Instagram marketing for restaurants

Updated: Nov 26, 2020

If you are a food establishment, you may wonder how Instagram could be used to market your business. Instagram is a brilliant tool for marketing a food-based business because it is an image-focused platform, and nothing sells food faster than mouth-watering images that your audience just can’t resist trying.

Here are our top tips for using Instagram for your restaurant


Use the platform to focus on your speciality dishes. If your signature dish is what sells the most, then make sure you post lots of tantalising photos of it plated up and ready to serve to customers. If you are introducing new menu items, you can use Instagram to entice people to try it and give them all the information about it. Instagram is the perfect place to draw attention to this weeks’ specials or trusty old favourites, just make sure you think about the angle, lighting and any background nasties. No one wants to see a dirty screwed up napkin in the background or some guy chewing with his mouth open!

Hidden insight

Offer your audience a hidden insight into behind the scenes at your restaurant. Candid shots of food being prepared, the kitchen (emphasise on cleanliness to score more points) and the staff. Showing your audience what goes on behind the scenes gives them unique access that they would not get during their visit. It also shows an example of that key social media term ‘authenticity’.

Ramp up engagement

Another way a restaurant can use Instagram for business is to ENGAGE. Why not get your audience to vote on the next type of burger you will add to the menu or what flavour milkshake you should introduce. Also, research into food-related national days and post accordingly to boost engagement.


If you have a special event coming up, Instagram is the perfect place to tell people about it. If you offer special deals through the week make sure these are clearly promoted too. Nothing breaks our heart like the words “we never even knew this was on”.

Support local business

Yes, we know you want to scream from the rooftops about your delicious menu but we also need to change things up. People love a source of information. What else can they do after they have come to visit you? Are there events in the local area? If you are mindful enough to use locally sourced ingredients then share information about those suppliers with your audience, they will love you for it. Also, talking about and sharing information about other local businesses could mean you end up with shared followers of theirs who perhaps haven’t used or seen you before.

Use Stories

Stories are a really effective way to show people what you are up to and what you are serving at your restaurant. They are 15 second long clips that work best in a real-life situation rather than a staged table. They last for 24 hours and then they disappear into the Instagram abyss... kind of. You can make highlights out of your stories so if for example you do 6 stories of the chef making and assembling a certain dish, then you can save those stories into a highlight and call that highlight "whatever the dish is called in real life". You can also share posts onto your stories and they get archived which means that you can save them, download them and use them as content on other platforms like Facebook! See... they're pretty cool aren't they!

Get in touch with Purely Personal Marketing for more information on how our expertise and creativeness can help your business