Dirty Bones has restaurants along Kensington, Carnaby Street, and Shoreditch in London—but its newest location in Soho stands out with a crafty marketing strategy designed to encourage customers to Instagram their food.
The walls of the restaurant—which says it serves “New York comfort food”—are adorned with eye-catching neon signs that spell out throwaway lines such as “It Was All a Dream,” and “Keep it Real.” Those can make for pretty alluring targets for Instagram junkie diners, eager to capture bright colors and plates of food designed by the restaurateur with photography in mind, according to media reports.
Along with flashy decor, the restaurant is handing guests portable LED lights, multi-device chargers, clip-on wide-angle lenses, tripods—even selfie sticks.
The tactic is as smart as it is worthy of an exaggerated eye roll. Marketers in the restaurant sphere have learned the benefits of a savvy social-media plan. In 2016, Forbes published a piece on Springbone Kitchen in New York, in which the owners saw a surge in customers asking for the strawberry rhubarb ice-cream because a popular New York foodie had posted a picture of the dish on Instagram.
A year earlier, Instagram got a mention in a Goldman Sachs discussion on Shake Shack burger chain, as analysts said the chain’s Instagram account had a “unique resonance with millennials.” And with more than 1 million followers, fast-food chain Taco Bell is also carving out a channel to reach its customers directly.
So far, the prettiest photos of Dirty Bones food and drinks appearing on Instagram are from professional accounts with access to high-end photography equipment. Still, some people appear to be giving it their best shot.