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TikTok is a unique social media platform that rewards authentic, unfiltered content.
In this article, we have compiled a list of 30 TikTok ideas for restaurants to boost their social media marketing. Remember, the most successful TikToks are tied to current trends — but since they’ll likely shift by the time we’ve published this post, we’ll keep it general. After all, the algorithm is always on!
What you’ll find in this article:
Over the past few years, TikTok has quickly become the social media platform du jour.
Once seen as a platform for dancing teenagers, the app has now become a global hub for education, exploration, and entertainment, in categories ranging from fashion to food and everything in between.
Promoting your restaurant on TikTok has the potential for more than just a virtual sensation. It can directly benefit your bottom line!
Let's dive into some fast facts:
- TikTok users spend an average of 89 minutes a day on the app
- More than half of Millennials have visited a restaurant after seeing it on TikTok
- 30% of TikTok users have traveled longer distances than they usually do to visit a restaurant they’ve seen on the app
- 78% of small businesses on TikTok have earned a positive return from investment in the platform
Now that you know TikTok can influence real-world purchasing decisions, ask yourself: How can I reach new customers with it?
1. Start by identifying your target audience
Write out everything you can think of about their demographic: locations, ages, interests, etc. Next, research the kind of media this target audience gravitates towards.
When creating your TikTok account, your goal is to land on your target audiences’ “For You” page – a curated feed of new videos they might be interested in.
Your videos should be similar to those that your potential customers already know. Scout out what your competitors are posting and analyze what’s been successful for their accounts.
Staying up-to-date with the latest TikTok trends is an essential element of strategic marketing on the app. While it can feel overwhelming to keep up with the shifting tides of TikTok trends, songs, and vernacular, it’s also fun! Chances are someone on your team already loves using the app, so make sure to check in with your staff as you plan out a social media strategy.
Other important elements of a successful TikTok strategy include:
2. Engage with your audience
Whether replying to a comment with a video, utilizing the Q&A feature, or participating in discussions – boosting your engagement rate with interactive content is essential!
3. Focus on niche content
Get specific! Would a certain ingredient in your favorite dish surprise your audience? TikTok is a great place to highlight your restaurant’s creativity.
4. Use hashtags
Hashtags are a simple, effective way to increase visibility and engagement on TikTok. Utilize a combination of broad (i.e. #food) and specific (i.e. your restaurant’s name/city) hashtags for the most exposure.
5. Choose the right music
Music and sound are crucial in creating effective TikToks. Nearly 90% of TikTok users shared that sound is important to the app’s experience. Using viral songs and sounds is an easy way to land on your potential customers' “For You” pages.
1. Make a “storytime” video introduction
Out of all the social media platforms, TikTok is unique in rewarding authentic, unfiltered content. To start, create a TikTok to introduce yourself! Tell a story about how and why you got into the restaurant industry. Customers love to support businesses that they can see the people behind!
2. Film a food montage
Take up-close and overhead videos of your most popular dishes. Add closed captions to highlight the name of each dish and pair the video with a trending sound!
3. Showcase your staff
Turn your restaurant into a TikTok reality show with staff superlatives! Ask each staff member a “Who’s most likely to…?” question. Whoever they answer is the person you should film next!
4. Post a "Day in the Life"
Take your viewer behind the scenes to follow an employee's “day in the life.” From opening to closing, let customers see all the hard work that goes into running a restaurant.
5. Share cooking tutorials
Create a “How-To” cooking series with your restaurant’s head chef! Show your audience the best cooking hacks and create small tutorials on everyday kitchen activities.
6. Teach your audience wine pairings
Teach viewers to know what they’re doing when it comes to wine! You can promote your restaurant by including a slideshow of the wine pairings you recommend from your menu.
7. Make a satisfying dish prep video
Show how your restaurant’s most popular dishes are prepped and cooked.
8. Host competitions
Make a video asking TikTok for help with something related to your menu (“Best cocktail name wins”, etc.). This will incentivize people to comment on your videos and boost engagement!
9. Record a time lapse of your team working
Running a restaurant means wearing many hats. Make your restaurant memorable by showing viewers your process and various to-dos! Add music for even more emotion.
10. Create a Mixology 101 video
Show off your bartenders’ mixing skills with your restaurant’s signature cocktails!
11. Film the finishing touches
Record the final steps of cooking a complex dish to get customers excited! Include finishing spices, garnishes, the last dollops of icing, etc.
12. Create date night FOMO
Make a video explaining why your restaurant is the perfect spot for date night.
13. Share customer reviews
It’s no secret that restaurant reviews can make or break your online reputation. Get the most out of your positive reviews by posting clips of your customer’s feedback!
14. Capitalize on Holidays/Events
Do you decorate for Valentine’s Day? Does your staff get dressed up for Halloween? Does everyone watch White Lotus? Shine the spotlight on these fun, relatable moments!
15. What’s in the neighborhood?
Near any attractions or beloved locales? Show just how close you are in a TikTok, and let viewers know why you’re the best place to stop in for a bite afterwards!
16. Make a Restock video
People on the internet love to watch satisfying organization and cleaning videos. Turn your tedious, everyday tasks into relaxing, timelapse-style TikToks.
17. Tell us your backstory
Have the owners/chefs discuss why they got into hospitality and share tips for opening a restaurant.
18. Create an aesthetic
Entice viewers to dine at your restaurant by showing them your unique decor and ambiance.
19. Share your restaurants’ values
Establish your brands’ purpose by sharing clips with the top three values that align with your restaurant. (Sustainability, customer satisfaction, inclusivity, etc.).
20. Post user-generated content
Ever heard of it!? Take advantage of the real videos and photographs your customers take at your restaurant, and repurpose that content on your page!
21. Collaborate with influencers
Ask influencers in the area if they can dine at your restaurant and hype up your menu! Giving them a complimentary meal can give your reputation a boost.
22. Show the people behind your kitchen
Highlight your staff and the roles they play. We aren’t just talking about your chefs – show all the people that keep the kitchen running, like dishwashers, bussers, and hostesses!
23. Promote a special offer
Share discounts and promotions, or consider hosting a giveaway. Example: “Tag your two best friends to get 20% off your order on Uber Eats!”
24. Hop on a trend
Look at your feed to see what audio and video clips are trending, and tie your favorite one back to your restaurant.
25. Make a photo slideshow
Instead of creating a video, use TikTok’s Photo Slideshow feature to show off your restaurant’s best aspects. Title the first image with a theme, like “What we’re proud of”.
26. Introduce a new menu item
Showcase a new item on your menu! This is a great way to promote seasonal dishes.
27. Host a TikTok Live
Once your account has 1000 followers, you can start hosting Live events! Cook your best dishes, display your dining room, and more on-stream. This is a great way to boost engagement!
28. Make a Chef Q&A series
Have viewers send in questions about running a kitchen that your chefs can answer. These kinds of videos show off your staff’s knowledge and expertise!
29. Focus on Before/After content
Revamping your space? Changing up a recipe? Show off your old and new ways, and let customers see how you’ve improved. Use this style of clip for seasonal changes, too!
30. Interview your loyal customers
Regulars are the lifeblood of your restaurant. Shine a spotlight on them for a quick clip, and show viewers why they keep coming back! Remember: customers make the best brand advocates!