Contact Login English

20 Best Restaurant Instagram Marketing Strategies & Ideas


Restaurant Instagram marketing will let you successfully promote your restaurant, dishes, and website through your social media profile.

Food is one of the most engaging content types on Instagram. Use it to your advantage and include this social media channel in your restaurant marketing plan.

In this article, we will explain what restaurant Instagram marketing is and how to use Instagram for restaurants. We will also share examples of restaurant Instagram marketing strategies. 

instagram for restaurants - taking pictures

What is Instagram marketing?

Instagram marketing involves leveraging the social media platform Instagram to promote businesses, products, or personal brands. It involves creating engaging visual content, interacting with followers, using hashtags, collaborating with influencers, and running paid advertising campaigns. 

Monitoring analytics and insights is vital to evaluate the effectiveness of Instagram’s marketing efforts.

instagram for restaurants - taking pictures

The importance of a restaurant’s Instagram profile

Having a restaurant’s Instagram account won’t necessarily translate into a rapid increase in orders over a short period. Still, it will help you build a community of Instagram users around your brand. 

If you are consistent, your customers will soon start taking photos in your restaurant and tag them in a specific way. This is how you can build a community around your brand, that being the most desired element of online marketing.

According to Statista, Instagram ranks as the fourth most popular social media platform in the world, with a staggering 2 billion monthly active users. 

The graph below shows the number of monthly active users (in millions) of social media platforms. 

instagram for restaurants - statistics of active users on social media platforms

Insider Intelligence informs that, on average, adults in the United States dedicate 30 minutes daily to the platform, checking Instagram posts of the Instagram users they follow. 

Moreover, according to the Pew Research Center, most adult Instagram users in the United States report using the platform at least once daily, with 38% indicating that they use it multiple times throughout the day.

Regarding Instagram users’ distribution by age, as we can see on data provided by Statista, approximately 31% of Instagram’s global audience falls within the 18-24 age range, while 30.3% are in the 25-34 age bracket. 

Additionally, 15.7% of Instagram audience is between 35 and 44 years old.

instagram for restaurants - statistics of active users on instagram by age distribution

These statistics show that Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms where you can find your potential customers.

While creating social media accounts for your dining establishment, don’t forget about creating an Instagram page too. 

instagram for restaurants - lola taverna

What are the advantages of using Instagram for restaurants?

Times have changed, and more and more people use their mobile phones to check the news, email, and social media. 

Moreover, modern phones are equipped with increasingly better cameras. It used to be that taking a good photo required a camera, now, you could easily take one with your phone.

Moreover, people eat with their eyes. Sometimes one photo is enough instead of writing several dozen words on a given topic. 

The photos stimulate the imagination, and viewing them takes much less time than reading. As a restaurateur, you can use this and, for example, instead of writing about new vegan menu items you are introducing to your menu, take a food picture and add appropriate hastags and a short description. 

What other benefits do restaurants have from creating their Instagram feed and using Instagram restaurant marketing? Take a look at the list below.

  • Restaurants can write restaurant Instagram captions – short, engaging pieces of text that accompany the photos or videos posted on a restaurant’s Instagram account.
  • Instagram allows restaurants to interact with customers through comments, contests, and their content.
  • Restaurant owners can display their delicious dishes, drinks, and restaurant atmosphere by creating posts, stories, and Instagram reels.
  • Instagram increases your restaurant’s visibility and recognition among a diverse audience which leads to an increase in restaurant sales.

instagram for restaurants - taking pictures 

20 Restaurant Instagram marketing strategies

Remember that you won’t gain anything if you don’t manage your restaurant’s Instagram presence properly. You can only do yourself harm. So, what needs to be done to ensure your Instagram profile hits the bullseye? 

1. Write an engaging restaurant Instagram bio

This seems obvious, but many restaurants fail to fully utilize the potential offered by an Instagram bio. Remember that it’s where you can add a link!

Write a few words about your restaurant and use keywords representing your cuisine, atmosphere, or unique selling points. Remember to include the URL address of your restaurant website with an online ordering system

Add your contact details, including the address and telephone number of your restaurant. Use emojis that complement your description, such as food emojis, location markers, or symbols representing your theme if this matches your brand’s identity.

Restaurant Instagram bio examples

Example 1 – Cozy Cafe in the Heart of Downtown

☕ Your daily dose of warmth and flavor. Join us for breakfast, brunch, and coffee delights. Visit our website for reservations!


  • 📍 123 Main Street, Downtown, Cityville

Example 2 – Sushi Sensation in the City:

🍣 Where art meets sushi. Discover a world of flavors and innovation. Order online for a sushi feast!


  • 📍 456 Sushi Lane, Metropolis Heights

Example 3 – Steakhouse Excellence with a View:

🥩 Savor the finest steaks and skyline vistas. Reserve your table for a dining experience like no other. Learn more on our website!

  • 📍 789 Skyline Drive, Horizon City

instagram for restaurants - restaurant instagram bio

Online Ordering System
Start selling food online
Set up commission-free ordering for your restaurant's website in minutes. Boost revenue while saving on third-party fees

2. Post high-quality images 

Share high-quality pictures of your dishes. Instagram is a photo-sharing app, so it’s important to add high-quality images that can make your food look even more delicious.

Food photos can be either taken by a professional camera, or you can use your mobile phone. Food photography done with your mobile facilitates and shortens adding posts with your food photos.

To take attractive photos, always remember about the natural lighting. You can experiment using ingredients from the dish as food props and taking pictures at different angles. 

Check out our article on 20 Food Photography Tips & Tricks For Restaurants for inspiration!

instagram for restaurants - high quality restaurant images

3. Post regularly on your restaurant’s Instagram

Posting regularly on Instagram is crucial for a restaurant as it keeps your brand in the spotlight, ensuring that followers and potential customers see fresh content consistently. It creates a sense of anticipation and engagement, encouraging diners to stay updated with your latest offerings, promotions, and events.

Additionally, a consistent posting schedule helps boost your visibility in Instagram algorithms, increasing the chances of reaching a broader and more engaged audience.

While creating an Instagram post, don’t forget about adding captions. Emphasize the qualities of the dishes you want to attract customers’ attention. You can also provide some interesting or fun facts about the origins of the dish and the way it is prepared.

Restaurant Instagram captions examples
  • For a Delicious Dish:

“Savor the flavors of our signature [Dish Name]. Each bite is a journey to culinary bliss. 😋🍽️ #FoodieParadise #TasteTheMagic”

  • Promoting a Special Event:

“🎉 Join us this Saturday for a night of live music, delectable bites, and great company. Reserve your table now, and let’s make it an unforgettable evening! 🎶🍷 #LiveMusicNights #WeekendVibes”

  • Expressing Gratitude to Customers:

“From our kitchen to your heart, thank you for your continued support and love. We couldn’t do it without our amazing patrons like you! ❤️ #GratefulEveryDay #CustomerAppreciation”

What can be restaurant Instagram post ideas?

  • Post a featured dish: Share a photo and description of a delicious dish from your menu.
  • Recipe sharing: Share recipes of popular dishes or drinks, allowing followers to recreate them at home.
  • Happy customer: Highlight a happy customer’s experience with a photo or review.
  • Seasonal specials: Share new menu items or promotions for the current season.
  • Introduce your team: Inform your audience about the chefs and staff who create your culinary delights.
  • Kitchen insights: Show what happens behind the scenes in your restaurant’s kitchen.

instagram for restaurants - posting regularly

4. Encourage potential customers to follow your Instagram profile

Invite potential customers to follow your Instagram profile for a taste of what your restaurant offers.

Make it simple for your customers to find you on Instagram. Share your Instagram username, which could be the name of your restaurant, and a custom hashtag like #BellaCucinaExperience, #PastaPassion, or #PizzaPerfection.

Don’t forget to add this hashtag to your menu so your customers will easily notice it and follow your Instagram page.

5. Use relevant hashtags

Hashtags on Instagram are probably more effective than on any other social media.

Instagram suggests using 3-5 hashtags in a single post. Nevertheless, you can use up to 30 hashtags if you put them in the initial comment of the post to enhance visibility even further. Use this potential! This is how Instagram chooses content to display to certain people.

Use a hashtag with the type of your cuisine (#sushi, #pizza, etc.), your location (#newyorkcity, #london, etc.), or typical Instagram hashtags for food-related posts (#instafood, #foodporn, etc.).

When considering a hashtag to use, search for it on Instagram to check its usage. Opt for a mix of high-volume (100,000+), medium-volume (50,000 – 100,000), and low-volume (0 – 50,000) hashtags to reach a broader audience.

Popularising a hashtag with your restaurant’s name is also a great idea! This will make it possible for your guests to tag photos of your products on their profiles.

Avoid using the same food hashtags repeatedly. Mix them up to expand your reach and connect with a broader audience.

6. Create reels

Instagram Reels is a form of video marketing for restaurants that allows users to create and share short, engaging video clips. These videos can be up to 60 seconds long and are typically set to music or audio.

Instagram Reels provides various creative tools, such as special effects, filters, text, and stickers, to enhance and customize the content.

As a restaurant owner, Instagram Reels can serve as a fun and engaging tool to promote your eatery while also connecting with your followers.

While creating a Reel, don’t forget to add a CTA (call to action) so that a viewer knows what you want them to do. For example, you could use the following CTA:

  • “Swipe Right to See Our Menu!” – viewers can explore your restaurant menu when they swipe right on your Reel.
  • “Follow Us for Daily Deliciousness!” – viewers are encouraged to hit the “Follow” button on your Instagram profile to stay updated with your daily mouthwatering creations. Thanks to this CTA, you can grow your follower base.
  • “Tag a Friend Who Needs to Try This!” – viewers are encouraged to tag their friends in the comments section. This CTA promotes word-of-mouth recommendations and potential new customers.
  • “Visit Our Website for Online Orders!” – viewers are directed to your restaurant’s website to explore your menu and conveniently place online orders. Don’t forget to provide the URL to your website in your Reel’s caption.
  • “Stay Tuned for Our Next Special Event!” – viewers are invited to stay tuned for exciting updates and announcements.
Restaurant Website Builder
Create restaurant website in minutes
Choose from 50+ restaurant website templates to craft a site that turns visitors into customers
Restaurant Instagram Story Ideas
  • Behind-the-Scenes Tour: Take your followers on a virtual tour of your restaurant’s kitchen, showcasing the culinary process and the dedication of your chefs.
  • Dish of the Day: Highlight a featured menu item for the day or week. Show it being prepared, plated, and served to entice viewers.
  • Customer Testimonials: Share video testimonials from satisfied customers discussing their favorite dishes and dining experiences at your restaurant.
  • Interactive Polls: Engage your audience with fun polls related to food preferences, menu choices, or upcoming events, allowing them to participate and share their opinions.
  • Special Promotions: Announce limited-time promotions, discounts, or upcoming events through short and eye-catching videos with details on how to participate.

    Use Instagram Stories as a social media strategy to showcase your menu items, events, and promotions. Don’t forget to save the most important Stories as Highlights for easy access by visitors to your profile.

    instagram for restaurants - instagram stories

    8. Engage with your customers 

    You can have a beautiful Instagram feed with colorful photos and precise descriptions of your restaurant business, but if you don’t interact with your customers, your Instagram account won’t get popular. 

    Responding to comments and direct messages on Instagram is crucial for a restaurant as it fosters a sense of community and builds customer loyalty. Engaging with users not only acknowledges their feedback and inquiries but also provides an opportunity to address concerns promptly, strengthen relationships, and show your commitment to exceptional customer service. 

    The important thing – you need to respond to all comments, both positive and negative. Your answers don’t need to be long. What matters is to make customers feel they are heard, not ignored.

    instagram for restaurants - responding to customers

    9. Promote online ordering 

    Your Instagram account allows you to promote online ordering from your website. Add a URL to your restaurant website in your restaurant’s Instagram bio.

    When you create a Story or a Reel, don’t forget to add a CTA to encourage your customers to visit your website. 

    instagram for restaurants - online ordering

    10. Promote table booking 

    As in the case of promoting online ordering, do the same if you offer table booking on your restaurant website. 

    If you use an external service for reservations, you can also mention that in your restaurant bio or Stories or Reels, you create.

    instagram for restaurants - table booking

    11. Organize contests and giveaways

    Engage your audience with fun polls, quizzes, and questions about food and their preferences. Organize contests or giveaways where participants can win free meals, discounts, or exclusive experiences.

    While organizing a contest with Instagram giveaways, the key is to maintain a straightforward contest and ensure clear communication of the rules to your audience. 

    Ensure that participation is hassle-free and that the contest’s duration is not excessively long to prevent potential loss of interest among participants.

    12. Add the order sticker to your stories

    Another great option is adding the order sticker to your restaurant’s Instagram Stories. 

    It is a powerful way to simplify the ordering process for your followers. It lets them make quick and convenient reservations or online orders directly from your Story, enhancing user experience and potentially driving more sales.

    Here it is described how to add a “Food orders” sticker to your Instagram story

    instagram for restaurants - instagram sticker

    13. Repost user-generated content

    Encourage customers to share their dining experiences by tagging your restaurant and repost their content to show appreciation. You can also consider reposting customer reviews and testimonials to build trust and credibility.

    Before reposting someone else’s content on your platform, ensure you obtain the user’s consent by leaving a comment on their post or sending them a direct message on Instagram. This courteous approach respects their work and maintains positive online etiquette.

    instagram for restaurants - reposting

    14. Collaborate with influencers

    Collaborating with food influencers, such as chefs and food bloggers, is a reliable method to enhance your restaurant’s presence on Instagram. Restaurant influencers can elevate your brand and enable you to reach a broader audience by leveraging their dedicated follower communities.

    Check the list of the most popular food blogs.

    instagram for restaurants - food blogger

    15. Promote restaurant offers and promotions

    Promote daily or weekly specials to create a sense of urgency and entice followers to visit your restaurant. 

    Run a loyalty program that rewards loyal customers who frequently dine at your restaurant or order online. You can promote it on your Instagram as a part of your marketing strategies. 

    instagram for restaurants - promotion on delivery

    Loyalty Program
    Create a Loyalty Program for Your Restaurant
    Boost customer loyalty and transform one-time restaurant guests into regulars with an easy-to-implement loyalty program

    16. Share cooking tutorials and kitchen secrets

    One of the restaurant’s Instagram ideas is to post short videos demonstrating the preparation of dishes, highlighting the culinary process. These can be short videos showing the preparation of the most popular dishes and more advanced cooking.

    17. Offer a behind-the-scenes look at your culinary world 

    Sharing a behind-the-scenes view of your kitchen life is one of the best restaurant Instagram ideas. It lets people see the hard work and passion that goes into making their meals and helps them connect with your restaurant on a more personal level. 

    Examples of behind-the-scene include

    • Share short video clips or photos of your chefs in action, preparing dishes, and explaining the techniques or ingredients that make them special.
    • Take your audience to local markets, farms, or suppliers to show how you choose fresh, high-quality ingredients.
    • Brainstorming sessions and recipe testing to create a new menu.
    • Share lighthearted moments, staff meals, or kitchen traditions to glimpse your restaurant’s unique culinary culture.

    18. Add your Instagram and Facebook accounts to the same Accounts Center

    By adding the Instagram account and Facebook account to the same Accounts Centre, you can run Instagram and Facebook ads from your Page. This is a great simplification that will help you increase sales and save time when creating advertising campaigns.

    Here you can check how to add your Instagram and Facebook accounts to the same Accounts Center.

    19. Create holiday and seasonal content

    Creating holiday and seasonal content on Instagram is a smart strategy for restaurants to stay relevant and engage with their audience. Whether it’s special menus for Valentine’s Day, festive decorations for Christmas, or refreshing drinks for summer, tailoring your content to the season allows you to connect with customers during specific occasions and drive excitement for your offerings.

    instagram for restaurants - promotionon Halloween

    20. Consider Paid Advertising

    Last but not least, paid advertising on Instagram can be a powerful tool for restaurants to expand their reach and attract new customers. 

    How often should a restaurant post on Instagram?

    The general rule says that you should post at least three times a week. Otherwise, your followers will become less engaged. 

    The ideal posting frequency for a restaurant on Instagram typically ranges from 3 to 7 times per week. Consistency is key, so aim for at least a few posts each week to keep your audience engaged. 

    You can also consider posting more frequently during special promotions, events, or holidays to maintain an active online presence. 

    instagram for restaurants -  instagram account example

    What is the best time to post on Instagram for restaurants?

    According to Sprout Social, professionals in the restaurant industry observe the highest engagement during the early part of the week, from Mondays to Wednesdays. 

    For restaurants on Instagram, the most favorable posting times are on Mondays at 2 p.m. and during the 4 to 6 p.m. It’s worth noting that there is also substantial engagement on these weekdays between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

    instagram for restaurants - instagram restaurant engagement

    It’s essential to monitor your Instagram Insights to determine when your specific audience is most active and engaged. Experiment with different posting times and analyze the performance of your posts to refine your posting schedule for optimal results.

    Best restaurant Instagram accounts

    As a restaurant online ordering system provider, we also thought it would be great to show some of the best restaurant Instagram accounts. Below are examples of well-run restaurant accounts with beautiful pictures, interesting Stories, and Reels engaging the restaurant’s target audience. 

    The list is subjective, and there are, of course, many more interesting, well-run accounts. Take a look at the list below for inspiration!

    1. Eleven Madison Park

    The Instagram account for Eleven Madison Park, known as @elevenmadisonpark, offers a captivating glimpse into the world of this renowned Michelin-starred restaurant located in New York City. 

    This account offers a beautiful look at fancy dining, making it a great follow for people who love food and appreciate culinary art.

    instagram for restaurants - example of restaurant instagram account

    2. Sweetgreen

    The Instagram account of Sweetgreen, known as @sweetgreen, not only showcases their healthy salads and bowls but also emphasizes their commitment to building a healthier community. 

    It’s a great source of inspiration for nutritious meals and a platform that promotes wellness and sustainability, making it a valuable follow for those interested in healthier living.

    instagram for restaurants - example of restaurant instagram account

    3. Wendy’s

    Wendy’s Instagram account, found at @wendys, is a hub of interactive graphics, humorous memes, and witty content. 

    With a playful and entertaining approach, the account engages its audience with funny posts, clever captions, and interactive challenges. It’s a go-to destination for those looking to enjoy a lighthearted and comical twist on fast-food content while interacting with the brand in a fun way.

    instagram for restaurants - example of restaurant instagram account

    4. Smith + Daughters

    The Instagram account for Smith & Daughters, found at @smithanddaughters, is all about showing off delicious vegan food in an elegant way. They post beautiful pictures of their plant-based dishes, making it a great place for anyone curious about fancy vegan dining and cruelty-free cooking.

    instagram for restaurants - example of restaurant instagram account

    5. Ci Siamo

    The Instagram account for Cisiamo, found at @cisiamonyc, showcases the personality and charm of Italian dining. It shares lovely pictures of Italian food and the cozy restaurant atmosphere, giving you a taste of Italy’s warmth and flavors. 

    If you’re a fan of Italian culture and delicious dishes, this account is a great follow to explore their brand personality.

    instagram for restaurants - example of restaurant instagram account

    Key Takeaways

    • Use Instagram’s visual appeal to tell your restaurant’s story through enticing images and videos of your dishes, ambiance, and behind-the-scenes moments.
    • Actively interact with your followers by responding to comments, hosting contests, and encouraging user-generated content to foster a sense of community.
    • Research and use a mix of high-volume, medium-volume, and niche hashtags to expand your reach and increase discoverability.
    • Leverage Instagram to promote seasonal specials, events, and promotions to keep your audience excited and informed.
    • Maintain a regular posting schedule and a cohesive visual theme to create a strong and memorable brand presence on Instagram.
    • Remember that consistency and authenticity are key. Tailor your Instagram marketing efforts to reflect your restaurant’s unique brand and personality while keeping your audience engaged and informed.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

    Setting up Instagram for your restaurant involves several steps:

    • Download Instagram: Install the Instagram app from your device’s app store.
    • Create an account: Sign up with your email, phone number, or Facebook account.
    • Profile setup: Add a profile picture (like your restaurant’s logo), choose a username, and create a brief bio about your restaurant.
    • Business account: Consider switching to a business account for added features, including Instagram Insights.
    • Choose category: Pick a category that fits your restaurant, such as “Restaurant/Cafe” or “Local Business.”
    • Verify contact info: Ensure that you are using a valid phone number and email address.
    • Complete profile: Finish by adding location, website (if applicable), and operating hours.

    Check the detailed information on Getting started on Instagram for business.

    To gain more followers on Instagram, restaurants should focus on:

    • Sharing attractive photos and videos of dishes and the restaurant’s ambiance.
    • Maintaining a consistent posting schedule.
    • Using relevant and popular hashtags to increase discoverability.
    • Interacting with their audience through comments, likes, and contests.
    • Encouraging customers to share their experiences and repost their content.
    Agata Kubiak - Padkowska

    Agata Kubiak - Padkowska

    Digital content creator, passionate about helping restaurants to start selling online.

    How helpful was this post?

    Share this article

    Try for free,
    no commitment!