Small Business Promotion

8 Social Media Marketing Tips & Tricks for Restaurants

With social media, restaurants have a whole new space to connect with current and potential customers. The struggle with restaurants has always been that you can have the tastiest food, and still not have customers due to lack of visibility. Social media marketing for restaurants allows you to entice new customers with your delicious treats without them ever having even seen your store front.

Learning how to use the tools of restaurant social media marketing will open up tons of opportunities for your business. Plus, it keeps customers up to date on developments within your restaurant. Trying out new hours? Got a new menu for the night? Whether you’re exploring adding a curb-side pickup service or delivery, social media is the space to announce it all.

Let’s take a bite into these restaurant marketing tips! And if you need some general social media tips on how to set up your profiles and what each app is good for, we’ve got you covered there, too.

Tip 1: Take Polls on New Recipes

This social media marketing for restaurants idea achieves two goals: first, driving engagement with your followers and secondly, getting market research done for free. Instead of spending the time and money to put a new dish as a special in order to get feedback, post a poll on Instagram. Once followers, you’ll get the responses to share with the chef. This idea works for anything, really, from new hours, drink specials, and beyond.

Tip 2: Go Behind the Scenes

So much of restaurant social media marketing is about pulling back the curtain. Think of it this way: people love restaurants with open kitchens so they can see the chef at work, and the same goes for social media.

Take your followers behind the scenes as the prep work is done, as the chef is recipe testing, or as a favorite drink at the bar is being made. This is easy to do as a quick video, and don’t worry about production value—the more authentic it feels, the more engagement you most likely will get.

Tip 3: Highlight Your Takeout Business

Social media marketing for restaurants is also about showcasing the other ways patrons can eat your delicious food. If you offer takeout from your restaurant or are partnered with delivery services like DoorDash or UberEats, post about that often along with links to those sites. Flexibility is key in the restaurant game, and you want to ensure everyone knows about your multitude of options.

Bonus tip: use takeout orders as an additional opportunity to market your business with custom restaurant items like take out bags, pens, and notepads.

Tip 4: Host Cooking Classes

Offering free content will always endear followers to you, no matter what it is. An idea that fits naturally for a restaurant are cooking classes. Host the cooking classes on Facebook or Instagram Live and advertise a week in advance along with an ingredients list. Keep it simple—not everyone is a Michelin-star chef! Once the cooking class is over, ask followers to post their food photos and tag your restaurant’s accounts. Share those photos on your page.

Tip 5: Run Contests & Giveaways

Another great way to drive engagement is with contests and giveaways. People love the chance to win something, whether it’s a gift card for your restaurant, private dinner with the chef, or a custom coffee mug with your restaurant’s logo.

The key with this restaurant marketing is to ask followers to both comment on the post and share it to their profiles. This amplifies your message on social media, and most likely will put your restaurant in front of a potential new customer.

Tip 6: Sell Your Restaurant Merch

Who doesn’t love a custom t-shirt or magnet from their favorite restaurant, bar, or diner? If you have an online shop on your website, link to it from a post or just simply let your followers know you have merch to buy in the restaurant.

Tip 7: Post Recipes

Another no-brainer for restaurant social media marketing is to post recipes. Choose a favorite from the menu or maybe one from the archives that you haven’t had on the menu in a while. This is another easy (and free!) way to gain insights into what your customers like and dislike.

Tip 8: Spotlight the Team

This restaurant marketing tip is all about humanizing your restaurant staff and giving them a chance to introduce themselves to your followers. Whether you do a quick video or a post, ask them to share some fun facts like: where they’re from, their job, their favorite dish, and a food they can’t stand. 

Put a fork in us, we’re done! Reach out to us on Facebook and Instagram for more social media marketing for restaurants ideas.

Catherine O.

From marketing tips to product recommendations, I’m here to help small businesses be their best.

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