Some Restaurants Now Courting Instagrammers Because Food Porn Is Great For Business

Raise your hand if you’ve ever seen a photo of food on Instagram taken by a friend, or have ever snapped a shot of your meal… Ah, I see that each and every one of you are raising your hands because along with feet, furries (cats and dogs, not cos play) and selfies, food porn is super popular on Instagram. That’s why some restaurants are inviting customers to post pics of their meals — as long as the food looks good. No one wants to see the goulash with a Kelvin filter. Shudder.

Food, glorious food can basically sell itself. But to do that, it needs a reputation. Word needs to get out on the street, and since the street is now the Internet, Instagram is a perfect fit, especially if customers happen to have large followings.

For example, the Wall Street Journal notes, while one NYC restaurant dislikes cellphones, that’s only if you’re gabbing or texting while dining. A special reminder at the top of the menu reads that the eatery “strongly discourages the use of cellphones, unless you’re posting food porn on Instagram,” along with a hashtag for the restaurant.

The owner says he wants diners to get comfy with posting photos, and in turn, influence their friends to come to the place as well.

“It’s almost like they are becoming a brand ambassador on behalf of the restaurant,” he says, as well as attracting followers to the restaurant’s Instagram feed.

Other restaurants even reward potential patrons by dangling carrots like off-menu freebies. Snap a pic, slap a hashtag on it, and get a treat. Often those special perks are only offered to Instagrammers with say, 500 or 1,000 followers.

But you better believe that no restaurant will thank you for sub-par photography. One diner says he posted a photo of a rabbit stew served over polenta that was delicious, but the restaurant’s publicist asked him to take it down. He’d used a flash, and the result was less than appetizing.

“Even my friend’s mom said it looked like puke,” he says, adding that he did remove the pic. “In retrospect, it was very unflattering.”

Listen to your friend’s mom. Don’t use a flash or take photos of anything resembling vomit. Your followers and the restaurant will thank you.

Waiter, a Pretty Steak, Please [Wall Street Journal]