TikTok: How to Promote Your Restaurant [+ 9 Examples]
The TikTok hashtag #food received more than 300,000,000 mentions in 2022. Your customers are already on TikTok with over 1.2 billion active monthly users. TikTok could be the right tool for you if your goal is to grow your customer base and get your business noticed. Do not be intimidated by the Gen Z moves and smooth transitions. With a little practice, you can become a TikTok pro.
We’ll show you how to use TikTok for restaurant promotion.
- What is TikTok?
- Why it is important for your business
- How to use it
- 9 examples of TikTok-certified restaurants that have succeeded
Let’s get started!
What is TikTok?
TikTok allows content creators, businesses and individuals to post short videos. This app has a wide variety of content, including recipes and dancing videos.
The outstanding algorithm that powers TikTok is the reason for its success. This algorithm places videos on your “For You Page”, which are specifically recommended for you. TikTok is a personal experience. One section shows videos you have followed and the other features recommendations. TikTok is a great place to promote businesses. You don’t have to have a large following to be noticed.
Why is TikTok so important for restaurants
As we have discussed, TikTok is a huge platform and its reach will only grow. TikToks are a great way to reach new customers. 36% TikTok users visited a restaurant or ordered food after watching a TikTok video.
TikTok can be a powerful tool for your business if your menu has unique items. A study showed that 55% of people visited TikTok restaurants because they thought the food was delicious, while 51% went because there was something on their menu.
TikTok allows you to bring customers from outside your immediate area. One-fifth users who visited a restaurant through the app went to a different place, while 16% went to another state in order to visit a restaurant.
Content creators also have a huge impact on consumers’ purchasing decisions. The chances of your content going viral increase if you reach an influencer (a person who has a large social media following and influences users’ buying decisions). Micro-influencers can have a significant impact, even though they may not be as popular as the top influencers.
How to use it
Register for a TikTok account to add your restaurant’s name and logo. You can also link your website in the bio. Editing video footage may seem intimidating, so keep it simple! Here are some suggested content for filming and posting:
- Take a tour of a restaurant
- Present some members of your staff, and their jobs.
- Both classic and new menu items can be displayed
- Capture satisfied customers on video with permission
- Teach your followers a new dish
- You can tap into TikTok trends to post your own. This is the key to virality.
- Use popular TikTok sounds as the background music (also a major key!)
- Your bar can showcase new cocktails and other specialty drinks
There are many tutorials and articles that will help you film on the app. These are some of our favorite sources!
- TikTok: How to Make it Go Viral as a Complete Beginner
- Making a TikTok: All you need to know
- TikTok Video Recording and Editing
Finally, choose the equipment that is most comfortable for you. You can film with your iPhone camera if that’s what you feel most comfortable with. You can also use a professional camera for perfectionists. You can master the TikTok app to use its camera. You have many options for filming. Use the one that works best for your restaurant.
Ten examples of successful TikTok-certified restaurants
These are some amazing restaurant examples that have successfully used TikTok to inspire you to start your own.
1. Make Comments Work for You
Social media isn’t always a friendly place. People will likely comment negatively on your content. It is important to handle negative comments with grace. The more engagement you get on a post, regardless of whether it is positive or negative, the better it will perform. If a user comments something that is negative or positive, you can ignore it, delete it, comment back, or reply with a new video. You can either ignore the comment, delete it or comment back. Or, you can respond with a new video.
The Red Chickz in Downtown Los Angeles replied to this comment that suggested that their chicken sandwiches were too small. They made a large chicken sandwich. This video has 12 million views. Red Chickz’s most viral video has currently received over 20.6 Million views. This seems like a great success!
@theredchickz Reply @nonstopeats Happy National Chicken Sandwich Day bro #fried #chicken#sandwich #losangeles #dtla#sauce #pickle @roborockrun OKAYSHAWTY – Kwe The Artist
2. Show Off Unique Menu Items
People are naturally drawn to delicious, unique menu items. They also like to see the process of making them. TikTok allows you to showcase a favorite dish or highlight your restaurant’s star dish, which is a great way of attracting new customers.
Krazycup Munchies Bar currently has 4.9 Million views.
@krazy_cupmunchiesbar What is the red stuff? #krazycup #anaheim#latinasbelike#foodiemobbb#chamoy#losangeles#mexicanmemes#hispanicsbelike – Ariana Grande
3. Be real with your audience
People appreciate authenticity. Share your story. Let your customers know if your restaurant is in trouble or if you are trying something new. Customers will be more open to you being real.
Cupid’s Hot Dogs is a Los Angeles hot dog restaurant that has been around since 1946. They went viral on TikTok for being genuine and their efforts to keep afloat during the pandemic. This TikTok has nearly 100k likes, and more than 6.4 million views.
@zengazenga We thought we were gonna lose everything. Roller skating saved us, and work has never been more fun #cupidshotdogs#carhop#sanfernandovalley original sound – Adam
4. Run A Giveaway
Giveaways are a great way of increasing engagement on your Facebook page. It requires that your followers take action. You could try something like “Win a $50 gift certificate: To be eligible for the contest, follow our account and like this TikTok. Comment your favorite menu item from ours.” Your account will appear more prominently on For You Pages of new users if you are liked, commented, and followed.
JoJo’s Shake Bar showcased its gorgeous space and offered a gift card giveaway in order to get their new business noticed!
@chicagofoodfinds Giveaway time! Visit @JoJo’s Shake Bar to enter. #chicagorestaurantreview #chicagorestaurantguide About Damn Time – Lizzo
5. Trending Sounds can Boost Views
TikTok’s unique feature is that you don’t have to record your own audio. This is great for restaurants that are often loud. Instead of filming a great TikTok, you can use a trending sound on the app to create a video. This saves editing time as you don’t have to search for a song and then edit the original audio. You can also show your restaurant to others by simply showing them videos with a sound that interests you.
The Slice Factory is a TikTok account that has almost 50,000 followers. Their videos often use trending sounds, which has proven to be a winning strategy. This video, for example, uses 10 Things I Hate about You by Olivia Rodrigo to increase views.
@theslicefactory Reply to @kuyyannunu Now this is what we call “Revenge pizza” #chicagopizza #slicefactory #chicago #exes #relationshipproblems #chicagosuburbs #revengepizza #bolingbrook #part2 10 Things I Hate About You – Leah Kate
6. Share a recipe
While you may not be able to share every ingredient, showing your followers how you cook can increase engagement and authenticity. Show them how to make a recipe using your camera. Don’t forget to cut out any unnecessary takes to keep the video short.
Pizza & Culinary regularly posts videos on how to make their pizza dough and best cooking practices.
@pizzaculinaryacademy #stretch #dough #doughstreching #doughball #doughballs #FilmTeyvatIslands #godfather #clemenza #pizzamaking #pizzatok #thatshowyoudoit #tiktoktaughtme #tiktoktaughtmethis #chicago #pizza #tiktokmademetryit #pizzafromscratch #doughboy #foryou #fyp Ice Ice Baby – Vanilla Ice
7. Tell Your Story
What is the story behind your restaurant? Are you a family-owned business, a black-owned company, or a woman-owned restaurant? Are you a local, small-scale restaurant? Or do you have multiple locations? Tell your audience how you started your restaurant and what your mission is!
Detroit Wing spot was born out of a father’s dream. It’s now a Detroit institution. This video shows how the restaurant was built and how exciting it has been.
@detroitwingspot Still a Long Way to Go! #resturant #blackowned#supportsmallbiz #fypshi#foodie Original sound by Cav’s Content
8. Instruct Your Staff
If you have permission from your staff to do so, create a TikTok video introducing them. You can do this in many ways. You can either film one intro or several and then add captions. It doesn’t matter how you do it, just make it enjoyable for your staff.
In Atlanta, the White Bull introduced their staff using this TikTok. They used the “problems” trend to make it funny. The video is lighthearted and introduces the staff, while following a silly trend. This gives the restaurant a face and reflects their personalities.
@whitebull_atl Our staff problems #fyp Restaurant Pennies from Heaven – Remastered by Louis Prima
9. Get together with Influencers and Foodie Accounts
TikTok is a powerful platform that empowers influencers, as we have already mentioned. People love to follow foodie bloggers to find new restaurants. It is easy to make a deal with a foodie blogger. You can message the influencer via email or social media and offer them a complimentary meal at your restaurant. They will film everything and tag you on their Instagram account. Easy!
My diet is trash is a well-known account for Boston foodies with over 58,000 followers on TikTok. This video showcased Lucy’s American Tavern, and gave away a gift card to promote the new brunch spot.
@mydietistrash Cinnamon roll pancakes are a must. #brunchboston #bostonfoodies#bostonfyp#restaurantboston#lucysamericantavern
Practice makes perfect
Although TikTok can seem complicated, the app is easy to use. TikTok can be used as inspiration. You can also follow local food accounts and see what other restaurants are doing. You shouldn’t expect to be viral with your first video. However, it is possible for it to happen at the most unexpected times.
It’s a great accomplishment to put in the work and get your restaurant noticed. Make some TikToks.