Now Here’s a Little Food For Thought…

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Home delivery of food, thanks to the advent of Uber Eats, Deliveroo, Menulog and the like, is all the rage these days, turning what was largely a fast food dine-in experience into something that encompasses everything from the trusty old pizza to silver service culinary delights.

And with so much competition around, the subliminal messaging plays its vital part long before we open the delivery parcel, savour the tantalising aromas of our favourite disk and say ‘bon appetite’.

You see, it is great signage and great imagery that’s increasingly whetting the appetite and influencing the decisions of the dine-in devotees, making them reach for the mobile to place an order. 

Astute business owners know this. They appreciate that they need to convince the average punter that they’re going to give them something special, that the old paper and chalkboard menu displays no longer cut it. They know they need to capture the diner, online as much as in the flesh, with crisp, clean, sharp and alluring displays of the smorgasbord of dishes on offer.

That explains why they’re turning in their droves to professional photography – and products like VitrineMedia’s family of backlit static LED screens.

It’s the invitingly displayed Master Chef-type presentation of food, the plating up, if you will, that’s bringing in the orders, keeping the bean counters happy and driving the business.

If you doubt this, consider just two things…

Firstly, there’s the exponential growth in professional photographers now focussing solely on food photography. It’s the new art form, driven by an almost unquenchable thirst for swanky-looking photos of food.

But the amazing imagery can only go so far – and let’s be frank, falls a little flat when conveyed on standard posters or menu boards. Visit any food court around the country, stand back, let your eyes take in what’s ahead of them – and chances are you’ll see an array of 20 or more food outlets all trying to woo the hungry customer. Each seeks to create a point of difference, knowing that those who fail to do so will wither and die on the vine.

Brands like Gloria Jean’s are a great example…and bring me to point two.

The coffeehouse chain has recently engaged VitrineMedia to refit its more than 450 stores nationwide with backlit signage that reminds a discerning public that Gloria Jean’s is a trendsetter, an innovator, ahead of the game and the first place to think of when thoughts of a great coffee and a tasty snack enter your head.

A word of warning, though: while stunning imagery in stylish backlit static LED screens offers a most desirable and aspirational culinary experience and gets people talking – and eating – heed the wise words of Abraham Lincoln.

You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time

Abe, of course, was thinking politics and how some slick offering might help you win over voters and deliver partial victories, but it’s honesty and delivering on the promise that ultimately counts. It’s just as apt in the hospitality business, though. 

If your food experience – and at its core it’s all about great tucker – fails to live up to the promise made through the beautiful photography and brilliant signage, you will lose customers, and some of them probably forever. 

Food for thought, I’m sure you will agree…

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