Restaurants used to either hate or be highly suspicious of people who took photos of their food . Why would they do this and what for? Understandably as a chef, you don't want some person snapping a photo of your prize winning dish and taking that off to some other restaurant where they could potentially copy and sell something similar. Then there is the other side of things, which would be someone taking a photo and talking about how awful the dish was online or to their friends.
Nowadays, restaurants and customers consider it a fact of life to snap photos of their food, especially with the convenience of cell phones. But why, you may still be wondering, do people "need" to do this. Well, the short answer is, they don't, but from the restaurants point of view, this is the cheapest (free) advertising they can get. I can tell you that just two weeks ago, a friend posted a photo that she took of her dessert, Pisang goreng, which is an Asian dish of fried banana with caramel ice cream, and a week later, there I was trying it for myself.
We eat first with our eyes. From the time of the monkey's if you believe in evolution, we knew fruit was ripe because we could see it's colors, and then smell it, and then we could taste it. This doesn't change because we now live in a modern world. I take photos all the time of the food I eat particularly when I'm on vacation because just like the beach, or the mountains, or whatever touristy thing, food is a part of your experience whether on vacation or just in general in life, and because there is so much diversity in the things we eat, it's not as if you're just snapping the same old turkey club every single day.
If I had a good experience with the food and it looked good, I want to share that experience with others and promote that restaurants good food. You and I both look at food advertisements every single day in print, on tv, and even hear the ads on the radio, so how is it suddenly any different or wrong if me as a lay person not in the advertising industry, snaps a photo and sends it out to my friends, to be like, you guys should definitely try this? It's not like I'm not going to eat it. Snapping a photo of the food takes like 5 seconds and then you're off to hopefully enjoy it, so I say snap away and have the memory, just like any other, of a good food experience that you perhaps want to share with others. The trick is simply not to get carried away with it, snapping 15 pictures and such.