As with many industries, hospitality marketing has benefited hugely from social media. Get the strategy right and you can entice customers and fans to your hotel, bar or restaurant.

One platform that continues to be important for restaurants in particular is Instagram. Not only can managers and owners post pictures of those daily specials to bring hungry customers through the door, diners themselves can provide a little free advertising to their friends and family.

Checking that your restaurant interior is perfectly set up for those impromptu pictures and unplanned selfies, however, is more important that many managers think.

Check Out the Background

While you might be focused on the foreground in your photos, it’s worth taking a closer look at the surrounding background. Start with the outside of your restaurant, at the signs above the door and in the window and see how these look when you take a picture with a camera phone. Don’t just do it during the day, either. Check how your restaurant looks when it’s dark.

Is the sign well lit? Does it send a message when seen as a background to someone’s Instagram selfie?

The interior of your restaurant is just as important. You may have signage such as the day’s special board you want to post regularly. There will be other signs around the bar and in the main restaurant that you may want to either minimise or make more of a feature. You should ensure that these all match your branding or say something about your business.

Manage the Lighting

Lighting is vital in any restaurant, whether it’s during the day or the evening. You want to create a sense of welcoming whenever you post an image to Instagram and that can mean playing with the lighting when you take photos.

Do certain areas of your restaurant work better than others? If you take a closer look, there may be sections where you want to improve the lighting so that more of your restaurant shows up. Alternatively, you might want to dim the lights a little to give a more intimate atmosphere.

There’s no doubt that many restaurant managers tend to use social media platforms like Instagram in a fairly haphazard way. Spotting the best background for images of your business in full swing is important and having a strategy will ensure that your brand comes across strongly in any photo.

An example would be taking a picture of customers being served but with some good signage such as the specials board in the background or the name of your business. There are special events as well – perhaps you introduced signage for the Christmas period or a bank holiday celebration. Where you place this and how it is lit can determine the sort of image that you take for Instagram and who gets to see it.

A little consideration about lighting and signage when you take photos can have a big impact in selling your business to the wider general public. It’s something that you can add to the mix quite easily just by walking around your restaurant and seeing the world from the customer’s point of view.

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