As a restaurateur you already know that restaurants run on tight margins. Many have margins that average just 2% to 4% per check. This can make it a challenge to find room in your budget for marketing. Social media is the ultimate platform for restaurants to promote their business with minimal input-cost. Instagram, with almost 400 million monthly active users, is now a powerful place for restaurants to attract new patrons and share the inside workings of their company and culture. Instagram marketing can’t be ignored among the foodies of the world. So, let us spill out the secret behind the Instagram marketing to increase the revenue of your restaurant.

1.  Flaunt your decor, music, not just your food
Dining experience is much more than just what you put on the plate. There s ambiance, decor, friendly staff, signature cocktails, special events, catering and your overall optics. Instagram marketing is all about exploring the undiscovered side of your restaurant. Of course, you also want to show your food. You don’t need to make it an online menu, but you want to show your best. A combination of great looking photos of food by itself, people enjoying cocktails, hanging out at your bar, new food and beverage options, smiling servers, hard working chefs and special events will comprise an online experience where potential customers can get a feel for how they’ll enjoy your establishment.


2. Build your profile gradually
Every restaurant needs a website with menus, directions, contact information and great content. You can share Instagram posts there and vice-versa. Build your Instagram presence gradually, post a photo a day or several a week, and before you know it, you’ll have an impressive virtual photo album. Because Google doesn’t like dump of content and dumping all the pictures at once will decrease your website’s SEO. Never use the Instagram app incorporated camera to click your photos. You want high-definition photos. Click them either with a smartphone or with a quality digital camera. Although the app is convenient, it won’t give you the highest quality photos.


3. Use popular hashtags and geotags
Geotags will tell you where the photos were taken. You can turn off this functionality on your smart phone camera, but in this case, it pays to turn on this feature. This allows Instagram users searching in your area to find your restaurant. It also allows you to take advantage of user generated content (UGC) when they post photos of your restaurant. Suppose a customer posted a picture at your place with the geotag , then all of her/his followers will automatically know about your place. Also use hashtags to promote your restaurant. You can set up hashtags that are basic like #YourRestaurantName but also remember to use them for your special drink or food item, which is quite famous amongst your customers.


4. Encourage your customers to share their pictures
Once you have set up an Instagram account with geotags and hashtags related to your establishment, it will also invite user generated content. This will allow your customers to share photos of their favorite food, drinks and experience at your restaurant. You can also encourage UGC through hashtagged promotions and special events.
For instance, you can offer a free meal for the best photo bomb at your bar or in front of your restaurant. Or offer free appetizers and drinks for a themed photo for an upcoming holiday. The possibilities are endless and as most people share their Instagram posts across all their social channels which promotes your restaurant exponentially at no cost to you.


5. Don’t forget to share on other channels
Any time you create a social media post, whether it’s on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube, be sure to share across all your other social media profiles. This is where hashtags can come in especially handy to create continuity across these posts. It only takes a few moments to share across your channels and many channels have built in functionality to cross-promote across other platforms. It decreases the hassle of posting on different channels multiple times.

Instagram marketing can be a little tricky but when it starts generating traffic, your place will be overflowing with customers.