“Foodstagram” Ban

So, it’s Friday night, and you’re meeting a friend for dinner. You walk into the restaurant and the smell alone makes your mouth water. You order with anticipation. You watch the clock in agony, cursing every passing tray, simply cause it’s not yours.

Finally, your food arrives, and it’s a work of art. The plating is pristine, the colours are vibrant, and the portions are huge. You swallow hard, and reach for…

Your phone.

You amp up the flash, position your cutlery, and just before you are able to capture this perfect moment, you get grabbed by the scruff of your neck and get kicked to the curb, like Jazz being booted from the Banks’ residence.

This is the kind of treatment you might come to expect, with some restaurants now banning food photography, or “foodstagraming”, as the New York Times reports.

Well, maybe you won’t be physically removed. Restrictions vary from place to place. However, many dining establishments are joining the ‘No Food Pictures’ movement, and we have some concerns about this.

This, personally bothers me, and not because I partake in the act of ‘Foodstagraming’. Working in advertising, I know what a client has to go through to get exposure. In many cases, they have to “go through” their entire quarterly budget in order to get the word out about their product or service. Putting pictures of your food online is, in effect, free advertising for the restaurant, or an example of word-of-mouth advertising, which is also invaluable.  Added to this, the act of taking away the freedoms of your customers just seems like bad business.

Hey restaurateurs, news flash, we aren’t taking our phones out because it’s some sort of obligatory chore, we are doing it because we are so excited about what we are about to eat, and we want to make all of our friends jealous by showing it off. It’s a compliment, for crying out loud! In fact, whenever I see ‘Foodstagrams’ of something amazing, I almost always find myself tasting that very dish within weeks, if not hours. Adding to this, our former copywriting intern, Robby Frankel, wrote an excellent piece on just how big a fad “Foodstagraming” has become. So, we ask you this? Is it really worth your while to ban food photos?

This is the testimonial of one hungry foodie who works in advertising though, so how do you feel about sharing your meals over your social networks?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=502679882 Tanvi Swar

    Completely agree. This made me super angry too – it’s rejecting free advertising, makes absolutely no sense to me!

  • http://www.wordpress.correlations.com corecorina

    I work in social media strategy for restaurants and this is absolutely backwards thinking for the industry. It’s all about SERVICE; outlawing customer activity that can actively promote your food is a genuine disservice not only to those customers but to everyone else AND your business. Find a way to strike a balance between privacy and publicity. Restaurants should provide a camera-free dining area for customers who don’t like disruptions, and let the “instagrammers” snap away in their own area.

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