The Twitter post about Unomachi Cafe’s cream soda has people hotly debating this ice cold delight.

It’s hard to tire of cafes, and especially difficult in Japan. No matter where you are in the country you’re likely to stumble on something delicious, and many chains go out of their way to stand out from the crowd by offering peculiar scenery, strange specialties or especially photogenic drinks.

While it’s easy to admire the rainbow layers and perfectly-sculpted cream toppings on all those glamorous drinks, it’s equally easy to forget the work that goes into making each serving so stimulating to every sense. A thread by Tsutomu Oda, who runs the reputable Nara cafe Unomachi Coffee, went viral for discussing his personal presentation journey.

“All I did was change the way I arranged the cream soda, and yet sales went up by 500 percent compared to previous years.”

He continued in a reply,

“It’s common to rework your menu when you’re trying to update a restaurant. I’d implore you before changing the dishes you offer, to consider changing the arrangement for how you serve them up. Of course, this advice only applies to places where their products are likely to be shared on social media. I’m available to give advice about this if you like!”

Then he shared one of his earlier drinks, perhaps to inspire future cafe engineers.

“Also, the brûlée parfait that’s currently up on all the menu boards looked like the right image when it first debuted.
It’s kind of painful to look at that photo now, but at the time I took the photo I thought ‘Wow, I’ve really made something good!’
It was only after that that I adjusted the design through trial and error; getting the parallel lines just right, adjusting the heights of the strawberries and perfecting the ratio of red to white.”

▼ For what it’s worth, many commenters declared they thought the photo on the right looked much more appetizing.

“Obviously there is no one right answer that fits every single menu. What I would recommend is accumulating tips, tricks and general know-how like “it looks prettier this way than this other way”, and figure out what is important to your particular business. I don’t honestly like the term “Instagrammable”, but you might call the study of these particulars “Instagramics”.

Of course, this is the Internet, and so people were eager to rush and declare the older photographs much more tempting to their palates. While the initial cream soda presentation seems to include much more ice cream and syrup for your buck, it makes sense that the delicate marine gradient of the new design resonated more with trend-conscious young customers. Likewise, the original brûlée parfait looks mouthwatering…but the geometric perfection of the new one practically summons your phone out of its pocket to take a picture, leading to built-in advertising for the cafe.

“Thank you so much to everybody who said they preferred the original designs for the drinks,” wrote Oda. “We have tried and tested a number of menu items, and these two showed the biggest leap in sales. I also have designs I prefer, of course, but the tweets I shared are from the perspective of ‘which drinks resonated best with our customers’.”

While we at SoraNews24 are in no way immune to the allure of a photogenic dessert, the thread got us wondering… How often have we opted for style over substance when it comes to pretty Japanese food? Gimmicks certainly have their place in the food industry, and they don’t seem to be going away any time soon. Which is just as well, because we still really want to go to that compliment bar in Osaka.

Source, featured image: Twitter/@odatsutomu
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