Study: Instagram-ing your food makes it more delicious

Science is making it harder for restaurants to ignore their social media marketing strategy.

A study conducted by Saint Joseph's University and the University of San Diego has concluded that taking pictures of your food makes it taste better. Or, at least, seem like it tastes better.

The research team looked at 120 individuals. During the experiments, the test subjects were given "indulgence foods" like red velvet cake. Some were told to take a photo before eating it, others were told to eat it immediately.

The individuals who took a photo of their food first perceived their cake to be much tastier than those who ate their cake right away. Those who took a photo first rated the cake as an 80 out of 100 while the others gave the cake just a 61. What a jump!

Cupcake Dog

Psychologists say that delaying the act of eating builds anticipation which can make food appear to be more flavorful.

It is shown that producing consumer-generated images causes a momentary active delay in consumption, which increases the savoring associated with consumption of pleasurable (i.e. indulgent) foods and, in effect, increases attitudes and taste evaluations of the experience when consumption actually takes place.
— marketing research report

This is great news for bars and restaurants who keep up an active social media presence. By showcasing your goodeats you're psychologically setting your prospective guests up to think your food will be amazing (and it is, right?).

Restaurant marketers should also think up of some ways to encourage their guests to take photos of their meals and upload them to social media sites like Instagram. Perhaps regular giveaways or a slight discount on their next visit for starters.

There a myriad of possibilities with a little outside the box thinking. You get the free promotion, your guests get something in return, and they'll even think your food is extra tasty!