Our Take

Musings on the Foodservice Industry

4 Tips for Taking Delicious-Looking Photos for Your Restaurant’s Menu

Aug 10 2016

Is there anything worse than visiting a restaurant, opening the menu, and seeing unappealing photos of their food? Probably not! As a restaurant owner, your number one priority should be selling customers on your food. You want everything to look appetizing and mouth-watering. One great way to do this is by including photos on your restaurant’s menu. In fact, research has shown using a photograph can actually increase sales of an item by as much as 30%. (Now that’s an opportunity you don’t want to miss!) If your restaurant could use some new, delicious-looking photos for your menu, keep these tips in mind:

  1. Choose the right set-up.

When it comes to taking photos, it can be tricky to get the lighting just right. You obviously don’t want the photo to be too dark, otherwise it can look grainy and people won’t be able to tell what they’re looking at. However, you don’t want the photo to be too light either. To achieve the right look, try using an overhead light or shooting next to a window to take advantage of natural light.

Since you want the focus to be on your food, you should also choose a simple background. If your photos have a busy background, it can distract your customers and draw their eyes away from the food. Choose white dishes to plate your food and a white background for a clean look.

  1. Accessorize with a garnish.

One important element of food photography is to make sure your dishes look spectacular. You can easily dress up a dish and make it look more appealing with a simple garnish. Try adding a sprinkle of parsley, a few croutons, or even a side of delicious bread to complete a photo of your dish. The ideas are really endless here, so play around with it and see what works best for the photograph.

  1. Get creative with your angles and shots.

The worst thing you can do is sit a dish on a table and stand overhead while snapping photos. It’s just not the best way to photograph your food! Instead, you should get creative and take photos from all different angles. Use this to your advantage as a way to show off the texture and depth of your food. It’s good to experiment and you can then see what works best during the editing process.

Close-up shots are also a great way to show diners the texture of a particular dish. Try using these on your menu as a way to get their mouths watering!

  1. Give an accurate portrayal of your food.

You absolutely must make sure the photos you use of your dishes are an accurate portrayal of your food. No one wants to see a photo on your menu, order the dish, and then be disappointed when it doesn’t look like what they were expecting.

The photos on your menu should be realistic. You should deliver to your customers what they see in the photo. Keep that in mind when you’re photographing your dishes.

Remember, a photo is worth a thousand words. Include these photos on materials other than your menu too. These can include your website, marketing materials, and even your restaurants online ordering menu.