5 Restaurants To Follow For Major Inspiration

by Dean Jeffery

Whether you’re looking to drive traffic to your new online ordering platform, or increase brand awareness, mastering the art of social media for your restaurant is not only important, but necessary these days. 

As we mentioned in last year's "Restaurants to Follow" round up, Instagram is still proven to be one of the most successful platforms for restaurants to use year over year. According

 to Track Maven, Instagram is the number one social media app for engagement with restaurant brands. Close to 93% of people say the visual appearance of product influences their purchasing decision (Kissmetrics), which is why it’s easy to understand why Instagram is so effective compared to other advertising mediums for restaurants.

But the question still remains, “How do you leverage Instagram to increase sales and attract new customers for your restaurant?”

The key is to design with social media in mind. Before you even meet with an interior designer, it’s helpful to do your own research. Try this: find other restaurant profiles that are successfully creating content online to promote their business that have consistent engagement. You’ll notice common themes among all of them, whether it’s witty neon signs, crazy patterned wallpapers or graphic murals, or even a unique table top material, you need a standout design element that makes any user generated image beautiful every time, but is still unique enough to be recognizable as your space.

Here are the top 5 restaurant Instagram accounts to follow in 2018:

1. Hey Kokomo



Kokomo is a Vancouver based, plant-forward cafe that really draws you in with their vibrant salads and equally appealing interior. Their Instagram feed boasts a healthy following of 10K (impressive for a company only a few months old) and encouraging engagement rates. As if they took a page from the Millennial’s Guide to Restaurant Design, their dusty pink accent color, graphic fruit and vegetable mural, and commitment to good vibes and sunshine brings their brand to life. A simple pink circle decorates the front facade of their building, making the understated exterior a little more lively and acts as the background for many of the beautiful photos on their feed. Finding a color to weave throughout your profile is paramount to an eye catching feed. 

2. Great White Venice



Subtlety reigns supreme when it comes to Great White Venice’s Instagram feed, who was recently ranked No. 2 in The Venue Report’s round up of 2018’s best new restaurants. They expertly used an ocean-inspired green marble for their table tops (think aerial view of waves crashing on the shore), while keeping the rest of the space relaxed and casual. The green table tops have become an iconic branding moment when scrolling through your feed, as is the shark doodle logo and the woven lighting. The interior design of this restaurant is used as a blank canvas for their food and sets the tone for the personality of their social presence, capturing the laudable California cool vibe. Think about ways to bring your brand's personality to life through thoughtful details like their green marble tables. 

3. Mr. Holmes Bakehouse



Hungry yet? Mr. Holmes Bakehouse was one of the first cafes to capitalize on the now trendy resurgence of witty neon signage. Their "I Got Baked In San Francisco" sign has lit up our feed for years now. The sign is successful because it's an obvious place for customers to hold up a "cro-nut" and snap a pic to boast about the treat their about to devour. A simple white hex tile floor with a pop of black lettering also does the trick to create consistency and social media friendly images. 

4. Village Juicery



Admittedly, it's hard for a juice bar to have an ugly feed. They have the advantage of vibrant smoothies, colorful tonics, and fresh fruits, but Village Juicery in Toronto leverages intelligent design details, like their wood dowel bar and quartz counters to create interest and depth in their pictures. The natural materials used in the overall design create a sophisticated backdrop for the imagery while reflecting the juice bar's fresh earthy inspirations. 

5. Cindy's Rooftop



Sunset toasts over Millennium Park, stunning interior shots, and mouthwatering food make this restaurant’s feed standout. Cindy’s is situated on the rooftop of one of Chicago’s most beautifully curated hotels, the Chicago Athletic Association. With breathtaking views, it’s easy to understand the allure of this rooftop bar. Their Instagram feed captures the classic architecture of the building, highlights their craft cocktail menu, and leaves you hungry for more. We love how Cindy’s uses their oversized globe pendants, distressed wood tables, and stunning glass ceiling as repetitive themes in their feed. By doing so, they've created visual consistency and easily identifiable elements. The quirky painting of Cindy perched atop the fireplace has become a staple online. While most restaurants don't have the luxury of this awe-inspiring architecture, we encourage you to add some form of architectural element in your design that differentiates your space from your neighbors. 

We'd love to hear from you, which restaurants do you love to follow? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. If you're looking for more ideas on how design can drive sales check out our guide below.

How Restaurant Design Drives Sales

Interior Designs Restaurant Design Restaurant Trends