Posted by Lockhart Catering on Tuesday 20 February 2018
Are you telling the true story of your dishes?
With over 2.3 million Instagram posts with the hashtag #ChefsofInstagram there is no doubt that this is a social channel which is loved and well-used by chefs. And, with its visual capabilities, it is easy to see why.
There is a saying “we eat with our eyes” and Instagram provides the opportunity to share beautiful photos of food and drink that will entice diners.
One of the most important elements to remember when using Instagram is to tell a story, both within the picture of the dish and the copy and hashtags beneath it. It’s a channel where people expect to see the beautiful, the aspirational and pretty much perfection, so there’s no place for poor quality images as this will be detrimental to your business. You are producing delicious food so make sure it looks this in the images you share. However, there is so much more to making Instagram work than just posting pretty pictures.
If you are new to Instagram, here’s five statistics which highlight why it’s a channel that chefs shouldn’t ignore.
• In 2017 it was reported that Instagram had over 800 million active monthly users.
• The use of Instagram Stories is on the rise with a reported 300 million daily users.
• At the time of writing this blog there was a phenomenal 259,608,732 posts with the hashtag #food on Instagram.
• Pizza tops the list with most hash tagged food on Instagram with over 19,701,393 posts about it. This is followed by sushi and chicken in the second and third spot of most popular foods on Instagram respectively.
• Instagram gets a total of 4.2 billion likes per day on its posts from users all around the world.
One industry account we love to follow is that of @Churchill_1795 and its #TheChurchillSocial hashtag. This is a channel which Churchill uses to inspire chefs and to gain inspiration. We’ve researched its top performing Instagram posts over the last few months and explore the reasons why they’ve performed so well.
Desserts often perform well on social media and the fact this is something sweet is made clear both within the image and the photo description. In the caption, positive words such as ‘stunning’ help build a stronger image in the follower’s mind. Our brain processes visual stimuli much quicker than it does text, so the use of emojis will have also helped this post to perform well. On Instagram, emojis are becoming universally recognised as a way of expression and now chefs can even use emoji hashtags within their captions. Heart themed emojis are the most commonly used on this channel and you can see the use of one within this caption. The human brain also loves to find patterns, even when sometimes there isn’t one there, so the display of plates in this Instagram image will have caught the eye of those scrolling through.
There is a strong description of this dish which includes the key ingredients within the caption and this helps the reader to imagine what the dish tastes like. Not only is the dish itself beautifully presented, the quality of the photograph showcases the dish in its true colours. Lighting has been used to make the food stand out from the plate. There is no need for any background imagery here as it’s all about the food with the photographer zooming in. As well as engaging a community, popular food-related hashtags can also help build an image of the type of food served and in this case the caption includes #finedining and #gourmet to tell us more about the dish.
Words like ‘fresh’ and ‘beautifully’ have thoughtfully been weaved into the copy with a tag for the chef who created it, as this also helps with shares by bringing the story to life. It’s such a simple image with a strong focus on the plate itself as the photographer has zoomed in on the dish. There’s no room for blurred images on Instagram as people expect to see high quality and excellence. Churchill uses its own hashtags for individual products which help chefs to search for additional posts with the same tag to find out more.
Simplicity is key with food photography and especially on Instagram. Chefs want to be able to clearly see the dish itself, what’s in it and how it is presented. The description lists individual ingredients and this helps to build up the flavour in our minds. Phrases such as “Looks so good” prime our brain that this is a dish that appears and tastes delicious. The popular hashtag #ChefsofInstagram has also been used and this allows chefs to connect and find inspiration on this channel. It’s important to build hashtags into your copy as this expands the reach of the post beyond those who follow you. Be careful to only use relevant hashtags as the overuse of them can make a post appear too ‘salesy’ and more like spam.
We love the fun use of the duck emoji within this copy as this immediately helps the reader to visualise what this dish is. It has been described in similar detail to what you would see on the menu itself which adds more of a story to the image and allows us to imagine the different tastes. The tone of the copy is fun and friendly which will make the reader smile.
Donna Frosdick, PR manager for Churchill (UK) Ltd told us: "Our Instagram channel is an authentic account which has grown organically over the last few years by us engaging with chefs around the world and sharing food inspiration. The channel is driven by chefs sharing pictures of dishes they have created on our products and we support them by showcasing their stunning food to a new and wider audience. Instagram allows us to support the chef community and engage with chefs both by commenting on posts and chatting via messages."
"Anyone who uses our products can use #TheChurchillSocial and we love seeing more and more chefs sharing their dishes in this way. I’d always recommend that chefs take a clear image of the whole plate and include a description, as posts always perform much better when the dish has been explained. Make sure you are using a range of relevant hashtags and explore new ones to have a wider reach and increase engagement."
Learn more about Raku, a range in the Studio Prints collection, which is inspired by the traditional glazing process, known as Raku firing. This creates expressive and exciting results.
You can also follow Lockhart Catering Equipment on Instagram with @bunzllockhart. Here you will get to see our products in action and access special offers and industry news.