You’ve likely seen it numerous times — and perhaps have done it yourself: someone pulls out their smartphone while eating and snaps a picture of their food, then uploads it to a social network. More often than not anymore that social network is Instagram. How food looks in a picture has a big effect on those who choose to eat it — if it looks ugly in a photo, odds are high you wouldn’t be inclined to order it when at the same restaurant. It’s not surprising, then, that some chains have started designing their meals deliberately to look attractive on Instagram.
In particular, Chili’s Grill & Bar has been making sure its meals look appetizing on Instagram, essentially using the social network and its users as free advertisement. Apparently there are a lot of tweaks that can be done to make meals look better in quickly snapped smartphone photos, too.
Chili’s is, for example, using more visually appealing buns; it is also putting french fries in a stainless steel container, and is placing the burger higher on plates to make sure they stand out. The restaurant chain also has its own Instagram account, where it posts its own photos.
Brinker International is Chili’s parent company; according to its CEO Wyman Roberts, “We look a lot more at how the food is presented … Food is the second more photographed thing, after yourself. Selfies of people eating food is the sweet spot.”