There is still something very civilised about choosing crustless cucumber sandwiches, beautiful little cakes and pastries from a silver tiered cake stand, and increasingly more and more chefs are adding their own twists to this very British tradition. It isn’t unusual to ‘upgrade’ a menu to include a glass, or two, of champagne or even a cocktail. One Glasgow establishment ditched the tea altogether and pours gin straight from their teapots! We have noticed an increase in the number of themed menus creeping into afternoon tea, annual celebrations such as Mother’s Day, Halloween, Easter and Christmas as well as seasonal events like Wimbledon all create an opportunity to shake up the standard menu and create something a bit different to help stand out from the competition and impress guests.
Impressing customers is something most restaurants and hotels aim for. Afternoon tea isn’t an everyday activity, it is a treat, an opportunity to be glamorous, dress up, take time out in the middle of the day and indulge with friends and family. Gleneagles Hotel, for example, boast an ‘experience you’ll never forget’ when advertising their afternoon tea. An unforgettable experience - isn’t that something we all crave? Maybe that could explain why so many people whip out their camera phones and photograph their food as soon as it arrives at the table. They want to share their experiences and show off to the world where they are and what they are eating.Like it or loath it the "Camera Eats First" is a common phenomenon the world over. Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest are awash with food photography and there are more than 180 million photos with the hashtag #food currently on Instagram. Once confined to millennials, this practice has now spread to include anyone who owns a camera phone. But we don’t need to tell you that, you surely must witness this behaviour on a regular basis.
So how can you turn this somewhat ritualistic behaviour into a business opportunity? The taking and sharing online of food photography can create awareness of your restaurant thus creating free publicity amongst a local or even international audience. Forward thinking establishments are already taking full advantage of this growing trend and are creating not only highly visual menus but whole interiors are being designed specifically with Instagram in mind. If managed correctly, ‘foodstagramming’, can earn restaurants and hotels thousands of pounds of free publicity and help increase bookings. It is now a well know fact that not only are we using the photo-sharing social network to document what we’re eating, we’re using it to decide where to eat too.By ‘branding’ your afternoon tea creations, you are advertising your venue every-time someone takes and shares a photo. Edibilis can personalise edible food toppers using full colour edible ink onto wafer paper or icing discs. So simple yet so effective, these little discs can be applied in seconds, just peel off a backing sheet and add to the top of your pastries and cakes before presenting to the customer ready to photograph (or eat). Edibilis cupcake toppers are vegan, free from 14 known allergens and have no taste so they won’t interfere with your chef’s hard work. They can also be a stylish way of updating your menu to celebrate a seasonal holiday such as Easter or Mother’s Day. Get in touch today for a free sample pack and see how we can help you create the perfect edible branding and move your afternoon tea into the 21st century.