Country pubs in Devon have a lot going for them. Nestled in the rolling, green hills – often minutes from the sea and surf – local restaurateurs have a prime opportunity to capitalise on the idyllic setting.
That is, of course, if their food is good and people know about them.
Although the quality of the food is dependent on the skills of the chef and the types of ingredients, getting people to know about a hidden gem comes down to marketing. And the key to restaurant marketing is all about the imagery. Instead of using static, flat stock photography that doesn’t offer and uniqueness or character of a great country eatery, the best restaurants and pubs use professional photographers to create images to help them establish their brand. These pictures tell a visually rich story of who they are, where they are, and what they cook.
There is one such place that understands the importance of great images. The beating culinary heart of East Down, just outside of Barnstaple, is The Pyne Arms. It exemplifies the quintessential English country pub. Operated by Ellis and Aime Panell, it was bought in 2012 and subsequently renovated and relaunched to offer great food in the perfect Devon country setting. This husband and wife team focus on preparing great locally sourced food, but they also know that getting people in the doors to eat is just as important as the taste of their food.
And that means photography and marketing.
“Photography has a massive effect,” Ellis said in a recent conversation over a pint. “You can put up a picture up of your Sunday lunch [on social media] and you will have a few phone calls from people looking to try it.”
“It enables us to show our customers, before they even come in, what we are up to.”
Photography and visual marketing is all about communicating your value to would-be customers. In North Devon, there is a unique mixture of locals and tourists. Great visual identities can be projected online and through social media, they can help you reach untold thousands of new diners, and help to grow your restaurant business.
“At the moment, a lot of people are eating with their eyes,” Ellis said, serving up a fresh ham hock terrine with rocket. “As a brand, photography and imagery showcases what we are capable of doing.”
A professional photographer will be able capture the spirit of your products. If you truly stand by the taste and quality of your food, a professional will be able to show that emotion and bring it to your customers. People look for emotional connections and they make buying decisions based on their instincts and emotional responses to seeing the food.
“Professional photographers know what looks good and what doesn’t,” he continued. "It’s definitely a good investment to have a proper photographer on hand.”
Marketing budgets aren’t just for words. Photographs and imagery are crucial components of culinary advertising. They are used for websites, menus, emails, brochures, social media posts and more. They are the key to getting discovered and vital to making sure consumers that are hungry for good food and good scenery enjoy themselves in a particular Devonshire pub… like The Pyne Arms for instance.