By Anna Spiegel from The Washingtonian
How restaurants are courting a new breed of most valued customer: the Instagrammer.
It’s a beautiful evening on Columbia Room’s patio, and the smartphone cameras are out in force. Guests at the cocktail bar in Shaw snap images of the golden pineapple tumblers, fresh herb garnishes, and tabletop terrariums in copper cups. The effect is casual-chic. But actually, every single photogenic detail has been intricately planned with a particular app in mind—Instagram.
Thoughtful presentation of food, drinks, and decor is nothing new in the hospitality world. What is new is how they’re conveyed through technology. Just as “everyone’s a critic” on Yelp, everyone’s a photographer thanks to Instagram and its 500 million–plus users. And unlike platforms such as Yelp, Facebook, and Twitter—where users complain as often as they heap praise—visually driven Instagram is typically used to convey positive, #Instabrag moments. An enticing snapshot sure beats 140 characters.