Dining at a restaurant in 1997 is a vastly different experience than dining at a restaurant in 2017. People sit glued to their phones, mindlessly scrolling through their social media as they wait for their meals to magically appear on the table. It’s easy to tear down social media when we see restaurant patrons more engaged in their social media than their date. However, despite this, social media really hasn’t completely ruined our dining experience. In fact, in some ways it’s actually enhanced our opportunities to try new foods.
Food is inherently shareable and when we’re constantly taking pictures of our meals, we’re unconsciously introducing new possibilities to the public. Many of us use social media to look up recipes, try new restaurants or gain inspiration for that paleo diet you’ve been meaning to try. Videos and pictures of recipes go viral overnight thanks to channels like BuzzFeed’s “Tasty Videos.” This kind of social media sharing has changed the way people experience food.
Though, it hasn’t just transformed the way the average person eats, it’s also changed the way restaurants present their dishes.
For some odd reason, people love to take pictures of their food. The act of taking flash photography in a restaurant is not uncommon now-a-days. Social media has created another competitive aspect in the food industry by promoting the sharing of one’s meals. As people share their food, it puts a pressure on restaurants to perform at a higher level. With this added element, restaurants are stepping up their game when it comes to preparation.
Whether or not you believe social media has had a positive impact on the food industry or not, you can’t deny that it has in fact changed the way we eat food. Though, maybe next time you’re at a restaurant, try to focus on how it tastes as well as how it looks rather than how many likes you’re getting.