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April 23, 2024 by Steven Cohen – In the following video, you’ll meet a guy named Greg who had decided the food at McDonalds, Burger King, Jack in the Box and Wendy’s never looked like what’s in the ads.

So he put together a hidden camera kit and ventured off to his nearby QSRs to see what would happen when he asked the folks behind the counters to make his food look like the photos he sees everywhere.

First was McDonalds: “My Big Mac doesn’t look anything like it does in the photo of your ads,” he tells the guy behind the counter. To his surprise, the kind people at McDonalds were more than happy to make him another one. The second attempt matched closely to the photo. The same thing happened at Wendy’s, Jack in the Box and Burger King. The employees used the same ingredients in the first food orders he received – just rearranged to look more appealing.

Photographers and stylists use that same thought process during a food photography shoot for all foodservice offerings—the ingredients are deliberately and carefully placed so that each is visible in the most flattering way possible to the viewer. This enables the food retailer to let customers know exactly what they’re getting. The goal of food photography is to help create the consumer expectation for the product and that requires the best possible image available. Beautifully shot food images will whet the customers’ appetite and entice them to buy or try something new.

The actual product may not look the exactly the same, but it still has all the same ingredients that are shown in the photograph. As noted by fast food giant McDonalds, “The burger at the restaurant is optimized for eating and the photo burger is optimized for looking delicious.”

Building any food service offering must follow a similar path. Product selection and pricing are critical for success. So is setting consumer expectations of your food. Using the same ingredients but arranging them to highlight the flavor and combination allows foodservice marketers to set consumer expectations.

For more tips on bringing your food offerings to life, check our out food photography series on our blog.

Our Brand Story

GSP started as a printing company in1978. We found our niche supplying in-store signage for convenience stores when retailers guessed quantities they needed. This led to overage, waste and expense. To solve this, we developed software to guarantee on-time delivery of “the right size sign, to the right store, every time.”

In 2014, we started AccuStore with a dedicated team. As software helped drive our growth, we realized that new printing and fulfillment sites near customers could drive business and improve sustainability. We acquired companies that fit GSP’s technical excellence and superior customer service models.

First was Great Big Pictures in Madison, WI in 2015. They lead the field in large format printing and visual merchandising for iconic fashion retailers. Their standards for customer service include award-winning sustainability programs, and expertise to bolster retail environments services.

In 2020, GSP acquired Custom Color in Lenexa, KS. The company supplies printed graphics to leading retailers. Custom Color’s stellar quality in fabric printing also aligns with GSP’s values.

GSP provides branding and marketing services with a focus on site-specific execution to help transform our customers’ growth strategies into store-level success. We design retail environments to engage shoppers and provide superior customer experiences. AccuStore powers our retail marketing, execution and digital display technologies and ensures stores get only what they need. GSP is a forward-thinking company that’s here to serve retailers now, with a focus on their future.

GSP delivers graphics and digital marketing to over 75,000 retail locations. Our experts provide retail branding and marketing services, focused on site-specific execution. Our methods ensure stores get only the POP they need, at the lowest cost. Our Retail Environments team creates and deploys amazing, in-store shopping experiences.