Four in 10 foodservice operators said they will focus more attention on electronic marketing, such as e-mail and online ads. For quick-service restaurants and “all other foodservice” businesses, this rises to 50 per cent of respondents.

Only 17 per cent of respondents said they will focus on traditional marketing, such as direct mail and newspaper ads.

When asked which marketing methods they will devote more resources to over the next 12 months, eight in 10 respondents said they will be increasing their use of social media marketing, such as Facebook ads and special offers via Twitter. For table-service restaurants, this jumps to 90 per cent of respondents.

TikTok is the fastest-growing platform, and is currently changing how people find restaurants. How? They use it (and Instagram) as a search engine — up to 40% of Gen Z prefer this over Google⁵. Additionally, more than 36% of users have eaten at a restaurant after seeing a TikTok about it⁶.

Instagram is the most popular app among Millennials. In fact, 30% of Millennial diners actively avoid restaurants with a weak Instagram presence⁷.


Social media gives you a direct line to potential customers. You can provide information and chat with them. It displays your restaurant and amazing menu where people already hang out online. And it lends your restaurant more legitimacy.

It’s also a great tool to let your diners do the social media marketing for you — 69% of Millennials share pictures of their food, especially if it’s beautiful⁸.


Whatever the platform, you’ll want to follow these guidelines.


  • Make it snappy:  Prioritize short and vertical videos. And if they’re not perfect? No problem — people love videos that feel real.

  • Use paid posts: Amplify important upcoming moments, such as limited-time-only deals, new location openings, and big events. 

  • Post regularly: A good cadence for a restaurant to post is about 3 times a week, on average. It’s especially helpful to create a social media marketing calendar, with posts scheduled in advance.

  • Answer Customer Questions: One of the most important functions of your social account is to attend to customer questions, and offer prompt, personable, and overall informative answers. You’ll want an appointed staff member checking in on DMs or @mentions, daily.


  • Stick to your brand’s personality: Make sure your restaurant’s social fits into your overall restaurant marketing strategy and showcases your restaurant’s atmosphere.

  • Use restaurant social media marketing to get email signups: Email is a great way to stay connected with your customers. Your social strategy can push to email sign ups through paid ads or with a simple link in your account’s bio.

  • Use relevant hashtags: Hashtags help to expand reach and connect with people interested in food and dining. Branded hashtags are great for campaigns, special promotions, and contests.

  • Contests and promos: Speaking of contests, hold giveaways and exclusive promotions to engage your audience and generate buzz. Get them to like, share, and tag friends to increase visibility.


  • Show behind the scenes: People love food and cooking videos and also enjoy an insider’s perspective. Let chefs, sommeliers, bartenders, servers, and more “take over” the account for a day-in-the-life style video.

  • Engage with your audience: Respond to reviews. Repost diners’ pictures to your own account. Chat with them in the comments or direct messages.

  • Jump on trends: If a ‘silly’ dance is trending, let your staff recreate it, but make sure it’s appropriate and relevant to your brand.

  • Get your employees involved: Encourage them to post to their own accounts — especially for events, favorite dishes, job openings, a milestone they’ve hit, or even just hanging out with their favorite regulars. Let them offer on-the-spot discounts to encourage customers to return.

Prepped with these guidelines and strategies, your restaurant will be ready to tackle the social media world.