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For many diners, the first thing to do when presented with a dish in a restaurant is whip out a smartphone and share a picture of whatever culinary delight is about to be tucked in to.

It’s become practically impossible to scroll through Facebook, Twitter or Instagram without stumbling upon a soft focus image of a burger with a side helping of #yum #foodporn #goodbyediet. Personally, it’s a craze which has left my family with a ‘no phones at the table’ rule firmly in place.

Unlike my mother, I don’t believe that tweeting what you eat falls in the same bracket as elbows on the table or speaking with your mouth full – perhaps it’s a generation thing. Much to mum’s dismay, the dinner table is no longer just a place for catching up with the family. It’s an arena in which – thanks to social media – we’re citizen food critics in our own right.

In a report by, it’s just been revealed that there are currently 84 million photos on Instagram tagged #food and over a third of diners upload photos to social profiles while in restaurants. Given that food is an incredibly social activity, I wasn’t particularly surprised by these statistics.

What I did find surprising was the influence on footfall these mouth-watering photos can have. Of those surveyed, one in five British diners admitted to researching an eatery they’ve seen a Facebook friend check-in to or share an image from. Of these, over half went ahead to book a table and experience the restaurant for themselves.

More and more, I’m beginning to notice restaurants include details of Twitter handles or Instagram hastags on the bottom of menus and it’s easy to see why. What we eat and where we dine has become an increasingly important part of our social profiles, a trend that I believe restaurateurs would be foolish not to embrace. Bon appetweet!