The Instagram Experience and The Experience Economy

Instagram challenges restaurants to stay flashy and chic at all times. Whether it’s a picture of a flashy pumpkin latte in a bright orange mug or a head-on whole fried snapper looking back at you, the presentation of the food, the atmosphere, the overall experience matters and it’s changing the way restaurants are being designed.

Great business leaders Joe Pine and Jim Gilmore wrote a book called The Experience Economy: Work is Theater and Every Business a Stage about two decades ago. The name alone gives you the gist of things. Consumers in every business want an experience as much as they want the product.

Instagram and Snapchat encourage users to post pictures of every dish, beautified by filters for the world to see. For restaurants to stay relevant they need to feed the need for a visual experience as much as a gastric one.

Eating up the Instagram Experience

All over the United States restaurateurs are gearing their designs toward aesthetics. The optics of your place are as important as the optics of your plates. Making good food and giving great service is always the most important requirements, but having images of food and superior interior bolster restaurants to destination spot status.


Places like Ben’s Chili Bowl out of Washington, D.C. feature local artwork attracting onlookers and visitors from around the country. The mural was recently updated to include African American culture giants like President and First Lady Barrack and Michelle Obama, Prince, and none other than Dave Chappelle.



Not just outside, but the interiors evolve too. Innovative designs and custom artwork are a staple of the restaurant 5Church Charleston which features custom paintings and metalwork. The most interesting art is on the ceiling where the entirety of The Art of War by Sun Tzu is meticulously hand painted.




Local favorite and nationally known Jimmy’s Famous Seafood revamped their infamous lower bar with a  painting of a giant squid. The sea creature runs the length of the redesigned, freshly-tiled bar and showcases beautifully bright changes to the interior.


Take Advantage of the Platform

Using the influence and impact of Instagram and Snapchat to your advantage is paramount. Whether it’s pictures of food, beverage, or a view from the water, knowing the right way to promote these posts helps take you to a new level. Reaching not only your customers, but also all of their friends, helps you get new people in the door. Holding contests to pick the best instagram post with a hashtag only your restaurant uses incentivizes and keeps them coming back for more.

Knowing when to post, what pictures to post, and how to take advantage of those photos helps you to maximize your social media footprint in more ways than you may know.