Fresh Ideas for Restaurant Promotions on Social Media

Posted in: Ideas for your websiteLast update: 16/06/20

Restaurants are going mobile. More and more customers are using social media and search tools to find restaurants, recommendations and reviews. So boost your social media presence with exciting promotions! Here’s some sizzling-hot inspiration for restaurant promotions with Facebook sweepstakes, Instagram giveaways and Twitter contests.

You already know how important the internet is for restaurants, cafés and other local foodie businesses. It’s vital to keep your opening hours, menus, and contact details up to date. And social media can be a powerful tool to build your brand. But what if you’re still not seeing results? Here’s a quick, simple recipe to improve your marketing strategy: try an online promotion with social media. Read on to learn why restaurant promotions work, how to design them, and how to target different customers. We’ve even included some Michelin-worthy examples from our own platform.

Essential ingredients for restaurant promotions

The most important step in planning restaurant promotions is to define your objectives. So think about what your business needs. Do you want to welcome new customers, or build up a family of regular visitors? Are you celebrating a specific event, or designing a long-term strategy?

Once you’ve mapped out your objectives, you can start planning the giveaway. Here are some of the key decisions you’ll need to make.

  • Pick an attractive prize. The ideal prize is relevant to your brand and popular with customers. Make sure it has a healthy cost/benefit ratio. You could give away a tasting menu, free drinks with a meal, or discount coupons.
  • Set down some clear rules. Make sure your followers know exactly how to take part. You should also check that your restaurant promotions fit the rules for social networks. Easypromos giveaways are designed to always fulfil network rules. You can use our free tool to publish terms and conditions, too.
  • Decide how long the promotion will last. Most restaurant promotions run for at least a week. This means your followers have plenty of time to take part. Make it clear when the promotion will close, so that no one misses out.
  • Make sure the contest is fair. You can use the Easypromos prize management tool to award prizes randomly or by hand. You’ll also receive a certificate of validity. This is a great opportunity to show customers that your business is transparent and trustworthy.
  • Publish the winners. Remember to explain how winners will be announced in the terms and conditions. For most restaurant promotions, winners are published on social media and alerted by email. Easypromos offers a “Claim Your Prize” feature, which makes it easy to notify winners and get in touch.

Romance your followers with a couples’ giveaway

A romantic dinner for two is a classic date idea. And for many restaurants, it’s a vital part of their customer base! As well as welcoming couples throughout the year, you can also make the most of holidays and special events. Try planning promotions for Valentine’s Day, wedding anniversaries, and more.

Most customers use social media to find date night inspiration, restaurant reviews, and booking information. So a giveaway on your social media profile is a great way to attract attention! Aim to project a dreamy, atmospheric image, and offer an enticing discount or prize.

Romantic restaurant promotions: screenshot of a Twitter giveaway of dinner for 2. Users retweet to enter.

In the example above, the brand ran a simple Twitter giveaway with retweets to boost engagement and advertize their restaurant to followers.

Run a Facebook giveaway for families

If your restaurant is reaching out to the family market, then a Facebook giveaway with comments is the perfect choice. Facebook’s user profile skews towards thirty-something Generation X and above. This generation has kids, values family time, loves dining out, and follows recommendations from friends. They’ll often check out your Facebook profile for reviews, booking details, and ideas for where to eat. You can grab their attention with a simple, family-friendly giveaway.

Restaurant promotions on Facebook. In this post, an Italian restaurant gives away 4 family meals a month for one year. Users comment with their favorite pizza to enter.

Invite friends along with Instagram

Instagram has a different demographic from Facebook. Use this social network to reach young, Millennial customers. They enjoy good food, have a taste for adventure, and love spending time with their friends. Take a look at this example of an Instagram giveaway below. Users just have to comment with their friends’ names to win an ice cream party.

Restaurant promotions for Instagram. This ice cream shop offers a party for up to 10 friends. Users follow, comment, and tag 2 friends to enter.

Top tip: Click here to learn about getting more attention for your giveaways with Instagram Stories.

Spice things up with a #hashtag

So far, we’ve focused on getting customers into your restaurant. But maybe your aims are a bit different: maybe your goal is to spread the word about your business. A hashtag contest is a great way to get mentioned online and create a buzz.

Ask customers to share ideas, experiences or photos with your chosen hashtag. You can collect all the entries into a public gallery, taking posts from Instagram or Twitter. Then you have the option to display the gallery and choose a winner – or get even more traffic, by asking followers to vote for their favourites. It’s a fun, flexible kind of contest. You can encourage your customers to be creative and promote your brand, too.

Restaurant promotions with hashtags and coupons. This contest asks users to share photos with the restaurant's Instagram name and hashtag to win a tasting menu for 4.

And we love this unusual example below, which combines a hashtag contest with a fun challenge. Users have to figure out the pizza puzzle, and then comment with their answer and the brand’s hashtag.

Restaurant promotions with quiz or survey. In this example, a pizza restaurant asks people to solve a puzzle on Twitter to win a free delivery.

Top tip: Read this post full of tips and tricks for creating a viral hashtag.

Test your foodie knowledge with a quiz

Quizzes and surveys are useful in several different ways. You can educate customers about your restaurant, and get feedback on their experiences, tastes and wants. Plus, they’re motivated by the thrill of the game, as well as the prize or promotion you’re offering.

Customers love the challenge of an online quiz, or the chance to share their thoughts with a survey. You could even build anticipation for a new menu or dish by running a predictions quiz. In the example below, customers can test their knowledge of cuisine around the world for the chance to win a discount coupon.

quiz multilanguage

Read this case study to learn how a coffee brand went viral with a social media quiz.

Run a foodie photo contest

Open up your social media, and you’re sure to see some foodie photos. People love to share images of their restaurant trips and kitchen triumphs. So you can harness that interest for your brand! Challenge the community to share their most delicious photos in a contest. You can choose the winner yourself, or encourage your followers to vote.

In the example below, followers had the chance to win an exclusive tour in wine country if they won a photo voting competition.

More examples of restaurant promotions. This vineyard offers a free wine tour for the top voted photo of a wine country trip.

Take it a step further with a recipe contest. Collect photos and recipes to add to your menu, or publish a customers’ cookbook! Click here to try the recipe contest demo.

Feeling inspired? Now it’s your turn! Get started today with Easypromos. It’s free to create an account and draft your promotion.


Corinna Keefe

Content marketer at Easypromos

Publication date: 2018-08-13