INSTAGRAM IS CHANGING THE WAY WE EAT & DINE

On top of choosing items for the menu, planning the interior design and mapping out the location, restaurant owners have a new challenge to tackle: making sure their eatery is Instagrammable. In an age where anyone with a smartphone considers themselves to be a food photographer, chefs and foodies alike are placing more importance on whether or not a meal is worth that perfect Instagram photo.

HOW IT’S CHANGED

When it comes to documenting when, where and what we eat, there’s no better tool than Insta, and chefs have noticed how it’s changing the way we interact with our food as a whole. It seems like Instagram has always been the center of foodie trends — just take it from rainbow bagels, frosé and charcoal-colored everything. But what does that really mean for the restaurant industry?

The answer is pretty clear. The next time you go out to eat, take a look around. For starters, you’re sure to find people whipping out their phones to snap a picture of their meal or pose in front of an eye-catching area of the restaurant, but that wasn’t the case a decade ago. In fact, studies show that phone usage at the dining table have increased meal times an average of 50 minutes from 2004 to 2014. According to Zagat, 44% of diners say they take photos of their food to share on social media, with most photographers located in Charleston, San Diego, Austin (surprise, surprise!), Miami and Orlando.

INSTA AS A MARKETING TOOL

This influx of posts mean restaurateurs are getting their menu in front of more eyes, especially since people tend to search through Instagram to see a restaurant’s food options before making a dining decision.

The chef’s perspective? It seems like many love it, and are taking note of using Instagram as a celebration of food. While some try to go against the grain, many go as far as saying they encourage diners to take pictures of their food and post to social media.

It’s no wonder the foods we’re indulging in are becoming brighter, bolder, and more photogenic — dining is now less about the food and more about the experience. It’s less about filling up our bellies, but instead filling up our Insta feeds.

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