With the rise of social networking and friends being able to connect easily through social media sites, it is now easier to arrange get togethers and one of those is mainly getting together over some food, whether it be breakfast, lunch or dinner. Eating food at a restaurant or having a takeaway at home with another person is a social interaction.
Food is also social in a way that people like to “share” what they are doing and a lot of the time it is taking pictures of the food that they are eating and posting them onto a social media site. This can be seen by friends and followers and can also be shared to particular restaurants or takeaways to show that you have eaten their food.
Food being shown this way is a good marketing tool for food businesses, it is a way for them to see that you are enjoying the food that they are supplying as well as having a good time with friends and family. Once there was a time where you took pictures of who you were with and what you are up to, but now its taking pictures of food and sharing them with the world to say “have a look what I am eating!”.
Is Social Food Good or Bad?
So is making food social a good thing or a bad thing? There is a debate at the minute about whether people are going over the top with having to constantly take pictures whilst having a meal of their food, rather than simply enjoy the food that they are eating, because they want to continuously “share” every moment in time to everyone online, in their social world.
In other ways, restaurants and takeaway companies along with many food brands, are urging customers to get involved with their experience of having food and to share it with the social world. There are competitions and ways to have fun online, such as Cadburys doing the #CremeEggBake, where people are using creme eggs as an ingredient to make other foods and cakes and then share the pictures on Twitter. Other food restaurants use social media to promote new meals on their menus and to post pictures of the food that they are offering to tempt customers to come to the restaurant. Many restaurants are so pleased by social media and how customers like to share certain pictures of their meal at one of their restaurants, as it is very good advertising for them and a good marketing tool.
Other restauranteurs are finding people taking pictures of their food somewhat annoying and are almost insulted that they are not just enjoying the food that they have been specifically served. Some also feel that it takes away the authenticity of that particular restaurant, they see it as a threat as they could be a little independent restaurant with speciality dishes that they would rather be kept unique and not have other chains and competitors copying them, by seeing pictures and comments posted online.
A Changing World
Some of the general public used to frown upon children sitting at a restaurant and playing handheld computer games, as well as people using their phones whilst they were having a meal out as it was deemed unsociable, but now it seems to be okay to be glued to your phone all night long and staying connected to the social world of social media sites. So are the older days over now, is it going to be a common scene of restaurant guests on their phones all night sharing the experience of a meal out more so with their friends online, rather than the company they are physically with.
With the world of technology changing, sometimes it is best for businesses to keep up to date with the online world. Restaurants and takeaways being involved with social media sites can benefit them in many ways. There may be a time where someone Tweets about a bad meal out, but generally people will be sharing with the world what a great time they are having and will share pictures of their meals.