Almost half of all diners now post photos of their meals on social media when eating out, according to a study.
A poll of 2,000 adults found the likes of Instagram and Facebook play a key role when going out for a meal.
The trend is most prevalent among millennials with more than a quarter of those aged 25 to 34 upload images of their food with the aim of impressing friends and followers.
And 42 per cent share images through social media in order to recommend nice places to eat out.
Around a fifth of all diners are so enthusiastic about their dinner pics they would like more restaurants to install lighting filters on table tops - to make photos look better.
The poll was commissioned by Barclaycard which has developed a prototype app called Transplater to help diners interpret unknown items on on the menu.
Using their smart phone, customers take a picture of a word or description from the menu and their device brings up an image of the dish so they know just what to order.
To date, the app has been trialled at London-based restaurant Frederick’s.
Kirsty Morris, director at Barclaycard Payment Solutions, said: “Simply being active on social media is no longer enough for restaurateurs, they also need to consider the quality of their content to avoid missing out on potential customers.
“Not only are diners using social as a research tool to decide where to eat, they are also integrating it into every part of their experience.
“This is particularly true of younger audiences; whether it’s taking pictures of meals, checking reviews or wanting to book directly from restaurants’ Instagram or Facebook accounts, there’s clearly a new social order for eating out.”
The research also found more than fifth of those polled check both a restaurant’s online menu and social media accounts before choosing whether to book a table there.
Twenty-one per cent visit restaurant websites and their social media accounts to see what the food looks like in advance.
Online presence is so important to dinners that 15 per cent of diners won’t visit restaurant which have no social media presence or menu to view online.
Further to this, 28 per cent would like to be able to book a restaurant through Facebook, Twitter and co.
Carried out through OnePoll, the research also found nine in 10 don’t always recognise the dishes on restaurant menus.
But a quarter are too embarrassed to ask service staff for help.
Giulia Mulè, food photographer and founder of Mondomulia [http://mondomulia.com/], said: “Barclaycard’s research shows just how powerful social influence is on dining decisions.
“As well as needing a social presence to get customers through the door, restaurants should also think about improving the aesthetics of their venue if they want to stand out on Instagram feeds.”