3 Successful Habits of Independent Restaurants Using Social Media

Today, you can’t eat out anywhere without someone snapping photos of their food. Food porn is what they call it. The other day on Facebook I saw this photo which made me laugh out loud:

Now, this was one approach from an independent restaurant who had had enough of the flash bulbs going off in their restaurant. But rather than get angry, why not put your customers to work for you?

What’s that motto, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em? Well unless the restaurant is willing to make it a rule on their menu that no photography is allowed, why not embrace those obnoxious happy foodies and use them to your advantage?

Some restaurants have featured an “Instagram photo of the week” on Facebook. Some have had Twitter contests.  Some use Instagram to connect with their patrons and respond back to their Instagram photo tweets or posts.

It’s a great way to connect with your customers, empower them, and reward them for being your brand ambassadors.


Although it seems every restaurant has a Facebook page, you’d be hard pressed to find 5 local restaurants in your area that are doing Facebook right.  One tactic that I’ve seen on several local restaurants here is implementing the OpenTable app or OpenMenu app which allows diners to make a reservation straight from their Facebook page without ever leaving Facebook.


Many restaurants tweet, but aren’t really sure what to tweet. Food trucks started tweeting their locations and then quickly added tweets for their daily menu or weekly special. But almost all successful local restaurants tweet photos of the food they are preparing to serve that evening.

For restaurants, there is so much potential to knock the ball out of the park using social media, yet many have still not caught on.  Social media does take time and resources to post and have quality interactions with customers who will spread the word-of-mouth love about your restaurant. However, depending on the fluidity of what’s going on at the restaurant, tweeting in the moment may not always be possible.

Send to Kindle
About Tracy Sestili

Tracy Sestili is CEO and Chief blogger at Social Strand Media. She is also the author of Taking Your Brand from the Bench to the Playing Field -- Social Media Fundamentals for Business.


  1. […] So the next time someone decides to take a photo, consider rewarding them. […]

  2. […] So the next time someone decides to take a photo, consider rewarding them. […]

  3. […] Top blog last week: 3 Successful Habits of Independent Restaurants Using Social Media […]