Hospitality Know-how

How to Boost Your Restaurant's Presence with Instagram Marketing

Learn why Instagram is a must-have for your restaurant and how to successfully manage your digital presence, from statistics to useful tips.

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As if creating great food, an inviting atmosphere and keeping employees happy weren't enough of a challenge for restaurateurs: now, you have to make sure your restaurant is perfectly represented on social media.

In this article, we'll show you why Instagram marketing is a game changer for your restaurant, the basics you need to know, and give you useful tips on how to get your establishment ready for Instagram.

Instagram in numbers: a look at the key stats

What makes Instagram so unique for your business? From high-quality photos to fun videos: since its launch in 2010, the platform has become a popular destination for visual content, emotion, and storytelling.

This is confirmed by Statista, which shows that Instagram is the second most visited social media platform in the US as of August 2023. The platform is particularly popular with young people, with around 28.3% of users in the US aged between 25 and 34 years.

What do you think: how many monthly active users does Instagram have worldwide?

Instagram has an incredible 2 billion monthly active users worldwide, according to the latest official data.

The numbers speak for themselves: Instagram has become a must-have for restaurants and is no longer a nice-to-have. With the right presence, you can open a world of marketing opportunities for your restaurant.

Increase awareness

With so many active users worldwide, Instagram is a great way to increase your restaurant's reach and visibility, as well as reach your target audience. This can be achieved with thoughtful planning, relevant hashtags, and engaging, authentic content.

Engage customers and employees

Interaction is key to success. With Instagram, you can engage directly with your community by responding to comments, questions, or messages. This will help you attract more customers to your restaurant and make you an attractive employer for new employees.

 Get feedback

Instagram gives you the opportunity to respond to your customers' reviews and continually improve your restaurant. Most importantly, this will increase customer loyalty and long-term customer retention.

A fancy restaurant with two employees behind the bar and no customers.

Mastering the basics: top 6 Instagram essentials

To get the most out of your account, there are a few basics you should keep in mind when using it. Here are the 6 most important basics for your marketing tactics on Instagram:

Corporate Identity

Your restaurant's corporate identity is reflected in all its visual content and ensures a high recognition value for your guests: from the menu to the interior design, to the use of Instagram.

When creating your posts, be sure to maintain consistency and uniformity. In this way, you will not only showcase your delicious dishes on Instagram, but also the personality of your restaurant.

 Profile info

Your profile contains your bio, where you can leave important information for your guests. It serves as your business card, with your restaurant's hours of operation, contact information, and address immediately.

It's now even possible to take orders and reservations via Instagram using the added buttons. This requires a connection to a reservation platform like Quandoo.

 Account content

There are no limits to your creativity when creating posts. Just be sure to present your restaurant in an authentic and cohesive way, offer engaging content to your target audience, and stand out from the competition.

Use Instagram marketing to showcase your menu, the ambiance of your restaurant, or your staff. From the latest restaurant specials to current job openings: Share them and keep your guests updated on what's happening at your restaurant.

But remember, visual content is especially important on Instagram. Take instagrammable photos of your dishes and announce daily, holiday or seasonal menus.

You can also create reels or videos to engage viewers and add value. For example, show how your favorite dish is prepared or have your kitchen team share special tips. This will not only grab your users' attention, but also showcase your restaurant in an exciting way.

 Good quality

The quality of your content is also important. Before you publish, make sure your text is clean and your photos and videos are of high quality.                 

Most smartphone cameras are good enough for this – but make sure you use the right techniques, such as ideal lighting conditions and avoiding flash. If you have the budget, you can also hire a food photographer to get a great shot.

Hashtags und reposts

Hashtags are keywords that you can write below your content. This allows you to reach more users on Instagram and increase the reach of your restaurant. However, be as specific as possible and choose hashtags that are appropriate for your restaurant and related to your location.

Reposting allows you to share other people's posts on your account, increasing your reach and user engagement. However, make sure you have permission to share and that the content is relevant to your concept.


You can also benefit from partnering with successful Instagram accounts. This is because sponsored and promoted content increases your restaurant's reach and awareness. So, think about collaborating with influencers or food bloggers who are a good fit for your restaurant and share positive experiences on their channels.

A photographer takes a picture of a beautifully set table in a restaurant.

5 Tips to rule Instagram for restaurants

To help you get the most out of Instagram marketing for your restaurant, we've compiled 5 helpful tips you should always keep in mind when using Instagram.

1. Post regularly

Regularity and structure are the be-all and end-all of Instagram marketing. Plan your content ahead of time and post it later. This will give you more time to check the quality of your posts and proofread them.

Make sure you post content regularly, not multiple times a day. Aim for two to five posts per week to avoid cluttering your followers' newsfeeds, and don't forget about additional stories.

2. Start being active

It is increasingly important to engage and interact with your audience – especially on Instagram. Follow your fans, comment and respond to their posts, and show interest.

Also, be proactive when people mention you in a post, leave a comment, or ask a question.

3. Invite your followers to interact 

Instagram also gives you the opportunity to promote special events. Think about a contest or a competition that your followers can easily enter and win.

Or use polls to get new ideas for your menu or restaurant. You can easily publish these in your story.

Maybe your followers have a question for you or your kitchen team? Answer them in a fun live stream on Instagram.

4. Leverage user-generated content

Do your guests post a picture of one of your dishes on Instagram? User-generated content is ideal for sharing because it tends to be more authentic than self-promotion. This increases your brand's credibility and visibility.

5. Share positive reviews

On Instagram, it is not only useful to share posts from your restaurant guests. For example, think about positive reviews from your guests on third-party platforms that you can share with your fans (e.g., Google My Business, Tripadvisor). This shows your followers you value their feedback and that you appreciate the recognition.

How to maximize your restaurant's instagrammability

Instagram has become an undeniable part of digital restaurant marketing. With over a billion users worldwide and a focus on a young audience, the platform offers restaurateurs numerous marketing opportunities.

From posts to stories to reel: use Instagram's many tools to interact with your followers, invite them to participate in contests, and post positive reviews.

With engaging and quality content, you can not only increase your restaurant's instagrammability, reach, and visibility, but also build an engaged community and stand out from the competition.

Instagram for restaurants can be challenging at first, but with the right online marketing strategy and a little creativity, it can become an important building block for your success. Remember, practice makes perfect!

→ Marketing for Restaurants: The Essentials for More Success

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