A Complete Guide to Restaurant Marketing on Social Media

September 6, 2021

One cannot imagine a restaurant without a profile on at least one social medium. Different places have varying strategies when it comes to running their platform or feed. What is attracting reactions, comments, and shares in 2021?

Restaurant Marketing

Since the dawn of social media, restaurant marketing became that much simpler... or maybe much more complicated? Social media platforms are free marketing spaces for all, however the competition is always treading on our heels. The account managers have to do their best to keep the users interested in their content.

There are many strategies for marketing outside social media, but what will work on Facebook, Instagram or TikTok? Let's find out.

Restaurant Marketing Tip #1: Show off your food from the start

This seems obvious to most, but some people just don't know how to do it. There's no value in a bad photo when it comes to social media, because it won't attract attention. You need to really make those colors pop, add some wow factor or good editing. Learn the right angles and always have lighting in mind when snapping a picture. The food should be looking so juicy that it will make users' mouths water.

What is even more important, you need to capture the scrolling person's attention from the very beginning. This is why a stunning cover photo with vibrant colors will capture the viewer's attention.

Did you know you can schedule your covers with Postfity? Schedule up to 100 pending FB covers.

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Restaurant Marketing Tip #2: Give access to your menu

I can't count all the times I wanted to try out a place and they didn't have their menu anywhere online. This seriously discourages many people who are not adventurous eaters or want to be sure the restaurant will accommodate all their friends with dietary needs. Some restaurant-goers just want to know what they're getting into, others are simply curious. But when it's such a simple task and some accounts don't do it? There's no excuse.

This sushi restaurant gets and A+ for the effort, photos, menu design, and overall presentation.

Restaurant marketing tip: give access to your menu online

Restaurant Marketing Tip #3: Work on your Insta feed

It's no secret that hungry people eat with their eyes. Professional pictures are a must, but it's another thing to make your Instagram feed look like a whole project. The examples below show two restaurant-related businesses, Kitto Katto and Bite me, who make their feed a canvass for marketing.

Restaurant marketing tip: make your feed pop
Kitto Katto
Bite Me

Upload instagrammable content

When you prove with your photos and your feed that the food in your restaurant is insta-worthy, then you are guaranteed a mention and a good shot of an item on the menu. Moreover, you can earn a spot in a slideshow, an article on a big website or some space on the page in the local newspaper.

Take, for instance, these colorful spreads from The Cool Cat Bar and El Krepel.

Restaurant Marketing Tip #4: Share user-generated content in Stories

The cookie business mentioned in the previous section knows how to strut their stuff. They share all their mentions in Stories and even make saved Stories for their pannel. That makes the buyers feel seen and appreciated, but, more importantly, it shows people coming to the account that the company has a lot of orders. The business is booming, clients keep on coming, everything is on the right track.

One of the users with a big following even linked Bite me through Swipe up (see below).

Value customers' creativity

There is other content that comes from users deserving a share. Any sort of creativity or artwork, whether coming from a child or an adult, is worth sharing on your socials. It shows real involvement and proves that your customers are thinking about you and not only your food.

A fan of this Polish restaurant, Vegan Ramen Shop, recreated the restaurant in The Sims.

A virtual token of appreciation used in restaurant marketing

Restaurant Marketing Tip #5: Introduce your employees (+show a sense of humour)

The Internet reacts positively to social media fanpages and accounts introducing employees of a company or restaurant. After all, it's SOCIAL media, so we're looking for some human element in it. Sense of humor is always appreciated (but keep it tasteful!). A funny photo showing that your food is made from scratch (fresh produce) and that your employees are in good spirits when at work will get you lots of great reactions.

Restaurant marketing tip: show your employees and a sense of humour

Restaurant Marketing Tip #6: Ask the right questions

This works especially if you have a conscious and engaged audience (like Krowarzywa), but asking a question cannot hurt ever (unless it's a controversial one). This Polish chain vegan healthy fast food restaurant wanted their customers to reveal the reason for eating plant-based. The number of comments and shares confirms that it was a great question.

Restaurant marketing tip: ask thre right questions

Restaurant Marketing Tip #7: Run a giveaway

Now, making your social media strategy reliant on giveaways is definitely a no-go, because then people will only follow you for the freebies. However, devising a contest or organising a giveaway once a few months with a concrete goal in mind will turn out good for your business.

Take a look at this sushi restaurant introducing a new set with a contest. The number of comments speaks for itself.

Restaurant marketing tip: do a giveaway

Restaurant Marketing Tip #8: Flaunt the macros

Obviously, not everyone is interested in the macro panel of the food they eat in a restaurant. On the contrary, most treat restaurant food as a guilty pleasure. However, the gym culture is everpresent and showing those on a diet that there's a delicious alternative waiting for them may just earn you a new client.

Restaurant marketing tip: flaunt the macros

Restaurant Marketing Tip #9: Create an experience

Some people just want to get the food and go straight home. However, many come for the experience. When the summer comes, there's room for innovation and a whiff of adventure. If it works with your location, make a boat river trip available with some food designed specifically for that occasion and advertise it on your social media. Both your loyal customers and the newcomers will appreciate the novelty.

Vegan Ramen Shop introduced special corndogs and hotdogs to be eaten only at their cruise boat on the Vistula River. Now, that's an original idea!

Restaurant Marketing Tip #10: Celebrate the occasion

Whether the date is in the calendar or you've made it up yourself, it's a great marketing opportunity. First of all, people like to celebrate special days, especially with food. Secondly, you can drop a special promo code or password available only to those who follow your social media account. Thirdly, everyone likes an extra reason to spoil themselves. It's a win-win situation.

Restaurant Marketing Tip #11: Make a video how-to guide

Is your restaurant the type of establishment where you have to compose your order? Some people get stressed about such an array of choices (especially if you have to order by the counter) and others just like to be informed. What is more, you can make the guides in your language and in English, so the tourists will know what your restaurant is all about. Upload it on your website, and on YouTube, Facebook Watch or IG TV.

You can also make a guide on how to get to your restaurant from an underground station or a well-known place, like Cafe van Gogh did.

Restaurant marketing tip: make a how-to guide

Restaurant Marketing Tip #12: Talk about your (hi)story

Whether there's a great historical value behind your place (like being located in a tenement house or it is a family business for years) or there's just a great story to tell in general about where you come from and what were your beginnings like — just tell people about it. Social media is a great place for storytelling, whether in text plus photos or a video format. People, in general, feel drawn to places with a good story.

Sometimes even a plain throwback is enough, like the one Dishoom posted on FB.

Restaurant marketing tip: tell your story

Restaurant Marketing Tip #13: Work those buttons

This one is pretty obvious: use the buttons that are available on your professional page or account. Whether it's Instagram or Facebook, TikTok or other platforms, you can use the buttons to attract customers and make them order food. Facebook is particularly useful, because the button "Buy now" or "Order now" is always at the bottom of the page whenever you scroll on your smartphone. This makes it very easy for the client to be lured in with the photos and convinced to order, because it takes just one click.

It's also good to have a button for those who want to call first. Fortunately, it's available both on Facebook and Instagram.

Restaurant marketing tip: use the buttons

Restaurant Marketing Tip #14: Use time to your advantage

Do you know when people get hungry? Are you aware of the lunch hours of the employees of the offices closest to your place? Well, you should. Plan the opening hour for the designated lunch window, and make sure you post an hour or half an hour before. When people are bored at work or just simply hungry after a busy morning, they are more likely to be enticed with the photo of your meal of the day.

Restaurant Marketing Tip #15: Share a review

You've just received a stellar review? Screenshot it and share it on your socials. If you've been mentioned in the local news, make sure to include the link, so people can read about your place and see professional photos of your interiors, food, and more.

Restaurant marketing tip: share a review

Restaurant Marketing Tip #16: Harness the power of TikTok

It's no secret that TikTok has become a true social media giant. Unfortunately, not every restaurant manager realizes the power that it holds. Some people disregard it as social media for children and think that there will be no discernible conversions owing to TikTok. While learning TikTok might take a while, if you've never been on the platform before (and that's definitely a caveat for some older generations), younger employees may guide you in the beginning.

The important thing is to know what works best on TikTok. So let's take a look...

1) Do a tour

That applies only if you have a really nice interior to show (TikTok commenters can be ruthless otherwise). Just show off the cool design, the bar, the spotless kitchen, clean grills, smiling employees, your terrace or tea garden, a great view if it's possible. People like to know where they're going before they venture to visit.


2) Show a sense of humour

Use a trending sound that allows for a funny skit and ask your boss to participate if possible. If you don't have any ideas yet, just scroll through the For You page for an hour and you'll definitely find something worth re-enacting.


3) Use popular sounds and trends

Anything on the Explore tab, if it's fitting, will do better than a random sound. Find the trend that has just started getting popular, swap ideas with your co-workers and show off the best you've got: employees, jokes, food, interiors.


4) Show the cooking process/share a recipe

People love getting a free recipe for a meal or a cocktail. If you can't divulge any kitchen secret, then show a recipe for a very popular cocktail. Likewise, you can just show the cooking process and not disclose the details about the measurements. It will work as a good teaser for the customers.


5) Go big — the first impression matters

If you have a particularly impressive item on the menu, show it off! Like they say: Go big or go home. Take this restaurant and their giant colorful drinks — they definitely have the wow factor.


6) Surprise your clients

If you have a secret room or a secret menu item, show it off on TikTok. Customers love to be POSITIVELY surprised. Especially, if they can show it off on their social media later (and they will most likely tag you and drive traffic to your profile).


7) Invite an influencer

Collaborating with an influencer may just get you the boost you needed! Partner with them for a sweet demo dinner and let them showcase what's best at your place on their TikTok.


Restaurant marketing: bonus tip

With Postfity’s feature MyList.bio you can create neat and convenient linking minisites for your Instagram and TikTok account bios and other apps. See how to create and navigate your own MyList.bio here. Join Postfity and use this incredible tool — with a free 30 day trial!

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