How to Use Photos and Video to Increase Restaurant Bookings


Since a restaurant may only have the person’s attention for a few moments, it is important that the restaurant uses photos and videos strategically to increase restaurant bookings. The first impression that a restaurant makes on a customer is often well before the individual arrives at the restaurant. That first impression could have been from scrolling the restaurant’s website, searching for a local spot on OpenTable, or browsing the restaurant’s social media pages. During this first impression, consumers can look through photos and videos in order to visualize an experience at the restaurant, what the food looks like, and ultimately influence the decision to visit the restaurant or not.

Take a look at these tips for using photos and videos to increase restaurant bookings.

1. Quality over quantity photos

When it comes to showcasing your restaurant, especially on your website and in formal client-facing materials, it is crucial to have professional photographs showing off key aspects of your restaurant. According to a consumer survey, the first thing consumers look for in a venue’s online presence is professional photos of the venue. If you do not have high-quality photos, it is noticeable.

There is nothing more discouraging than coming across blurry photos when trying to visualize a restaurant experience for dinner or an event. Hire a professional photographer to shoot photos and videos of your space so that you can post high-quality photographs in your promotions.

2. Highlight restaurant amenities

When shooting professional photos and videos of your restaurant, be sure to highlight all the amenities on-site. Consumers want to see the restaurant’s interior, exterior, food, view, and unique amenities that make the venue stand apart. 

When it comes to unique amenities for events in particular, bar packages, audio-visual equipment, dance floors, breakout rooms, ceremony sites, outdoor space, great views, business centers, flexible seating arrangements, live music, and DJs are the top amenities that will draw in consumers. If your restaurant has any of these amenities already, be sure to highlight them in the restaurant photography. If your restaurant does not, consider using this information as a way to inspire some creative thinking with new amenities.

3. Update your website consistently

Potential clients will often look at your restaurant’s website as the first stop on their research journey. Be sure to use current photo and video examples on any page where imagery would be helpful to enhance the customer journey. Start with mouthwatering food photos on your homepage, beautiful event space photos on your events page, and restaurant culture photos on your about page. 

Make sure to update your website consistently so the information is always up to date, especially through the changes in seasons. The more that a potential customer understands the feeling of your restaurant through photos and videos, the better the chance that the search will end in a booking.

4. Utilize social media platforms

The top three social media platforms for the hospitality industry are Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. Posting regular content on each of these platforms will help get your restaurant in front of the correct audience, who can ultimately turn into paying customers. 

Get creative on social media by posting photos and videos showing your chef preparing a meal, your bartender shaking a cocktail, your private event space being used for an event, and your customers enjoying their dining experiences. Instagram is a great place for posting videos in the form of Instagram Reels, similar to what can be posted on TikTok, while Facebook can be the platform for posting valuable updates on the restaurant within the community. Be sure to engage with your audience whenever possible to scale brand recognition. This can be done by responding to comments, answering direct messages, and reposting user-generated content.

To reiterate again, video is just as, if not more, important than photos in your marketing strategy. According to a HubSpot marketing report, video is the number one format marketers used in their content strategy in 2021, and it has only continued growth in 2022. 

5. Avoid the venue red flags

While there are factors that help influence a customer to book an event or dinner reservation at a restaurant, there are also red flags that deter customers away from a venue. A consumer survey says vague information, bad photos, and no online presence from a venue are red flag reasons that consumers will not choose a venue. Avoid the venue red flags by dedicating time to your marketing and social media presence with the correct strategy.

Need more marketing help to increase restaurant bookings?

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