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10 Things Successful Restaurants and Successful Video have in common

How are videos like a restaurant? I’ll give you a hint: Cumulative Quality. As an owner of a video production company, I’m biased on this issue. Clearly, it benefits me when clients don’t cut corners but with 20 years of professional experience I’ve gained much insight into how the cumulative effects of little decisions affect the final results. I’ll walk you through these eternal truths by comparing video production to a restaurant – it’ll be fun!

A Warm Welcome

Just as restaurants frequently have a pleasant and attractive hostess, a video needs to make the audience feel engaged, welcomed and interested. This is your first impression and you can’t afford to have them not start out well.

What’s on the Menu?

When you first sit down, a wisely crafted menu will get you excited about the possibilities. The language they use will entice and get you feeling that you’re on an adventure so you can’t to see what comes next.

Carrying the Mood

The decor of restaurant, the music – they carry the mood first set when you walked in. You wouldn’t want to have a pleasant entry only to be seated in a janitor’s closet! Once you’re off to a great start, don’t drop the ball with fuddy-duddy music, slow editing or a boring diatribe.

You Eat with Your Eyes

There’s a great Japanese saying that you eat with your eyes. Ever been there? The food is always displayed in an attractive way. Why? Because the level of polish matters! Ugly food in unappetizing. Bad lighting, poorly composed shots all detract from the potential.

One Bad Apple

Imagine an amazing dish filled with delicious fruit – except one rotten apple. Yuk. For a video, all the care taken to get the lighting right, all the different angles shot, the extra time in graphic design, it all adds up to be more than the sum of their parts. One bad ingredient can ruin the whole dish.

Transparency Builds Trust

Just as a clean bathroom speaks volumes about a restaurant’s commitment to cleanliness, your video is an opportunity to showcase your company in a way that engenders trust. It’s about integrity and credibility. Seeing is believing. Clean bathroom, clean kitchen, clean fingernails = clean restaurant.

The Up-Sell

It doesn’t seem to matter how full you are, any waiter (if they are doing their job) will offer dessert. Consider this your “Call to Action” in a video. Once you’ve got their attention, given them your message, now is the chance to get them to take action.

Big Finish

Ever notice how a cool restaurant brings you the bill in a cute way? Maybe it’s an interesting cup or tucked in a classic book as a bookmark. There’s a reason: The big finish, a last chance to impress before the end. Finish strong.

Satisfaction is Contagious

Once a customer/viewer feels contented, they may just share or refer you on. You want them thinking “I enjoyed that, I learned something, that was worthwhile. I’d be excited to recommend that to a friend.”


Video, like food requires special considerations. The last thing you want to do is leave your viewers with a bad taste in their mouth. If you don’t take take it seriously, you may end up causing more harm than good.

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