The New Age of Advertising: Customers of Instagrammable Cafés

Neon signs dazzle in aesthetic cafés.

Instagram has become a judge to café owners, making them think twice about their place and its influence on people. 

By Haidy Abdelazim

SHARJAH- The trend of having an “Instagrammable” café has taken the culinary industry by storm.  Even before opening a new restaurant or café, the design team is hired to make the spot as trendy as possible. 

The art of trendy and “Instagrammable” cafés has become a science. Venues make sure they include good lighting, brand boasting, large mirrors and neon signs to showcase their food and decor, and in turn, encourage a person subconsciously to take a photo. 

Through the highly shareable retail designs, cafés are reacting to the habits of Millennials and Gen Z by focusing on the different aesthetics that will entice people into coming and sharing their experience with their friends, which results in more exposure to the venue, as well as outshining their competition.

On the hunt to find the best “Instagrammable” café ever, food blogger Shammah AlDhanhani says that focusing on design has become crucial to the experience these venues deliver. Thus, café owners are taking transformative steps towards making their place Instagram-worthy. 


Lighting is one of the most important aspects when designing an “Instagrammable” café. If the lighting is poor, people will not take a picture no matter how good the menu looks. 

“With different lighting, people experience a different vibe. Hence, sometimes the food is not that good or the desserts are basic, but it is the design of the place and how well the lighting accentuates it that keeps customers coming as it becomes picture-worthy,” says AlDhanhani.

Natural lighting is the best way for the picture to be perfect, but at night the design team must be aware of the contrast between feature lighting, which is low and dim, as well as harsh bright lights that cast strong shadows. There are many tips and tricks out there for people to take Instagram pictures, but it’s the bad lighting that deters customers from snapping precious photos, which adds to the café’s exposure. 

Aesthetically Pleasing 

A café that is either simple, pink, flowery, or modern entices people to share their experience. All these trends would help people capture their experience through photos, additionally acting as a free advertisement for the café in question. 

“People like to see things are different, they lean towards what aesthetic they mostly like and would go there just because someone recommended it, or they want to post about it on Instagram,” says AlDhanhani.

A new trend is floor photos of interesting tiles and colors that reflect the aesthetic look of the floor. It is having people show off the flooring of the restaurant, which brings attention to the café without people even noticing the menu.

Attention to Detail

Large mirrors and neon signs are aspects of the restaurant that encourage people to take photos and share their experiences.  It is these details that make a person immediately think of taking a photo before proceeding with their experience and critique.

AlDhanhani emphasizes the importance of detail by saying “attention to details makes people want to visit the place because it looks appealing and inviting, which is why when there are cafes that are aesthetically pleasing people wouldn’t mind waiting in line for as long as needed because they want to take pictures and post them on Instagram.”

By paying attention to how a customer would feel when sampling a menu item or even sitting down before ordering, café owners can discover new ways of enticing people to take photos and advertise their place. Details are important, especially in photos, flaws or strengths can be directly observed in a matter of seconds, which can either make or break the place.