What is Dishtag and what does it mean, “to dishtag”
Definition of dishtag in English:
the process of taking a photo of a dish and tagging that dish to a visual menu and sharing online
‘this pizza is great, I have to dishtag it’
‘i went to a great restaurant and had this amazing starter and dishtagged it’
‘did you see the amazing dish Alice dishtagged?’
Dishtag is a search & social platform dedicated to food: connecting food lovers to dishes, restaurants to customers, and food photographers to income. Our mission is to create a global platform for food sharing, driven by users who love to discover dishes and share food photos, restaurants who embrace food photography, and by food photographers who want to be part of the Dishtag network and earn money from food photography, seeking out and approaching restaurants to add them to the Dishtag platform.
We aim to create a positive movement in food sharing in Hong Kong and franchise this model across the globe. This post is about how we first had the idea for DIshtag.
Where did the idea for Dishtag come from?
The genesis of dishtagging came during a meal out in 2014 at the Michelin starred Caprice in Hong Kong’s Four Seasons hotel. The highlight of the evening was a beautiful signature dish; poached egg, caviar, anchovy, crispy (wheel??) and mixed leaves to finish. This being Hong Kong, no meal is complete without the obligatory food photo. One of our friends at the meal took the pic and posted it to the standard social media – but not only did the photo look terrible, she’d also hashtagged it #caviarbitches. The sub-par pic and the vulgar hashtag disrespected the restaurant and the craft and dedication of the chef. Surely, there had to be a better way. One where diners could still share the great dishes they find but, at the same time, giving restaurants and chefs better control of how their work appears on social media. And so the seeds of Dishtag were planted.
So how did this go from a post in a restaurant, to an idea?
Anyone who has spent any time on social media over the past few years has been subjected to plenty of poorly lit, out-of-focus and generally uninspiring food photography.
My vision was to develop a platform dedicated to food that would allow restaurants to create a beautiful, visual menu, include an accurate description of each dish with the correct price, and for the dish to be discoverable through a search at the dish level. We also wanted to bring a social angle to the platform, allowing people to share their own photos, but to link this in some way to the restaurant’s quality controlled, beautiful, visual menu.
The idea then hit us; the platform would allow people to share their own photo and “tag” these pics to the official dish photo uploaded by the restaurant. This way, even if the photo by the diner was bad, their followers could click “view menu” to see the official menu of the restaurant, routing them back to the content approved by the restaurant. Now they could see not just the “official” photo, description and price of the dish but also explore the rest of the menu. And the restaurant could now ensure they had at least some control over their digital footprint.
And so, to “dishtag” was born…and with it the ambition to one day see “dishtag” included as a verb in the Oxford dictionary.