10 high engagement Instagram posts for Restaurants


When it comes to Instagram marketing for restaurants, you want to be displaying your restaurant’s personality whilst finding creative ways to draw in your audience. Coming up with content ideas for your marketing strategy can be a very overwhelming task so we’re going to break it down for you. Today we’ll look at 10 different post ideas you can use to attract more customers to your restaurant this week.

1. Display your dishes

We can start with the obvious one first. Instagram is primarily based around visual content. You want your restaurant to be known for its fabulous dishes and unique experience. Highlight this with a post to broadcast some of the latest additions to your menu. Be sure to include lots of colour and a nice background - if you're struggling with camera angles and composition, you can find plenty of inspiration by searching relevant hashtags on Instagram.

2. Show off the outside

Summer is here and we’re all ready to embrace it. If your restaurant has outdoor seating this is a perfect opportunity to snap some shots of customers dining and enjoying themselves outdoors. Remember that you’re selling an experience. The UK is notorious for wet weather so when your customers want to venture out on a rare sunny day they want to make it worth it - you want them sitting on your terrace over the likes of a competitor. Give your community an idea of what to expect if they’re coming to your restaurant with the intention of eating outside.

Don’t have outside seating? No problem! Find another way to promote the seasonal shift - even a post mentioning you have AC for those hot summer days can steer people to your restaurant over going elsewhere. Nobody likes to sit in sweat.

3. A blast from the past

A popular content type that has proven to be effective with online communities. We went into detail about this in a previous post with some examples of how to utilise content from years prior. To save fishing out old hard drives, find some flashback snaps from last year or the year prior. To sell your story you don’t necessarily need to go back to where it all began, as long as you’re providing additional insight into what customers wouldn’t usually get to see.

The same could be said for menus, too. You could curate a post that shines some light on previous menu items - the responses from your customers could spark you into recreating some of these old dishes if they proved popular with your audience.

4. Staff Highlights

Posts like this can be a fantastic way for your staff to get creative and feel valued, as well as add more faces to the name of your restaurant. You could make weekly posts highlighting different members of your staff, how long they’ve worked for you, as well as their favourite meal in your restaurant. Content like this can really help your customers feel connected to your employees and restaurant which in turn, can help build customer loyalty.

5. Recipe Idea

Keep tabs on which menu items are becoming popular with your customers and create some content based around it. With the cost of living situation affecting everyone at the moment we don’t always have the time or money to be dining out all the time. By providing your customer base with a recipe based off of your menu top-hitters, your customers can still feel involved with your restaurant by recreating the dish at home.

6. Cocktail tutorial

Summer is renowned for being the perfect time for cocktails. Try creating a step by step guide on how to create one of your signature drinks whilst also simultaneously giving your bartender a bit of the limelight. There’s many different ways you could format this content, too. This kind of content can be equally as effective whether it be a post within your stories, an Instagram Live video, a static post or even a reel. Figuring out which format of content works best for your restaurant will just require some analysing of your analytics and adapting from there.

7. Promote a deal

Lots of independent restaurants run their own set menu or meal combos. If you’re doing the same with your menu approach - broadcast it! The only way your customers are going to know about your deals is if you shout them from the rooftops. An additional way you can tweak this type of content would be to add a time constraint to your deal to give a sense of urgency - if customers know a deal is going to be gone, they’ll grab it while they have the chance.

8. Run a competition

Competitions have always been popular but now combined with the cost of living increases, they are more popular than ever. Give your customers and potential customers a chance to save a few quid. The great thing about Instagram is that you can use engagement as a form of entry to the competition. Getting customers to leave a comment on your post or use a specific hashtag etc. Social media has made running competitions a lot easier than they were pre-internet so, use this to your advantage.

9. Inspire with your interior

Every restaurant has its own theme and vibe. Your place should be no different. Showcase your place to your customers' feeds. Let them see what your restaurant is like before they’ve even stepped foot in the door. We talked about familiarity earlier in this post. This is another fantastic opportunity to give potential customers a feel of how you run your restaurant. Levels of social anxiety have increased within the general population since the pandemic, giving customers a premature glimpse at your restaurant's interior can alleviate some of the anxiety that new customers can experience when visiting a new venue.

10. User generated content!

All of the ideas we’ve covered involve your time and effort and creative juices, this is where customer generated content can come to your aid. Encourage your customers to post about your restaurant by giving them the chance to be featured on your pages. Taking an approach like this can further solidify the bond between you and your customers as you’re including them in your journey - after all, you need customers to run a profitable restaurant!

Finishing up

So now we’ve covered some examples of how you can increase your engagement on Instagram over the next week. Give some of these ideas a try and see how your customers respond. Marketing is only one aspect that you, as a restaurant owner, must pay attention to. Make the marketing work for you by delving into some of these ideas and figuring out a way to spin it in your restaurant's favour. One thing to always remember when coming up with content ideas is that your content needs to accomplish one of 4 things - to entertain, to persuade, to educate and to inspire. As long as you’re hitting one of these 4 elements then you’re on the right track.