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March 6th, 2014

by Total Food Service

Smile, Your Restaurant Is On Camera


They say a picture is worth a thousand words and that is especially true in the restaurant business. by Cindi Avila


Your food is truly your bread and butter and when that food is captured on camera, you want it to be the best it can be. That’s why as a restaurant owner, one thing you don’t want to skimp on is photographs and video. In the Internet Age you have to think about every photo, every video as part of your “public relations” plan. Dark pictures of your restaurant’s food on your Smartphone just won’t cut it. Video you pieced together on your laptop? Not the best way to represent your creations.

If you have a website -- and these days you have to have a website -- you want the pictures on your homepage to shine. Video on your homepage is another huge plus. According to a study by the Wharton School of Business, prospective customers are 72% more likely to purchase a product or service when video is used.

It makes sense; the visuals make their buying decisions faster. After seeing a video or photo slideshow, most people will have a greater understanding of the subject or product. Yet a great number of people still refuse to invest in pro-quality photos & video. Why?

The Number One reason most people don’t hire professionals to take their pictures or produce their videos is because they think they can do it themselves. The second reason, not surprisingly, relates to money.

In the end though, you need to invest to make your business a success and you need to think of these visual assets as another investment. It may cost more than $1000 to get pictures taken or a couple thousand dollars and more to get a video done, but if it brings in lots of business, it will prove to be a great investment that provides consistent returns.

Pictures and video also go hand-in-hand with public relations in another way.

If you are using a public relations expert, you need pictures. For example, when said PR person pitches your restaurant for stories, the chances of getting someone to actually write about your restaurant increases dramatically if pictures are sent with the pitch (or press release). Many digital publications don’t have photographers on staff so PR professionals make their lives much easier when they send a self-contained story with high-resolution, high-quality photographs.

Video is also incredibly useful in this regard. Many TV outlets want to see video clips of a chef before booking them on TV. They want to know that the Chef can talk and cook at the same time and that they make ‘good TV.’ They also need b-roll for advance promotion and other production elements.

It’s not that difficult to get this done. If you want to find an affordable and experienced photographer or videographer who provides quality work, look no further than your FB or Twitter. Put out a call to your friends in the business, chances are they will have some great recommendations that won’t break your bank. If you already have a PR rep, ask them for their recommendations as well. You will find someone who will make your business shine and hopefully increase your business.

Cindi Avila is the owner of Green Goddess Public Relations in NYC. She specializes in food, family, health and education clients. Her clients include the Institute of Culinary Education and Blossom Du Jour restaurants.

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