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Salad pictures in a restaurant online advertising

How to run online ads for your restaurant?


Your customers are online and so you should be. The equation is simple.


You want people to recognize you and remember you, you have to strengthen your online presence to run modern business since social media has become crucial to the success of businesses.


A part of online presence and marketing strategy is the online ads that you should run to increase awareness about your restaurant and hopefully turn your first-time visitors into regular and loyal customers.


Knowing that 80% of customers search for restaurants online through their smartphones is enough for you to realize the importance of running online ads.



How to run online ads and what are the best techniques for it?



Facebook ads



Facebook ads are a great way to attract people to your restaurants and turning them into customers counting on your good food, distinguished service and delightful ambience.


Running Facebook ads is very similar to regular offline ads meaning that everything should start with the following:


  • Identify your business goals: You might use Facebook ads to grow your customer base, to increase revenues or to retain your existing customers. You have different reasons to use online ads but you have to identify your main one in order to identify the content and your audience at later stages. Your goal for online ads can be to increase your customer count by 15% in 3 weeks
  • Identify your target audience: You have the option to narrow your choices depending on location, age groups, interests. If your goal is to retain your existing customers then you should aim your customers but if you aim to attract new ones, then you should choose a different target audience that you wish to gain.
  • Set your budget: Your budget depends on how much you can afford and on your projections for the ROI in addition to the goal you need to reach.
  • Set your chosen content for the ads: Your content depends on the goal again. To attract a certain age group, you might post pictures of events that concern them. To reward your existing customers, you might run a campaign that offers your cardholder customers prizes.



Instagram ads



Instagram is all about pictures, videos and reels. Customers are affected greatly by appealing food pictures that make them drool over a post they run into when checking people’s stories.


People usually remember little of what they hear or read but adding pictures to the provided information helps you get their attention at much higher percentage.

Know that people will be checking your Instagram pictures before checking your menu. The only way to make them check your menu or visit you is the impression they have on your Instagram page.


Different formats exist on Instagram:

  • Photo ads: The use of appealing pictures say a lot about the food you serve. It’s your way to communicate with your customers and tell them about your story and your concept. Pictures should have a call-to-action button like order now or call now or book now.
  • Video ads: As appealing as photos, videos are a more interactive way to sell yourself. You have 60 seconds to show your food, method of preparation, welcoming staff and much more with call-to-action button as well.
  • Stories ads: An interesting offer, a new platter or an upcoming event are all worth a post on your story to share the latest news about your restaurant. Anything that requires a prompt action should be added to your story. Customers swipe to go to your Instagram page and start their journey with you.
  • Reels: a shorter and quicker version of videos that people view when they are browsing the explore page. You are given the choice of 15, 30 or 60 seconds videos. It’s a great way to capture viewers’ attention quickly with added music and stickers. Your reels might be something funny or an information that you would like to share with users in a prompt manner.



YouTube ads



We cannot forget about You Tube ads when approaching online ads because they are an effective way to increase your market share and to spread awareness of your brand.


Different formats are:


  • Skippable video ads: After 5 seconds, viewers are given the choice to skip the ad.
  • Non-skippable videos: The videos that must be watched before watching your chosen video.
  • Bumper ads: Up to 6 seconds videos that must be watched before you move on to your video and they are turned on when skippable or non-skippable videos are turned on. You pay for these ads every 1000 times your video is shown.
  • In-Display ads: A video that is shown next to the related You Tube video as a thumbnail which invites people to click on it. You will be charged only when a person decides to watch your ad and clicks on it.
  • Display ads: These ads appear to the right of the feature video and above the video suggestions list.
  • Sponsored cards: Sponsored cards display content that may be relevant to your chosen video, such as products featured in the video through a teaser that lasts for few seconds.






Restaurant sector is well searched on Google so it’s crucial for your restaurant to run ads on google to bring awareness for the audience.


  • Search: Text ads on Google search results and they appear on google and partner sites. If you use keywords in your SEOs such as best restaurants or fast food or fine dining restaurant, your ad will appear shows every time someone uses one of these words.
  • Display: Image ads not based on keywords. Google shows your ads on the partner sites based on the audience or the topic you have targeted and they are very appealing.
  • App: Your app promotion on different channels such as You Tube and Google play store and it works for promoting your restaurant app.
  • Local: Drive customers to a physical location designated specially to promote your events and offers.




You might think that you don’t need to be present in all these different channels, which might be relevant depending on your audience but at least you have to actively promote yourself in most of them to raise awareness and to increase your footfall. Once people visit your restaurant, it is up to you to keep them and make them return.