HOW TO GET FAST FOOD TO LOOK LIKE THE AD
September 16, 2014 by Steven Cohen – In the following video, you’ll meet a guy named Greg who had decided he was fed up with the food at his favorite fast food restaurants McDonalds, Burger King, Jack in the Box and Wendy’s because his meals never looked like it did in the ads he’d see on websites and television. So he strapped on a hidden camera and ventured off to his hometown fast food haunts to see what would happen if he asked for the folks behind the counter 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 have a better appearance.
Photographers and stylists use that same thought process during a food photography shoot for QSR and other 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.