Instagram for Restaurants Businesses: 7 Proven ways in 2023

In today’s digital landscape, social media has become an integral part of restaurant marketing strategies. Statistics reveal the significant impact that social media has on customer behavior and the success of restaurants. For instance, according to BeamBox a staggering 57% of social media mentions about restaurants revolve around quick service venues, highlighting the importance of efficient service in the digital realm.

Furthermore, 71% of customers are more likely to recommend a restaurant if they receive quick responses on social media. This emphasizes the significance of timely engagement and customer service in building a positive reputation and attracting new customers.

When it comes to choosing restaurants, social media plays a crucial role, particularly for Gen Z and millennials. An astounding 99% of these younger generations rely on social media platforms to make informed decisions about where to dine.

Different social media platforms also have their own strengths for restaurant marketing. For example, Facebook serves as a popular platform for guests to leave high ratings and reviews, while Twitter is a hotspot for mentions and discussions about food and drink brands.

Instagram, known for its visual appeal, proves to be a standout platform for fast food brands, generating better performance compared to other social channels. Tweets that include images see a remarkable 150% increase in retweets, showcasing the power of visual content in capturing audience attention and engagement.

The influence of social media extends beyond recommendations and discussions. Nearly half of diners admit to trying a restaurant for the first time based on an enticing social media post. This demonstrates the impact of captivating content in attracting new customers and expanding the customer base.

Restaurants that actively engage with their followers on social media experience a significant increase in client spend, with some seeing a boost of 40% or more. This highlights the value of building strong relationships with customers through social media interactions and personalized engagement.

When it comes to posting on Instagram, timing is crucial. The best times for restaurants to maximize engagement and reach their audience are at 9am, between noon and 1pm, and 8pm. These are moments when people are typically eating and scrolling through their phones, presenting ideal opportunities to capture their attention with enticing content.

With these statistics in mind, it’s clear that social media is a powerful tool for restaurant marketing and lead generation. By leveraging these platforms effectively and employing strategic tactics, restaurants can elevate their online presence, attract new customers, and drive business growth in 2023 and beyond.

Remember, the world of digital marketing is ever-evolving, and it’s crucial for restaurants to stay ahead of the curve. So, let’s dive in and explore the transformative potential of Instagram for restaurant lead generation in 2023.

15% Followback Method: Generating Initial Reach for Your Restaurant Instagram Page

When starting a new restaurant Instagram page, building an initial reach and gaining followers can be a daunting task. However, there’s a simple and effective strategy known as the 15% followback method that can give your page a significant boost right from the beginning. This strategy involves finding similar pages of restaurants and leveraging their recent postings to connect with potential followers who are already interested in your niche.

Here’s how the 15% followback method works: start by identifying other Instagram pages that share similar content or target a similar audience as your restaurant. Look for recent posts on these pages and examine the users who have liked or commented on those posts. These individuals have shown a genuine interest in the type of content you’re planning to share on your own page.

Now, it’s time to take action. Follow these users, knowing that on average, around 15% of them will follow you back. By doing so, you’re capitalizing on the common ground of shared interests and content, increasing the likelihood of gaining engaged followers who are genuinely interested in what your restaurant has to offer.

To maximize the effectiveness of this method, focus on very recent postings, preferably within 5, 10, or 15 minutes. This increases the chances of the targeted users being online and actively engaged, increasing the likelihood of them noticing and following your restaurant page.

While implementing the 15% followback method, it’s important to adhere to certain guidelines to ensure sustainable growth and avoid potential account restrictions. Aim to follow a maximum of 150-300 accounts per day, as exceeding this limit may trigger Instagram’s algorithms and lead to restrictions on your account. As your page gains traction and your initial reach expands, you can gradually phase out this method and rely more on organic growth and other lead generation strategies.

The 15% followback method provides a valuable head start for your restaurant Instagram page, helping you gain initial followers and kickstart engagement. By connecting with users who have already shown interest in similar content, you can establish a solid foundation for your page and start building an active and engaged community of potential customers.

Remember, this method is most effective in the early stages of your restaurant’s Instagram journey. As your page grows and gains traction, you can shift your focus to other proven lead generation strategies covered in this blog post to continue driving meaningful results.

Showcase Food

When it comes to generating leads on Instagram for your restaurant, one of the most compelling strategies is to showcase your food in a visually captivating way. With the platform’s emphasis on eye-catching imagery, Instagram provides the perfect stage to entice potential customers with mouthwatering visuals of your culinary creations. Here are some ideas to effectively showcase your food and leave a lasting impression on your audience.

1. High-Quality Food Photography:

Invest in high-quality food photography to capture the essence and appeal of your dishes. Most of the times your phone camera is enough to utilize it. Pay attention to lighting, composition, and presentation to create stunning visuals that make your food the star of the show.

2. Mouthwatering Close-Ups:

Zoom in on the enticing details of your dishes to make viewers’ mouths water. Capture the textures, colors, and intricate details that make your food irresistible. Whether it’s the gooey cheese on a pizza, the glistening sauce on a steak, or the layers of a decadent dessert, close-up shots create an immersive experience for your audience.

3. Engaging Food Styling:

Experiment with creative food styling to make your dishes visually appealing. Play with vibrant colors, artistic plating techniques, and appealing garnishes to make your food stand out. Consider the overall aesthetic of your Instagram feed and aim for consistency in your styling to create a cohesive and visually pleasing brand presence.

4. Showcasing Preparation Techniques:

Give your audience a behind-the-scenes look at your culinary process by capturing images or videos of food preparation techniques. Whether it’s tossing pizza dough in the air, flambéing a dish, or expertly plating a dessert, showcasing the artistry and craftsmanship of your kitchen can captivate and impress viewers.

5. User-Generated Content (UGC):

Encourage your customers to share their dining experiences by tagging your restaurant and using a branded hashtag. Repost and engage with user-generated content that showcases your food. This not only adds authenticity and social proof but also fosters a sense of community and encourages others to visit your restaurant.

6. Collaborate with Food Influencers:

Partner with influential food bloggers or social media influencers who align with your brand and target audience. Invite them to experience your restaurant and share their honest reviews and visually stunning posts. Their large following and expertise can help amplify your reach and attract new customers to your establishment.

By implementing these strategies, you can leverage Instagram’s visual nature to showcase your food in a way that captivates and delights your audience. Remember to use appropriate keywords in your captions and engage actively with your followers to foster a strong sense of connection and generate leads effectively.

Take Advantage of Instagram Reels

Instagram wants to compete with TikTok and is pushing Reels and video content above static photo posts

How can you create Reels for your restaurant? Here are some ideas:

• Show how you plate your food

• Do a slideshow of your new menu items

• Give a BTS tour of the restaurant

• Show your baristas making coffee

• Create quick recipes for your audience to follow

For some out-of-the-box Reels ideas for restaurants, have a look at the Starbucks account. The brand creates fun Reels like “What’s your summer aesthetic?” while showing off their newest drinks.

Do the hashtag research: Unveiling Effective Strategies

To maximize the impact of hashtags on your restaurant’s Instagram posts, it’s crucial to employ effective strategies that help you find and utilize the right hashtags. Here are some valuable tricks to guide your hashtag research and implementation:

1. Opt for Mid-Level Hashtags: Rather than targeting hashtags with millions of posts, aim for hashtags with a moderate range of 5,000 to 100,000 posts. By finding the sweet spot between too low and too high, you increase the chances of boosting post engagement and attracting relevant users.

2. Utilize Up to 30 Hashtags: Instagram allows a maximum of 30 hashtags per post, but it’s recommended to use around 15 to 20. The more hashtags you incorporate, the greater the likelihood of your post being discovered by a wider audience. Take advantage of the available hashtag limit to maximize your reach.

3. Vary Your Hashtags: Instagram favors diversity in hashtag usage, so it’s important to change up your hashtags instead of using the same set on every post. Consider creating different blocks of hashtags related to different themes or aspects of your restaurant. By saving these blocks on your phone, you can easily access and rotate them for each post, avoiding repetition and ensuring a fresh approach.

4. Include Location-Based Hashtags: Location-based hashtags are particularly crucial for restaurants and bars. These hashtags involve incorporating the name of your city before or after the terms “restaurant” or “bar.” For example, using #liverpoolrestaurant instead of simply #restaurant or #liverpool. By incorporating location-based hashtags, you enhance the chances of attracting individuals specifically interested in dining experiences in your area.

5. Research Relevance to Your Niche: When selecting hashtags, it’s essential to ensure they align with your specific niche and resonate with your target audience. Hashtags should be relevant to the content of your post and reflect the interests and preferences of your followers. Avoid using generic hashtags that don’t accurately represent your restaurant or bar, and instead opt for specific and targeted hashtags that speak directly to your audience.

By following these hashtag research strategies, you can optimize your Instagram posts for discoverability, engagement, and ultimately lead generation. Remember to strike a balance between popularity and specificity, leveraging location-based hashtags, and aligning your hashtags with your restaurant’s niche.

In the next section, we will delve into the benefits of utilizing a proper scheduling tool to streamline your Instagram posting process and enhance your overall marketing efficiency.

Use a proper scheduling tool

Managing an active Instagram presence for your restaurant can be a demanding task, especially when you’re juggling multiple responsibilities. That’s where a proper scheduling tool comes in handy. By maintaining a well-organized content calendar and utilizing scheduling tools, you can streamline your Instagram strategy, save time, and ensure consistent and timely posts.

Creating a content calendar allows you to plan your Instagram content in advance, ensuring that you have a clear roadmap for your posts. This strategic approach helps you maintain a consistent brand voice, deliver relevant and engaging content, and stay on top of important events and promotions. With a content calendar, you can also ensure a balanced mix of food images, behind-the-scenes glimpses, customer testimonials, and other captivating content that resonates with your audience.

One popular scheduling tool is Buffer. It offers a user-friendly interface and features that simplify the process of scheduling Instagram posts. With Buffer, you can upload your images, write engaging captions, and set a specific date and time for each post. The tool will then automatically publish your content at the designated times, even when you’re occupied with other tasks or outside of regular business hours. This way, you can maintain a consistent presence on Instagram without manually posting each time.

Another notable scheduling tool is Later. It allows you to visually plan your Instagram feed, ensuring a cohesive and aesthetically pleasing look. With Later, you can drag and drop images to arrange them in the desired order, preview your feed, and make adjustments as needed. The tool also provides insights into the best times to post for optimal engagement, enabling you to schedule your content strategically.

By using a proper scheduling tool, you can take control of your Instagram strategy, saving valuable time and energy while maintaining a consistent and engaging presence. It enables you to plan ahead, optimize your posting schedule, and focus on creating high-quality content that drives leads and attracts customers.

Use Proper CTA in posts & Stories

Incorporating effective calls-to-action (CTAs) in your Instagram content is crucial when it comes to leveraging the platform for your restaurant business. CTAs prompt your audience to take specific actions, such as making reservations, exploring your menu, or engaging with your content. By strategically placing CTAs in your posts and stories, you can drive engagement, generate leads, and increase bookings and sales.

Consistently including CTAs in your captions is essential. Each post presents an opportunity to guide your audience towards the desired action. For example, you can encourage followers to tag a friend they’d like to dine with, ask them to share their favorite menu item in the comments, or invite them to book a table through a link in your bio. By prompting direct interaction, you boost engagement and foster a sense of community and personal connection.

Utilizing CTAs as the second image in a carousel post is another effective approach. Start with enticing food imagery or an engaging visual, followed by an image with text instructing viewers to “Swipe left to view our menu” or “Tap here to make a reservation.” This carousel format captures attention and directs users towards your desired goal.

Instagram Stories offer an excellent platform for incorporating CTAs. As stories disappear after 24 hours, they create a sense of urgency, making them ideal for promoting time-sensitive offers or events. You can use text overlays, swipe-up links (if available for your account), or interactive stickers to encourage viewers to take action. Include a “Book Now” sticker or an “Order Online” button to facilitate instant conversions.

For example, imagine a restaurant posting a tantalizing image of their signature dessert. The caption could say, “Indulge in our decadent chocolate cake and experience pure bliss! Tag a friend who deserves a sweet treat and make a reservation to enjoy this heavenly delight.” This CTA prompts followers to engage, share, and book a table to savor the delectable dessert.

Ready to make the most of your Instagram presence? Learn more about incorporating effective CTAs and take your restaurant business to new heights. Contact us today to discuss how our social media management services can help you succeed.

Court Food Bloggers: Amplify Your Reach and Influence

In the world of Instagram, food bloggers hold significant sway over their followers’ dining choices. Their engaging content, mouthwatering food photography, and honest reviews can greatly impact the success of restaurants. Collaborating with influential food bloggers can be a powerful strategy to increase your restaurant’s visibility, reach, and ultimately generate leads. Let’s explore how you can effectively court food bloggers to establish mutually beneficial partnerships.

1. Identify Relevant Food Bloggers: Start by researching and identifying food bloggers whose niche aligns with your restaurant’s cuisine, ambiance, or target audience. Look for bloggers who have a significant number of engaged followers and a track record of creating high-quality content.

2. Engage with Their Content: Before reaching out, take the time to engage genuinely with the food blogger’s content. Like their posts, leave thoughtful comments, and share their content when it resonates with your brand. This interaction helps establish a connection and demonstrates your genuine interest in their work.

3. Personalize Your Approach: When reaching out to food bloggers, make sure to personalize your message. Mention specific aspects of their content that resonate with your restaurant and explain why you believe a collaboration would be mutually beneficial. Show them that you’ve done your research and genuinely appreciate their work.

4. Offer Value: Food bloggers are more likely to partner with you if they see value in the collaboration. Consider offering them a complimentary dining experience to showcase your restaurant’s menu and ambiance. Alternatively, you can invite them to exclusive events, tasting sessions, or chef demonstrations. Providing a unique experience demonstrates your commitment to their content and helps foster a positive partnership.

5. Encourage User-Generated Content: Once you’ve established a collaboration with food bloggers, encourage them to create user-generated content about their dining experience at your restaurant. User-generated content, such as Instagram posts or Stories featuring your dishes or ambience, can generate excitement among their followers and drive traffic to your restaurant.

6. Leverage Influencer Recommendations: Food bloggers’ recommendations carry weight among their followers. Ask them to share their experience and positive reviews on their blog, Instagram posts, or even through Instagram Stories. Their endorsement can inspire their followers to visit your restaurant and generate leads for your business.

7. Build Long-Term Relationships: Cultivating long-term relationships with food bloggers can lead to ongoing exposure and a loyal customer base. Stay in touch with them, engage with their future content, and consider collaborations for special events or menu launches. By nurturing these relationships, you can tap into their influence repeatedly and amplify your reach over time.

Remember, when working with food bloggers, it’s crucial to maintain open communication, provide a positive experience, and foster a genuine partnership. Their endorsement and engaging content can significantly impact your restaurant’s visibility and generate leads that convert into loyal customers.

As we conclude this section, it’s important to note that utilizing the power of courted food bloggers is just one of the strategies to generate leads on Instagram. In the next section, we’ll explore the importance of creating an effective and compelling conclusion for your blog post.


In the dynamic world of social media, Instagram has become a powerful tool for restaurants to grow their business. By implementing the strategies shared in this blog post, you can unlock the full potential of Instagram to attract new customers, boost brand awareness, and increase revenue for your restaurant in 2023 and beyond.

Throughout this post, we’ve discussed effective techniques, such as showcasing your dishes, using hashtags wisely, and engaging with food bloggers. These approaches offer unique opportunities to captivate your audience and turn them into loyal patrons.

Remember, success on Instagram requires continuous innovation and adaptation. Stay updated, analyze metrics, listen to feedback, and make data-driven adjustments to optimize your lead generation efforts.

Instagram is more than just pretty pictures; it’s a space to connect with your audience, share your brand story, and entice potential customers to visit your restaurant. Be authentic, engage with your followers, and consistently deliver captivating content.

As you embark on your Instagram lead generation journey, leverage analytics and tracking tools to measure your success. Keep refining your strategies, experimenting with new ideas, and staying ahead of the curve.

With dedication, creativity, and a deep understanding of your audience, Instagram can become a powerful ally in driving your restaurant’s success. Embrace visual storytelling, engage with your community, and watch as the leads pour in, bringing new faces and loyal customers to your establishment.

So, what are you waiting for? Adapt these proven strategies to your unique brand and unleash the full potential of Instagram to generate leads and propel your restaurant’s growth in 2023 and beyond. Cheers to a thriving restaurant business and an irresistible Instagram presence!