Instagram or it Didn’t Happen? L.A. Restaurants Show How the App Has Changed Their Industry

Acai Bowl at AmazebowlsFor Helene Henderson, Instagram has become synonymous with the dining experience at Malibu Farm. Henderson owns the farm-to-table restaurant on Malibu’s pier and credits Instagram with transforming the once quiet, seaside shack — which opened in 2014 — into a busy destination.

“A meal that is not photographed probably did not happen,” Henderson said. “Instagrammers can be a boost for restaurant check averages when more dishes are ordered than necessary, just for the perfect photo op.”

The Mason jars featuring the Malibu Farm logo are frequently shared on Instagram. The colorful jars, in conjunction with the restaurant’s scenic backdrop, make the ideal combination for photographers. Though the jars were originally designed for a more practical purpose, Henderson sees their popularity on Instagram as a business-boosting strategy. The restaurant’s account, @malibufarm, has more than 21,000 followers.

In recent years, the social media app has become much more than an outlet for selfies. Restaurants in Los Angeles and elsewhere are experiencing firsthand how Instagram has changed the way the culinary industry operates. The app is now home to 25 million business accounts, the vast majority of which are small businesses. That number has rapidly increased in recent months, expanding by 10 million since July. According to Instagram, more than 80% of users follow a business account, while 200 million users actively visit a business profile every day.

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Originally posted in the LA Times

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