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10 Top TikTok Restaurant Marketing Ideas

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In today’s digital age, where TikTok has taken the world by storm, restaurant owners and marketers are finding innovative ways to harness the power of this dynamic social media app for their business. 

The app boasting millions of active TikTok users has become a goldmine for restaurant marketing. 

This article will delve into the top TikTok restaurant marketing ideas that leverage the platform’s engaging TikTok videos to captivate and convert potential diners. 

Whether you’re a seasoned marketer or new to social media app promotion, these strategies will help you tap into the incredible potential of TikTok marketing to boost your restaurant’s visibility and customer base.

tiktok restaurant - creating tiktok video

What is TikTok?

TikTok is a dynamic social media platform that thrives on short-form video content. Users can explore many TikTok ideas, from dances to comedy skits and educational snippets. 

Its engaging features offer an ideal space to create content that captivates audiences. TikTok’s algorithm tailors content to users’ interests, making it a favorite among younger demographics and providing opportunities for businesses to boost their local exposure. 

It’s a versatile and influential social media platform for entertainment and marketing, making it a valuable tool for those seeking to create engaging content and expand their reach.

tiktok restaurant - creating tiktok video

What is TikTok for restaurants?

TikTok for restaurants is a strategic approach to harnessing the TikTok platform for promotion. This entails crafting captivating short-form videos highlighting a restaurant’s menu, atmosphere, behind-the-scenes moments, and distinctive offerings. 

TikTok is a creative and entertaining restaurant platform to connect with local or global audiences. 

By leveraging TikTok, restaurants can enhance brand recognition, draw in fresh clientele, and actively engage with loyal patrons, ultimately bolstering their online presence and business prosperity.

Fast facts on TikTok for restaurants
  • According to Nation’s Restaurant News, 53% of Millennial users have either dined at a restaurant or placed a food order after viewing content on TikTok.
  • According to Nation’s Restaurant News, around 51.8 million diners, constituting 38% of TikTok users across all age groups, have patronized a restaurant or placed a food order after encountering a TikTok video featuring it.
  • The research made by MGH revealed that 55% of respondents dined at a restaurant showcased on TikTok due to the mouthwatering food visuals, while a distinctive menu offering enticed 51%.
  • According to Restaurant Business, some TikTok users traveled far just to try food they saw on the app. About one-fifth went to different cities, and 16% even went to another state to visit a restaurant they found on TikTok.

What is TikTok Marketing?

TikTok marketing involves promoting your brand, products, and services to the TikTok audience. It’s a form of influencer marketing for restaurants that allows you to promote your brand through content creation, using hashtags, participating in trending challenges, partnering with TikTok influencers, and engaging with your followers. tiktok restaurant - creating tik tok video

What makes TikTok vital for restaurants?

We can distinguish the following benefits of using the TikTok social media platform for restaurant promotion:
  • New Customer Acquisition: TikTok marketing assists in attracting new customers to your restaurant.
  • Local Visibility: It enhances your restaurant’s exposure within the local community.
  • Engagement Generation: TikTok efforts generate high levels of engagement with your target audience.
  • Micro-Influencer Collaboration: The platform facilitates connections with micro-influencers for brand promotion.
  • Limited Competition: The platform is relatively new, and not many restaurants already use it. In other words, it provides an opportunity for advertising with reduced competition.

How to Use TikTok for Restaurants

To use TikTok for restaurants, go through the following steps:
  1. Create a TikTok account
  2. Add your restaurant name, logo, and link to your restaurant website
  3. Develop a content strategy that aligns with your restaurant’s brand
  4. Post regularly on your TikTok account to drive engagement
  5. Show your restaurant menu items and behind-the-scenes moments
  6. Stay current with TikTok trends and use relevant hashtags to increase discoverability
  7. Interact with your viewers by responding to comments and fostering community
Examples of TikTok Ideas
  • Introduce your dedicated staff members and highlight their roles
  • Share step-by-step cooking tutorials with your followers
  • Take your audience on a virtual tour of your restaurant
  • Feature a mix of your restaurant’s latest dishes and beloved classics
  • Capture happy customers on video sharing their dining experiences (but firstly remember to ask them for permission to do so)

10 Top TikTok Restaurant Marketing Ideas

When you begin to create and share videos on TikTok, it might be difficult to determine what to focus on. Below we created a list of restaurant marketing ideas for the TikTok video.

Remember that you don’t need to have a camera. You can use your mobile phone to create videos and share them with TikTok users. 

1. Launch brand-new menu offerings 

Displaying a star dish, brand-new menu item, or a special on TikTok is an excellent method to attract new customers to your restaurant. 

There’s no more effective way to get your customers excited about your new menu items or daily specials than by visually showcasing the mouthwatering dishes.

tiktok restaurant - new menu items

2. Include your audience in menu creation

Are you thinking about adding new menu items to your restaurant offer? 

Introducing a new dish to a restaurant menu requires time and refinement of the recipe. Why not include your customers in the process? 

You can show them how you develop new dishes, how a unique menu item is created, and what tests look like before the dish is added to the restaurant menu. 

The recipe is not working? Talk about that, too, people are looking for real stories. Showing that you are successful but have failures makes you more authentic on social media platforms. 

tiktok restaurant - new menu item creation

3. Market a new promotion or program

Are you introducing a new promotion for your customers? Do you start to offer a loyalty program for your customers? 

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TikTok is a great place to inform your followers about it. Promote daily or weekly specials exclusively through TikTok to create a sense of urgency and excitement.

Use TikTok to turn people who watch your videos into email subscribers. Create a video about a special offer, but ask your followers to join your email list to get it. 

Think about the incentive that will help you to grab your customers’ attention and make them interested, for example, offer:

Check out the examples of Restaurant Promotion Ideas to get inspired. 

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4. Create a cooking tutorial

Teach viewers how to prepare a signature dish from your menu, encouraging them to try it at home or visit your restaurant. You can also create a new recipe and a video showing how to cook a new dish from scratch.

Tutorials provide an enjoyable means to establish trust with your customers and empower them to join in from home, even if they can’t visit the restaurant in person.

5. Share Behind-the-Scenes

Sharing behind-the-scenes content on TikTok is crucial as it offers users a glimpse into the restaurant’s inner workings, providing transparency and authenticity. 

Through such TikTok ideas, users find themselves engaged in a more personalized experience, fostering a deeper connection with the brand. 

Showing what happens behind the scenes makes the restaurant feel real and trustworthy, making customers want to return more often and stay loyal.

6. Collaborate with micro-influencers

Collaborating with foodie influencers and bloggers can be a game-changer for your restaurant’s TikTok presence. 

By partnering with these creators, your restaurant gains exposure to their dedicated followers through engaging videos and posts, reaching a wider audience. 

Leveraging these food-focused micro-influencers influence can make your content go viral, attracting more people to your restaurant and boosting your brand’s visibility on TikTok.

tiktok restaurant -  influencers

7. Show the complete dining journey

TikTok provides the perfect canvas to showcase the complete dining experience of a restaurant through engaging video content. 

With its visually appealing and entertaining format, TikTok encourages users to explore a restaurant’s ambiance, savor its delicious dishes, and witness the overall dining atmosphere. 

By capturing and sharing these moments on TikTok, restaurants can draw viewers’ attention and encourage them to visit a restaurant in person or place online orders.

tiktok restaurant - restaurant decor

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8. Come up with your TikTok challenge 

Invent your restaurant’s unique TikTok challenge and encourage customers to participate to win discounts or rewards. 

Launching a challenge can motivate customers to order extra. Sharing this challenge on TikTok might inspire people to make a special trip to your restaurant. 

Don’t forget to use hashtags. You can also start a hashtag challenge by posting a video of yourself (or one of your staff members) doing the challenge and using its name as a hashtag

tiktok restaurant - tik tok challenge

9. Show your staff

Showcase your talented chefs, servers, and staff to add a personal touch to your restaurant’s branding. How to do this? Here are some creative ways:

  • Create brief videos featuring individual staff members, showing their roles, personalities, and enjoyment of working at the restaurant.
  • Have casual conversations with staff members, whether in the kitchen or dining area, discussing their favorite menu items or unique talents.
  • Take viewers through a staff member’s typical workday, from preparing ingredients to serving customers, offering an authentic glimpse behind the scenes.
  • Get your staff involved in TikTok challenges and trends, revealing their playful and creative sides beyond their usual duties.
  • Present your head chef or culinary team, highlighting their culinary expertise and sharing insights about the restaurant’s cuisine.
@richmondstationn Meet the staff of one of Canada's top restaurants! #toronto #richmondstation #restaurant #foodie ♬ original sound - Richmond Station

10. Use special effects and trending sounds 

Adding special effects and trending sounds in your TikTok restaurant videos can spice things up. Those effects make your videos visually exciting, and those popular sounds give them a familiar and relatable vibe. 

It’s all about making your content fun and engaging, and it might just help your videos go big and get your restaurant noticed by more folks on TikTok.

Key Takeaways

  • Use TikTok videos as a central element of your social media strategy to tap into the platform’s immense reach and engagement potential.
  • Stay updated with TikTok trends and incorporate them into your content to resonate with current audiences and stay relevant.
  • Regularly post engaging content on TikTok to excite your audience and attract new customers with fresh, relevant material.
  • Prioritize driving engagement through comments, likes, shares, and interactive content to foster a sense of community and loyalty.
  • While TikTok is valuable, don’t forget to integrate it into your overall social media strategy, ensuring you reach customers on various platforms. Find inspiration by exploring different restaurant social media post ideas.
  • Strategic TikTok marketing aims to attract and convert viewers into customers who are excited about your brand and offerings.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Restaurants use TikTok to attract new customers and promote their unique offerings. Many have established their TikTok pages, using the platform to showcase their star dishes like mouthwatering chicken sandwiches or delectable vegetarian options. 

Through engaging content, restaurants entice viewers to visit their establishments. Even established chains like Pizza Hut are tapping into TikTok’s popularity, creating viral campaigns to capture the attention of a younger and digitally savvy audience. 

Restaurants are harnessing TikTok as an innovative and impactful tool to enhance brand exposure and generate fresh business prospects.
Food-related content on TikTok is exceptionally popular and continues to thrive. TikTok has become a go-to platform for food enthusiasts, chefs, home cooks, and restaurants to share culinary creations, recipes, cooking hacks, and dining experiences. 

Food-related videos often receive high engagement rates, many going viral and amassing millions of views. TikTok offers a prime location for culinary enthusiasts, restaurants, and bars to take full advantage.   

From mouthwatering steaks and burgers to delectable appetizers, TikTok provides a lively stage to captivate a diverse audience with engaging food content.
TikTok can be a valuable asset for restaurants as it combines business and fun, potentially leading to increased sales and overall success. 

Through engaging and entertaining content, restaurants can effectively promote their dishes, engage with a younger demographic, and harness trending challenges. 

TikTok’s dynamic short-video format allows for quick and impactful marketing, contributing to business growth and enhancing the overall success of restaurant ventures.
To create a TikTok video for your restaurant, plan your content and set up an appealing environment with good lighting. Use a smartphone with a stable surface or tripod for recording. 

Outline your video, write an engaging caption, and incorporate background music or trending sounds. Edit and trim your video within the TikTok app, choose an eye-catching thumbnail, and post it to your account. 

Engage with comments, promote your video on other social media platforms, and stay creative to connect with your audience effectively.
Restaurants can go viral by creating compelling and shareable content that resonates with a broad audience. The most important factor is exploring unconventional ideas to craft distinctive restaurant content that grabs people’s interest.

Moreover, restaurants should use popular hashtags and participate in trending activities to increase the visibility of the restaurant’s content. Exchanging content and engaging in mutual promotion with other restaurants is a great way to increase visibility.

Never forget to highlight your restaurant staff members’ personalities in your videos and introduce the faces behind the restaurant to create a link between customers and your establishment.
Picture of Agata Kubiak - Padkowska

Agata Kubiak - Padkowska

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

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