How to Effectively Use Instagram to Grow Your Restaurant Business

Use a strategy for creating a solid mix of Reels, Stories, and posts on Instagram.

Are you looking to be “Instafamous?” If so, you aren’t alone. With more than 2.4 billion users, Instagram is one social platform you want to use often and strategically for your restaurant.

Gorgeous food photos and videos are some of the most viewed content on Instagram, and it’s one of the most important platforms you want to leverage. (tweet this) What’s more, “Nearly 50% of diners report visiting a restaurant for the first time after seeing it pop up in their social feeds.”

You can see that Instagram should be one of your top marketing priorities. To help you succeed, we look at how to effectively use Instagram to grow your restaurant business.

Complete Your Profile

Fill out your profile and complete all the fields. Make sure to also include a link to your website or your online ordering site.

Consider adding some important keywords to your bio as well.

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Post on a Regular Basis

The algorithms generally reward frequent and active users. To enhance your presence, use a mix of reels, photos, and stories.

When is the best time to post? Generally speaking, the best days to post are Monday through Friday. Saturdays are okay, and Sundays are the worst days. Here is a general suggestion for posting times, but do remember to look at your Instagram insights to see what works best for your restaurant.

Mondays from 11 am to 2 pm
Tuesdays from 10 am to 4 pm
Wednesdays from 9 am to 4 pm
Thursdays from 9 am to 1 pm and again around 2 pm
Fridays at 11 am
Saturdays from 9 am to noon
Sundays from 10 am to noon
Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are often the best days.

Leverage Reels

These are the secret sauce to your success. Instagram Reels are short-form videos that may be up to 90 seconds long. You can record and edit right on the platform, even clipping videos together and adding music, text, and other fun tidbits.

When you post a Reel, it posts to your Instagram feed.

Short-form video is the “it thing” right now, and users can easily find them because reels have their own tab right on the home feed navigation bar. This makes them super easy for your followers to find.

To gain traction on Instagram, you want to follow these suggestions for your Reels:

Create inspiring and entertaining videos.
Experiment with text, filters, and camera effects.
Always post high-quality video content. Don’t use anything blurry or distorted.
Share only original content.

You also want to take advantage of some of these tools (you will recognize them from Instagram stories).

Add text.
Draw something.
Add stickers.
Use AR effects.
Add filters.
Choose your audio.

Finally, don’t forget the captions and appropriate hashtags.

Promote Your Menu

Since many of your potential customers are on Instagram, and they are often looking for a restaurant, you want to make sure they can find your menu.

A good place for your menu is in the highlights section. You can also add a link to your menu in your bio.

Alternatively, you can use software like Linktree to provide links to your website, menu, and even a specials page.

Work With Influencers

You don’t have to do all the work yourself. Hook up with some local influencers (think food bloggers). Partnering with them can help you reach even more people on your platform.

When you work with an Instagram influencer, they will post about your restaurant on their Instagram page. Food bloggers are always looking for new content, so develop a partnership with them. There may be a fee or barter involved, so do try to have an agreement in writing.

Artists, such as local photographers, are another place you can look for a partnership. Just make sure they have a large following.

Beautiful visuals and stunning photography are key on Instagram.

Use Paid Advertising

Social media advertising is still relatively inexpensive, and it’s a great way to get your restaurant in front of more people. (tweet this)

You can fine-tune your ads by choosing a custom audience, locations, and demographics. You can also set your budget for what you can afford. These ads are a great way to direct people to your online ordering and to increase website and restaurant traffic.

Use Story Highlights

You may know that Instagram Stories disappear after 24 hours. This is great if you are highlighting a one-day-only special or an event.

But what about content that you’d like to have stick around a little bit longer? This is where the highlights come in. These are the little circles under your profile. You can save your stories here, so they are viewable indefinitely.

Here, you can showcase recipes, behind-the-scenes content, reviews, menu items, and more. Get creative with your highlight circles and text to entice people to click.

Use Instagram’s Food Ordering Tools

This is the perfect way to get orders from new and current customers. Consider it a brand new revenue stream.

You can do this through special food ordering stickers in Instagram Stories. By adding the sticker, users can tap the sticker and head to the food ordering platform. Here’s how:

Set up food orders with a partner food order service.
Choose a photo or video for your Story.
Select the “food orders” sticker.
Add the partner link for the food order service you selected.
Click done after you enter the website.
Edit the sticker to change its color and position it where you’d like.
Share your story.

Wait for the orders to come in.

Final Thoughts on Instagram for Restaurants

Now that you have some of our favorite Instagram tips, you’re ready to create high-quality content that drives business.

Using this well-loved social media platform can help take your restaurant to new heights. So, create a social media strategy, make a plan, and start scheduling your posts.

Then, you can watch your followers and engagement grow, building your restaurant and increasing your revenue.

Is your website ready to entice customers into placing an order or visiting your restaurant? At Restaurant Engine, we can create a website for you that provides the pivotal spot for your digital marketing. Your website is the centerpiece of your online marketing, and it needs to look and perform well to increase your online sales. You can count on us to create an amazing website that presents a unified brand for your restaurant and works across all digital platforms. Let us help you make the perfect site that draws customers in, improves customer engagement and your conversion rate, and enables you to grow your business! 

 Are you ready to take your restaurant to the next level with a new website?

Get your free website consultation today!

Images: Paras Kapoor and amin ramezani on Unsplash

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