Food photography in restaurants: Rude or encouraged?

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Food photography continues to grow in popularity, by both people and restaurants.

Some restaurants are taking advantage of skilled food photography and using it to market and create a branding image specific to their audience. 

Radio Social — a Rochester-based bowling alley/restaurant/cocktail bar/arcade/music venue and all-around entertainment destination — is designed for those that like to share their experiences at the establishment. 

“For us that means Twitter, it means Facebook, it means Instagram,” said Leah Stacy, social media manager for the restaurant and others in the area. 

“We wanted people to have these, sort of, ‘Instagram-able’ moments when you come here, and so that translates to the bowling, to the food, to sitting at the bar with your friends,” said Stacy.

The goal is designed for contemporary trends, but also is to cater to all ages.

“This experience-driven generation that we’re currently living in is really focused on food and drink experiences in general,” Stacy said.

Radio Social’s social media manager says people are welcomed and encouraged to take photos within the restaurant. They can then share their experiences that can draw in more patrons for the business. 

“We want people to show they’re at brunch and make everyone else say, Oh, where are you?” Stacy said.

Hummus may seem like a simple appetizer, but for Radio Social’s executive chef Steve Eakins, the dish is anything but simple. 

“We try to be as thoughtful as we can in the kitchen,” said Eakins, “As well with plating and everything that goes into making beautiful food.” 

Eakins said the restaurant is able to fill a niche that was not there before. His focus is simple ingredients and great presentation. 

“People are eating with their eyes whether it’s at work, in the gym, well before they actually enter our building,” Eakins said.

Chris Clemens writes for Rochester Food Net and takes plenty of pictures. He says social media has pushed restaurants and their chefs to be better, whether they like it or not.

“I’ve talked to some that have said ‘I wish they would just eat,’” said Clemens, “Rather than worry about taking those photos, but the reality is people are doing it and it’s probably going to continue.” 

According to Stacy, restaurants are replacing their advertising budget with marketing focused on social media with an emphasis on food photography. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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