Here’s How You Become The Chief of Restaurant Instagram Marketing

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So, you run a restaurant and want everybody in town to try your mouth-watering food and maybe get some local followers on Instagram along the way? Excellent! Whether you own a cozy little food truck or a chain restaurant, you can use Instagram best practices for restaurants to boost your business. 

But you may ask, “How do I market my restaurant business on Instagram?” If that’s what’s running through your mind, this article is yours. In this article, I’m going to show you why and how you can use Instagram best practices for your restaurant(s), along with some really cool practical tips to make your restaurant number one on Instagram. But first things first, why Instagram?

Why use Instagram to attract more customers to your restaurant?

Instagram does not need an introduction as it is one of the popular social media platforms. To harness the full potential of its restaurateurs today, leverage E-Delivery solutions as it allows them to manage promotional activities with ease.

If you have the slightest doubt about the power of restaurant Instagram marketing, allow me to enlighten you. Instagram is the perfect digital marketing tool for your business because:

Reason #1: Instagram is loaded up with foodies

Just like the real world, food is pretty much popular in the virtual world too. It’s good to know that food is the third most popular topic on Instagram after travel and music. Instagrammers (especially millennials) spend five whole days per year only to search and watch those food images on Instagram!

taking a shot by phone of food

Reason #2: Foodies LOVE to share food photos

Not only do Instagrammers like to see food, but also they tend to share it. People put photos before the stomach; they literally LOVE to take pictures of their food and show it off on Instagram. There is even some scientific proof for this: Researches showed that 69% of people take photos of their food before eating it

Reason #3: Foodies spend more time on Instagram

Want another great reason for boosting your restaurant on Instagram? Apparently, foodies consume more Instagram content (almost fourfold) compared to regular users! Those who love to eat check their account to see food images nearly 18 times a day.

Another interesting fact about gourmets is that if they don’t see food on Instagram, the chances of eating out are lower among them in that week. 

How to promote your restaurant on Instagram?

The good thing about running a restaurant — well, apart from the fact that you can eat delicious food every day — is that almost everyone loves to eat out! But the bad news is, there are many competitors out there, maybe even right across the street. So, how do you attract more customers to your restaurant when you have this volume of competitors?

The key to success in Instagram restaurant marketing is making your account stand out by creativity. Based on your business and policies, you may want to have a different social media proposal for a restaurant. 

I’ll try to highlight the most important things that work best for any restaurant in the following. So, please read them carefully and try to employ them in a unique way that works for you. 

1- Use food Influencers

As the first item, I strongly suggest that you work with Instagram Influencers. The world of Instagram runs based on digital word of mouth. A single mention of your restaurant by an influencer (even if they use a geotag) can make a mark difference in the number of your followers. Imagine that they actually invite their followers to see your restaurant or upload a video of themselves eating one of your yummy items on the menu. 

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Oslos første sushi restaurant som er karbonnøytral og sertifisert, og i tillegg tar i bruk av bærekraftige ingredienser ? Masse respekt til restauranten som har tatt seg tid til å få til dette! — Når du velger New Nordic set meny til 300 kr. Per person bidrar du med 10 kroner til WWF Verdens naturfonds arbeid med å beskytte havet. New Nordic rettene består av bærekraftig sjømat fra WWFs sjømatguide. — Ekte sushi er enkelt, og alltid godt så lenge råvarene er ferske og risen riktig kokt og krydret! Derfor har jeg valgt å ikke anbefale enkle retter. Til info; så mestrer restauranten alle elementene beskrevet over. — Her har dere liste over retter som er litt unike og som jeg anbefaler: *Spicy Salmon bowl *Portobello nigiri *Salmon og scampi pockets *Miso suppe *Grillet laks med koriander ? *Grillet sashimi *Thai maki, herlig krydret maki rull med scampi! *Grillet kamskjell nigiri med teriyaki og hvitløksmajones *Shiso maki, vegansk eller med laks, begge er knallgode! *New nordic meny som består av: skandi maki, portobello, baltic herring og halibut supreme. ….jeg har ikke fått smakt hele menyen, sikkert mye mer å oppdage. Men da har dere fått lite tips? — ?Restaurant: @sushibarwine — ?Adresse: Prinsens gate 8, 0152 Oslo Nærmeste stopp: Dronningensgate — Menu alternatives: ? Vegan – Oh yes!!!!!!! ? Pescatarian – Yes ? Gluten-free – Yes ? Lactose free – Yes ? Nut free – Yes ©OsloNam©

A post shared by Restaurant & Food Reviewer ??? (@oslonam) on


People often think they have to pay huge amounts of money to influencers. If you can afford mega-influencers, go ahead; you’ll probably get better results. But I used “probably” because, contrary to the common belief, micro-influencers have better engagement rates and ROI than macro-influencers. That’s why many large companies have mapped out micro-influencer strategies. An excellent example of these companies in the food and beverage industry is @cocacola:

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Iris showing the world how to properly rock refreshment. ?

A post shared by Coca-Cola (@cocacola) on


Moreover, micro-influencers are willing to work with you at more reasonable prices. This is great for those who have a limited budget. So, how can you guess which influencer is the perfect one to partner up with? For finding a match, the best option is looking at the number of their followers. A good rule of thumb for micro-influencers is 30k-50k. Anything above 50K gets a little bit expensive.

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Eyes on the prize … and the weekend! Meet you at #HYDE ✨? @jadelemoigne

A post shared by HYDE HACIENDA SYDNEY (@hydehaciendasydney) on


If you are wondering where to find these influencers, I recommend checking Ainfluencer out. Ainfluencer is a place where brands and influencers get matched. You can discover many food influencers, ranging variously in terms of followers and sub-niches of food.       

2- Contests and giveaways as a way of restaurant Instagram marketing

People love to compete, even for food. Actually, some folks say the food is even more delicious when it’s free! So, how do you get followers to eat on Instagram? You have many cool options for planning and running Instagram food contests and giveaways, from discount coupons and a like-photo contest to competitive eating at the restaurant. But it’s also essential to know exactly how to host an Instagram giveaway.

Planing, designing posts, setting out rules, and publishing posts on Instagram are demanding jobs. But if it’s done correctly, in the end, you’ll get numerous real followers organically. So, as you can see, you are the real winner here!

To ensure that you get the best result in Instagram contests and giveaways, you can use AiGrow.

AiGrow Contests and Giveaways banner

AiGrow is an Instagram management tool that helps you effectively manage and run your contests and giveaways by providing an editable template, scheduler, and a repost mention tool. Here’s a video tutorial that shows you how to use this feature of AiGrow:

3- Use behind the scene videos

As mentioned above, people love to see food images; but they also love to see how it got prepared and, as a matter of fact, anything else about food. So, sharing extra stuff besides the food is a good idea when running a page on Instagram.

Every once in a while, publish behind the scene videos and photos as stories and feed posts. Also, using your staff in the content is a fantastic idea to show your followers how you care about them and transfer your restaurant’s cool atmosphere through social media. 

Also, people love to see what’s going on in the kitchen; so, don’t forget to share kitchen lives! 

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Chefs Assemble ? ? @giovanni99catalano

A post shared by @ coppaclub on


Another excellent idea for feed posts is content about ingredients. If you use fresh and organic ingredients to make your food, show them off on your Instagram page. 

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Beautiful vegetables from @FlourishProduce ???championing the delicious ingredients we can get in winter. The carrots are known as “ugly carrots”, just because they are don’t have the perfectly straight shape and orange colour that supermarkets request, although they are full of hearty flavours. Two types of radishes (Watermelon and Meat) are heading to the Cub Cave to be developed into lacto-fermented veggies by @drjohnnydrain (keep an eye out on here), this’ll bring out those Heaps Mad Shit tasty notes, while the pretty winter gem will add the freshness to our main course #uglydelicious #lyancub #heapsmadshit #wintervegetables #restaurantingredients #chefsplate #inseason #londonfoodie #londonrestaurant #carrots #uglycarrots #vegetablegram #radishes #watermelon #fermentation #flourishproduce #uglyvegetables #uglyveg #sustainableluxury #chefsalert #chefs_eye #chefselection #grateplates #chefsplate #chefswords #chefsplating #chefstoday #gourmetparadise #chefstime #epicplateup #plateart

A post shared by Cub – London Restaurant (@lyan.cub) on


And don’t forget to pay attention to any detail!

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A post shared by Bob Bob Ricard (@bobbobricard) on

4- Take the best photo

If you pay attention to the best restaurant Instagram accounts, you can see that many of their photos are taken in a flat lay shot. You know, when you hold your camera right above the food and take a picture like this:

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Spending your extra day off in Maidenhead? Who’s joining us for brunch ?

A post shared by @ coppaclub on


You don’t have to stick with this style of photography, but it’s a common and standard style among restaurant pages. 

Another factor that you should really consider when it comes to taking a photo of food is lighting. Good light is your best friend. Let the followers see all the exquisite details of your tasty masterpiece!

5- Tell stories: Caption matters for restaurant Instagram marketing

You may think a good photo tells it all, but I suppose you might be wrong. Yes, gorgeous photos gain more likes, but writing an engaging caption is a must if you want to engage your followers with the content you’re sharing.

When writing about food, try to be persuasive and describe it in the most mouth-watering way so that the visitor feels an irresistible urge to try it ASAP! Take a look at these restaurants’ Instagram captions:

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Celebrating Easter at home this weekend. Thank you all for your support in our small family business. We love our donut fam! ? ? Our staff has been working around the clock to make these cute ?s and we hope you love them as much as we do. ? . . If you’re planning to pick up donuts please remember that ? are required in the City of LA. Please send only one person to stand in our marked lines (the rest of the family can join when choosing donuts) and be respectful of each other’s social distancing. @postmates will still be available for delivery. . . Those picking up prepaid donut kits will also need to stand in line. Thank you all for your patience. ? we will get through this together. #ktlaopenforbusiness #onesocal #cadonuts4heroes #easter #easterdonuts

A post shared by California Donuts #21 (@californiadonuts) on

6- Use delicious hashtags for restaurant Instagram marketing

Although some hashtags are quite hackneyed, and there are ways to get likes on Instagram without hashtags, they are still a fundamental feature of Instagram. Hashtags can significantly help your restaurant’s Instagram marketing. 

As a restauranteur, you need to focus on the local followers, because in the end, you’re going to sell your food to them, not some foodie in another town. That’s why using local hashtags, and especially geotags becomes more vital for restaurants.

Many Instagrammers use hashtags and geotag to find restaurants in their neighborhood and see the menu before going to the restaurant or ordering food from it. 

suitable hashtagas for restaurant Instagram marketing

7- Share video/lives

Did you know that video is a massive asset for restaurant Instagram marketing? That’s what professional marketers say about videos. Look at this chart:

Charts showing the average number of comments for Instagram image, video, and coursels
Photo by Mention

As you can see, videos generate almost three times more comments compared to single images or carousels. 

The nature of your niche allows you to be creative. You can upload videos about delivering food to your customers or even upload “how to make” IGTV videos about different dishes; your followers will love it!

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A post shared by Fox In The Snow (@foxinthesnowcafe) on

8- Post Stories regularly 

Many marketers believe that the introduction of Instagram Story was like a revolution of engagement, and they are absolutely right! Instagram Story enables you to have more flexibility and fun on your page. You can ask your followers’ opinions about your menu and organize your topics on highlights. 

use Instagram Story as a Restauarant instagram marketing tool

Quiz, poll, question, challenge, emoji slider, and AR effects are examples of interactive tools available on Instagram. 

By sharing a Story, you tighten your bond with your followers by constantly being on their screen. And the best part? You have countless things to show them every day!

use Instagram Story as a Restauarant instagram marketing tool

Did you know you can schedule your stories? Read the next part to see how you can plan your feed and Story posts in the best way!

9- Post a lot, at the best times

So, how often should a restaurant post on Instagram? The answer is a lot! Like, really a lot. Because as I mentioned above, people love to watch food content on Instagram. So, if you run an Instagram account, you must have a five-point plan for your content. 

Preparing this number of posts for a restaurant requires considerable time, energy, ideas, and creativity. The best method to handle this critical task is to schedule posts. This way, you can dedicate your weekends to creating posts and schedule the whole week’s content in advance. 

Unfortunately, Instagram does not have a scheduler, but don’t worry; you can use AiGrow to schedule your feed and Story posts in the most convenient way. Want to know the best part? It’s free!

AiGrow Scheduler banner

What makes AiGrow extraordinary compared to other similar apps in the market is that using this Instagram manager tool allows you to add external links to your Instagram posts, both feed, and Story, even if you have less than 10K followers.

Also, if you want your feed to look super professional, you can get help from AiGrow. This fantastic app offers post designing services, which make your page eye-catching and more appealing. For more information, click here

10- Get the most of your Bio 

Your Instagram bio works for your restaurant page exactly how a window shop works for a boutique. It displays the best of what you’ve got concisely. So, you have to put a lot of thinking when writing your 150-word limited Instagram bio. 

the caption of The meatball shop Instagram page

Moreover, Instagram allows you to put only one clickable link on your bio. You can either put your website address or one of your other social media links. Well, you should give up linking all of your external sources. But there’s another way to expand the capacity of Instagram bio and the number of external links using AiGrow.

AiGrow Bio Link Banner

AiGrow makes you a beautiful page like this: 

aischedul biolink

As you can see, not only can you link all of the other social media to the bio, you can also add buttons such as “Contact me” and “Request Coupon” to make it easier to communicate with your followers. 

Actually, by using this tool, you can get email addresses from your Instagram followers and start an email campaign.

To build the best Instagram bio for your restaurant, give AiGrow a try!

11- Use Instagram management apps for restaurant Instagram marketing

You may ask, how can I make my restaurant famous? Getting famous on IG and being among the most followed Instagram accounts requires you to have many engaged followers. To have a steady growth of followers, it’s wise to use an Instagram management app. I already introduce you to AiGrow and how it can help you to organize your page. Now, I’m going to tell you about another feature of this app that makes promoting your page a cakewalk. 

AiGrow offers several promotional packages that are designed for every taste and budget.

These packages offer posts designs, guaranteed monthly followers, and free use of other AiGrow features. 

For example, one of the most popular AiGrow packages is called “12 Month Pro Pack.”

AiGrow 12 month pro package

As you can see in the picture, this unique package offers at least 300 new followers per month, a dedicated account manager, content creation, and unlimited use of features, to name a few. And you can get this yearly package for only $72 per month. Sign up for AiGrow for free to enjoy this excellent package and many other Instagram promotion packages. 

12- Celebrate food and beverage days on the calendar

There are many social events on different calendars, celebrating food and beverages in different ways. For example, we have a coffee day, pizza day, and even cupcake’s day! These are all opportunities for new feed posts and Story. 

A good way to keep track of these delicious days is to keep checking AiGrow’s Social Calendar to see each day’s special event in advance and its related hashtags. You can click on each day to see the posts that other users have published and then repost them.

Social Calendar food events

13- Use UGCs for restaurant Instagram marketing

People tend to put a considerable amount of trust when it comes to online reviews about food. Actually, 88% of people take into account the comments and posts that people share about restaurants.

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#Repost @diaryofhq ・・・ Press for Champagne ? #London#nightout #bobbobricard

A post shared by Bob Bob Ricard (@bobbobricard) on


You can efficiently run an Instagram user-generated content campaign to curate your feed with UGCs that are genuine and attractive. As these people are not influencers, people can be sure that their comments are 100% true. 

14- Run ads

If you want a quick result, you can run Instagram ads. This works best if you modify the targeted audiences carefully. Using Instagram insights, you can say which demographic groups are visiting your page the most. 

Restaurant ads on Instagram

Also, don’t forget to use geotags to gain potential customers in your area. It works like magic when it comes to Instagram ads for restaurants.

How do restaurants use Instagram for marketing?

Learning from the best is always a great strategy. In this part, I will show you some real cases of successful restaurants that are killing it on Instagram. Here are some of the best restaurants with great social media:

1- Hong Shing Chinese Restaurant

Hong Shing Chinese Restaurant’s Instagram page is filled with images of delicious food, behind-the-scenes photos, delivery services, staff, and their basketball team, making the page vibrant.

sample of good restaurant Instagram marketing  

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?Kitchen Views #hongshing

A post shared by Hong Shing Chinese Restaurant (@hongshingto) on

2- Piada Italian Street Food

Piada’s Instagram account shares great branded videos, pictures, and creative Stories.

sample of good restaurant Instagram marketing

They regularly introduce their seasonal products through attractive Instagram contests.

sample of good restaurant Instagram marketing

Also, they put a lot of thought into writing their captions and creating posts.

3- Taco Bell

Taco Bell Instagram account is known for its high engagement rate among restaurants. One of the main reasons for such engagement might be that Taco Bell uses UGC a lot. 


Taco Bell is a pro in posting funny and yet eye-catching content.

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Socks. Because seriously, we haven’t worn shoes in weeks. #TacoBellShop

A post shared by Taco Bell (@tacobell) on

The perfect restaurant design for a great Instagram marketing

In this part, I will tell you how you can enhance your restaurant’s design for effective restaurant Instagram marketing. These are just a few tips that can make your Instagram-friendly. Here’re my tips:

1- Beautiful plates

Some pretty sets of plates and cutlery make a huge difference in shooting photos for Instagram. Apart from how the food actually looks, foodies also pay attention to essential details such as plates.

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A post shared by The Worlds 50 Best Restaurants (@theworlds50best) on


So, make sure you add special plates to your kitchen if you don’t already have them.  

2- Neon Sign

What’s better than a cool neon sign for visitors to take a photo with it and then share it on Instagram? 

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A post shared by foodbitch | Dallas’ OG (@askfoodbitch) on

3- An eye-catching wall, floor, and ceiling

If your interior decorations are attractive enough, surely your customers love to take a picture with that view. 

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?WE MISS YOU? We can’t wait for our restaurants to be open and filled with smiling faces and our amazing Tattuists?

A post shared by Tattu Restaurants (@tatturestaurant) on

View this post on Instagram

Hang 10 ??

A post shared by @ coppaclub on


If your restaurant does not have a fancy floor or walls, you can use an eye-catching to make your restaurant more lively. 

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A post shared by HYDE HACIENDA SYDNEY (@hydehaciendasydney) on

4- Good lighting

Again, lighting is one of the fundamental factors when it comes to taking photos! Provide enough lights for your visitors and don’t make them use their phone’s flash.

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“Wait… I need to get THE shot” ?

A post shared by @ coppaclub on

5- Pay more attention to the most grammed foods 

If you’re wondering if there are foods that foodies tend to gram more than others, I must say yes! Of course, in the eyes of foodies, all foods are equal, but some foods are more equal than others. 

As you may have guessed, pizza is the first item on the list! It seems our love for pizza is beyond this planet. Anyway, here are the top 10 most grammed food:

Top 10 foods on Instagram infographic

Final words on restaurant Instagram marketing

To become the chef of restaurant Instagram marketing, you need to have a tremendous amount of creativity. But if done correctly, it can effectively boost your business and make your restaurants one of the best in the neighborhood and even in the city! So, employ all the methods and tips mentioned in this article to make your restaurant spectacular. And don’t forget to make this difficult task easy for yourself by using apps such as AiGrow

Neda Sharifi

Neda is the Head of SEO at SocialPros. She is an IT engineer and used to be a foreign commercial manager and a language teacher. She also seeks for empowerment to create her own dwellings. Her passion is learning languages, painting, fashion, and technology. Morality, Environment, and Equality are her concern.