Mastering how to use Instagram for business is a lot different than working on your own personal profile. Your restaurant's account must create strategic posts, engage with others and develop a posting plan that grows your brand.

But why?

Why Do Restaurants Need to Learn How to Use Instagram?

restaurant instagram marketing

Using Instagram for business is almost a requirement in 2024 because it's the third-most used social platform with 2 billion monthly active users. Your local audience is on Instagram, and you can use it to:

  • Build a massive, loyal following
  • Humanize your restaurant
  • Promote deals to attract customers on slow days
  • Connect with locals in ways that were never possible before

You can even work with micro-influencers in your area to help promote special events or grow your account even faster.

If you want to grow your restaurant and attract more customers, Instagram is a great opportunity to showcase the atmosphere and your delightful food. But first, you'll need to set your account up properly.

4 Steps to Set up Restaurant Instagram Marketing

If you have a regular non-business account, you need to first start by switching your profile type and following the strategic steps below. Some of the perks of a business account are advantageous and offer you far more insight into your audience than what's available on a personal account.

1. Switch to a Business Profile

A restaurant Instagram should be a business account. You'll gain access to in-depth analytics that you can use to understand what types of posts resonate with your followers the most.

You can become one of the 200+ million business accounts by doing the following:

  • Open your account
  • Go to your profile
  • Tap the hamburger icon
  • Tap Settings and privacy > Account type and tools
  • Select Switch to professional account

Instagram will instantly change your account type.

2. Fill Out Your Bio

You've set your profile to a business account so that you can boost posts and look through insights, but you still need to fill out your profile. We recommend that you go to your profile right now and update your bio to include:

  • Website URL
  • Open hours
  • Address

When people go to your profile, you want them to know that they're looking at a local restaurant.

3. Add Your Branding

Restaurant branding must be incorporated into your profile, so spend time uploading your logo as your profile picture and ensuring that you have brand cohesion across every social media channel.

You want followers to be able to instantly know it's your restaurant, whether they're on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok or any other social channel.

4. Create a Posting Schedule

Finally, create a posting schedule and stick to it. You need a complete editorial calendar that outlines:

  • What you'll post
  • When you'll post

If you're not posting and replying back to comments, you won't be able to grow your Instagram profile as you had hoped.

restaurant instagram

Tips for How to Use Instagram for Business

Now that you know how to set up your Instagram marketing, you can start making the most of this social media platform.

Use these tips to start building your restaurant's Instagram presence.

Post on the Right Schedule

At this point, you should have a posting schedule. Maybe you want to post 3-4 times a week. But what time should you post? Timing is more important than you think.

If your restaurant posts a video at 12 AM after the bar closes, your post likely won't reach your target audience. It's important to post when your audience is online and active.

As a general rule of thumb, it's best to post on weekday mornings before noon, but you can use your Instagram Insights to see when your audience is most active.

Add in Photos and Videos

Although videos are popular on Instagram, the platform's algorithm likes to see a mix of photos and videos.

Carousel posts are especially popular and help keep people engaged.

Varying the types of content you post is important, but it's just as important to make sure that every post you share has a story or purpose. How do you achieve that? Add meaningful captions.

If you share a video of your chef preparing a dish, share some details about the dish. For example, if you source the ingredients locally, tell everyone about it.

Start Creating Stories and Highlights

Regular posts are great for attracting new followers and - hopefully - getting your content discovered by other Instagram users.

But Stories and highlights can help you build more meaningful relationships with your loyal customers and followers.

Stories appear at the top of your followers' interface, and they're only live for 24 hours, so your followers will be more compelled to view them so that they don't miss out. They're great for sharing behind-the-scenes content or even information about how you source your ingredients.

Use them as a way to engage with your followers on a more intimate level.

And when you post Stories that tell people about your brand and what makes you stand out from other restaurants, you can transform them into highlights. Highlights give these Stories a permanent home on your account, so followers and other users can view them anytime.

Start Gathering Restaurant Instagram Post Ideas - These 6 Can Help

Posting regularly is the key to staying active and keeping your audience engaged. But what if you find yourself running out of ideas?

While you can certainly post on the fly, it's better to have a content plan.

Creating a list of post ideas will help you keep your content plan full.

Here are some ideas to help you get started:

  1. Take your followers behind the scenes to show how you source and pick your ingredients
  2. If you have a bar, share a video of your bartender creating fun and unique cocktails
  3. If you're a pet-friendly establishment, share photos of the furry friends who drop in
  4. Show off your seasonal menu items
  5. Repost Stories that tag your restaurant
  6. Have an AMA session with your staff or yourself

You can also share customer posts or daily specials that you offer.

Closing Thoughts

Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms on the planet, and its visual nature makes it perfect for restaurants. With the right strategy and consistency, you can grow your following, build brand awareness and get more customers through your restaurant doors.