If you are looking for tips on Facebook ads for restaurants, then you’ve come to the right place.
Facebook is an incredibly robust and flexible platform for businesses enabling many to easily reach their ideal customer segments.
If you’re looking for a strategic, cost-effective way to promote your restaurant, it’s time you consider Facebook ads for restaurants and let your creative side shine.
In this article, I’ll explain why Facebook ads are so crucial for spreading the word about your restaurant and offer you six effective ad strategies to use to attract more customers.
12 Tips on Facebook Ads for Restaurants
You can improve your restaurant business with the help of these 11 practical suggestions.
1. Use Location Targeting
You need to set up your targeting options to make sure your ads are being seen by the right people before you even start on the ad creative for your restaurant marketing strategy. You wouldn’t want to pay to advertise your New York City restaurant to Portland, Oregon residents, for instance.
This is why the first thing you need to do is configure location targeting. Facebook, fortunately, makes this very simple. You can do this by entering the precise zip code of your restaurant location in the Facebook Ad Manager platform.
If you want to be sure you’re covering all the areas where people might come from to eat at your delicious restaurant, you might want to add a few nearby zip codes.
2. Target People Most Likely to Dine With You
Your ad campaign strategy should not end with location targeting, though it is a great place to start. One of the main benefits of using Facebook as a platform for advertising your restaurant is the ridiculously specific level of detailed targeting options available. Under “Detailed Targeting,” you’ll find three categories: Many subcategories fall under the categories of Demographics, Interests, and Behaviors. I advise considering your intended diner and looking into your options.
Let’s say you manage a barbecue restaurant in Nashville that caters to the area’s college students. Under “Interests,” there is a “Food and Drink” category where you can target those interested in “Fast casual restaurants” and “Barbecue.” Then you can add demographic targeting of students who are enrolled in undergraduate programs between 2019 and 2023 on top of that. Pretty neat, right?
3. Intrigue Customers With Atmosphere
Did you know that 25% of new restaurants don’t make it past their first year? According to a study by Coyle Hospitality Group, atmosphere is one of the top considerations when choosing where to dine.
“The results of the study show that diners value atmosphere, so much so that a negative atmosphere would make them less likely to recommend the restaurant as a whole, no matter how positively they reacted to the food, staff, and service,” says ShopKeep.
So what does this tell you as the restaurant marketer? Not only does it inform you of how important it is to build a fabulous atmosphere, but also the importance of flaunting your atmosphere to intrigue new diners. Consider the following illustration from Lolita Cocina & Tequila Bar. In this Facebook advertisement, Lolita showcases its sexy space rather than just emphasizing the food as it does in every other post.
4. Promote Your Positive Press
In terms of restaurant marketing, press is so important. Receiving favorable press can, in fact, make or break a restaurant. I frequently listen to the Bon Appetit podcast, and I’ve heard many anecdotes from restaurant owners about how positive press can change the game. Those who are featured in Bon Appetit’s Best New Restaurant List immediately experience a significant increase in business.
If your restaurant is one of the fortunate ones to receive some favorable press, you should do everything in your power to maintain it. Facebook ads would be the ideal method for achieving this. Your target audience will want to join the trend and book a reservation at your restaurant as soon as they learn that some reputable publications have had a wonderful time dining there.
5. Expand Your Reach With Lookalike Audiences
Have you already set up a Facebook audience that has been successful? Or perhaps your website has a devoted following? Facebook has a great option to expand your reach even further called “Lookalike Audience.”
“If you have an email list of 1,000 or more from your existing customer base, you can also upload that list into Facebook to target them directly and/or create what’s called a lookalike audience of them,” says LYFE Marketing. “A lookalike audience is exactly what it sounds like. The crowd resembles the initial crowd in appearance. Therefore, if you upload 1,000 or more emails and tell Facebook, “This is what my customer base looks like. The goal of a Facebook lookalike audience is to “find more people who resemble my customers.””
6. Entice New Customers With Fun Free Events
Who doesn’t love free stuff, parties, and food? I’d say that 99.9% of the population fervently loves each of those things. Why not think of a fun event, perhaps themed around a season or holiday, and advertise it on the social media platform? I know I do! Facebook ads and event marketing make a pretty sweet combination. It is called a “social” platform for a reason—this is a perfect way for new people and new customers to get to know your restaurant.
Take Row 34, one of my favorite seafood restaurants in Boston’s Seaport district, as a prime example. This restaurant promoted an event around Pride to bring in new and old customers through the doors. Their strategy was simple: Take some fun Pride-themed photographs, create some colorful text, create an event ad on Facebook flaunting the “Free” entrance guarantee, and bring more money through the doors!
7. Show Off Your Staff
Good service is one of the main priorities for restaurant customers. This entails having a staff that is knowledgeable, cordial, and respectful. Why not highlight the personalities of your staff members if they also have a lot of personality? On Facebook, approachable individuals with cheerful faces are a great way to draw in new users.
Consider the following illustration from Little Donkey Restaurant. Instead of just uploading countless images of their delectable food (which is also appreciated!), the restaurant also shows some staff love from time to time. I adore the way the post below celebrates the employee’s birthday in such a warm and heartfelt manner.
8. Plan for Seasonal Boosts
Depending on where your restaurant is, there may be particular seasons, months, weeks, or days of the week when business is particularly brisk.
Cinco de Mayo will be a big day for business, for example, if you own a Mexican restaurant. If you are on Cape Cod, you probably experience a larger increase in business during the summer.
The point is that you need to plan for these seasonal peaks far in advance, and yes, I am aware that I am stating the obvious. You probably won’t have enough time to get the most out of your Facebook ad strategy if this planning step is neglected.
9. Speak to Your Unique Dining Experience
What distinguishes your restaurant from the competition? If you are in the restaurant world, it is important to have something that sets you apart! Is it your James Beard Award-winning chef that greets every table? Everyone seems to feel at ease in your dining room, perhaps because of the lively family atmosphere there. Show it off in your Facebook ads, whatever it is!
Consider the following illustration of Nina June in Rockport, Maine. In order to entice potential customers, Facebook ads prominently feature the stunning harbor front deck as what clearly distinguishes this restaurant from other local eateries. When I went there for dinner last summer, it worked wonders for me!
10. Take Advantage of Seasonal Opportunities
Plan some of your advertisements around significant seasonal events like Mother’s Day because people enjoy having an excuse to celebrate. For example, if you want to get people in the door for the launch of your summer menu, you can choose “store traffic” as your ad objective. Or, consider developing an advertisement that directs viewers to your menu. As you can feature any photogenic menu item you like, you’ll have an endless supply of ideas for pictures.
11. Show Off Your Happy Diners
Your diners should be content, I hope! You ought to take advantage of this if they are. Customer feedback isn’t just for Yelp, after all!
Others will want to do the same if you can take pictures of your satisfied customers enjoying your food and having a good time (with their consent, of course).
I love the fun example below from Island Creek Oysters. These delighted customers are tucking into their delectable seafood snacks right away.
12. Continue Testing!
Try again, as they say, if the first time is not the charm. Fortunately, it’s simple to make quick changes to your restaurant’s Facebook ads. Or, if your advertisements are producing excellent results (kudos to you!), keep things fresh by regularly testing to see what works in case you land on something even better.
Read More: How To Optimize Facebook Ads?
The Benefits of Facebook Ads for Restaurants
In 2023, it’s essential to master Facebook marketing for restaurants. You shouldn’t stop there, even though curating a visually appealing Instagram feed and actively promoting your daily specials on Twitter will undoubtedly whet the appetites of your potential customers. Users spend over a half-hour per day on the social network, with the Facebook app being the second-most downloaded app available. A local business page is additionally visited by 67% once or more per week. This is what is referred to as a captive audience, people!
70% of all local purchases can be linked back to social media, so if you want to outperform your rivals and appear where your customers are searching, you need to have a Facebook page for your restaurant.
Creating a Facebook page as part of your restaurant social media strategy allows you to run ads on the platform, and enables potential customers to discover your restaurant through what is known as “organic reach”. This is simply exposure you don’t pay for – for example, when your restaurant is tagged in a user’s post. On Facebook, more than 20 million people post pictures of their meals from restaurants, which could mean a lot of free advertising for your company.
While organic reach is excellent, only users who are already following you or those who are interested enough in you to actively seek you out will see the posts on your feed. This is a good beginning, but what about all the hungry individuals who are unaware of your restaurant? the Facebook ads for restaurants.
Your Facebook page’s content can be guaranteed to appear on other users’ news feeds and broaden your audience beyond your devoted regulars by investing a small amount of money in Facebook ads.
The Bottom Line: Facebook Ads for Restaurants
Being a restaurant marketer can be very difficult because of the intense competition, but it can also be very creative and enjoyable!
Let your creative juices flow into Facebook, and you’ll be enticing more and more diners to come grab a seat at your table.
Facebook advertising can help you reach entirely new audiences of potential customers in addition to keeping your current fans engaged.
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Why is Facebook Good for Restaurants?
The more customers you can attract, the better! When you have a Facebook business page, you are more likely to appear in Google searches, as there are more links to your business.
Is Facebook Ads Worth It for Restaurants?
Yes, Facebook Ads are very effective for restaurants. Restaurants can reach their ideal target customer in a variety of ways thanks to Facebook. With video ads, carousel ads, or job title targeting, you can advertise your catering services or showcase a dozen dishes from your restaurant.
Can You Target Restaurant Owners on Facebook Ad?
One of the best ways though, is to generate leads directly from the Social platform by having restaurant owners complete direct lead generation form. When you use this as an advertising option, potential customers can send you their information right from your advertisement.