facebook advertising for restaurants demo

2019 Tutorial – How to Attract Restaurant Customers Using Facebook and Instagram Ads

The beauty of using Facebook Ads and Instagram Ads for your restaurant, is the ability to grow your customer list.

In this tutorial, we will discuss how to use Facebook Advertising for Restaurants, Cafes, and other food service based businesses. We’ll discuss how we can use Facebook & Instagram advertisement to build a valuable customer list, and the necessary steps to successfully follow-up on your Facebook & Instagram Ads to make sure you have a great return on your ad spend.

Before we dive into the detailed tutorial on how to attract customers to your restaurant and increase your restaurant’s bottomline using Facebook and Instagram Sponsored Ads, here is the proven step-by-step restaurant strategy that we will be covering in more detail:

  1. Create at least 2 to 3 juicy and unique promotional offers
  2. Advertise the promotional offers using Facebook Ads & Instagram Ads
  3. Use an online form to collect email/phone number in exchange for claiming the offer
  4. Send an email to collect customer’s birthday and another juicy and unique promotional offer on customer’s birthday
  5. Send an email at least twice a month with one of your menu items
  6. Post the featured menu item on Facebook, Instagram, and Google My Business
  7. Advertise the featured menu item using Facebook Ads & Instagram Ads
Online Marketing and Advertising for Local Business - Truvi Online Marketing Solutions in Los Angeles Area
Using a multi-layer strategy with Facebook Ads is the best form of marketing for your restaurant.

There are various online marketing ideas you can use to attract new and old customers to your restaurant, but the above restaurant marketing strategy using online advertisements on Facebook and Instagram is the best marketing plan that has proven to turn restaurant customers into loyal regulars and drastically increase the value of each customer.

Now let’s dive into the nitty gritty…

Create At Least 2 to 3 Juicy and Unique Promotional Offers for Your Restaurant

When it comes to unique restaurant promotion ideas for your restaurant’s marketing plan, make sure your promotions answer these four important questions:

  • What kind of offer will encourage customers to share their email and/or phone number?
  • What kind of offer will encourage customers to spend more money on their visit?
  • What kind of offer will bring in multiple customers with one offer?
  • How long should the offer be valid?

Why 2 to 3 promotional ideas?

When it comes to successful marketing online or offline, it’s all about testing. Not all promotions are going to be attractive to your customers, so we need to test a few and find one that is going to kill it! Sometimes as business owners we think we know our customers best, but do not assume that when it comes to your promotions.

For example, we had a Thai restaurant owner who wanted to use one promotion that they’ve been running in their print ads for years. We pushed them to come up with at least 2 more.

We ran the ads testing all three promotions, and the original promotions they wanted to start with got a lot of clicks, but collected the LEAST amount of emails and phone numbers.

So, what does this mean? Some promos work great for print ads because they don’t require customers to share their email and phone number, but when it comes to building a revenue generating customer list, it just doesn’t work as well.

Testing ads will save you a lot money in the end…

And one more thing to remember while creating a creative promotion for your restaurant. The objective of your restaurant’s Facebook marketing campaign is not to make a profit on the customer’s first visit (although that is a plus and very well possible), but to grow a valuable customer list to profit from their 2nd, 3rd, 4th…

Loyal customers spend spend 10x more than their 1st purchase

Marketing Tech Blog

Here are just some of the best promotional ideas for your restaurant’s Facebook advertisements:

  • Buy 1 —– & Get 1 —– Free – “Free” is a great incentive for customers to share email and phone numbers. And a “Buy 1 Get One” offer is a great way to bring in multiple customers with one promotion.
  • But 2 —– & Get —– Free – Again, “Free” is one of the best ways for customers to share their contact information. The requirement to buy two will increase the order value.
  • Free —– Between —– to —– When You Buy a —– – This offer is a great way to increase sales during the slower times. These type of promotions are usually shared often on social media.
  • Buy 2 —– And Kids Eat Free (restrictions apply) – A great way to attract families and increase order value.
  • Spend $—– & Get 2 —– Free – Good strategy to increase order value.
  • Buy 1 —– for Mom and Daughter Gets —– Free – A very targeted offer is a great way to grab customer’s attention and increase shareability.
  • Free —– with a Drink Purchase – Simple but attractive offer that will get a lot of shares.
  • Theme or event based promos

Like many restaurants, I’m sure you’ve tried to implement some of the promotions above, but have not seen great success.

That’s because many restaurants fail to have a proper follow-up and redemption strategy after the initial Facebook Advertisement, which we will discuss later on in this tutorial.

Advertise the Promotional Offers Using Facebook Ads & Instagram Ads

The next step is to create your restaurant’s Facebook advertisement. Remember, the Facebook advertisements for your restaurant are only a small part of your restaurant’s complete marketing strategy. You need to make sure you have a proper follow-up & redemption strategy that comes after your initial Facebook Ad campaign.

Grow your sales and customer list and connect your customers directly to keep them coming back using text & email marketing AND sponsored ads on facebook ads, instagram ads, and google local search.

Now that you have your offers, go into your Facebook Business Manager to build your Facebook ad for your restaurant.

  1. Start with a post engagement or traffic campaign (We recommend testing both campaigns).
  2. Set your budget at the campaign level
  3. Create an ad set with the proper targeting requirements (usually set location 3 to 5 mile radius.
  4. Within the ad set you just created, create a Facebook ad for each promotional offer. So, if you’ve created 3 promotional ideas, then you should have three ads in your ad set.

Facebook will use their intelligent algorithm and deliver your restaurant’s ads to your target audience, and it will optimize the delivery to figure out which offer is the most popular.

facebook advertising for restaurants demo

Link each Facebook ad to a unique landing page on your website where customers can input their email and phone number to claim the offer they saw in your Facebook ad.

The Follow-Up – Collect Email & Phone Number in Exchange for Claiming Your Restaurant’s Offer

One of the biggest reasons why many restaurant owners end up wasting money trying to run Facebook ads for their restaurants is the lack of a follow-up and redemption sequence.

Facebook ads are tools to get in front of your target customers, it is definitely not the be-all-end-all of your restaurant’s marketing plan.

The next few steps will guide you through what you should do as a follow-up to your restaurant’s Facebook ads.

facebook advertising for restaurants demo

Hopefully, at least one of your restaurant’s Facebook ad with an offer you’ve created entices your target customer to click on the ad.

So what should happen after a target customer sees your ad and clicks on it?

  1. They should be taken to a unique landing page with an opportunity to claim the offer and a form where they can input their email and/or phone number if they want the offer texted to their phone.
  2. Once your target customer enters their information and claims the offer by submitting the form, they should be redirected to the actual offer.
  3. The email and phone numbers should be immediately updated into your email marketing platform.
  4. They should also receive an email with the offer, and if they’ve added their phone number, they should receive a text with the offer also.
  5. You should send reminder emails & texts to make sure you remind them to take advantage of their offer.

Collect Customer’s Birthday

After a few days the customer claims the first offer, it is a great opportunity to collect one more piece of information from the customer, their birthday.

Why collect customer’s birthday? So you can send your customers a birthday email with a special offer!

According to a study by Experian:

  • Birthday emails have a 481% higher transaction rate than promotional emails.
  • Birthday emails generate 342% higher revenue per email than promotional emails.
  • Birthday emails have 179% higher unique click rates than promotional emails.

First, send an email to your customer requesting them to “Add Your Birthday to Our Calendar” with a small offer as a reward for sharing. And within the email, there should be a link that directs them to a unique landing page with information about the small offer and a form where they can enter in their birthday.

Once the customer submits their birthday information, their birthday should be automatically updated on your customer list, and the customer should receive an email with the small offer to reward them for sharing their birthday.

Using your email marketing service like Mailchimp, create an automated birthday email sequence that will start 3 days before a customer’s birthday with a special offer that they can take advantage of just for their birthday.

Email Newsletter At Least Twice a Month

Now that you have your customer’s contact information, send out an email blast AT LEAST twice a month. The email content can be ANYTHING about your restaurant, it doesn’t always have to be offers and promotions.

facebook advertising for restaurants demo

Some of you might not believe in email… if you do fall under that category, you need to wake up! According to several independent studies:

ROI (return on investment) of email marketing is 28.5% better than for direct mail


Every $1 spend on email marketing brings in $38


70% of customers want restaurants to send them emails


Here are some ideas for your email newsletters:

  • Ask them to follow your Facebook page
  • Ask them to follow your Instagram page
  • Feature a menu item – You can talk about the history of that specific menu item, for example. Or, talk about the ingredients, or how they can make it at home… be creative
  • Feature an employee
  • Updates or special events
  • Ask a question so customers can reply… engage with them
  • Create a blog on your website and use your email blasts to send them to the blog
  • Share tips on cooking

The possibilities are endless and you can always recycle older emails!

Communicating with your customers will help them think of your restaurant when they are hungry and decide to eat out. And guess what, those emails you collected, are yours forever!

Post the Featured Menu Item on Facebook, Instagram, and Google My Business

Whenever you send out an email you should always do a post on your restaurant’s social media accounts with the same content from your email. Having multiple platforms to share your content will provide more opportunities to be seen by your customers, increase engagement, boost your Local SEO, and keep your restaurant top of mind!

You can use platforms like Sprout Social to schedule your posts inline with your email newsletters.

Advertise the Featured Menu Item Using Facebook Ads & Instagram Ads

The beauty of using Facebook Ads and Instagram Ads for your restaurant, is the ability to grow your customer list.

Once your customers provide their contact information and their birthdays, you can now target just those people using Facebook Ads & Instagram Ads saving you TONS of money!

The power of Facebook Advertising for your restaurant is really apparent once you start to target ONLY the people on your customer list.

Not only are engagements on those ads going to be higher, but delivering your restaurant advertisements on Facebook and Instagram to the people that are already on your customer list is going to be cheaper because of the increase in engagement & relevance.

In Conclusion

When running Facebook Ads for your restaurant, or ANY online advertising for that matter, Facebook and Instagram is only a small part of your restaurant’s marketing strategy.

The tutorial above is one of the most popular strategies we have recommended and implemented that resulted in a drastic increase in the growth of our clients’ customer list, and their bottom line.

If you’re interested in seeing a LIVE DEMO and see this whole marketing plan in action, feel free to use the link below to book a free strategy call!

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