The visual nature of Instagram makes it a great choice for marketing and to help grow sales. In fact, 99% of millennials and Gen Z-ers are more likely to use social media platforms, like Instagram, to choose restaurants.

One of the biggest challenges that restaurants face when marketing on Instagram is figuring out what to post. Content creation can be challenging, but the reward of greater sales and a bigger customer base makes it worth the effort.

Here are some Instagram post ideas to help your restaurant grow sales.

best restaurant instagrams

Introduce New Menu Items

Instagram is the perfect platform for introducing new menu items. Seeing pictures of food stimulates the appetite, so an enticing photo is a great way to get people interested in your new offering.

These types of posts will appeal to both your regular customers and new customers. Regulars may be apprehensive about ordering something new. Seeing what the dish looks like may entice them to give it a try. New customers may be compelled to stop in and give your new dish a try, especially if it's unique and something they can't order anywhere else.

Make sure that your Instagram restaurant photos are mouth-watering, especially when showing off new menu items. The goal is to get customers to your door right now.

Browse pictures of food for inspiration and to see which posts get the most attention.

Show Off Your Most Popular Food and Drinks

One of the simplest ways to use Instagram to grow your sales is to show off your most popular menu items. Professional photography is a must here. High-quality images will make your food and drinks pop.

Make sure that your restaurant's food pictures remind your regulars of what they're missing and of the great experiences they've had at your establishment. Show new customers what your place is known for. Create FOMO (fear of missing out) to get more diners to your doorstep.

The best restaurant Instagrams are filled with colorful, mouth-watering photos of their food and drinks.

restaurant instagram marketing

Share Customer Posts

The beauty of Instagram is that your customers can do much of the hard work for you when it comes to content creation. Data shows that 69% of millennials take photos of their food before eating. And there's a good chance that most of them will share these posts on social media, especially Instagram.

If you see that customers are posting great photos of your restaurant, your food and their experience, reach out and ask if you can share these posts. This is one restaurant Instagram marketing tactic that will benefit everyone. Customers get their chance to shine, and you get the chance to share valuable content.

Along with having the opportunity to share valuable content, you also build personal relationships with your followers and make them feel like they are part of your restaurant family. Building a loyal customer base will help your restaurant thrive, and your regulars will be more likely to recommend your place to their friends and family.

Go Behind the Scenes

Take customers behind the scenes to see what goes on in the kitchen or during the prep process. Photos or videos will give your followers greater insight into how you carefully prepare your dishes.

At the same time, you're acknowledging and celebrating the hard work of your staff. It also creates a familiarity between your staff and followers, which is yet another way to build and nurture personal relationships with customers.

Here are some behind-the-scenes Instagram post ideas for business accounts:

  • Take photos of the prep process
  • Have your chef discuss how some dishes are prepared
  • Photograph the garnishing step to show off this delicate process

Giving your customers a peek behind the curtain also humanizes your brand and helps build trust - two important things in attracting more sales.

Host a Giveaway

One way to use Instagram for restaurants is to host a giveaway, whether it be free food, a gift card or something else you feel is appropriate. Your regulars will be excited to get a chance to dine at your restaurant again. New customers will be enticed because free food or a gift card allows them to try your restaurant at no cost to them.

If done properly, your giveaway will also expand your reach and help you gain new followers. One great way to achieve this is to have specific entry requirements, such as:

  • Having to follow your account
  • Sharing the post in Stories
  • Tagging friends

Friend tagging and post sharing will help get your restaurant's name in front of a larger audience. In exchange for giving away some food, you may gain several new customers.

Celebrate Promotions and Deals

If you're running a special deal or promotion, celebrate and share it in your Instagram posts. Create graphics that show off your food and inform your followers about your promotion, whether it's a discount, your specials or another deal, like 2 for $20.

Ask your followers to spread the word. They may convince their friends and family to join them and take advantage of your promotion.

instagram post ideas for business

Feature Regulars or Employees

Humanizing your brand is a great way to market your restaurant and build trust among your customers. Featuring your regulars and your employees in your posts is a great way to make customers feel close to your brand in a personal way.

Maybe do a series of posts featuring customers who regularly dine at your restaurant. Take photos (preferably of them eating and having fun) and share their stories.

Employee features will help your followers and customers get to know the people who prepare their food and serve them. Along with professional photos, you can include a little information about each employee and why they enjoy working for you.

These may not be the types of posts that go viral, but they can help expand your reach and build trust. Featured regulars will be more inclined to share their post with friends and family who will be interested in checking out your restaurant.

Celebrate Achievements

Have you reached a new milestone? Whether it's new follower count (e.g. 10,000 followers) or an anniversary, achievements and milestones are great opportunities to create new Instagram posts celebrating them.

Achievement posts can coincide with special deals and promotions. Maybe you're celebrating your 10th anniversary by offering 10% off or a special dish. These types of posts can generate buzz and get people to try your restaurant.

how to start a food instagram

Feature Furry Friends

It's a fact - people love animals. You may not allow pets at your restaurant, but that doesn't mean that you can't create posts featuring them. Photos with animals can attract a lot of likes and shares that will help spread the word about your restaurant.

Do you offer ice cream as dessert? Snap a pic of an adorable dog sloping up a spoonful or cone of ice cream. Is your outdoor patio pet-friendly? Share a pic of well-behaved dogs enjoying your patio with their owners.

Use these post ideas to grow restaurant sales using your Instagram account. Don't forget to engage with your followers and commenters to keep everyone interested. Also, make it a point to be active on this social platform. Consistency and creative content will help you grow your sales and build your brand.