10 Restaurant Social Media Ideas You Need to Try

a photo of Sevenrooms


5 min read

Nov 22, 2022

10 Restaurant Social Media Ideas You Need to Try

Social media is a powerful marketing tool for restaurants. In fact, forty-five percent of people have tried a new restaurant just based on what they’ve heard about it on social media. And, roughly one in five diners has returned to a restaurant because of content the restaurant posted on social media. 

The bottom line is that social media marketing is worth the investment. If you’re looking for social media ideas for restaurants to take your digital presence to the next level, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide to restaurant social media ideas, you’ll learn:

Fresh Facebook Social Media Ideas for Restaurants 

Facebook is one of the oldest social media platforms. It’s also one of the most influential when it comes to diners’ restaurant decisions. In fact, 72% of Facebook users have chosen a restaurant based on photos and comments they’ve seen and read from other Facebook users. 

1. Promote Menu Updates with Mouth-Watering Images

Got a daily or seasonal addition to your menu? Share a photo of it with your followers to tantalize them to dine with you or order takeout. In your caption, invite customers to make a reservation or order online and include links to your booking and online ordering pages.

Facebook social media ideas for restaurants menu updatesOsteria Morini uses Facebook to tell followers about an extra special, once-a-month menu item and uses a call to action to encourage them to book a reservation. 

2. Go Live with an “Ask Me Anything” Series

Your restaurant is staffed with talented people with expertise to share. Create engaging content while making staff feel valued with an “ask me anything” live stream series via your restaurant’s Facebook Page.

Tell followers who will be starring in your next video: your executive chef, general manager, beverage director, etc. Then, ask followers to submit questions in advance. Leave time to answer questions that come in during the live stream.

3. Partner Up for a “Night Out” Giveaway

Give your followers the opportunity to win an all-expenses paid night out. You can partner with other local businesses such as spas, rock climbing gyms, or theatres to give customers the chance to win dinner and an experience through a Facebook contest. Working with other businesses is a great way to support the local community and offers an excellent opportunity for cross-promotion. 

4. Connect Facebook and Instagram

Because Facebook and Instagram are owned by the same company, you can easily link your restaurant’s Facebook Page and Instagram account. Doing so gives you the option to automatically cross-post on both platforms when you upload social media content to one platform. This shortcut saves you time if you can only focus on one of these platforms.

Share-Worthy Instagram Ideas for Restaurants

Do you ever notice diners taking photos of their food before they dig in? You have Instagram to thank for this phone-eats-first mentality. One in four Instagram users shares food content, while 38% consume food content. Foodies check Instagram 18 times per day, on average. 

Pro tip: Optimize your restaurant’s Instagram bio to turn followers into customers. Take advantage of this space to add your restaurant’s address and hours, and a link to your online ordering or reservations page.  

5. Turn Photos Into Videos

Posting mouth-watering photos of food to your Instagram is an obvious way to keep followers engaged. Another strategy growing in popularity is to share videos to your feed. Instagram’s algorithm is prioritizing video content to compete with TikTok and turning videos into Reels, which mimic TikTok’s successful, snappy videos. So if you share videos, they’re more likely to be shown to your followers.

Restaurant Instagram ideas reelsChicago’s etta is savvy when it comes to Reels. In this Reel you can see one of the restaurant’s chefs preparing a unique pasta shape. Etta’s social media marketing manager optimized the post by using relevant hashtags to help more people discover it.

6. Show What’s Going On Behind the Scenes With Stories

Everyone knows that your Instagram feed is reserved for polished content. Share spontaneous, behind-the-scenes photos and videos through Instagram Stories. You could show your team decorating for the holidays, or a chef working on a new recipe. Get creative and have fun!

Restaurant Instagram ideas with storiesFilipino restaurant Tabachoy Philly uses Stories to show off a kamayan, a communal feast eaten with hands, it hosted for its team. Tabachoy Philly starts the story by sharing the impressive spread, and ends with footage of guests taking home an abundance of leftovers.  

Need help planning your Instagram calendar? Download the Instagram Scheduling Template & Guide

7. Create Photo Ops at Your Restaurant

People are more likely to trust recommendations from other people on social media than advertisements from businesses. By creating photo ops at your restaurant, your customers can promote your restaurant for you through user-generated content.

Create an Instagrammable mural, space or dish. Then, include your restaurant’s Instagram handle on the mural and/or on your menu to encourage customers to tag you when they post content to Instagram. This way, their followers will know where to go to replicate this social media content.

Instagram photo op ideas for restaurantsTake inspiration from Chicago’s Tuco and Blondie. This Mexican restaurant has a colorful mural on its facade that attracts many tags from customers and passersby.

Ideas for Expanding Your Restaurant’s TikTok Presence

TikTok has become one of the most powerful social media platforms for influencing dining decisions. Recent MGH research found that 53% of millennials and 38% of people from all age groups have visited a restaurant after seeing it on TikTok. The platform’s visual nature plays a major role in its influence in the food realm. The study also found that 72% of TikTok users have sought out restaurants they’ve seen on the platform because of how appetizing a dish looked. 

Do you want to level up your game on TikTok? Take inspiration from these TikTok-focused social media ideas for restaurants.

8. Partner With Influencers

TikTok’s Creator Marketplace makes it easy to partner with influencers on sponsored content. Use the marketplace to find creators, see their stats, arrange a deal and pay them. You can work with influencers one-on-one or host an influencer event at your restaurant to get content at scale.

9. Show How It’s Made

People are increasingly spending time on TikTok to learn how to do things. Promote your restaurant and create content that’s useful by teaching your audience how to make a popular dish or drink.

Restaurant TikTok ideas of how it's madeIn this TikTok, Toronto’s Tokyo Hot Fried Chicken shows viewers how they make their famous candy fried chicken. The video shows the chef making caramel, dunking fried chicken into the caramel, then cooling it in a tub of ice water. The result is a satisfyingly crunchy and sweet chicken dish.

10. Make Your Signature Dish Go Viral

Going viral is the name of the game on TikTok. When you take advantage of a trend by using its sound or hashtag and applying it to your content, more people will see your TikTok. 

You’ll reach even more people by starting your own viral trend. If you have a unique or shocking signature dish, show it off!

TikTok for restaurant dish ideasThe Red Chickz, a Southern California restaurant specializing in hot fried chicken, went viral by showing what goes into one of its colossal sandwiches. The video has almost 5 million views, and the restaurant has 1.2 million followers on TikTok. 

Capitalize On Your Restaurant’s Social Media Posts

You need to meet your customers where they are, which is why maintaining an active social media presence for your restaurant is critical. Social media is first and foremost a branding tool. It helps your restaurant stay top of mind and communicate information to followers about dishes, events, unexpected closings and more. 

To capitalize on social media and make it more of a sales tool, you have to be strategic. Create links with source tracking attributes for your reservations, online ordering and event-ticketing landing pages. Then, place those links in your bio, about sections and in posts. By using a simple call to action, like “book a table today,” “order now,” or “buy a ticket,” your audience will be more likely to follow through.

On Facebook, you can even add a “book now” button to your Page.

Then, use a restaurant marketing tool like SevenRooms to track analytics on these links and understand which platforms attract the most customers so you know where to invest your social media resources.

Learn how SevenRooms’ restaurant guest experience tools can help you convert social media followers into customers. Book a demo today.

Restaurant Social Media Idea FAQs

How can social media be used to promote a restaurant?

Social media posts can promote your restaurant in many ways. You can show your restaurant’s ambience, showcase dishes, provide pictures to help guests locate your restaurant, provide timely updates on promotions and menus, highlight reviews, and engage with potential or existing customers.

Which social media platform is best for restaurants? 

The best social media platform for your restaurant depends on your clientele. However, Facebook is regarded as a top social media platform. It is commonly used as a search tool for customers searching for restaurants and it offers the ability for guests to leave reviews and for owners to post pictures and updates.

Share this Post