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The impact of quality food photography in Food Delivery

Updated: Jun 7

The impact of quality food photography in Food Delivery

The most powerful appetite stimulant is obviously smell. But technology doesn't yet know how to implement this in online food ordering systems. But it is quite easy to use the second most powerful trigger – mouth-watering photos and visuals of food. Let's take a closer look at this question from a psychology, marketing and business point of view.

Psychology of Consumer Behaviour

75% of customers consider the visual appeal of food to be a key factor in their decision making.

  • Visual appeal

High-quality food photography stimulates appetite and evokes positive emotions, leading consumers to place impulse orders because of the enticing imagery.

  • Trust and attractiveness

Appealing visuals build trust in the product and the establishment, increasing the likelihood of an order being placed as customers are drawn to well-presented dishes.

Studies show that around 75% of customers consider the visual appeal of food to be a key factor in their decision making. This can lead to up to a 30% increase in online orders for establishments that invest in quality food photography. Furthermore, visual appeal builds trust in a product and an establishment, with over 80% of consumers stating that the visual presentation of a dish has a significant impact on their perception of overall quality.

Restaurants with visually appealing dishes are more likely to receive positive reviews and customer loyalty, contributing to a 15-20% increase in repeat orders. Emerging trends highlight the impact of social media and user-generated content, emphasising the role of authentic visuals in consumer engagement and brand awareness.

In the mobile app era, around 60% of online food orders are made impulsively, with users swayed by visually enticing images, leading to a 25-30% increase in conversion rates.

Marketing Impact

40% higher engagement rate for advertising campaigns with high quality visuals

  • Brand image creation

Visual content is a powerful tool for creating brand identity. High-quality food photography contributes positively to a brand's image, reinforcing its position in the minds of consumers as a serious and appealing choice.

  • Advertising effectiveness

Modern consumers are increasingly drawn to visual experiences. Advertising campaigns accompanied by high quality photography show higher engagement and effectiveness, ultimately resulting in more orders.

Statistics show that brands that prioritise high quality visuals see a 20-25% increase in positive consumer perception and a 30-35% increase in customer loyalty. In addition, ad campaigns with such visuals show a 40% higher engagement rate, resulting in a 15-20% increase in order conversions. This highlights the critical role that visual content plays in driving brand success and customer action in the highly competitive market for food delivery services.

Business Perspective

25-30% increase in additional purchases when cross-selling with enticing visuals

  • Unique presentation

Competition in the food delivery industry is fierce. High-quality photography helps your food stand out from the crowd. The better you showcase your offerings visually, the better your chances of attracting attention and securing orders.

  • Stimulate cross-selling

Enticing visuals not only drive orders for specific dishes, but can also encourage additional purchases. A well-presented range can stimulate interest in different items and services.

By capturing the customer's attention, unique presentation through high quality visuals can increase order placement by up to 40%. In addition, stimulating cross-selling with enticing visuals results in a 25-30% increase in additional purchases. This strategy not only increases the average transaction value, but also promotes customer loyalty.

Distinguishing between good and bad food photos

Of course, there's no one rule – it's all a matter of taste and customer preference. But we've analysed popular food delivery marketplaces from major global players, and here are some patterns.

Good photos:

  • Natural light and the right composition

Photos taken in natural light look fresher and more appealing. A well-composed image with food neatly arranged creates a positive impression.

  • Focus on details

Quality photos highlight textures, colors and shapes, increasing visual appeal and whetting the appetite.

  • True-to-life presentation

Photos should accurately portray the actual appearance of the food, building trust between the customer and the establishment.

  • Cleanliness and tidiness

Well presented, clean dishes convey freshness and quality, creating a positive impression.

Example of good food photos for an app catalogue

Bad photos:

  • Bad lighting and unnatural colours

Dark, overexposed or distorted colours can create the wrong impression and disappoint customers.

  • Untidy composition and awkward angles

Incorrect composition, placement or angles can make food less attractive and raise doubts about its quality.

  • Unrealistic styling

Overly retouched or stylised photos can create unrealistic expectations, leading to disappointment when the actual order arrives.

  • Lack of cleanliness

Dirty or untidy looking dishes can put off customers and give the impression of unattractive and poor quality products.

Example of  food photos for an app catalogue

If your vendors don’t have high quality photos, you can use free stock pictures for basic meals or for vendor covers. Here is a list of resources you can use:

In conclusion, using quality food photography in delivery apps not only demonstrates professionalism and attention to detail, but also helps to increase orders through visual impact, unique presentation and effective marketing. Understanding the criteria for good and bad food photography will ensure that visuals are aligned with customer expectations, ultimately driving success in the competitive food delivery market.


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