Choosing the Right Stock Photos for Restaurants

It is a good idea when promoting your restaurant to use professional photos or choose high-quality stock photos. Hiring a professional photographer and food stylist is, of course, a best-case scenario. However, if you don’t have access or the budget for a full photoshoot, using the right stock photography can drum-up interest and draw business to your restaurant.

Your website, printed material, email or social media must include eye-catching imagery or you risk losing the viewer’s interest. Users will stop their email scroll if they see an image that stirs the appetite. Make sure you are that email. If hunger calls they will click your ad and bring you business. With the multitude of competition out there, having the right image can mean the difference between ordering from you or someone else.


Here are some tips for the use of stock images for your restaurant’s campaigns.

  1. Try using stock photos of only ingredients. You don’t want to show any unique identifiers in a stock photo. If consumers can’t find it in your restaurant, you should avoid showing it.
stock photos

Using restaurant stock photos of a dish or food item can cause problems when the customer eventually dines at your establishment. If there is a server in your stock photo there is a good chance they will not be wearing the same uniform as your restaurant.

stock photos

2. Promote your event, a wine dinner for example, with close-ups. Avoid using table shots that are not of your actual restaurant.

Chose an aspect of your event that will resonate with your audience.

Please do not use a cheesy photo (even if you are selling cheese) to promote your restaurant’s event. Obviously staged photos are now laughable at best or at worst, turns your audience off toward your brand.

This is not your restaurant!

3. Only use images you have the rights to. While you are running your restaurant the last thing you need is a lawsuit.

4. Beware, stock photography is openly available and affordable. Avoid using generic images that your competition might also be using. If you feel a generic image is perfect for your objectives, make it unique and add some drama and effects via Photoshop.

Often times the first impression of a restaurant are photos of the food. Do not rely on poor quality mobile phone shots from your customer’s Instagram feed. If possible, get professional photographs taken and then supplement them with the right stock photos for a rich visual presentation.

Visit our Deep Ads Thoughts blog to learn more about current advertising, marketing and public relations tips and trends. Plus, check out our Push n’ Pull blog for all things in the world of digital and social media.

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