, as well as dishes needing extra promotion. Sharing photos of specials or new dishes also makes for great social media content, enticing current diners to try something new and boosting new business.
Posting photos of your restaurant’s facade is very important for attracting new customers through your website, although it may not seem like your business’s best feature. Showing what your business looks like from the outside helps would-be diners find your restaurant and increases recognition of your business. Addresses and maps are important, but exterior images are useful to those who are easily lost or want visual clues for finding the restaurant. This is also crucial if your restaurant is located in a shopping center, hotel, or an area not easily spotted from the road.
There’s no better way to give future customers an impression of your restaurant than through photos of your restaurant’s interior. Many diners seek out these photos to get an idea of the atmosphere, customers, and what to wear. Feature photos that show an overall view (wide-angle or aerial shots) and different sections like booths vs. tables, bar vs. dining room, and window seats vs. center sections. While images with few or no customers may show the breadth of the space, it’s good to include interior shots during peak hours too. These bustling photos boast your restaurant as a go-to spot.
The Special Features
Illustrate what sets your business apart from the competition with images of your restaurant’s unique elements. Couples pursuing an intimate meal are drawn by the cozy appeal of a fireplace, while families love seeing arcade games. Pool tables and dartboards bring friends seeking fun, and a patio appeals to those wishing to enjoy the weather while dining al fresco. Photos of these extra features increase the value of your business and turn dines into experiences. If you offer banquet or catering services, photos of the set-up for these special events also promotes your off-site or on-site private party business.
Your hosts and servers are the faces of your business when attending to your diners, so make them the faces of your business on your website too. The smiling faces of your staff on your website will welcome new customers before they even set foot inside the restaurant. Photos of servers waiting on diners give a preview of the service customers should expect at your restaurant. Diners are also drawn to photos of chefs in action, showing the kitchen staff’s skills and dedication to their craft. Just make sure to leave out the unappealing parts of your kitchen—no dirty dishes or sloppy stations, please!