video marketing for restaurants
by Laura-Andreea Voicu

It should be no surprise that today’s internet culture is based heavily on catchy, short, and impactful videos. A 60-second video that leaves customers mouthwatering and wanting to place a reservation is the perfect example of restaurant video marketing that will boost your sales.

Learn how to leverage the power of video marketing for restaurants to upend your competitors and attract more hungry customers. We tell you why video marketing is important, what its benefits are, and provide 20 tips and ideas you can implement today.

P.S.: We’ve sprinkled some of the best restaurant video ads throughout this article so keep an eye out for extra inspiration.

What Is Video Marketing?

Before we get into the “why” and “how” of it all, let’s start with the “what.” What is video marketing? Simply put, it’s the use of video content to market your products and promote your business, as well as reaching more people and increasing engagement online.

You can also use video marketing to share events that your restaurant is a part of, provide entertainment, showcase how-to and instructional videos, and more.

For creating attractive how-to and instructional videos to market your products and promote your business, try FlexClip, an easy and fast video editing service. It provides useful tools and dynamic elements, including hundreds of marketing video templates, millions of royalty-free footage, and music for choice.

Why Is Video Marketing Important for Restaurants?

According to a Brightcove study, 76% of customers said they’d purchased something after watching a marketing video. It is that buying instinct that you should tap into with the help of restaurant video marketing. Millennials are the biggest consumers of videos, with 85% having purchased a product as a result of watching a video.

And it makes sense that videos trigger our impulse to buy when you look at how many people watch videos every day. A Nielsen study found that more than 70% of millennials watch videos on social media daily. The same survey showed that 85% of U.S. adults watch videos online.

People don’t just watch videos on social media; they also share them. Videos get more shares on social media than both text and images. 92% of the people who browse on their phones share the video with others.

That said, it’s clear that video marketing for restaurants is not just a whim or even a side thing you can do anymore. The importance of having a video marketing strategy in the restaurant industry is undeniable. It has become a necessity if you want to cater to the interests of today’s consumers. It can ultimately lead to increased business and loyal, more engaged customers.

5 Benefits of Video Marketing for Restaurants

  • You will get more reach on Facebook than you would with a text post or an image.
  • Videos allow you to show off your menu in a way that no image ever could. Video is the best medium for a dish to shine.
  • You can use video marketing to let people know about the history and heritage of your restaurant. Taking them on a quick tour of the restaurant, the building, and the neighborhood, while sharing fun and interesting tidbits, will give them a sense of the atmosphere they can expect.
  • Video marketing boosts SEO efforts. By using a video, you increase your chance of getting on the first page of Google by 53 times.
  • Your brand will get name recognition and visibility. People will remember your name if the video is memorable, and might like you on social media. The next time your name pops up on one of their Google searches, they might remember you as “the restaurant that did that cool video on Facebook.” This can have a snowball effect, and they might end up visiting your website, browsing your menu, and placing a table reservation.
Start Taking Table Reservations Today. It's free and always will be!

Infographic: Video Marketing Statistics That Will Make You Look Twice

If you’re still not convinced that you should get into video marketing ASAP, here are some jaw-dropping video marketing statistics that any restaurant owner/manager should know.

video marketing statistics for restaurants

20 Video Marketing Tips & Ideas to Help You Stand Out

1. Think Local

Your primary focus should be to cater to your local audience and convince more people to visit your restaurant. Usually, people who live in your area will be your most loyal customers. Since your goal should be to get repeat business, it makes sense to target those people first and foremost.

Regardless of whether you plan on creating an ad or you just want to share the video on social media, locals will see it if you know how to target the ad or how to use Instagram’s geotag feature.

Of course, you should share your restaurant videos on YouTube as well. Still, the audience there is global, and you might not get many customers. You can, however, target tourists by posting your videos on websites like TripAdvisor.

2. Optimize Your Videos for Device/Platform

One of the most important things to remember is that your videos should be perfectly visible on all devices. Most people will watch your videos on their mobile devices, and most likely on social media, so make sure you optimize them for the device and the platform.

3. Film Unique Experiences

Was your restaurant present at a local food festival? Did a local business celebrate an anniversary in your establishment? Did you organize a wine tasting, a themed night, or a party?

Anything in the community that your restaurant is involved in will make an excellent subject for your restaurant’s social media videos. Shoot some clips and post them on your profiles (as long as you have the participants’ permission to feature them).

4. Share Cooking Tips and Tricks

Giving away your recipes (particularly if they’re a trademark) to the public is not a viable option. However, what you can do instead is film short clips in the style of those from Tasty and share them on your social media.

They can be anything from short instructional videos on how to prepare something to tips and tricks from a real chef. Teach your followers how to use different kitchen utensils, make seasonal recipes, or put a unique spin on a traditional dish.

Additionally, encourage customers to share their try at the recipes and repost some of them with their permission. Interacting with your followers is vital, and so is showing them you care by featuring them on your profile.

5. Feature Your Clients

People who love your restaurant and dine with you often may agree to appear in a video. Just ask them nicely and offer something in return like a free dinner or a discount.

Testimonials from satisfied customers are much more effective than restaurants singing their own praises. Click To Tweet

But you can also go beyond testimonials and ask for live food sampling videos, reviews of meals, sharing a great memory they have at your restaurant, and so on.

After posting the video on social media, encourage the customers who were featured to share it with their friends and family. This can help you get even more foodies through your doors.

6. Interview Your Staff

In particular, your chef, because they make the magic happen. If your food is a success, you have them to thank. Ask them if they would be open to sharing some things about themselves. Here are some examples:

  • How they became passionate about cooking;
  • What meal they enjoy preparing the most;
  • What they like about being a chef.

Similarly, you can also interview your FOH staff and servers or shoot clips of them “in action” serving satisfied customers. This will increase your team’s trustworthiness and make people more eager to come to your restaurant, knowing they will be served right.

7. Consider Investing in a Professional Restaurant Videographer

Professional video marketing for restaurants often requires professional help. To make people’s mouths water, your video should capture every exquisite detail of your best dishes. While you could shoot a good video with some effort, a professional videographer will go above and beyond to make your food shine. Similarly, a video editor agency will know which shots to capitalize on when presented with the raw footage.

If you want to shoot a presentation video featuring your restaurant location and some of your dishes, it’s worth investing in a professional. Supervise the entire thing and make sure you choose your most popular and best-looking dishes to feature. They should be fresh and steaming right before they get shot.

Ask for a 360-degree view video to make customers feel like they are looking at the dish in person. Dynamism is also essential, so have someone sprinkle garnish on or pour a sauce over the dish, and ask the videographer to capture that moment on camera.

Related: Video Marketing Guide

8. Take Advantage of B-Roll Shots

B-roll footage is alternative or supplemental footage that is usually used to interrupt the main shot. What you might not know is that b-roll shots can make a great video in themselves.

Put together a video made up of snippets of life at your restaurant: the customers eating, the cook preparing the meals, the people entering the restaurant, the bartender preparing a drink, etc. Add some lively background music, and you’re done, which brings me to my next point.

9. Choose the Music Carefully

The music playing on the background of your videos will set the tone for the entire thing. There’s a reason why music is one of the most stimulating elements of ads. The right song can add much value to your clips, even transforming them completely. That said, it’s essential to choose the music concerning the theme of the clip. If your video is emotional, an upbeat song will defeat the entire purpose.

10. Allow Customers to Get to Know YOU

You, as the restaurant owner or manager, can say the most about your restaurant. From how you first got started, to what inspired you to open your own restaurant, what were the most difficult but also the most satisfying things on your journey, and so on.

Depending on the vibe of your restaurant, you can keep the video light and funny or appeal to people’s emotions and sense of community. Your videos should always be in tune with your restaurant’s theme and concept.

A family-owned little Italian bistro can efficiently work on fostering a sense of community while appealing to emotions like nostalgia. In contrast, a funky bistro can afford to be funny and witty and rely more on humor.

Here is an example of a Subway marketing video. Its CEO, Trevor Haynes, talks about the company’s history, local communities, what makes them great, and what plans they have for the future (like a new Subway app). His message is interspersed with shots of the staff preparing the sandwiches, their locations, and satisfied customers eating. It has it all.

11. Showcase Local Suppliers

People love knowing restaurants are sourcing their ingredients locally and responsibly. If you are one of those restaurants and if your local suppliers agree, take a camera with you the next time you visit them on their farm or vineyard. Your customers will get a sweet story, you will get the recognition you deserve, and your suppliers will get free publicity. It’s a win-win-win!

More than a photo, a video will make customers feel like they’re sitting in front of the dish, moments away from tasting it. This will accelerate their desire to eat it. Videos of your food are always welcomed, especially if you want to promote seasonal or new menu items. Consider showcasing dishes as the chef prepares them for a peek behind the curtain.

This is how Buffalo Wild Wings decided to announce the comeback of one of their most popular products, the Jammin’ Jalapeño sauce: by trolling their customers. Take a look at this simple and effective marketing video:

13. Give Customers a Look Behind the Scenes

Speaking of peeks behind the curtain, customers enjoy exclusive looks at how their food is prepared or how the staff creates the restaurant’s atmosphere before opening it. Give them a taste of what they wouldn’t usually see to build trust and capture their attention.

14. Use Video Content to Grow Your Team

If you’re particularly picky about whom you add to your team, create a “join our team” video and add it to your careers page. Share what makes your restaurant unique and how a day would look for them if they were to work there. Quality, reliable people will be more interested in applying after seeing your dedication to every member of your team.

15. Add a CTA in Video Ads

Not all videos you share should be ads, but sometimes you will want to share a restaurant promo video, and that’s okay. It’s recommended to add a call to action in restaurant promotional videos so you can engage customers. Allow them to click on a button at the end of the video to go to your website, view your menu, claim a promo code, etc.

For example, you could create a video featuring mouthwatering shots of a new menu item and offer a 20% discount to people who order it online. Add a call to action like “Claim Your 20% Online Discount” that sends customers to your online ordering page.

Create Promos for Free in 3 Easy Steps. Encourage customers to spend more per order & order more often.

16. Don’t Be Overtly Commercial

While you can still have calls to action in your videos, don’t make all of your videos ads or try to sell your product all the time. Most of your videos should be enjoyable even for people who don’t necessarily want to buy something from you, visit your restaurant, or place an order online. If you do a good job, customers will naturally become interested in who you are and research you further.

17. Send Videos as Holiday Greetings

The holidays are a great time to showcase your restaurant’s festive atmosphere and entice people with your holiday specials. Wish existing customers season’s greetings and end the video with a call to action that they can click on to get a special discount on their next visit. Send the video to your email list in a newsletter or share it on social media if you want everyone to benefit from the discount.

Here is how IHOP promoted its Grinch-inspired holiday menu. They showed delicious shots of their food, highlighted an offer (kids eat free every day from 4 to 10 PM), and sprinkled some comedy.

18. Give Back to the Community

Especially if your restaurant is located in a tight-knit community, showing support for all the members of that community will go a long way. Do you regularly donate to charities, organize food donations, or turn your restaurant into a food bank once a month? Filming some shots summarizing your experience will not only raise awareness of the problem but also show you care.

19. Branch out

Video marketing for restaurants can be anything you want as long as the content is somewhat related to the restaurant industry and food in general. For instance, you could shoot restaurant vlogs or make a restaurant YouTube channel where you post weekly interviews with your staff or customers. You could also interview industry experts or feature your cook preparing a recipe every month. The sky’s the limit!

Here are some tips on how to shoot a cooking video for your food vlog:

20. Don’t Overdo It

People’s attention span nowadays is very short. We are easily distracted, and we appreciate short videos that capture our attention and get their message across without wasting our time. So, keep any videos you shoot short. The length of the video should also depend on the platform you plan on sharing it or promoting it on.

Here is the estimated video length for the leading social media platforms:

  • YouTube: 2 minutes
  • Facebook: 60 seconds
  • Twitter: 45 seconds
  • Instagram: 30 seconds

As you can see, YouTube is the most permissive when it comes to long videos. However, you shouldn’t limit yourself to posting videos on YouTube and then sharing them on social media.

Native videos on Twitter and Facebook have a ten times higher reach than posts that include a link redirecting the viewer to YouTube.

Don’t overdo it with the number of videos you post, either. Spamming your customers will only annoy them. Here is how often you should post videos on each platform:

  • Twitter: 2-4 a week
  • YouTube: 1-2 a week
  • Facebook: 1-2 a week
  • Instagram: 1 a week

Wrapping up

This has been our take on video marketing for restaurants. As we’ve shown, there are many things you can do with food video marketing, and the extra views and reach are guaranteed. Luckily, restaurant video production doesn’t have to break the bank. So even if you can’t afford professional help, most of the ideas above can be implemented by amateurs with a decent camera.

Have you ever experimented with restaurant video marketing? Let us know!

photo of GloriaFood blog writer Laura-Andreea Voicu
Laura-Andreea Voicu

Laura-Andreea Voicu is an experienced content writer with a knack for marketing and SEO. She delivers business-optimized content to help restaurants boost sales and grow their brand.