There's a UK Restaurant That Lets You Pay for Your Meal With a Photo

In Depth

How’d you like to get your meal comped purely for taking a picture of your entree? Thanks to one London restaurant, that incredibly badly-thought-out business model is now a reality.

It’s called Soho’s Picture House, and it’s the world’s first pay-by-photo restaurant. It’s as simple as it sounds: if you take a picture of your meal and share it to Instagram, your food is gratis. Unless I’m missing something, there’s no actual catch there.

I’m on record as thinking the “let’s take pictures of some random bullshit cheese sandwich I bought” Instagram trend is the single dumbest thing about my generation (and we’re the ones responsible for the popularity of GoGurt, so that’s saying something). That being said, if they’re going to let you pay for your meal with efforts to go sandwich-viral, you’d be a fool not to take them up on it until the restaurant inevitably has to close from lack of revenue.

Which brings me to my other point: I question one customer’s assertion that “it could spread like wildfire,” because the people seeing this on Instagram and Twitter will themselves have Instagram and Twitter accounts, and thus will likely be showing up purely for free food. When most of your customer base isn’t paying, good luck making money. Everything in the article talks about how great the customer response is — I mean, yes, typically that’s what happens when you give away free, restaurant-quality meals: people love you to pieces, then you file for Chapter 11.

Although, considering it appears to be a pop-up for Bird’s Eye frozen foods, it’s probably just a big (if surprisingly costly) PR stunt. I still don’t think that’ll pay dividends for them even if that’s the case, though.

Image via AnjelikaGr/Shutterstock.

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