March 23, 2023

Food Photography 101 for Malaysia Restaurants

Our never-ending quest for convenience and the provision of food at affordable prices has driven food delivery apps to become practically a modern necessity across demographics in Malaysia–and the trend is showing no signs of stopping or slowing time anytime soon. In fact, with an annual growth rate of 9.36%, the online food delivery sector is forecast to yield US$488.30 million in revenue by 2027. Amid this ever-expanding market, how can restaurant owners in Malaysia make the most out of online food delivery platforms to pull in potential customers and boost profits? Stepping up your food photography game might just be the best place to start! 

Why it’s time to level up your food photography  

When it comes to online food delivery, photos of the menu offerings are often the first point of contact between a restaurant and new customers. It is easily the make-or-break factor for potential customers deciding whether to stay and order from your business or to move on to the next eatery. Think of enticing food photography as powerful weaponry that can instantly stop hungry customers in their scroll, and tempt and tease them into trying out the mouthwatering eats that your restaurant serves up. 

There is an art to wielding the magic sword of food photography, and that’s where we at Kitchen Connect step in to offer a helping hand. Below, we’ve put together an ultimate food photography guide tailored for major food delivery apps in Malaysia–including Foodpanda, Grabfood, and AirAsia–so that you can polish up your eatery’s online food delivery service and see your customer base grow to new heights! 

#1. Grabfood 

Asia’s leading food delivery platform, GrabFood is widely used across Malaysia. And as a result of its success, it even acquired Uber’s Southeast Asia operations in 2018. Valuing high-quality and useful information, F&B businesses that want to be featured on the app are required to stick to specific food photography guidelines.

Banner image –  The big picture that your customers initially see when searching for your restaurant’s profile, you need to make sure that your banner image embodies what your eatery is all about and the cuisine that you specialise in. 

List image – The list image will be shown on your potential customer’s feed against all of your other competitors, so it’s important that it grabs attention. Besides being photogenic, your list image should feature a signature dish or best-selling menu item for this image to best convey what your restaurant offers. 


  • Overhead shots – Keep food items in the centre of the frame 
  • 45-degree shots – Focus on a single main dish
  • Straight-on shot (side view) – Useful for dishes where you want to showcase the ingredients, such as with burgers, sandwiches, and cakes 


  • Your dish must be fully cooked shortly before it is plated and photographed 
  • How you plate your food can greatly alter the customer’s perception of your eatery, so make sure there are no unseemly stains or marks in sight

Cover photo

  • Upload two cover photos; one with a 1:1 aspect ratio (750px x 750px) and the other with a 9:5 aspect ratio (1350px x 750px)
  • Make it easy for your customers to identify what type of food your business serves
  • The style of your photos should complement the branding of your establishment

Food Photography tips

  • Don’t use close-up shots
  • Opt for plain and clear backgrounds 
  • Introduce contrasting colours
  • Don’t take shots of food on utensils
  • Don’t overcrowd the shot 
  • Avoid cropping your photos
  • Try to showcase ingredients prominently
  • Don’t take blurry photos
  • Don’t use overly colourful backgrounds
  • Don’t use artsy photos, keep it simple


  • Steer clear of poor, overexposed and underexposed lighting 
  • Avoid oversaturating the photo 
  • Take the photo in a well-lit environment 


  • Add dimension by using textured backgrounds like wood, ceramic and marble
  • Do not use distracting backgrounds that will divert attention away from the food

#2. Foodpanda 

Another top-of-mind food delivery app in Malaysia is Foodpanda, known for its speedy delivery and excellent deals and discounts. With Foodpanda, there are three types of photos that you can leverage to make your business stand out from your competitors – listing photo, banner photo, and dish photo.

Listing photo – If there is one thing to get right with your food photography when using Foodpanda, it’s the listing photo, the image that first shows up when your customers come across your restaurant on their Foodpanda feed. As the first visual point of contact, you want to make sure that your listing photo is not only attractive, but is also a good representation of your F&B business. For example, you would want to select photos of restaurant signatures and standouts rather than seasonal offerings. 

Banner photo – Apart from the listing photo, the banner photo is also a chance to show potential customers what your F&B business is about, as it will be the foremost image displayed on your restaurant profile. Given its larger size and width, it’s a good idea to have your banner photo showcase a variety of items that your restaurant offers to give potential customers a clear idea of the specific cuisine you offer. 

Dish photo – Try to include individual photos of each dish on your restaurant’s menu available on the Foodpanda app. These should be clear and up-close shots that aim to entice and allow customers to see exactly what they are in for when ordering from your eatery. 

Image size

Listing and banner photos

  • Minimum dimension of 1440px x 1053px 
  • Minimum size of 200KB
  • Menu items should be at the centre of the photo
  • Images should be clear 
  • Images should only feature food served by your eatery
  • Watermarks, logos, collages, text and borders are strictly prohibited

Dish photos

  • Minimum dimension of 1000px x 731px 
  • Minimum size of 200KB
  • Menu items should be at the centre of the photo
  • Images should be clear and in-focus
  • Images should only feature food served by your eatery
  • Watermarks, logos, collages, text and borders are strictly prohibited

Quality requirements

Listing and banner photos

  • Same photos can be used for your listing and banner photos
  • Have images of at least five different dishes
  • Photos should be taken from a 90-degree, top-view angle
  • The picture of your dish should take up at least 80% of the frame
  • All food items must be in focus
  • Props can be used to make the food stand out
  • Choose a plain and well-lit background

Dish photo

  • Use one photo for each dish
  • Many dishes are best displayed in photos at a 45-degree angle, but feel free to experiment with the photo angle depending on the different dishes.
  • The dish should cover at least 80% of the frame
  • The entire featured dish should be in focus
  • Don’t use any props
  • Use a plain background

Tips for lighting 

Tweak the lighting style in your food photography to present your dishes at their very best. 

  • Side light – Accentuates the shadows and bright spots of dishes
  • Diffused light – Use a reflective surface to soften and diffuse the artificial and natural lighting bouncing onto your food 
  • Natural light – The ideal source of lighting in food photography
  • Artificial light – Best to use 2 hot shoe flashes with modifiers 

Tips for editing

Make your photos even more attractive by using the following editing tips.

  • Sharpen the photo – Gives definition to the featured food and makes it appear more striking
  • Adjust the white balance – Warmer light makes food look more appetising 
  • Adjust the brightness and contrast – Enhance the colours, highlights and shadows of your food
  • Tweak the saturation – Makes the colours in your photos pop 

#3. ShopeeFood

Starting as an e-commerce platform, Shopee made its foray into the online food delivery business in 2021 and has quickly risen to become a top food delivery app in Malaysia. If you want to start peddling your eatery’s scrumptious food and beverages on ShopeeFood, then you’ll need to adhere to these food photography requirements. There are three types of photos you will need to prepare: 

Outlet card photo – The very first image that your potential customers will see when scrolling on the ShopeeFood app and learning about your restaurant, your outlet card image should either be represented by your business’s logo–or better yet–a photo of your restaurant’s winning signature dish. 

Outlet banner photo – A large image that goes on your restaurant’s main page on the app, your outlet banner photo should showcase a variety of popular menu offerings. It is a chance to let your customers get a good picture of what kind of dishes your restaurant sells and draw them in, so make the food photography count!

Menu item photo: These are photos showcasing the individual dishes that your eatery offers on ShoppeFood, and should be a clear and accurate representation of what your customers will be in for.

H3: Image size and quality requirements

Outlet card photo

  • Maximum size of 300 KB
  • Image should have a 1:1 ratio size with a pixel dimension of 270 x 270px
  • Image should be in JPEG or JPG format
  • Do not use an image with misleading watermark, text, or unnecessary elements

Outlet banner photo

  • Maximum size of 300 KB
  • Image should have a 2:1 ratio size
  • Must be a landscape image
  • Image should be in JPEG or JPG format
  • Do not use an image with misleading watermark, text, or unnecessary elements
  • Image should not be an image of the shop or restaurant

Menu item photo

  • Maximum size of 300 KB per image
  • Should have a 1:1 ratio size with a pixel dimension of 720 x 720
  • Should be in JPEG or JPG format
  • Upload one photo per dish or item
  • Image must correspond to the menu item
  • Do not use cropped images
  • Image must not violate third-party rights
  • Image should not feature texts, human hands, or other irrelevant elements

Food photography tips 

When it comes to nailing food photography on ShopeeFood, there are a few extra pointers to keep in mind you get the most effective photos.

  • Avoid using blurry images, make sure all your images are sharp and clear
  • Avoid using images that are too bright
  • Choose a plain and simple background that will help your food stand out
  • Take photos from multiple angles and find the one that best showcases your food and the ingredients.
  • Use natural lighting whenever possible
  • Make sure your food is centred in the shot and takes up most of the frame
  • Don’t let the food sit around for too long after cooking 

Upward and onward

As food delivery apps continue to thrive in Malaysia and more eateries are offering food delivery services on these online platforms, it is important to know how to make your business stand out. With these helpful food photography tips, you are bound to stay ahead of the curve and get the delicious food you sell the recognition and attention it deserves! 

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