Social Media Tips for Small Restaurants in Canada

Social media marketing is a highly effective tool for small restaurants. Social media channels provide a platform for small restaurants to reach a wider audience, portray their personality, advertise menus and events, and engage with their audience in a meaningful way. 

A survey by restaurant marketing agency MHG reveals that nearly half of all diners have tried a restaurant for the first time due to social media. The impact of social media marketing for small restaurants is tangible, and it’s why we’ve put together a collection of practical tips to help small restaurants in Canada gain insights into trends and stay ahead of the competition through social media. 

1. Make Your Accounts

Before you can reach the full potential of social media marketing, you need to make your accounts! 

Open a Facebook, Instagram and TikTok account for your business. Make sure the username is clear and matches your business name, and if possible, try to keep the username the same (or at least very similar) across all accounts.  

2. Optimize Your Bio

Whether you’re creating a brand-new account or updating your current bio, your focus should be ensuring that all your information is accurate. 

Make sure that your location, phone number, opening hours, and any other pertinent information are clear and current. Your social media should direct interested customers toward your restaurant, after all, so it’s important that they know where and when to find it.

3. Feature Behind-the-Scenes Moments

One of the greatest strengths of social media for restaurants is that it gives you a chance to show your customers a peek behind the curtain, so they can get a sense of who you truly are and how you operate. 

Showcase what it’s like working at your restaurant and allow your followers to see the people who work to make their experience top-tier. This makes your establishment more human and relatable, helping your followers to feel comfortable in your restaurant and build relationships with the people who make your restaurant so special.

Take this a step further and create posts dedicated to highlighting employees through employee spotlights, further building that trust and comfort with your audience while giving your team members some much-deserved appreciation. 

Another opportunity for effective social media marketing lies in the food itself. Consider creating videos that showcase how to make some of your restaurant’s most exciting dishes and invite your followers to try making them at home. This is a fun activity that prompts engagement and interaction with your audience (plus, the majority of those who try out the recipe will likely learn that the original can’t be beat!). 

4. Interact with Your Customers

Engaging and connecting with your customers online is a great way to build a relationship with them and help them feel like they’re involved in your restaurant’s success.

Create poll-based posts and stories and ask your audience questions. What are their favourite dishes? Should you add a spicy dish to your menu? Are there any special ingredients they’d like to see featured? Prompt followers to vote for their favourite drink and meal combo, or for their favourite event hosted at your restaurant. 

Encourage your followers to share their own content through posts and stories on their own accounts, tagging your restaurant. You can share those posts on your own channels to show your audience how much you appreciate them and how much fun it is to go to your establishment! 

When customers do write to you on social media, be sure to respond promptly and in a friendly manner. Thank customers for their ratings and interact with comments online in a way that showcases your personality, your professionalism, and your passion for providing quality service. 

5. Promote, Promote, Promote!

Use your social media accounts to promote discounts, featured items, and specials to build excitement around your menu and any upcoming events. 

You can offer small discounts on certain items during weekdays when your restaurant sees less traffic as a tactic to get more people through the door. Posting those discounts on your social media is a great way to spread the word and keep your restaurant in the minds of your audience! 

6. Feature Seasonal Items & Celebrations

If your restaurant creates seasonal dishes to celebrate certain holidays or events, be sure to showcase them on social media! 

Whether it’s a taco special for Cinco de Mayo or a new poutine to celebrate Canada Day, creating these fun menu items is a great way to keep things interesting and give your customers an extra reason to visit your restaurant. You can also celebrate milestones like your restaurant’s anniversary! 

Be sure to highlight these features a few days before they’re offered to increase excitement and give your followers time to make plans to visit your restaurant for the special.

Posting photos and videos of your food is a surefire way to spark that excitement and provide a visual representation of what you do at your restaurant, appealing to your audience’s senses. 

7. Share Informative Updates

If your restaurant is changing its opening hours or adopting temporary holiday hours, it’s important to keep your followers informed.  

Not only will this hopefully minimize the number of phone calls you receive to ask if you’re open, but it will also help to get more people in the door! 

We understand that social media can seem daunting to small restaurant owners, however, with these easy tips, it should be easier to make an impact! Remember that social media is just another way for you to reach your audience and showcase what makes you special. Once you get over that initial intimidation, you’ll be having fun and seeing the impact in no time! 

If you’re ready to take your small restaurant’s social media presence to the next level, be sure to stock up on top-quality ingredients at Wholesale Club.

With great prices on everything from fresh produce to premium meats, Wholesale Club has everything you need to make mouth-watering dishes that your customers will love (and that would make for perfect social media posts!). Visit Wholesale Club today and start cooking up a storm! 

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