Navigating social media has become an essential part of any industry, especially foodservice. But even if you're this close to figuring out that elusive Instagram algorithm, none of it matters without quality content.

Grillin' Like a Villain

A fat, juicy steak sizzling on the grill is one of the hallmarks of summer, but even the most precise grill marks won't automatically win you followers on the 'gram. A simple piece of meat is going to need more to make viewers salivate and share your post. Think of how you can add pops of color and dimension. Consider heaping on a fresh scoop of a vibrant, multi-colored summertime salsa or a smudge of bright green herbaceous chimichurri over a pat of melting butter.

Insider Tip: Reels are quickly becoming the preferred way of expression on Insta. If you boast the best ribs outside of Memphis, a photo may not do them as much justice as a video of the meat melting right off the bone as you pick it up.

Sharable Sippers

One social-media miscalculation you can make with a beautifully crafted drink is whip it up and let it sit for ten minutes while you aim for the perfect angle. Melted ice makes cocktails appear thin and watery, while the fluffy foam of a refreshing Gin Fizz will dissolve and look crusty. Drinks of all types should look full and alive, even in a still shot. Add bubbles right as the shutter snaps, and the effervescence will tickle your followers' noses right off the screen.

Try taking action shots while your barista is pouring or have one of your savvy bartenders host a one-minute tutorial on how to make the perfect Mojito. Ensure your mint sprig is perky with no brown whatsoever. Skip the muddling and smack your herbs between your palms for a release of aroma, maintaining a fresh appearance.

Insider Tip: Portrait mode isn't just for people (or pets!). You can really bring your drink into focus using the depth-of-field effects of your phone's portrait mode. And try to find a nice streaming ray of natural light. Even a simple sweet tea will shine in the sun.

Let the Shot Take Shape

Humans are hardwired to appreciate symmetry, so next time you tray up some oysters on the half shell, play with a pattern in the square frame that will mesmerize the eye, tucking in empty shells here and there as a vessel for a mignonette or a pesto that will also add a punch of color. Also, consider the shape of the item you're photographing. If the tomatoes for your caprese salad are sliced into rounds, think about whether your mozzarella is holding its shape or being cut into half moons. Sure, it'll taste the same, but in order to shine on social, it’s important that your delicious food also be deliciously artistic.

Insider Tip: Authentic content is the new trend, which means avoiding dramatic edits and obvious filters (unless they are part of your brand's style). Summer 2023 is the real deal, so let your food — not the filters — do the talking.

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