5 Facebook and Instagram Advertising Tips for Your Restaurant

/ Foodservice Tips, Restaurant Tips / February 15

Person Typing on Laptop with Social Media Icons-5 Facebook and Instagram Advertising Tips for Your Restaurant

Are you using paid ads on Facebook and Instagram to market your restaurant? If the answer is “no,” you should definitely reconsider. Social media marketing is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to market your business, and it’s an especially useful route to take for your restaurant. Not only is it an effective way to share important information about your restaurant and get the word out, but you can also reach potential new clientele and broaden your social media audience.

If you have never utilized social media marketing for your restaurant, or are looking to improve your advertisements, here are a few quick tips and ideas for a successful Facebook or Instagram ad.

1) Tailor the Ad to Fit the Social Media Platform

While Facebook and Instagram may be under the same corporate umbrella, they are vastly different social media platforms; Instagram is much more visually-driven through images and video posts, while Facebook has a greater range of flexibility with the type of media you can share. It’s also important to note that sharing links on Instagram isn’t as cut-and-dry as it is on Facebook, so if you’re trying to drive traffic to your website, whoever sees the Instagram ad will need to be directed to your profile.

With these factors in mind, your Facebook and Instagram ads need to be tailored for the platform they’ll be displayed on. For example: Instagram is much more of a visual-based medium, so incorporate an eye-catching image or video with a one- to two-line caption in your ad; Facebook offers more options, so create a focused ad based on something important you wish to share, like a revamped menu, your online ordering website or a special event.

2) Choose the Right Photo

Using the right photo can elevate an ad and capture the attention of your online audience. When deciding what image you’re going to use, an important question you should ask yourself is: “What is going to bring people into my restaurant?” Maybe it is a specialty dish or signature drink? Perhaps you have a unique atmosphere you want to showcase, or there could be an event coming up you want to highlight.

You might also want to include photos of your staff members providing great service. Polite and professional servers are essential to a restaurant’s success, so advertising your restaurant’s excellent service will lead to more customers. Whatever your competitive advantage is, your picture should capture that. Whatever it is, your picture should capture that.

3) Create an Eye-Catching Headline

You only have a second or two to grab people’s attention, so ad captions are just as important as the creative. Both Facebook and Instagram will show only a few lines of your caption before the rest of it needs to be unfolded, so you should utilize this space wisely to help inform and attract customers. If you’re including an offer, announcing an event or directing people to your website, this is where you tell them. Be sure your headline hooks them and that your call-to-action for the ad is just as engaging.

4) Location, Location, Location 

When crafting your ad, it’s important to choose the right location to target. With Meta Business Manager, (formerly Facebook Business Manager), you can target people who are near your restaurant, increasing the likelihood that an ad impression will lead to a conversion.

Choose the “Reach people near your business” option, and set the radius to 1, 3, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 or 50 miles from your restaurant. Alternatively, you can pick a custom radius. This will ensure that people seeing the ad are nearby, and have an increased likelihood of dining over those that are miles and miles away.

Depending on your location, you have the potential to reach up to 10,000 people per day for less than $4 with Facebook and Instagram ads targeting those people nearby (though your results may vary). You can create and manage ads for both platforms in the Meta Business Manager, so you should have no trouble running multiple ads simultaneously.

It might take a bit of trial and error to see how far people are willing to travel to visit your restaurant, but this is a great opportunity to reach a wider audience and advertise to neighboring towns or cities.

5) Target Your Ads

In addition to targeting potential guests within a certain geographic radius, you can show ads based on other characteristics, too. You can target Facebook and Instagram ads depending on:

  • Interests – If you have a pizzeria, showing ads to people who say they like pizza on their Facebook profile is a good way to narrow down your audience.

  • Demographics – If your bar has Tuesday night beer and wings specials, directing your ads to people ages 18-24 (college students) will give good results.

  • Email List – Do you already have an email list of your restaurant’s most loyal customers? If so, you can target Facebook and Instagram ads directly to them to let them know about a special event or a new menu item. 

  • Birthdays – People love treating themselves for their birthday–why not offer them a free dessert if they buy an entree?

  • Website Visitors – Ever wished you could reach out to people who visit your website but don’t make a purchase? By installing Meta Pixel (formerly known as Facebook Pixel), a piece of code that tracks website visitors, you can target them with ads.

With so many ways to focus your ads, you are sure to see a good return on investment.

6) Build Your Email List

Although you can definitely use Facebook and Instagram ads for awareness or sales, you can also use ads to build your email list. Instead of sending paid traffic to your website’s homepage or order form, you can send people to a landing page with an email capture. If you offer a coupon for a free drink or a ½ price pizza in exchange for an email address, you can build a list of contacts very quickly.

All marketers know that a good email list is an important asset to any business, and paid social ads are a good way to build your list quickly and efficiently.


While at first glance it may seem daunting, setting up a Facebook or Instagram ad is very easy and self-explanatory. By following these tips, you can increase the effectiveness of your ads dramatically.

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