Top Social Media Marketing Tips For Bars And Restaurants

Facebook gives your bar or restaurant an incredible opportunity to steal your competitors clients if you use their pay per click platform. Your best potential customers are already on Facebook – and most of them are checking their updates a few times a day.

Facebook is a virtual hangout spot where people connect with their friends and family almost daily. It’s the same reason why they go out to eat as well, right? Here are a few tips to use Facebook in your marketing to get more customers for your bar or restaurant.

1. Your Cover image is critical – It’s a mistake to leave this blank. You want to take full advantage of the cover image section of your Facebook page. You have 851 x 351 pixels to use to sell what your business does for people. So it’s best to use it. Include nice photos of your food, drinks, or people having a wonderful time while eating and drinking with friends. You could change your cover image whenever you have a new menu that features a new item, and market the new items or specials.

Include a short, detailed description of your dish or drink, as in the photo below. This is from Bahama Breeze Island Grille.

2. Facebook Page Tabs – You should use the tabs on your Facebook Page to compel people to visit your establishment. The first four tabs on your Facebook page are the most important. These  tabs show up on your front page (without our visitor needing to click to open them all). You can see how good Bahama Breeze Island Grille uses them to draw the visitor further into the page. Their first four tabs are: photos of dishes; locations; food special; and featured menu items.

What they are doing is thinking like their customer, and giving them photos and information a customer would want.

3. Use many of pictures of your best dishes– The images that get the most shares on Facebook are food. People love good looking food. Food is a very visual thing. Make sure you include many images of your dishes in your regular Facebook updates. You might even consider creating a lookbook of your current menu items.

4. Special offers and group deals – Post special offers on your page. Let patrons know that if they “like” your Page, you’ll send them special coupons. Give group deals (using a third party app, as per Facebook rules), to entice your Fans to share your deal with their friends – and get those friends to become Fans of your Page too.

A group deal can lead to new customers fast into your establishment too!

5. Contests and sweepstakes – Use sweepstakes and contests on your Facebook Page to create excitement. These social promotions add excitement, and a perfect reason to get your customers coming back to both your Facebook Page, and your restaurant.

Here’s an example of a client using a sweepstakes app. Wayne Gretzky’s Toronto ran a geo-targeted contest through Facebook to successfully generate awareness of their recently renovated digs, and their brand new menu.

6. Geo target your ads  – I bet you didn’t know you could do this. Facebook lets you do all kinds of very specific, niche targeting advertising. For restaurants, bars, and diners, this is perfect. You can target your ads so they are only seen by people in your particular geographic location. You can also target your ads so they are only seen by people with specific interests,

In the Wayne Gretzky example, this could be used to target the downtown Toronto area; to people who like hockey, sports and dining out; and who also like the Toronto Blue Jays (and event the Toronto Maple Leafs too).

You can also geo tag your posts, too. If you have a chain of restaurants, for example, use this feature to show images or update from your various locations.

7. Use Embed videos – Videos are very impactful when they are embedded into an update, or in a tab. If you have videos showing how your food is prepared, or you have an interview with the chef/ food suppliers/ happy customers – include them in an update.

Social Media Marketing for Restaurants using Instagram


Not many people are doing this. Instagram is a very popular photo sharing site. Youtube is to videos what Instgram is to photos. This platform also seamless integrates with Facebook, it’s used about 97% of the time when your patrons are posting images to their Facebook friends. You can use Instagram  with your Facebook tactics, or you can use the site on its own. Here are seven tips for using Instagram marketing, on its own:

Use hashtags: Hashtags are a must on Instagram. They’re so prevalent and relevant, I’ll discuss three powerful tactics to employ when using hashtags on Instagram (or any social site).

1. Use hashtags that are trending– To increase awareness about both your Instagram profile, and your restaurant, include relevant trending hashtags. For example, if it happens to be #chicagocheesecakeday , and your establishment serves cheesecake, post a scrumptious photo of it.

2. Using niche hashtags –  You can be found more easily by your niche market when using specific hashtags. For example, if you’re a bakery in Chicago, and are located in Soho, use geographic specific tags, like #sohoeats. Instagram is a mobile social site – you can use it on your phone. Including a specific location in your tags can get you found by foot traffic looking to eat – and they may be just outside your door.

3. Try Usinbg campaign specific hashtags – When running a marketing campaign (such as a contest or group offer), create a tag just for that promotion. This helps your followers – and anyone else – interact with your campaign by using your hashtag in their posts, too.

4. Photos of your menu – Instagram is a site for photos. Use this platform to post delicious photos of the items on your menu.

5. Engage with menu items – Take pictures of your menu two steps further by getting customers to upload their favorite items. This will help build your menu of images on the site.

This type of user generated content gets your customers involved with you socially, and it generates a stronger bond and customer loyalty. Show your patrons that you appreciate them by inviting them to be a part of your menu decision making process. They will want to dine at your place – and bring their friends to show off their winning contributions!

This is an amazing way to get customers talking about and showing your amazing dishes to their family on the site too. That’s word of mouth marketing gone viral!

6. Employee Appreciation – Take a pictures of staff members working with your product or menu items. It could be a chef, a waitress, or even a busboy. Post them to your company Instagram feed, with a short description.

You can use these photos to shows that you’re a real restaurant that values their employees. Simultaneously, you’ll create a cool working environment for your staff too! It also shows that you’re a fun place to be, and likely with great customer service…