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45% of U.S. diners reported trying a restaurant for the first time because of a social media post made by the establishment, according to a survey conducted by MGH. Within that same survey, 74% of respondents who actively follow and engage with restaurants on social media say they are more likely to visit or order from those establishments.

But social media isn’t something you can just set and forget.

For your restaurant to succeed, your social media strategy must feature authentic content representative of your restaurant brand. Experts believe that authenticity is the key component to creating a successful strategy.

5 restaurant social media post ideas to inspire your strategy

To help you create authentic social media content that will build customer loyalty and increase sales, we’re sharing five social media post ideas and examples to inspire your strategy.

Share a behind-the-scenes post to build a personal connection with your followers

Eight out of 10 adults in the United States watch cooking shows, and more than half of those viewers say they’ve bought food because of what they watched on those shows. People are already invested in the magic of the culinary arts, and chefs have been elevated to celebrity status.

So it makes sense that photos or videos of kitchen prep, special events, or even the line cook surveying the weekly produce delivery might attract plenty of attention from social media.

Check out Sister’s Cusine behind-the-scenes post on their Instagram featuring their cook Aruna.

This snapshot is deceptively simple, but it shares Sister’s Cusine’s authenticity and provides their audience with a personal connection to their BOH staff. Additionally, Sisters Cuisine used this post as an opportunity to promote their dinner menu.

Show off your menu and specialties to drive orders

Want to make your follower’s mouths water? Every restaurant’s social media calendar should include an ample supply of food photos. Take pictures of the chef’s nightly special, of your dessert cart, of a row of salads being assembled on the cold line and guacamole being made tableside. Looking for Instagram food inspiration? Check out this post from Eméché Cakery & Café



Eméché Cakery & Cafe captures the Naked Cake trend with this beautiful photo that leaves their audience inspired and ready to order. Eméché Cakery & Cafe also provides a call to action for their followers: “Place your order today!”. Additionally, it uses trending and relevant hashtags to reach a broader audience.

Create fun and engaging short video content to promote your dishes

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and apparently, social media agrees. Video content generates 1200% more shares than text and image-based content combined.

In addition, viewers retain an impressive 95% of a message expressed in video format versus a mere 10% when the message is conveyed in words. That said, experts agree that you have just six to 10 seconds before viewers scroll on, so keep your videos short and sweet. Think teasers, rather than giving away the entire plot.

Feature your employees, offer cooking tutorials, show expo garnishing your new special, or do a behind-the-scenes rapid-fire Q&A with your star chef. Facebook Live, Instagram Live, and TikTok all offer avenues for instant video shares, and some even give video content priority over still photos or text.

San Francisco’s Saucy Bandits has really mastered the art of short social media content.

Saucy Bandits also found a way to amplify its TikTok content on Instagram, which is a great way to cross-promote across your social media channels and engage followers on multiple platforms at once.

Go viral with user-generated content

User-generated content, or UGC, is content powered by the people who love a business rather than created by the business itself. Think restaurant candids and snapshots of a meal posted by the people who ate there.

UGC is great for business because it’s fresh new content tailored to your brand, but it doesn’t cost you a cent. It’s also fantastic for building trust and awareness; 90% of consumers say authenticity plays a significant role in deciding which brands to like and support. UGC is 2.4x to be viewed as authentic compared to content created and circulated by a brand.

Chipotle really mastered the art of virtual UGC content with their #GuacDance challenge.

Chipotle's #Guacdance is perfect restaurant social media post inspiration


Chipotle’s viral #GuacDance challenge originated with the brand’s marketing team. Still, it was 250,000 video submissions and 430 million video starts — aka user-generated content — of people getting down to the Guacamole Song that drove the campaign to break records.

The combination of encouraging UGC, tying the promotion to National Avocado Day, and harnessing the power of the already famous (and very quirky) TikTok made for a brilliant social media marketing plan that paid off handsomely.

Share ways for customers to order takeout and delivery directly from you

Fish cuts to the chase and uses their Instagram page to promote their Grubhub Direct Order Link, located on their website. From this social media post, they experienced an increase in takeout and delivery orders, which positively impacted their business.

Want to take your online ordering capabilities to the next level?

Consider launching a branded online ordering website with Grubhub Direct. With Grubhub Direct, you can drive your customers to an ordering website customized just for your business, with your logo, your photos, and your menu.

In addition, Grubhub Direct makes it easier for you to build customer relationships using detailed customer data and loyalty tools. Learn how you can start taking commission-free orders on your site by clicking here.

Social media can help you stay connected with your customers and build loyalty

Building customer loyalty on the back of strategic restaurant social media campaigns is part science, part art. It takes time to find the right balance between creative and fun social media posts and messaging that underscores your brand identity. But achieve the balance, and you’ll continue to build your social presence, connect with more hungry diners, and see engagement rise like never before.

Interested in learning more about restaurant marketing best practices? Read our guide to developing a marketing plan to learn how to create a marketing strategy that can help your business grow, reach more customers, and increase sales.

Are you interested in learning more about building your restaurant’s online brand while also increasing your sales? Then, download our latest guide, Build Your Brand and Boost Your Business with Online Ordering.

infographic banner displaying Grubhub's Guide to Building an Online Ordering Strategy