Why Every Restaurant Should be Using Instagram

If you have a restaurant and are looking for effective ways to promote your restaurant, you need to look no further than Instagram.

Recent studies have shown that adults aged between 18-35 spend an average of five full days looking at images of food on their Instagram timelines.

Instagram is now arguably the number one that restaurants can use to grow their restaurant. If you haven’t got round to creating a profile yet or your profile looks like Mary Celeste this recent survey is a good reason to make a start. This survey showed that 25% of people said they would avoid using a restaurant if they didn’t have an active presence on Instagram

 If you’re still not convinced about using Instagram to market your restaurant check out these statistics.

According to statista, Instagram has more than 1 billion users, with half of these, active every day. Instagram has become known for the sharing of images, but you still may be surprised to know that 95 million photos are shared every day.

A massive amount of these images are food which is great for restaurants as it means if you start posting mouth-watering dishes, your profile is going to see some serious traffic.

Don’t have an expensive camera?

Check out this blog on how to take great images on your Smartphone.

Here are two simple strategies you can use to dominate your local market on Instagram.


person holding a smartphone looking at an influencer on Instagram

1) Find People with a large following in your area who post lots of food posts and ask them to post about your restaurant. This simple hack will get your restaurant some good exposure.

If they have a massive following, let’s say over 40K, it may be worth trying to ethically bribe them with an offer of payment. Just a few new visitors to your restaurant could make it well worth your while, especially if you can turn them into regular customers.

2) Contests are a great way to grow your following. Don’t be stingy, cheap prizes will not attract a lot of entries, the prize must be worth winning. We have learned that the prize that gets the best interaction is around £50. you want the voucher to be enough so that it covers a starter and the main meal.

If you think you can’t afford to give away £50, please remember that people rarely dine alone, which means the winner will probably bring at least one person. If you’re lucky they may even bring a group.

These extra people often mean you end up at least breaking even, or if there are more than two people you could even make a small profit.

We have found that girls are the best when it comes to giving likes and shares so if you decide to promote your competition, we suggest you target women in your local area.

Please be aware of  the platforms T&C’s, asking for likes, shares, and tagging a friend as a condition of entry is no longer allowed, however, you can say something like ” We would love it if you liked our page, shared the post and tagged a friend”

Make sure you add terms and conditions to the end of your post, we recommend adding ” This post is not run or endorsed by Instagram” this is very important when promoting your competition. The other thing you should include is a link to your privacy policy.


a mobile phone showing a competition for a free meal on Facebook

Pro Tips:

Use the competition to get some information. For example, ask the person to enter by commenting about their favourite food. This is an awesome way of discovering what food your audience loves to drool over.

Comment on the entries
This takes time, especially if your competition is popular, however, if done correctly it may just be the most profitable thing you do all month.

The aim of commenting is to glean even more valuable information.
Ask if they have been to your restaurant, you will be amazed at how many say they haven’t. If they are not an existing customer consider offering them a voucher to try you out. If they are a regular customer, now is the perfect opportunity to offer them a voucher as a thank you or if you don’t feel comfortable doing that,  ask them for a review.

Take your competition to the next level
Ask them if they would like to receive a gift on their birthday, if they reply yes, send them a link to your restaurant birthday club, if you don’t have one, you are leaving a massive amount of money on the table. check out the link above to see how we could help you create a birthday club for your restaurant.

Add The Competition To Your Facebook Page
Double or even treble the popularity of your competition by adding it to Facebook. The other benefit is it is much easier to capture data. You could consider using a chatbot that is triggered by a comment. If you add in this killer tool, make sure you let them know in the post description that when they comment on the post they will be taken to Messenger.

Make everyone a winner.
The internet is awash with competitions and many people have grown tired of them, after all, 99.9% of people who enter will get nothing. A great tip is to announce in the post that you decided to give everyone a prize.

Consider offering everyone who entered a buy one get one free offer. We have found that offering a buy one get one free main course works best.

Tell the entrants that you will treat them to a free dinner when they bring a friend. You will get the odd bargain hunter, but from our experience, this offer will make you money.

This works because to claim the offer they will need to bring a friend. you will find that because they feel they are going to save money many of your guests will order a starter and drinks and many will order a desert.

To guarantee your competition is a success give them another offer once they pay the bill (as long as they were not bargain hunters, who ordered a glass of tap water)

The idea of the second offer is to get them to return, put a time limit on the offer, let’s say 10 days. Statistics show that if you can get a person to return one or two times the chances of them becoming a regular customer rises to over 80%.

If you love these ideas, but can never find the time to implement them, why not let us do it for you. Grow Your Restaurant offers an All-In-One restaurant marketing system that is designed to deliver a constant stream of new customers and get your best customers to come in more often.

Everything discussed in this blog is utilised in our restaurant marketing system.

WordPress Video Lightbox