As any savvy Instagrammer will tell you, the term “shareable food” doesn’t refer to a dish served family-style anymore. Now it’s all likes and favorites. Even restaurants not exactly known for the most beautiful food will spare no expense to make themselves look good online. Case in point: Chili’s. The chain recently admitted they spend $750,000 a year to make their hamburger buns more appealing in photos.
That three quarters of a million dollar investment goes toward a fancy egg wash that makes the buns shinier yet has no actual effect on the taste. “It just makes it look great. It glistens, it shines,” Wyman Roberts, CEO of Brinker International, the parent company of Chili’s, told the AP.
A consulting group Chili’s hired believes touches like these attract “new-school” customers—people who expect their food to have a little more pizazz. These same consultants made a few more Instagram-friendly changes like serving fries in stainless steel holders that “look cool.” The old saying used to go, “You eat with your eyes first.” By modern standards, it might as well be “You eat with your phone first.”
A photo posted by Chilis Grill & Bar (@chilis) on