Mobile ordering apps are leading the way for tech innovation in the food service space. In 2017 we published articles on the science of digital menu design, discussing the psychology of colours, layout and, of course, images. Here we delve deeper into food photography.
The leading food ordering and delivery apps, Deliveroo for example, make sure to use high-quality photos to advertise the hundreds of restaurants that appear on their platform. Companies like this know that the styling of such images can mean the difference between ordering success and failure; getting your photos ‘right’ is vital for encouraging customers to make an button.
Success is in the detail
The smallest aspect of a food’s photograph can alter the way a customer perceives it. From the layout of a plate to the gloss on a steak, images are the first indicator a customer has of how the food will taste, or even smell. Think about one of the most successful food advert series’ of all time – Marks & Spencer. Every single element of the pictured food was considered in minute detail. And the plump, shiny burgers you see plastered on the walls of Burger King or Mcdonald’s? These are routinely touched up with paint and polish before being snapped. If they used photos of the real article, you might not be so tempted to buy. Why? Because poor-quality food photography can take food from attractive to repellant.
Hungry for photos
Have you ever bought a chocolate bar, drink or burger on impulse? You hadn’t been planning on it, in fact, you might not have known you were even hungry. Despite this, after seeing a food-stuff pictured in some form of advert, you’ve then gone out to buy it. It’s not so surprising when you consider a past study that claimed “the mere sight of delicious food stimulates the appetite.”
This suggests that getting your photography perfect for your menu will impact customer spend, driving revenues higher when done well.
When setting up your digital menu, we would advise never to cut corners with your photography. You don’t have to go so far as to model your food out of clay, painting and polishing it until it gleams, but hiring a professional to take your food shots is more than worth the price. Your ROI will soon be realised when customers, attracted by the images of your food, start placing their orders.