Your restaurant has great food. The service is excellent, the staff are friendly and, most importantly, your customers like it.
But in these economic times, no one can take business for granted.
Budgets are tight and competition is tough. Everyone wants to attract more new customers and to retain their loyal regulars too, so it has never been more important to make sure your restaurant stands out from the rest.
A simple but effective means of doing so is to make good use of high quality photography, on your website, in your PR campaigns, in your marketing and through social media. Always remember that your competitors are only one ‘click’ away, so make sure your images are memorable – for all the right reasons.
These days everyone has a camera and it’s understandable that restaurant owners might wish to take photographs themselves, or ask a friend or member of staff to do so.
But if the pictures don’t communicate your restaurant’s best features, it may not achieve your goals – it may even have the opposite effect.
Brand awareness is extremely important to restaurants, as the product is synonymous with the name. One poor photograph is enough to tarnish the brand.
That’s why it’s well worth hiring an expert photographer – your restaurant’s reputation is valuable and they will help you enhance it.
High quality images attract attention, reflect your values and demonstrate why customers should visit your restaurant. For instance, if a customer feels that they can almost taste the dish in the photo, it could encourage them to make a booking.
It’s widely acknowledged that food photography is a specialist skill and an art in itself.
But it need not be expensive. A skilled, experienced and trained photographer, with a good reputation can be usually be hired for a reasonable fee.
A good photographer will also make a point of understanding your business – why it’s special and different; what you want to achieve and who your customers are. This helps them take exactly the right photographs to help promote your business effectively.
To sum up, when it comes to restaurant photography, a picture really does paint a thousand words, so make sure your images convey what you want your customers to think of you.
• Chris Mackenzie has taken pictures for The Mulroy in Edinburgh, The Seafood Restaurant in St Monans, Byzantium in Perth and The Cowshed in Banchory.
For information visit www.chrismackenziephotography.co.uk.