10 Keys to an "Instaworthy" Fast Casual Restaurant Brand

With more than 500 million daily active users, it's not a surprise that Instagram has come to take on a larger, more active role in our day-to-day lives. Instagram is no longer just a (rose-colored) mirror held up to our lives: it's actually reshaping our experiences. And there's no better example than the way Instagram is changing the restaurant industry.

Restaurateurs are finding that creating Instagrammable experiences pays off -- in "Instaworthy" spaces, people are eager to share your brand; word is spread with zero marketing dollars; new customers are drawn in; and often, those customers spend more per check than average in order to attain the same experience they saw on Instagram. Gen Z has even been known to choose a restaurant based solely on which one they think will get them the most Instagram likes.

How do you craft a brand, a space, and a menu with the power of Instagram in mind? Here are 10 tips...

1. Get the light right.

Dim lighting might set the mood, but it ruins an iPhone photo. Minimize the effect of shaky hands and encourage Instagrammers with lots of light.

A post shared by SHAKE SHACK (@shakeshack) on

2. Let the walls (and floors and ceiling) do some talking.

Some decor begs to be photographed. Intricate tile floors, eye-catching signage, and unusual ceilings can go a long way towards pulling cameras out of pockets. Selfies are already difficult for many to resist - nudge your guests in the right direction by offering the perfect backdrop.

A post shared by Modern Market (@modernmarket) on

3. Allow for good sight lines.

Once you put the effort into a shareable interior design, see that guests can take advantage of it. Make sure that there isn't a bad seat in the house - every guest, no matter where they sit, should have access to a visual anchor.

4. Create a "landmark."

People can't resist a good mural. Use exterior walls to your advantage: you'll get a marketing boost even from people who haven't dined with you (yet). Consider incorporating your branded hashtag, as well.

5. Open the kitchen.

Vibrant produce. Fast hands. Smiling faces. Letting people see into your process might spur a Boomerang or two.

A post shared by sweetgreen (@sweetgreen) on

6. What's in a name?

Don't miss out on the opportunity for your menu to generate some shareable laughs. When staging a flatlay, your guests may include the menu - all the better if your dishes are named creatively.

A post shared by Lauren M (@lmfoodadventures) on

7. Go for high contrast.

Instagram, of course, is all visual. The most appetizing food is often the most vibrant looking, so play with contrasts in terms of both ingredients and plating.

8. Try unexpected colors.

You can't have gone through 2017 without having heard about one unicorn drink or another. Consider adding a dash of unexpected color - or rainbow - to a cocktail or dish, and watch the Insta love roll in.

9. Get creative with presentation.

Make the food hand-off memorable. Create a fun way to package your signature dish, and watch the 18-35 year olds rush to document it.

A post shared by goa taco (@goa_taco) on

10. Brand your food (literally). 

Let no #foodpornshare go unbranded. Chains like BurgerFi are blazing their name straight onto their buns, and people can't help but share it.

A post shared by BURGERFI (@burgerfi) on


Is your fast casual chain growing?

Find out how our integrated system of Self-Order Kiosks, POS, mobile ordering, and Touchscreen Drive-Thrus can help build your momentum.

All, RestaurantsLiah Luther