Social media has gone from being just an entertaining platform to fully integrated in almost every aspect of our daily lives. The influence of social media is being used in various ways that shape politics, business, culture, education, innovation, and even the food we consume. Platforms, such as Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, and Facebook, have enormous influence in our decisions of which becomes the next trendy thing.
Imagine scrolling on social media and coming across a post about a restaurant you have never been to. The aesthetics of the location and colorful presentation of the food catches your attention, the place captivates your eyes, wanting you to visit that place. It soon begins gaining popularity as you see others posting the aesthetic food and posing inside the eye-catching location. This doesn’t only influence you, but thousands others resulting in many visiting the place without hesitation.
The real question is are these people even paying attention to what type of food they’re trying or putting an effort to look at the menu beforehand or are they only visiting solely for the aesthetics and to participate in the trend? Are aesthetics prioritized over the quality of the food when choosing restaurants?
Recently, a restaurant located near the Empire State Building known as Biao Sugar gained a massive recognition and became very trendy amongst social media users.
From Instagram to Snapchat, the location was being shared everywhere mainly due to their unique presentation of Bubble tea; Unlike regular bubble tea in a cup, Biao Sugar presented the bubble tea in a special cup shaped as an egg symbolizing it as a deviled egg.
What captures people’s attention is how the bubble tea was being served, coming from a large statue of a tiger was the anticipated brown sugar bubble tea in a deviled egg.
This place was initially created targeting audiences who are social media users as it was the most anticipated instagrammable place of 2021. The new location of this bubble tea store caught the eyes of a large audience creating a busy crowd in the streets of Midtown Manhattan. Long lines of over 300 people were being held just to capture the aesthetic and unique presentation of the bubble tea.
Instead of going to the many non crowded bubble tea shops located all over New York, people chose to wait two to three hours just for bubble tea. I was captivated seeing this all over social media and was very curious on why anyone would want to spend their long hours just waiting to get bubble tea.
“When picking a restaurant, I put more focus on the aesthetic of the place as I want to participate in the ongoing trends and get nice Instagram pictures. Like others, I want to have an aesthetic Instagram feed and get a view of unique locations. I also prioritize the aesthetic of the location expecting to get good pictures to post,” said Jannatul. Teens or even young adults tend to focus mostly on the aesthetic of the place and if it is an Instagram worthy place to take nice pictures.
“Yes, I did visit a restaurant recently that was trendy on social media. Although the place was incredibly beautiful, I was not pleased by the taste of the bubble tea. It tasted like any other bubble tea you can buy from a regular bubble tea shop” said Tahia. With an amazing aesthetic bubble tea, you would think it tasted magical or out of this world. You are wrong, it tasted like any other bubble tea you can buy from a bubble tea shop near you. For example Tiger Sugar. Although it may not have a devil’s egg aesthetic they still sell brown sugar bubble tea just like Biao Sugar.
You can’t always judge a book by its cover. Sometimes it’s best to prioritize the taste and quality of the food first and then look at the aesthetic of the place. Going for both quality and appearance is a great way to kill 2 birds with one stone and get the best out of your dining experience.