The Instagram Effect

Saturday, midday. If you scroll through Instagram you're sure to find a brunch snap, probably a latte, with eggs and avocado, all centred on a marble background and shot from above. Everyone shares a love of food. Instagram allows us to share our culinary experiences and favourite dishes with our friends and beyond.  Sharing photos of our food is now as common as sharing photos of sunsets. With the rise of Instagram over the past six years, a meal's appearance has become as important as its taste. After the, 'oh my goodness, my food is coming' feeling, the table of 2016 will pause, arrange and snap the perfect shot, even if it means your food goes a little cold.


The buzz from an aesthetically pleasing dish can create a restaurant's reputation. Traditional restaurant reviews and recommendations are almost a thing of the past, as the millennials’ dining choices are increasingly influenced by social media. Checking out a restaurant on Instagram can make or break your decision to dine there, so it is crucial that the dishes are appetising and photo friendly. Chefs such as Dan Doherty from Duck and Waffle are taking to Instagram to show off beautiful shots of all of the restaurants dishes, with his 43,100 followers eager to see the latest additions to the menu. The anonymous Clerkenwell Boy has 129,000 followers tracking his every meal and restaurants pine for his attendance. His knowledge of London's food scene has seen him rise to a contributor of Suitcase Magazine, Foodism and Time Out.  


In an age where we are confronted with ever-rising obesity statistics, are we more likely to share photos of healthy food rather than fast food? Picturesque acai bowls, lined with coconut shavings, seeds and berries, chia puddings and intricate salads can be seen across inspirational blogger feeds such as Madeleine Shaw and Living The Healthy Choice. They are replicated by thousands. Nevertheless, melting grilled cheese sandwiches, pastel-coloured macarons and sprinkle-topped cupcakes are more likely to win over my 'likes'. 


No matter your preferences, sharing food snaps on Instagram is a method of documenting where you've shared delicious snacks and meals with friends. Unsure how to edit your photo? An app named Foodie can help you - with filters entitled 'Crispy' and 'BBQ', it is sure to give your dish the perfect tint. It even boasts an alert to let users know when they are directly above their focus to produce the perfect birds-eye shot. 


Here's my run down of London's top 5 Instagram-worthy dishes:  

  1.       Duck and Waffle – order the signature Duck & Waffle and shoot the dish whilst pouring the mustard-infused maple syrup onto your waffle, with views from the 42nd floor in the background.
  2.       The Breakfast Club – go for Pancakes & Berries, stacked high with a huge lump of vanilla cream and scattered with berries. It’s a firm favourite on the menu. 
  3.       Bao – choose the Classic Bun. The soft, pillowy bun is filled with tender pork and peanuts. A staple on any foodie's feed. 
  4.       Homeslice – pick the Salami, Rocket & Parmesan Pizza. It’s not necessarily the most beautiful meal. However, with the sheer size of these 20 inch pizzas it's impossible to not share a photo of them!
  5.       Afternoon Tea at The Sanderson Hotel - there is nothing more quaint and pretty than the Alice in Wonderland themed 'Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea' at the Sanderson Hotel. It’s a must for Instagram with its creative wonders. 


Written by Francesca Raquet 

Vicki Maltby

Hill & Knowlton Strategies Search