Instagrammable: Definition – a photo that is worth posting on Instagram
Instagrammable moments happen all the time. Diners capture picture after picture of what they are eating, who they are eating with, what is new and innovative…from the food to the menu, even to the sugar packets with adorable sayings on them…the list goes on. Instagram feeds have launched many a restaurant in overly-saturated markets, leaving other popular restaurants scratching their heads, wondering what just happened to their customer base. Most people check out Instagram before deciding on a place to eat. And if the “likes” aren’t there, then they aren’t either.
What if Instagram could affect sales in your dining hall? Or in your corporate cafeteria? Suppose you could increase your sales without really increasing your marketing budget just by several clicks and posts on Instagram? Imagine googling most Instagrammable foods and finding your dining facility’s specialty on the top of the list?
Sure, sometimes things go viral without doing anything special on your part. That’s pure luck! But if you want to cash in on the Instagram pot of gold, a well thought- out facility design can make a difference. But where to start?
First and foremost, you don’t want your students or staff to leave your campus to find food elsewhere. You want them to find excitement in the mix of menu, the feel of the space, the signature dishes, the story you are sharing….the essence of the experience at YOUR facility.
The first step in becoming Instagram-friendly is to think about the overall design of the space at the time of conception. Think about eye-catching areas, like a nook or a corner where people will gravitate to capture the moment to share with their followers. Think about the whole experience from the exterior to the lighting inside and everything in-between. Attention to detail is a must. A unique design element can go viral in no time. Food artfully plated is a necessity. No one takes a picture of mediocre food. Customers are savvy; they know they have options. They know what they want. They are food-smart, enviro-smart, every kind of-smart out there and they will search for what they perceive as their experience until they find it. Let that experience occur in your facility.
Create the Right Mix
Who says you can’t be something to everyone? Creating vegan, dietary and ethnic stations as part of your facility mix offers menu items to accommodate the diverse population on your campus.
Other places offer constantly changing menu offerings to entice people to return for every meal. By designing stations with flexibility in equipment, you can offer the latest food trend without much change to your operation.
You can keep your operation fresh with anticipation for the next latest and greatest by designing “pop-up” stations or indoor “food trucks” to lure diners and fortify sales as the next trend emerges.
Show it Off
More and more facilities are opting for an open kitchen to emphasize locally-sourced ingredients and to bring the cooking process to the forefront. Many chefs are reimagining food and presentation for maximum social media exposure. In the age of celebrity chefs and the importance of transparency in food sources, the exhibition kitchen is taking center stage as the star of the show. In some places, students or staff members can select their own ingredients for the chef to prepare a customizable, unique meal right in front of them.
Advance ordering and point of sale apps and kiosks can be integrated into the design to enhance the speed and efficiency with which diners navigate your facility. Easily linked to other social media platforms, this is a win-win scenario for diners and operators alike.
The Instagrammable Moment
Each nuance in design offers an Instagrammable moment to share with friends. Social media is here to stay and growing. Don’t let this incredible opportunity pass you by.
By: Khaled Halabi
Associate Project Manager | New York