Restaurants & Cell Phones: An Uneasy Love Affair

In 2017, if a meal consumed at a restaurant doesn’t get posted online, did it really happen?

Now that 95 percent of Americans own a cell phone of some kind, opportunistic restaurateurs are encouraging smartphone usage by designing venues and menus with Instagram in mind. Even if they don’t go viral, these photos become free marketing for a chef’s menu or business. Starbucks rode the Instagram trend hard this past year by releasing limited-edition, eye-popping Unicorn and Zombie-themed Frappuccinos; in San Francisco’s Mission District, the Cuban restaurant Media Noche provides Instagram-ready content in the form of its floral-tiled floors.

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