Facebook Ads Strategy for Restaurants: Essential Tips for More Sales in 2021

After tourism, the restaurant business has been most affected by challenges spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic. While many restaurants had to suspend their operations fully, others managed to survive through home-delivery service, stringent precautions, and transparency of information. The good thing is that the worst has passed, and we have entered a new decade.

As lockdown restrictions have eased in most parts of the world, more people have started to come out of their homes to spend quality time with their families, friends, and colleagues. But, this time, you will need to make more efforts to increase sales in your restaurant.

Though people are opening up to eating outside, their preferences may have changed. Now, along with delicious gastronomic options and reasonable pricing, they will also be screening restaurants based on various other parameters, such as social distancing, sanitizing, and hygiene and non-contact delivery. As such, your strategy for restaurant advertisement also needs to be updated and robust in 2021.

To help you navigate the new normal in 2021 along with slowly reviving yet tough competition, today, we are sharing some of the best Facebook Ads Strategies for restaurants.

Top 7 Tips for 2021 Facebook Ads Strategy for Restaurant’s

  • Identify types of customers most likely to dine in your restaurant
  • Identify locations from where you can have potential customers
  • Reach out to new customers through the Lookalike Audience feature
  • Plan your seasonal specials to boost sales and schedule your ads accordingly
  • Show off how you are handling the social distancing for your customers
  • Display what measures you are taking to ensure safety and hygiene to build trust
  • Use high-quality images and video ads to entice your customers

But, first, let’s take a look at the viability of Facebook ads for restaurants so that you get ready for your Facebook ad campaign with all your heart and mind.

Do Facebook Ads for Restaurants Work?

The Facebook platform offers amazing features for businesses to advertise more efficiently and reach a wider base of customers.

Facebook Ads for Restaurants

Image Source: Pew Research Center

The above chart clearly explains the variety of customers you can find on Facebook.

Since people of all interests and living standards actively use Facebook daily, this platform makes an important part of your restaurant advertisement strategy. Not using Facebook ads for your restaurant means you are missing out on loads of opportunities.

Knowing that you have so many potential customers on Facebook, now you are ready to build Facebook Ads Strategy for Restaurants.

Best Facebook Ads Strategy for Restaurants in 2021

1. Identify Types of Customers Most Likely to Dine in Your Restaurant

You don’t get anything when you target people who expect a dining experience and food options that your restaurant doesn’t offer. Leads can be generated through your ads only when you set out to impress the type of customers most likely to dine in your restaurant. For instance, if your restaurant generally caters to non-vegetarian foodies, you will be only wasting your money by targeting vegetarian people.

The best thing about Facebook ads for restaurants is that it allows you to target customers with specific interests.

  • Go to Audience and then Detail Targeting where you will find three categories: Demographics, Interests, and Behaviors.
  • Go to Interests to find more specific sub-categories. Select the Food and Drink option and then choose or write the interest that most resonates with the interest that aligns with your Facebook ad and your typical customers have.
  • You can also exclude certain demographics, interests, or behaviors using the Exclude People option and entering your suggestions.

2. Identify Locations from Where You Can Have Potential Customers

If your restaurant is near a university, you might be getting the majority of your orders from students and faculties in that university. Facebook allows you to narrow down your audience also by their location.

  • You can easily target location-wise. Just enter the zip code of your restaurant location in the Facebook Ads Manager Platform.
  • Also enter zip codes of surrounding areas from where people are more likely to travel to your restaurant.
  • You can further narrow down your audience by setting the education period in Demographics > Education so that you don’t target those students who have completed their education and have left the university.

3. Reach Out to New Customers Through the Lookalike Audience Feature

Lookalike Audience is perhaps the most innovative feature that Facebook has rolled out to help businesses expand their reach. Research your existing customers and find out:

  • What they like about your restaurant
  • What additional interests they have
  • Which city they live in
  • What cuisines from your restaurant are more popular in their circle
  • What feedback and rating they like to give your restaurant
  • Which one is their favorite restaurant and what it is that makes it their favorite
  • How would they describe the ambience of your restaurant

You can form questions on your own to get insights on what selling points you have, what you should improve, what cuisines to advertise more, and what type of customers you cater to. Even knowing their favorite restaurant can help you as it allows you to target the customers of that restaurant as well.

Once you have a clear picture of what your audience looks like, use the Lookalike Audience feature to target most potential customers. If you are not that interested in intensive customer research, you can just get their emails and upload the list into Facebook’s Lookalike Audience. Then, Facebook will help you find more customers similar to your original customer base. 

4. Use High-Quality Facebook Ads to Entice Your Customers

Facebook provides a wide array of different Facebook Ads, including:

  • Image Ads – to showcase how your cuisines look like, introduce your staff, etc.
  • Video Ads – to highlight your recipes in the garnishing stage, your ambience, and more
  • Carousel Ads – to advertise multiple food dishes
  • Slideshow Ads – to create short video ads through still photos of your delicacies
  • Dynamic Product Ads – to target customers who have shown interest in your food dishes earlier
  • Video Poll Ads – a fun way to connect with your audience through your dishes or knowledge of ingredients or anything you can leverage
  • Collection Ads – to display five of your dishes that are typically brought together
  • Instant Experience Ads – to provide an instant dining experience through engaging short videos
  • Lead Ads – to make it easier for your potential customers to provide their contact information for newsletter subscriptions
  • Messenger Ads – especially to target people who use Messenger

Top restaurateurs with innovative thinking have used these ads to lure potential customers in endless ways. While each ad has its significance and purpose, carousel and dynamic ads are counted amongst the top-performing Facebook ads. 

5. Plan Your Seasonal Specials to Boost Sales and Schedule Your Ads

Seasonal promos are very important as they create an urge in your customers to keep coming back. You might have a long list of food options on your menu but promoting them all may not bring the best result.

So, check out the history of orders to see which food dishes were ordered the most by your customers for the season you are running an ad campaign.

If you are advertising for a special day, such as Valentine’s Day, showcase the food items that are more popular among couples. Don’t forget to focus on targeting the audience (couples in this case) in the Demographics option while creating an ad.

6. Show Off How You Are Handling Social Distancing for Your Customers

Many restaurants have created unique arrangements just to make sure that not only do their customers feel safe through social distancing but also enjoy a beautiful ambience. If you haven’t done that yet, then do it now. Diners value atmosphere a lot and a negative one can turn them away from your restaurant and now add crowd to this list as well.

It’s time to get creative when it comes to social distancing while enhancing their dining experience through a pleasing atmosphere. Once you are done with making all these arrangements, show them off in your advertisements.

Focusing on your restaurant space and social distancing will also help people get in the mood of eating something delicious or savoring their favorite drink at your place while feeling safe. You can use Video Ads, Dynamic Ads, Instant Experience Ads, and Slideshow Ads for this purpose.

7. Display What Measures You Are Taking to Ensure Safety and Hygiene to Build Trust

These days, people are wondering if the staff of a restaurant they are considering is at its best in terms of hygiene and sanitizing. So, list all the things that your chefs, waiters, helpers, delivery personnel, and other staff employees do to make sure that any infection or disease doesn’t spread. Then, advertise them to highlight that you care for your customers and are working hard for their safety. It will help build trust in your customers and they will be more willing to come to your restaurant than others that are secretive about their hygiene plans.

Since people spend a lot of time on Facebook, reminding them that you are the safest option can influence their decisions. While you can highlight such points in creative Image Ads, using Instant Experience Ads can also be very useful.

Our Final Thought and Tip

The New Year – 2021 is not like the ones we had before. Unlike others, it is about bringing positive change and introducing sustainability that helps businesses to stay strong in the new normal world or if another unusual event presents itself as you go ahead.

Incorporating care, compassion, and safety thoughts in the Facebook Ads Strategy for your restaurant is crucial now because all of us have gone and are still going through uncertain conditions, and many have lost someone they cared about. Taking caution while crafting your restaurant’s advertisement content and advertisement can go a long way.  

Vijaya Tyagi

Vijaya Tyagi

Vijaya Raj Laxmi Tyagi has been an avid content writer for over three years with a keen interest in writing SEO articles and blogs. She also finds great enthusiasm in writing about a vast variety of topics, including gardening, interior designing, health & wellness, and tourism. Her educational background in Computer Science and Engineering has given her an edge to write about technologies that tend to mark a great impression on daily lifestyle and behaviour, while her intrigue towards Mother Nature drives her to discuss green topics.