Natural light on your patio make it one of the very best places for anyone to take a shot of your restaurant. You’re likely well aware of how much positive social media can help you. A study by Maru/Matchbox reveals that before grabbing a fork 69% of millennials snap stills or videos of their food. That’s true for 45% of adults aged 35 to 49 and 21% of the 50+ crowd. And Gen Z, the 18-24-year-olds, account for 75% of all Instagram users, scoring among the highest shares of restaurant meals.
Your patio can be the place where experiences get more magical, a connection to the outside that nudges their time with you into near vacation mode. Food and drinks are the star, of course, but so is the whole indulgent feeling of taking a wonderful break from everyday normal.
Details matter. They’re what move someone to take the picture. Well-orchestrated touches elevate your restaurant’s brand. After you get seen in a guest’s social channels, their friends will be inspired to visit you too.
Think About the Wide-Angle Shot First
What do first-time guests take in as they get closer to your patio? What story are you telling? What kind of experience are you creating? Down-home, casual dining is a completely different thing than a modern minimalist tone. Every decision should be viewed through the lens of your own brand. View the wide shot with all your senses first. Take in color, lighting, sound, furniture, servers’ wardrobe and tablescaping.
Check out a few ideas here on how to make lights wink and have textures and colors envelope your guests. Maybe you see a corner or two on your patio that could use some extra love. Maybe you want to create a spot where friends would naturally gather together to ask a waiter to take a group shot. This could be everything from a rock wall to a colorful, one-of-a-kind mural painted by a local artist.
Layers for the Medium Shot
Next, there’s that getting-settled time before the drinks and food arrive. For guests, focus goes to the menu and what’s around the table. Nearby plants, flowers and greenery get closer looks. Your eyes scan the table linens, the textures on the ceiling above and floor below. Even seat height gets noticed. These details become visual layers that add depth to any photo.
Have you threaded lights throughout nearby greenery? Are there beautifully mismatched globes hanging from the ceiling above? A pillow collection guests can pile behind their backs? Up-lighting on plants? Sticks, pebbles, shells? How about an artful votive or small succulent that can be moved into a shot once food arrives?
Maybe you’re a dog-friendly restaurant patio. If yes, half of all pet owners say that their pets get more attention on social than they do. Odds are good that someone will snap a shot of the dog sitting at the table nearby.
This is where food and faces shine. What’s parked on the lip of your signature drink that inspires a snap? How do your stemware, plates and table look for an overhead shot? Informal can be as eye-catching as upscale with vintage tin trays, burlap silverware ties, rough-hewn wood tables and flowers in upcycled vegetable cans.
Wow. Here comes the food! Is it seated in a deep bowl bathed in a frothy sauce? Is it landscaped in towering layers? Are smaller condiments perched on their own tiny plates beside the main event? Can you scatter vegetable ribbons, toss fresh herbs like confetti or make a dessert feel like an abstract painting? Is there movement as sour cream or a dollop of fresh butter melts? Those are money shots.
Creating and Protecting Natural Highs.
A patio welcomes nature. How does sun hit the space you’ve created and how are you adjusting it? Should your plants and flowers be real or faux? Do you want a water feature? Blurring that line between inside and outside is what makes patio dining feel like a treat.
Of course, you don’t literally want nature to be on a collision course with your guests’ food or comfort. That’s where a roof or an enclosed patio can help you protect everyone and their cameras from the elements: rain, wind, cold and too much sun. The longer you can extend your patio experience, the more guests get to enjoy all it offers – pumping out more photos and free PR on social for you.
Sharing the plate and the moment.
It’s clear that sharing good times on the patio has taken on new meaning. There’s the actual moment in time and the share on Insta, FB or Snap. Make no mistake, your guests are curating their experiences, making their friends drool – literally suggesting where to go to play and eat next in social channels. You want to be a standout in their feeds as you feed them.
Is your patio ‘gramtastic in any weather? If not, reach out.
We’re here for anyone who needs expert advice on tried and tested, high-quality patio enclosures. Protecting the plants, lighting, table linens, furniture and everything else that creates the perfect patio backdrop is what we do. And we’ve been helping restaurant owners for years and years. Whether sturdy hand-rolled panels or an instant-access motorized solution is what you need, we offer products chosen for the kind of integrity that our customers swear by. All fit a range of budgets. All can be custom-measured and installed if you choose. See you on social soon!