restaurant instagram marketing

Knowing the most effective restaurant Instagram marketing techniques can help your business reach new customers and sell more food.

Facebook still stands out as the most popular social media tool that companies can use to connect with their customers. That doesn’t mean that you should avoid other social media platforms, though.

Instagram, for example, has grown rapidly over the last few years. Between September 2017 and June 2018, Instagram went from 800 million to a billion monthly active users

Why Restaurants Need Instagram to Succeed

A look at Instagram’s demographics shows why you need the platform to build your restaurant’s success. According to the Pew Research Center, 72% of teenagers use Instagram.

Teens seem to like Instagram’s focus on visual communication. They’re more interested in sharing pictures and videos than lengthy, text-based texts.

Right now, teenagers probably don’t play a major role in your restaurant’s success. They might convince their parents to take them to certain restaurants for family dinners, but teens don’t have a lot of money to spend.

Regardless, teenagers can help you build a restaurant with long-term success. In a few years, they will graduate from college, get jobs, and have more money to spend. If they already love your restaurant, then they will want to spend that money on breakfasts, lunches, and dinners.

Instagram also offers benefits that you won’t get from most social media sites. When you learn to harness the power of those features, you can improve your brand recognition and increase your sales.

The Benefits of Instagram for Restaurants

The smartphones that companies manufactured a decade ago took decent pictures. Today’s devices, however, come with such advanced technology that several directors have used smartphones to shoot movies.

Improved screens and cameras have changed the way that people communicate. As phones become smarter, people use them less to make calls. Instead, they text each other or send emails. Even 47% of Gen Xers say that they text daily.

Better cameras have also influenced the way that people share information on social media. Posting a picture or short video often takes less time than typing text. Despite the shorter amount of time, images can say much more.

It’s just like the old saying: a picture really is worth a thousand words.

Instagram takes advantage of that truism better than any other social media platform.

Instead of describing your daily special, you can take a picture of it and post it to Instagram. The sight of well-plated food will tempt more customers to order food from your restaurant.

Other benefits include:

  • Restaurant Instagram captions that explain what pictures are
  • Instagram stories for restaurants that make your business more personable
  • The opportunity to respond to customer posts and share Instagram restaurant reviews
  • Access to features that help you market your restaurant in creative ways

The more you think about restaurant Instagram marketing, the more reasons you find to use the platform for business purposes.

How to Keep Your Customers Engaged on Instagram: Restaurant Instagram Marketing Tips

Even when you develop creative ideas, you face a lot of competition from other restaurants that use Instagram well.

Following Instagram best practices for restaurants should help you keep your customers engaged. Unfortunately, there isn’t a set of rules for you to follow.

You might ask a simple question like “how often should a restaurant post on Instagram?” Well, some restaurants post once or twice a day. Others post more often on days when their customers feel responsive.

Since you don’t know exactly what and when to post, you should learn about restaurant marketing ideas and trends by following successful businesses.

Some of the best restaurants Instagrams for 2018 include:

When you study some of the best restaurant Instagram accounts of 2018, you notice a few things, like to….

Include Customers in Your Instagram Stories

Also, make sure you add a few restaurant Instagram hashtags.

restaurant Instagram marketing

Source: https://www.instagram.com/foxinthesnowcafe/

All of the restaurants listed above share Instagram stories that feature customers. The customers always look excited and happy. These pictures are ones of the best and most authentic Instagram restaurant reviews that you can get. Plus, they will make other people want to visit your location so they can have fun, too!

Start by asking your customers to follow you on Instagram and tag them in your pictures. There’s nothing more that says “friends and family” than this.

Show Off Your Most Popular (and Delicious) Menu Items

Get mouthwatering pictures of your best, most popular or newcoming menu items. For a stronger impact, add a caption to the photo. It can include anything from:

  • emojis
  • fun facts
  • idyllic captions
  • funny pictures

Sweet Green writes excellent food captions for Instagram that highlight the best part of what you see.

restaurant instagram marketing tips: salad captions for instagram on the sweetgreen instagrams

Source: https://www.instagram.com/sweetgreen/

Here’s how they do it on the Piada Italian Street Food Instagram account:

restaurant instagram marketing tips: Piada Italian Street Food Instagram

Source: https://www.instagram.com/piadaitalianstreetfood/

restaurant instagram marketing

Source: https://www.instagram.com/piadaitalianstreetfood/

Show Customers Your Priorities: i.e., emphasize the quality of your ingredients

Does your restaurant focus on something special such as getting ingredients from your own farm or sourcing vegetables from local farmers?

Show customers your priorities so they will understand your brand better. For example, you could post dessert captions for Instagram that contains a tag of the dairy farm where you get your milk. You could also highlight the importance of getting dairy from a humane source, considering that emerging food trends focus on local sourcing, fresh produce, healthy eating, and an emphasis on authentic items. (Source)

If you have written food captions for Facebook, then you can do it for Instagram, too.

Respond to Your Customers

When someone posts a picture of your restaurant or food, always engage fast and respond with a quick note.

Something along the lines of “Thanks for sharing! Looks awesome!” has a personal touch and will make your customers feel like they are part of a community.

Here’s how Piada does it:

restaurant instagram marketing

Source: https://www.instagram.com/piadaitalianstreetfood/

restaurant instagram marketing

Source: https://www.instagram.com/piadaitalianstreetfood/

Ask them questions

restaurant Instagram marketing: dessert captions for instagram

Source: https://www.instagram.com/californiadonuts/

restaurant Instagram marketing

Source: https://www.instagram.com/piadaitalianstreetfood/

Advertise restaurant promotions

restaurant instagram marketing: running restaurant promotions on instagram

Source: https://www.instagram.com/piadaitalianstreetfood/

restaurant instagram marketing

Source: https://www.instagram.com/piadaitalianstreetfood/

Advertise food pre-orders

restaurant instagram marketing

Source: https://www.instagram.com/californiadonuts/

These are some of the best restaurant Instagram marketing that will definitely help you build a social presence, so give them a try ASAP.

Related: Local SEO for restaurants

photo of GloriaFood blog writer Andreea Dobrila
Andreea Dobrila

Andreea Dobrila is a proven web copywriter & marketing strategist. She pushes online restaurants on the fast-track to quickly growing their online sales. Win more business by using her bulletproof tips & secrets.

Download’s Andreea’s free report:

**Food Descriptions That Make You Hungry: Hypnotic Menu Writing Tips & Secrets**