CNBC - If a millennial eats a meal but didn't Instagram it first, did it really happen?
London restaurant Dirty Bones is betting on young people's love of social media, testing a new business and marketing strategy to capture millennials' influence online as well as their dining dollars. The restaurant's newest location is designed to be showcased on Instagram, from the menu to the decor. It even provides a free Instagram kit to help diners take better shots, reports Today.com.
"We're all about helping people capture that perfect shot," Cokey Sulkin, founder and director of operations at Dirty Bones tells Mic. "The people that typically visit Dirty Bones tend to be very active on social media, and on Instagram in particular."
It seems like a good plan: Fifty-four percent of millennials eat out at least three times a week, according to June 2017 data by Bankrate, and 51 percent say they go to bars at least once per week.
The hashtag #foodporn was used on Instagram nearly 10 million times between November 2014 and April 2015, according to an article in MIT's Technology Review. About 42 percent of these posts contained geolocation information, mostly on Instagram, which can direct customers to a business, according to Fortune.
Making the most of these trends, Dirty Bones, "an American restaurant and cocktail lounge in London," according to its website, created a menu of particularly photogenic food and drinks at its Denham Street location in the Soho neighborhood of London. To encourage top notch social sharing, diners can also ask for an "Instagram Pack." It has "a portable LED camera light, multi-device charger, clip-on wide angle camera lens and a tripod selfie stick for overhead table shots," according to Today.com. Even the decor is purposely Instagram-friendly, with floor-to-ceiling bookcases and neon signs, Mic reports.
Indeed, Instagram's influence continues to grow. The platform topped 700 million monthly active users earlier this year and Instagram Stories reached 250 million daily active users last month. Other restaurants have been cashing in too.
Starbucks added a tea drink known as the "Medicine Ball" or "Cold Buster" to their official menu after the beverage circulated on Instagram, according to Forbes. The company also saw Instagram success with their Unicorn Frappuccino. "We had this phenomenal organic, social response," Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson tells CNBC about the brightly colored frozen drink.
Willie Degel, founder and CEO of Uncle Jack's Steakhouse and former host of the Food Network's "Restaurant Stakeout" tells CNBC's "Power Lunch" that his restaurant locations now have "selfie mirrors" in the bathrooms and offer free WiFi to post pictures. "Social media has changed the way people eat today," Degel says.