Snapchat 101: A Guide for Restaurants

Are you already destroying the competition when it comes to using Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to find and drive customers to your restaurant? If the answer is yes, consider taking your social strategy to the next level and incorporate Snapchat into your restaurant’s social media strategy.


This photo-messaging app, which allows people to exchange messages that disappear after they’re viewed, is a favorite among teens and young adults. Snapchat can be a fun and affordable way to engage with your customers and even help grow your business, but it takes time, effort and a great deal of planning to pull it off.


If you’re interested in incorporating Snapchat into your restaurant’s social media, here are a few tips on how to get started.


    1. Use Existing Social Channels
      First thing’s first: Snapchat is an opt-in platform. You need to be friends with someone before you can send snaps (photo messages) back and forth. Highlight your Snapchat presence and any campaigns or promotions you’re running on other social channels, such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, to make sure your social followers know to add you on Snapchat as well.


    1. Send Coupons, Promo Codes
      Entice customers to follow you on Snapchat by sending coupons and promo codes via the app. When someone adds you as a friend or sends you a snap, respond with rewards they can redeem for free delivery or 10 percent off. Not only does this give your coupons and offers a feeling of exclusivity, but it helps build your Snapchat following as well.

    2. Encourage On-Premise Snaps
      Snapchat presents a great opportunity to engage customers while they’re in your restaurant. Frozen yogurt chain 16 Handles pioneered this type of promotion, having customers snap a photo of themselves at one of the chain’s locations. In return snappers received a discount of 16 percent, 50 percent or 100 percent off their frozen treat. If you’re considering running a similar promotion, consider having signage around your restaurant with all the details.

    3. Tease New Tastes
      Use Snapchat to give your loyal customers and fans exclusive looks at new dishes, menu items or even seasonal ingredients before they make it to your menu. Sharing these sneak peeks makes your community of Snapchat followers feel like insiders.


  1. Showcase Your Culture
    Use Snapchat to show what life is like behind the counter. Are you working with color-rich ingredients or delectable desserts? Give customers a 10-second behind-the-scenes look at what’s going on in your kitchen.

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