Last week, Instagram and Oakland’s Ramen Shop officially sealed a partnership
After taking stock of the enormous number of ramen bowls posted by 150 million monthly active users, filed under #foodporn, Instagram’s researches reported that an overwhelming number of users exercised very poor choice of filter.
“How can you call something #foodporn and then destroy it with the Kelvin filter? It ends up looking like you poured orange juice on a bowl of soup. People just don’t get it,” said Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom. “This isn’t why we made Instagram.”
Asked why Instagram ever invented the Kelvin filter in the first place, Systrom provided no comment.
Inspired to improve its users’ output, Instagram approached Ramen Shop, Rockridge’s darling of Californian-inspired Japanese food, inspired by Chez Panisse’s local, organic mantra.
“This is where most of our West Coast users photograph their ramen,” said Systrom. “It’s the perfect place to start.”
Together, the restaurant and the tech giant will collaborate to provide filter recommendations alongside every item on the menu, and the restaurant has promised to reengineer the space’s lighting in order to facilitate the most flattering opportunities for phone photography.
“It will be almost like studio lighting, not blindingly bright but almost,” says Ramen Shop cofounder and Chez Panisse alum Sam White.
But will it ruin ambiance?
“We were concerned about that at first,” says White, “but at the end of the day do we really want our soup showing up like some gross instant crap thanks to bad lighting and amateur phone photos? No.”
Additionally, waitstaff will be trained to help customers operate the app and select the right filters if the customer is not an experienced user.
Though the has only been a few weeks in development, White already has soup-and-filter pairings in mind.
“Not a lot of people know this, but I developed the veggie shoyu Meyer lemon ramen specifically for the Brannan filter. I like the way it mutes the color in the egg. I like the contrast of the dark and edgy filter against a bright and citrusy soup. It makes you think, you know? It makes you think about life.”