Gastronauting: The ‘popular’ science of eating

Instagram and Millennials: A very popular combination.

Many people join Instagram for aesthetically pleasing photos. Let’s face it, last weekend I was out for lunch with my friends and upon witnessing the beautiful basket of pastries arriving at our table, I immediately whipped out my phone to take some snaps with the hope that one of them would end up ‘Instagram- worthy’ Yes, it’s now de rigeur to take photos of your meals and post them on Instagram.

Since the launch of Snapchat, every social platform is scrambling to come up with its own tool that allows users to broadcast their lives in real time. Instagram Stories is one of the more successful of those attempts — a user-friendly extension of the popular photo app that essentially does the same thing as Snapchat (even incorporating the image and text overlay functions), just on the Instagram platform. As Instagram is still one of the most influential marketing tools for food businesses

The social sphere: Gastrophysics

Not only are we using the photo-sharing social network to document what we’re eating, we’re using it to decide where to eat too. 

Increasingly, as the social sphere becomes more crowded, the challenge for a restaurateur is to anticipate the customer’s visual tastes correctly — to create tables, dishes, and settings that are photographs waiting to happen.

A new study has revealed just how important a role Instagram plays for millennials. According to research by Zizzi, 18-35-year-olds spend five whole days a year browsing food images on Instagram, and 30 per cent would avoid a restaurant if their Instagram presence was weak.

How is Instagram changing restaurants?

When you stride into an eatery, it’s still rather expected that someone will probably take your order down with a pen and paper. Restaurants have run well without numerous technological developments for decades. Millennials dine out more than any previous generation.

According to Restaurant Marketing Labs, millennials spend $174 a month at restaurants, and there are nearly 50 million millennials on Instagram in the U.S. alone.

With the rise in popularity of Instagram, restaurants have adapted to be more tech friendly by recognizing their new more photo-obsessed diners in three ways.

With the rise in popularity of Instagram, restaurants have adapted to be more tech friendly by recognizing their new more photo-obsessed diners in three ways.

  1. Decor and design has become more important: Decor and design has become an increasingly important part of the dining experience, as people now pay more attention to elements, like the art on the walls, the way the table surface contrasts with the plate and the lighting.Investing in design is an investment in crowdsourced social media marketing, which is essential in today’s digitally driven consumer market.
  2. Presentation of the food has become more important: The Instagram trend has also led to more creative presentations of food and a greater emphasis on plating. One of the most popular dishes to crop up on the food scene in 2016 – thanks to the viral nature of social media — is the milkshake from Black Tap Craft Burgers and Beer in New York. The milkshakes are outrageously decorated, colorful masterpieces that are a social media match made in heaven. 

    food design Delivering a more inspired presentation, which contributes to a great overall experience for the diner – one that they’ll share over and over again — is now part of the equation for a restaurant’s success.

  3. Branded moments made for social sharing have become more important: We’re also seeing a shift in how restaurants are creating purposeful, Instagrammable moments with special touches designed to entice social sharing.At Dante, a popular Italian restaurant in New York, special cocktails are made with custom ice, stamped with the restaurant’s name. This touch is branded, memorable, extremely shareable and effective, with many diners posting photos of their drinks and the cubes to their followers.With customers photographing and Instagramming the entire dining experience these days, restaurants have become incredibly thoughtful about more than just their menus. From plating to decor, the entire dining experience is a necessary focus.

     

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