6 Instagram Tips for Restaurants

Instagram is a phenomenal tool for connecting with your customers and allowing new people to find your business. It’s also a great place to showcase delicious food.

At the time this post was written, there were 221,554,999 posts tagged #food, and 123,760,056 posts tagged #foodporn. Whether you’re a Michelin-starred restaurant or a coffee shop with great baked goods, you’d be well served to have a robust Instagram account for your business.

Below are our favorite tips and tricks for establishing a great Instagram account for your restaurant to reach new customers and engage your most loyal ones.

Accept chip cards and Apple Pay everywhere.

Order the Square contactless and chip reader.

Highlight your food.

Use your Instagram account to introduce new items or show off favorite classics. Be sure to utilize natural light and a clean background when possible to showcase your delicious delicacies at their best. Props like a pretty place setting or a glass of wine also help create a winning image.

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Go behind the scenes.

Offer an all-access pass to customers — a peek into preparations for the dinner rush, staff collaborating for an event, or tests in the kitchen. Offering unique content that customers wouldn’t see on a regular visit is a great way to gain followers’ attention and get them excited for their next experience in your space.

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Encourage follower engagement.

Tag your business’s location and create custom hashtags for restaurant specialties, special occasions, and unique aspects of your space, so users can get a preview of your offerings before they show up. Your hashtags can be displayed somewhere so restaurant patrons can use them, too.

You could also drive engagement by asking customers to vote on what your newest flavor of margarita should be, for example, or to comment with a favorite menu item or memory of your space.

Congrats to our #SquareStory winner, Ronatta's Cakery! They are a bakery in Idaho using Square to run their business. With their Square Stand and our new reader, they're accepting all forms of payment, including chip cards and contactless payments like Apple Pay. Swipe for more images 👆🍰 . "Tucked away in our hometown of Orofino, Idaho, Ronatta's Cakery had been baking up a storm for the past 7 years! Family owned and operated, Ronatta's is a full-fledged bakery specializing in custom cakes, old fashioned donuts, and a variety of homemade sweet treats! Awarded the Inland360 Northwest Best Bakery for 2 years in a row, Ronatta's is hitting the sweet spot of baked good lovers all around! Inspired by the support of our loving and vibrant community, we continue to grow and are looking forward to all the sweet things the future has to offer!"

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Embrace stories and Instagram Live.

Go live or create an Instagram story to capture followers’ attention. Your followers get a notification when you begin livestreaming a video, so it’s a great way to engage and interact in real time. Check out our guides for how to create a narrative for Instagram stories or for hosting a live video event.

(2/3) 🐶🐾 Watch our Instagram Story for more from @bubblypaws owners Keith and Patrycia, who got fed up with the hair and mess leftover after every bath and brushing in their home with their dog, Roxy, a Bernese Mountain Dog. Bubbly Paws started in 2011 and has since grown to three locations, plus an online shop. They've taken the headache out of dog grooming for everyone!

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Include promotions.

Whether it’s a special Happy Hour or a new prix fixe menu, spreading the word on Instagram is a great way to show off your offerings while driving engagement. Have a special Sunday night dinner? Share! Offer gift cards? Include those, too.

@scratchbakeshoproc uses custom Square Gift Cards so their customers can give the gift of tasty treats. 🎁🍰🍪🍩

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Showcase neighborhood love.

Besides being your customers, your neighbors offer an important support system, and it’s good to give back. Highlight your and your staff’s favorite aspects of your neighborhood, from other restaurants you may partner with to beloved local parks or great coffee shops. You could even highlight regular customers (with their permission, of course!).

🍯🍗 Honey Butter Fried Chicken believes in delicious food and drink, exceptional service, and a strong community. They're helping build that community every day in Chicago's Avondale neighborhood with their Original Fried Chicken Sandwich. HBFC also uses @TryCaviar to deliver their unique chicken dishes to hungry diners around town.

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