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Best social media platforms for restaurants

Social media platforms guide for restaurants and food business

By Nadine Hashem

People are influenced by social media posts, comments and reviews. A study showed that nearly half of US diners (45%) tried a restaurant for the first time based on social media post of that restaurant or bakery or any business offering food  while 89% search for a restaurant on social media.


Can you even afford to survive without having an active social media presence?


Covid19, lockdown, no dine-in options or social distancing when dining in.


Customers will eventually forget about you while they see push notifications and ads from your competitors if you’re not actively present on different social media platforms.


Why do you need social media and online platforms in your business?



Ongoing interaction


You post a picture of a new dish, offer or opening hours maybe on Instagram or Facebook.

You instantly receive comments or emotions on it. You can check people’s comments to have an idea about their response to your post.

From their comments, you can see how many mentions of other people, you can screen negative comments and acknowledge criticism to be able to respond to your audience’s demand.


You use social media platforms to create certain engagement. You first listen to your audience then engage by responding to the majority’s demands and preferences.


86% of companies use social media tools but only half of them uses these tools to be engaged with their audience while 71% of users are more likely to recommend the business to others if they receive a quick response.




You can easily manage your campaigns or posts. Update your information whenever needed eliminating any delays.

Take the lockdown days where decisions are being constantly changed. One day you’re open the second you can’t.

You update your audience with any upcoming changes that may affect them especially when it comes to reservations previously made.

Let’s say you have an offer for a single day, you can post your offer’s details and share responsiveness to this offer.


Who needs social media?


Are restaurants the only business in the field needing social media and online platforms?


 Of course not. All the food businesses need social media.

People need to be informed about your operating hours, prices, new products, locations.

The best and fastest way to get to your audience is through social media.

Whether you are a restaurant, bakery, pizzeria, fast food restaurant or small around the corner shop, your audience needs to see you actively present on social media.

The first direction that people look into is social media so be there.


Which platforms to use?




Facebook has the highest conversion rate for all businesses that’s why you need to have a page on Facebook and keep it updated.


Conversion rate is the rate at which the visitor went on to a purchase after visiting a page.


At a rate of 1.85%, Facebook has the highest rate among other platforms, the marketing group clarifies.


85% of all orders from social media originates from Facebook.




Instagram is the most engaged social platform with 2 to 7% engaging and interacting with each post.

In 2020, Hootsuite’s own social media team reported an average Instagram engagement rate of 4.59%.


Instagram is a picture-based platform. It depends on the visuals, the thing that attracts people to choosing restaurants.


Engagement means:

  • Comments
  • Shares
  • Likes
  • Followers and growth
  • Mentions
  • Hashtags




Based on an average day on Twitter for the industry, 26.32 tweets can generate, 86.32 replies, 511.01 @mentions and 121.74 retweets.


The food and beverage industry is keeping a valuable communication between its platform and their audience in order to create brand loyalty.





Despite the fact that Pinterest was launched after most of the social media platforms, but it could thrive among other platforms because of its appearance.


It’s picture driven so it’s in restaurant benefit to have an account to share their most delicious and attractive pictures.


What makes it unique is that it’s a visual discovery engine. It gives your customers the most realistic feel of your meals and products.


It will open your audience’s appetite and soon enough you will see knocking on your door especially from the younger demographics from 18 to 40.


Panera Bread is a great example on fast food restaurant that excelled on Pinterest using mouth drooling pictures and high customer engagement.


How can you use social media?


  • Post and share pictures and videos of your restaurant and food platters
  • Post and update menu and prices
  • Announce new offers or new product
  • Showcase positive customers’ experience
  • Post videos about what happens behind the scenes such as meals or deliveries’ prepping.
  • Show up your staff.


Most important tips


Listen and Engage your customers


Don’t just post a picture of a new platter and think you’re done.

You have to keep an eye on the comments and the audience response on this picture.


If negative feedback generates from this post, find a way to respond to your users demand.


Plus, ask them questions before posting something new.


For example, if you have a new meal or offer ask them what do you think is cooking?


Or guess the new platter and win.


Maybe you can ask them about a secret ingredient.

Guess the secret ingredient and order the platter for free.


Always respond to your users whether it’s a negative review or feedback, a complaint or a content feedback.


Never ignore your audience.


Talk and benefit from trending topics


You can highlight social or trending topics creating ads around it to increase awareness about your restaurant.


Oreo used the blackout that happened during the Super bowl to create an ad that had over 15,000 retweets.


social media platforms


User-generated content


UGC is like having someone else doing the online marketing for you. People dine in your restaurant or order your food and post pictures enjoying your meals and tagging you.


You simply repost these posts on your page to show appreciation for the customer and to gain more awareness.


Show off your staff and your behind the scenes processes


You have a wonderful hardworking staff so make sure you showcase them. Post videos and pictures about celebrating their birthdays, about new mothers or super mothers, post their pictures on occasions like Christmas, mothers and fathers’ day.


It shows your audience some of your business values and personalizes your relationship with them.


Post videos of meals’ cooking and delivery preparations that show transparency and confidence from your end.



Make sure your profile and information are updated


Nobody likes to check your checking hours on Facebook let’s say to come visit you and find that you’re closed.


Neither they like to check the menu for the prices to find out prices are higher when they come to your restaurant.


Imagine having an old phone number that is no longer in use or that you’ve recently changed your location.


All this should be kept updated especially during the lockdown because many restrictions apply on your operations.


Social media platforms have become a key factor for success for all businesses.


So you better embrace it smartly to boost your sales and ensure your continuity.

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