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While making a business profile for an eatery or restaurant, restaurateurs who are new to Instagram must keep in mind that creating an Insta page for your restaurant and establishing presence is just the tip of the iceberg. To stay at the forefront by keeping those coveted spots and mastering Instagram marketing for your restaurant is a whole new ballgame – one that requires a lot more groundwork.

It’s impossible to ignore how fast Instagram has risen to the top in no time and is now the holy grail of social media channels. Over a decade since Instagram came into the picture, it has changed many faces over the years and proven worthy for all users like no other platform out there. Playing on the Instagram gamefield calls for a sizable time investment and effort on your part as a restaurant owner, but if you play tactfully, you can come forth as a winner!

Safe to say, if you use Instagram for marketing your restaurant in order to get more customers or garner more sales, you are on the right path.

Those who are familiar with the fundamentals of Instagram and its workings will agree that it is built on the grounds of engagement and strong visual storytelling. Successfully decoding how to ace restaurant marketing on Instagram requires you to look at what the Instagram algorithm is seeking out of your content.

Safe to say, if you use Instagram for marketing your restaurant in order to get more customers or garner more sales, you are on the right path.

Those who are familiar with the fundamentals of Instagram and its workings will agree that it is built on the grounds of engagement and strong visual storytelling. Successfully decoding how to ace restaurant marketing on Instagram requires you to look at what the Instagram algorithm is seeking out of your content.

That being said, the ultimate goal for you with your restaurant marketing on Instagram should be to keep your customers hooked on longer by building a stream of content that they are likely to find relevant, appealing and interesting.

Consequently, Instagram algorithm also favours accounts who can garner more screen time from users. This is all the more reason for you to abide by the rulebook because the success of your restaurant largely depends on it. Understanding what the Instagram radar is on the lookout for can spell success for your restaurant.

How Effective Is Instagram For Marketing Restaurants?

If you’re wondering how much value Instagram can actually add to your restaurant, remember, it’s not fate or pure luck that brought Instagram to the top. This social media platform of choice for over 2 billion global users has evolved to serve a diverse audience in ways that could help them amplify their reach and optimize their content further to gain more customers. Influencers, bloggers, artists, brands, and everyone in between has jumped on the Insta bandwagon since its inception 12 years ago.

Today, Instagram is one of the most sought after social media platforms for multiple reasons. The emergence of business profiles, insights, advanced metrics, geotargeting capabilities, paired with the platform’s original unique value proposition – visually-centric, instant and high brand visibility, certify Instagram as an extremely competent marketing tool, even for local businesses.

As a restaurant owner, you’ll also feel at ease knowing that the popularity of Instagram remains undisputed with over 135 million Instagram users clicking on shoppable ads everyday! This is definite proof of its effectiveness and the degree to which Instagram could work for your business.

7 Strategies For Successful Restaurant Marketing on Instagram

Allow Online Direct Ordering via Instagram

By now it’s established that your business needs to be present on social media but in the modern-day context, you can’t be running a restaurant without integrating a sales channel on social media either! If you haven’t already, it’s high time that your restaurant business gets in on the social commerce movement which enables you to sell across any social media channel. 

With Instagram being a vital medium for such a diverse audience, it becomes a prerequisite for setting up a direct channel between your restaurant and your customer. One of the easiest ways to sell on Instagram is by integrating an order generation system into your Instagram account.

Let’s take Lyve as a case in point. Using Lyve, you can add your restaurant’s direct ordering link to the Instagram bio. Customers who are visiting your Instagram profile don’t have to take the extra effort of looking up your website to find out how to order from you; all they need to do is click the link in your bio and they can instantly place an order! For restaurateurs who are looking to keep the customer base growing, you can count on this direct ordering link on your Instagram to get the job done.

Use Interactive And Relevant Hashtags

The thing with hashtags on Instagram is that people seldom use them correctly but do it right and your restaurant will instantly grab attention. Moreover, you have a higher likelihood of being noticed by new users who are interested in your restaurant. On the flipside, using irrelevant hashtags can do you more harm than good, or worse risk getting reported by those pesky followers, only to get penalized by Instagram’s algorithm.

Users of Instagram follow popular hashtags and if you happen to end up using one of these hashtags, this new audience subset could view the hashtagged posts from your restaurant in their feed even if they don’t follow you! This is a sureshot way to garner a following. 

Collaborate With Food Bloggers and Influencers

Influencer marketing is the new age word of mouth. As a restaurateur who is frugal with the funds, at first, collaborating with bloggers and influencers may not seem like a budget-friendly method to market your restaurant. But without a doubt, it can bring you an entire flock of new followers, with the added advantage of the influencer’s endorsement of your restaurant. 

Even a brand like McDonalds which doesn’t seemingly need to shell out extra marketing spends is still joining forces with micro influencers to generate awareness and more importantly generate positive reviews about their brand. If your restaurant is missing that little bit of a nudge to gain more followers, running campaigns and teaming up with influencers might just do the trick for you. 

Post Interesting Instagram Stories

Instagram stories have become a hit because they always pop right up on top of the feed and are consumed optimally by all users on Instagram. Creating intriguing stories is a great way to maximize your impact and further expand the reach of your content as a restaurant. 

Even the Instagram algorithm favors accounts that post unique and engaging content often and are quick to promote such accounts. Which brings us to our next point with respect to stories – apart from showing up on your feed, stories also make an appearance on the explore page! Needless to say that potential customers can discover your restaurant just from you posting stories. The more stories your post, the more they will appear on the explore page, and the more followers you can gain!

Respond To Your Instagram Messages And Comments

It may not seem like much at first if you turn a blind eye to that one negative comment you didn’t think would make any difference. Unfortunately, you’re going to be stuck with far greater consequences if you mess up your customer engagement. Believe it when we say, every message and every comment that is going unanswered is detrimental to your restaurant business. 

The whole process of answering queries and complaints may feel overwhelming but it’s underrated how much responding to your comments and messages can pivot your business for the better. Not only can replying to your customers reinforce their belief in your restaurant, it can also position you as a credible brand. Consequently, you can expect ore customers who’ll see you as a restaurant that is actively focussed on delivering an exceptional customer experience.

Advertise To Reboot Your Restaurant’s Instagram Marketing Strategy

Running digital ads as a part of your marketing strategy can be quite productive for you as a restaurant because you aren’t really spending till your ads attain the desired result. Your marketing budget is set aside and only tapped into when you have a new or potential customer clicking or engaging with your ad for instance. 

Another reason you need to consider advertising as part of your marketing is to have a competitive edge over your competitors. As a restaurant, if you’re not running digital ads on Instagram, you’re probably a few steps behind your competitors and that means your chance of attracting new customers becomes bleak. 

On the other hand, if you do decide to incorporate digital ads into your restaurant’s Instagram marketing strategy, you can even the playing field and increase the chances of your success in gaining customers. 

Integrate Instagram with Other Social media Platforms

To come across as an in-demand restaurant with a notable web presence, few options will work for you like Instagram would. However, the gram will only account for a fraction of the cumulative impressions you could be leaving behind. 

What will do wonders for you to enlarge your overall digital footprint would be linking your social media platforms to Instagram. This would give your restaurant the leeway to keep Instagram as your primary social channel and route followers to other social media handles that your restaurant owns.

Integrating Instagram with other social media platforms can additionally attain goals such as increasing your brand reach and awareness. It promotes engagement on your website, driving more traffic and can even help you extract a larger following out of your social media.

Being a restaurant owner is a crucial responsibility on your shoulders to give your customers more ways of engaging and interacting with your restaurant. The effort you invest towards this will be directly proportional to the number of customers you can draw as a result. 

While there is no specific combination of strategies that has proven to be successful, these strategies will serve as a pathway to create your own Instagram go-to plan as a restaurateur. Don’t restrain from testing the waters and experimenting with strategies that could work for your restaurant. Anything that could get you more customers should be given a shot.

Restaurants Who Are Marketing on Instagram Right

The great news for you as a restaurateur is that your experimentation process can be narrowed down, if you look for inspiration in the right places. In fact, there are several notes that you could jot down from restaurants who have been dedicated to slaying their restaurant marketing on Instagram.

We have rounded up some restaurants who have much to teach aspiring restaurant owners and those without any experience on how Instagram works as a marketing tool. 

Krispy Kreme

You’d imagine that a highly loved brand and an enthusiastic fan base would be prone to succeed naturally but for Krispy Kreme the real hurdle to cross was making the most of that fan engagement. A few factors contributed to their Insta win – first and foremost, they resorted to adopting User Generated Content as a key part of their marketing strategy that allowed them to grow their customer base by 1.6 million followers! 

Secondly, they came up with brand-centric hashtags that triggered a banter around their content and helped them penetrate an untapped market.

Finally, they organized giveaways and contests that brought them right on the top tier of customer engagement. 

They also integrated a link for direct ordering which adds up to the seamlessness of it all. 

The totality of all these activities have paved the path for acquiring more customers, ultimately securing a win for Krispy Kreme with other restaurants who’ve decoded what it takes to own the digital space on Instagram. 

Taco Bell

One could argue that Taco Bell’s widespread presence offline has given them an upper hand with their Instagram marketing but the truth is that they have aced their engagement and are miles ahead of their competitors simply because of the power of their content. 

Whether it’s from a visual standpoint or the ability to create witty content, they have been able to build a connection with customers on so many levels. Their campaign building game is strong and has customers seeking more! Exact why it’s no surprise that Taco Bell has managed to create a powerful brand recall with over 1.4 million followers! 


On a global scale, Chili’s humbly found its way onto its customers plates and is now making its way on their screens. What really stands out about Chili’s Instagram page is how they have diversified their content with a mix of pop culture, branded messaging, and humor to come off as a relatable brand. They have a relatively smaller follower base than Krispy Kreme and Taco Bell or even some other eateries but one of the biggest takeaways from a restaurant like Chili’s is to sprinkle your content with personality.

The scope of what one can do with Instagram marketing can’t simply be boiled down to just a few aspects. It isn’t necessary to be amusing and fuse pop culture like Chili’s, or run giveaway contests like Krispy Kreme. The key learning here is that it is absolutely essential to find a unique voice for your restaurant and discover your place in the digital world.

The Opportunity Instagram Presents For You

The Instagram frenzy has reached even the remotest corners of the globe, and for most users, Instagram has secured its spot as the most engaging social media platform that exists today.

As of April 2022, roughly 31 percent of global Instagram audiences were aged between 25 and 34 years. Over two thirds of total Instagram audiences were aged 34 years and younger, making the platform particularly attractive for customers and brands alike. It can’t be more obvious that being on Instagram is the direction your restaurant business needs to take.

With a comprehensive checklist that can ensure the success of your restaurant’s marketing on Instagram, you now have what it takes to gain new customers. But you need a solid support system to make your life easier and your restaurant business more organized. 

And that would be our cue.

We’re not here to tell you why Lyve is ideal for your brand but rather to show you that Lyve is built in with the formula to ace marketing your restaurant on Instagram and other social media platforms. You can also benefit from various other solutions that will enable you to get a higher volume of orders and a whole lot more customers! 

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