How to make mouth-watering food videos on your phone

As a restaurant owner, you probably know that the key to standing out in this competitive market is creating well-shot, enticing, and mouth-watering content. Give your audience a tastebud-stimulating show of what they can expect when they visit your restaurant and get them excited about trying your food. 

Engaging video content can be a massive learning curve when you’re just getting started- watching videos from other brands can lead you to believe that you need the best equipment or that you could never reproduce the things you see online. So what now?

You need a way to share your incredible food with your audience and get people through the doors, so how do you create professional-looking content using your phone? Or at least content that doesn’t look like you filmed it on a phone. – you might not be a creative agency, but everyone has to start somewhere.

A person taking a photo of some tacos.


1: DEFINE YOUR GOAL. Before you start shooting, what are you wanting to achieve with your video?

Are you promoting a product, giving your audience a behind-the-scenes peek, or enticing people with some atmospheric footage?

The type of video you want to make will dictate the amount of preparation you need to do beforehand. For example: giving your audience a sneak peek at the food preparation behind your kitchen doors is going to require more time and effort than capturing footage of a meal that’s ready to eat.

2: DECIDE ON THE PLATFORM. Which platform(s) will be best for your video?

TikTok, Reels, Youtube, Facebook? Knowing how audiences use each platform will give you a better idea of the content that works on each platform.

Deciding on the platform also means you know whether you need to shoot landscape or portrait. (this is an easy hurdle to fall at, so be sure to double-check.)

Generally speaking, TikTok is the home of authentic content, meaning you can afford to be a little less polished – as long as you showcase personality and great food, whereas Instagram is still relatively picture-perfect.

Person scrolls through social media on phone

3: MAKE A PLAN. Decide on the content, get some inspiration, and map out some general shot ideas. 

There’s a reason that people in the industry use storyboards – they help us to map out our vision and make sure we get all the shots we need to make the story come to life. You don’t need to be good at drawing or fill out the entire thing. You can write descriptions of what you want to happen and work from there – as long as you know the story you want to tell.

Top tip: Try working to a typical story frame, so a beginning, middle and end.  For example: 

Beginning –  Establishing shots, view from the outside, walking into the restaurant, some friendly staff members.

Middle – Menu shots or special offers, plates arriving, hero food shots, the money shot.

End – Empty plates, happy faces, a branded end-frame.

You don’t need to include all of these shots, you can make it as simple or complex as you like.

Think about the setup of your food. As a restaurant owner, you already know how important presentation is – when filming content for social media, this is even more important.


Highlighting an event where you pour sauce, pull cheese, or sizzle meat will not only get your foodie audiences’ mouths watering but also show your audience that you take your food seriously.


But before you start filming, make sure your set-up is ready to go – make sure everything you’re filming is in easy reach, and the area is clean and tidy.

Do some test shots of the area, and check if any parts of the composition don’t sit quite right when you watch the video back on your phone.

Keep the lighting natural (shoot in front of windows or outside).

When filming action shots like sizzling food in a frying pan, natural light may be limited, so get someone to hold their phone torch next to yours while you film.

Take more shots than you think you need – it’s better to have too much content to work with than too little.

A steady hand is everything – when filming moving or sweeping shots, keep your arm stable using your body – it’s the easiest way to keep your footage wobble-free without splashing out on equipment.

Don’t try to do everything yourself – having two or more people behind the camera means more angles, shots you may not think to capture yourself, and someone to bounce ideas off.

Person taking photo of nice food


Now comes the fun part, seeing your idea come to life.

To make editing easier, many free and paid apps will help you get the most of your footage, such as:

iMovie – free for apple.

Adobe Premiere Rush – free for mobile & desktop

When putting your footage together, start by rewatching it and determine the shots that fall into each part of your storyboard (beginning, middle, and end). Then, start piecing them together, experimenting with what works.

Choosing a good song can provide a structure to follow in terms of tempo and mood changes and the video more engaging. and some apps will even help you to do this. TikTok will edit your footage to your chosen song, and you can do similar things on Instagram using ready-made templates from other users.

Sprinkle in transitions where appropriate – this doesn’t need to be film quality as many apps like iMovie will do this for you – but you can add energy and maintain a pace that keeps people watching using transitions that complement your footage.

Transitions can also deliver a ‘circuit breaker’ – switching the story’s direction and keeping the viewers focused. E.g. Going from outside the building, to inside, to the table, to the dishes.


Now you’ve put the work into making your video equal parts mouth-watering and catchy – you need to put together some caption copy to emphasise your content.

Engaging caption copy will speak directly to the audience, using ‘you’, ‘we’, and ‘our’ – get them involved.

You usually want to try and include a call to action. What do you want your audience to do with the information in the video? Book a table, try some delicious food, maybe you’ve got an offer you want to shout about?

The platform your posting on will dictate and help you create a caption, but generally, short is sweet and include a link where possible – make things easy for your audience.

A man smiles as he posts his latest food video


As your restaurant gains followers online, you will see trends in the type of content they like to consume, helping you decide what content you should make more of, and other insights such as the best day/time to post, which content gets the best reaction for each platform. Content creation is a learning curve and it all starts with being brave enough to try.

Once you start seeing the results of your content – through gaining followers, increased footfall, and higher online engagement, it becomes a part of your daily routine, or it’s in the back of your mind at least.

If these tips weren’t enough for you to get going making some mouth-watering content, let’s chat.