Photography: The (not so) secret to food delivery happiness

07.12.21 | by Louise Byrnes

Imagine that you are scrolling through your favourite food delivery app, you’re hungry, your stomach is rumbling, and you’re deciding what to order. You move from one vendor page to another, deciding what option is the best, you consider delivery times, prices, different cuisines. You have decided to order because you want convenience, you want variety, you want to select a meal and have it delivered straight to your door- no preparation, no wait, no fuss. So you don’t want to waste unnecessary time reading menus, sifting through descriptions, trying to understand the different ingredients and imagining how it will look and taste.

This is where photography comes into play, and it goes hand in hand with the convenience factor- you can glance at a photo quickly and get a sense of the dish, understand it’s ingredients, the presentation of the food, and even get a sense of taste in just a few moments, allowing you to make a quick decision, order your food and have it delivered. So let’s break down this idea of food photography, and understand why it is so important for customers.

Showcase personality

If you were selecting a venue to visit physically, you can get an understanding of the experience by the look of the restaurant, it’s decoration, the design of the menu, even the way the staff greet you at the door, or by the number of people who are already seated at their tables. But when you are perusing the app in the comfort of your own home or at your office desk, you don’t have any of those visual signifiers to reference, therefore the customer needs to be able to get a sense of the vendor and quickly understand what they can expect from an order.

 Visual aesthetics go a long way, and vendors can showcase their restaurant personality by the way they photograph their dishes. This is all about building brand identity and promoting a restaurant’s values and vision through the visuals on their menu.

The scientific part

As the saying goes, we ‘eat with our eyes’, but it’s not just a saying, it’s scientifically proven! This is down to ‘ghrelin’ also known as the ‘hunger hormone’; ghrelin is produced in the stomach and activates that familiar feeling of hunger we all experience before mealtimes.

Studies have shown that when presented with delicious looking food imagery, levels of the hormone increase sharply, and this will go on to induce hunger. So going to the effort to beautifully craft a photograph of a burger, will go a long way!

Capturing the glistening meat patty, a glimpse of melted cheese, all encased in a fresh bun, alongside a pile of perfectly cooked fries will have a genuine impact on the audience. Carefully composed images that showcase food in the best way will make an impression on the brain and kick-start all of those food related hormones- so the tastier it looks, the more appealing it will be to the customer, and the more likely it will be that they will place an order.

Meeting expectations

Thai green curry served with chicken and rice won’t be prepared and presented the same way in all restaurants across town! Therefore including imagery for each item on the menu will aid customers in making a well-informed and quick decision. The customer will be confident about their order, how it will be presented, and this allows the consumer to look forward to their delivery and get excited, rather than have an experience shrouded in mystery, and potentially disappointment.

In turn, this ensures the best possible experience for app users, and there will be no surprises when the food arrives and they are presented with something very different than they imagined. By meeting expectations, customers will be satisfied, and satisfied customers will return to the vendor to enjoy the dish again, creating customer loyalty.

It’s a win-win situation!

What are we doing about it?

We want users to make informed decisions quickly and easily, so we are turning the photography element up a gear!

We are hiring for a new role on the team; the Project Manager of Global Photo Supply will play an integral part in optimising photography across our apps. The ideal candidate will have solid experience as a trusted project manager and be able to seamlessly collaborate with stakeholders from across the business, to create and consult on best practices for photo supply management, processes and optimisation.

In addition, we are looking for a passionate Senior Brand Producer with solid production and project management experience across both physical and digital mediums. The role will play a vital part in executing both in-house and agency shoots in order to deliver amazing content and experiences for our customers.

If that sounds like you, apply now and be part of the most delicious mission around.

07.12.21 | by Louise Byrnes