In today's fast-paced digital world, social media is an essential tool for restaurant owners to connect with their target audience and thrive in the competitive market. It offers a direct line of communication with potential diners and a platform to showcase their culinary creations.

I am a part-time social media manager by day, and I primarily work with hospitality companies. Therefore, I understand the unique needs of a hospitality business when it comes to leveraging social media.

In this new digital landscape, the success of your restaurant is not solely determined by the quality of your food but also by your ability to captivate, engage, and connect with your customers online. Whether you're a seasoned restaurateur or a new entrepreneur in the food industry, I hope that these social media ideas will help you elevate your restaurant's online presence to new heights.

Social Media Platforms

Which one/s are right for you? I think that a combination of a few is best, but you can determine the mix (If you already have your platforms set, you can skip down to the content ideas).

TikTok: Great option for reaching a younger crowd. I see companies working with foodie influencers on here, and TikTok does a great job of curating local content for users.

Instagram: Another great option for all ages, leaning slightly younger. There are also lots of opportunities for working with foodie influencers here. Paid ads work well here to reach specific, location-based target audiences.

Facebook: Heavily integrated with Instagram, so they are kind of a package deal. You may as well have both, because you can automatically post to both at once. This one is best to reach a slightly older audience.

LinkedIn: Good to have, but only powerful in some cases. If your business largely serves a corporate crowd, maybe corporate events and catering, then this would be a great option for you.

Twitter: Most of the time, this one is not necessary. Funny content and informational content work the best. If you have a team member with a great sense of humor or outspoken smarts about your industry, then it could be a powerful tool.

For most businesses, I recommend Instagram/Facebook, then add on TikTok.

I will take you through a few examples of good content pillars to go for, which apply across many platforms. I also included examples of other businesses using these four content pillars, so you have a point of reference.

1. Menu Item Spotlights

If you have special dishes that are only around for a limited time or are just super popular, you can give them some love on social media. The key here is to post one or a few high-quality images of the dish, then go into more detail about the dish in the caption. Make sure to emphasize a call to action for them to make a reservation or visit the restaurant, especially if it is a limited time special/seasonal item.

2. Show Your Space

Do you have any unique features in your restaurant? Cool décor items, unique bar set up, beautiful kitchen, relaxing outdoor searing, etc.? Showcase those through photo or video to make your customers excited to come dine in. You could tell the story behind a piece of art, show the amenities that come with your outdoor seating, or simply show how cool your restaurant looks. And don’t forget the call to action (book a table, walk in at X address, etc).

3. Your Process

Social media users love to see the behind-the-scenes processes behind products/services they love. For a hospitality business, this could take many forms. You could show how you put together a popular dish through video, show how you set up your beautiful table settings, show your winemaking process (for wineries), etc. Not only is it entertaining content, but it calls attention to your restaurant and entices customers to come in and enjoy the finished product.

4. Sell the Experience

Customers don’t just dine in for the food/drink (although this is a large part of it). Customers also want a good experience. People are less likely to go out ever since the pandemic, so it’s extra important to show that customers will be in for a nice experience if they choose to go out. Post images or videos that emphasize what a nice time it is to hang out and eat at your establishment. This can take many forms, depending on your business. Perhaps you post a picture of an interesting wine flight, a packed bar with sports on, your outdoor seating area packed with people on a beautiful day, a happy customer digging into a beautiful-looking dish, etc.  

And there you have it! I hope that these ideas helped you come up with some potential ideas for your own hospitality business.  

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As you learn more about how to manage your hospitality business in the digital age, I’d also like to recommend you take a look at Hospitality Innovations.  

This web/mobile app can save you loads of time and money by streamlining and automating your inventory, ordering, and reporting processes. Learn more here.  

If you’re interested, feel free to schedule a free 1-on-1 demo here!