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CAFE & RESTAURANT MARKETING: How to make your cafe or restaurant stand out form the crowd and a

The top 5 tips in social media to turn your business into an online sensation!

If you hadn’t heard by now, digital and social media marketing, especially Instagram, is vitally important for any food or hospitality business. 

Being on a platform like Instagram and posting time to time simply doesn’t cut it anymore. With the space flooded, you need to create an image that stands out from your competition, educates and entices your audience to turn into real life customers.

We’ve put together our top 5 essentials to build an online cult following and turn this into business…


1. Stunning Food and Drink Photography.

They say a picture speaks a thousand words and for cafe or restaurant marketing its especially true. It’s vitally important to make all your food & drink items on the menu stand out on all social media channels with great professional photos that are designed to be attractive and ‘pop’ online.

This should be amazingly shot photographs with food styling of your overall food and drink menu to give your photos the professional and enticing look for all social media posting, online updates to hospitality social sites, website updates and PR press releases. The photos of your food should be edited and enhanced to be visually attractive and look consistent on your social media stream.

When your cafe or restaurant is presented on people’s phones your food needs to be eye catching and really  “pop”. Using high quality images and videos from pros that know how to style and present the food in it’s best light is the the best way to show off your cafe or restaurant to the fullest, especially to make it appealing online and your food Instagram worthy.

2. Post when your customers are most active and send keep consistent.

It is crucial to have quality content created and posted to be seen daily by your fans and to increase your fan base. The process begins with professional photography and editing. Once you have content, it should be arranged with copy so it tells a story and depicts your brand, mission and values. Now you have a storyboard prepped and ready to post, but when is the best time to post and what platform should you be focusing all your energy on?

Instagram is by far the most effective and popular social media platform for marketing a cafe or restaurant, but regular posting on Facebook regularly is important too. Look at your insights and see when your customers are most active. This will be the pinnacle time for you to post in order to gain maximum reach & keep it consistent! Not posting for a day would be the same as starving your audience so keep it consistent, post daily to your audience and post when you know will reach the most people.

3. Don’t just tell your audience, talk to them.

The best cafe and restaurant accounts on Instagram are constantly following an active growth strategy rather than leaving it to chance for the account to grow organically. You may be posting killer photos regularly and still not seeing massive changes in growth. Some of the best accounts are ones who are in touch with their audience and listens and engages with them. Opening up this two-way communication not only makes your customers feel valued and special, it gives you insider knowledge of exactly what your customers want to see. 

This can be time consuming but it is very powerful when applied over time and usually rewarded by new food fans getting social with you and checking out your account. And since you have already filled your page with outstanding, it should be easy to get these new fans over the line and to become new followers.

Several hours a day should be dedicated to this to make sure that you are always targeting new fans to come and take a look at your business. People, especially foodies like it when other foodies and food related businesses follow and show an interest in them and you should too.

4. Build an Influencer network.

When marketing your cafe or restaurant your ultimate goal is for it to reach a large Sydney food fan audience. The key to this is through the increasingly powerful food blogging community which have strong followings of loyal food fans that love to watch what and where they eat. Their reach is very high, with their fans ranging from 5K to over 400K each and who are all interested in food and where the next hot eat is.

Hand picking the best influencers to suit you, getting them to visit and showing them what you are capable of and hosting them graciously will often get them posting and talking about you to their large fan base and their fans following you on social media. All this leads to you have a buzz online, queues out the door and ultimately increasing revenues.

Remember that these guys have lots of hungry eyeballs looking at their posts looking at cool new places they can go and visit and tell their friends about. 

An ideal number of 20 + influencer visits would be needed to create traction and the more the better!

5. Show the big guys you mean business.

“If I was down to my last dollar I would spend it on PR” was the advice given by none other than Bill Gates. The name of the game is to give your cafe/restaurant the most online exposure as possible to the audience that are your potential customers. Apart from social media, ideally you would have mentions or articles in the most popular publications for food in your city.

Online blogs, newsletters, and lifestyle sections of mainstream newspapers are where it’s at. Getting featured in one of those can really put you on the map. Some of the most popular ones are BroadsheetUrban ListEat Drink PlaySmudge EatsWeekend NotesThe Daily Telegraph and Sydney Morning Herald Good Food.

A well crafted press release sent out to all the right food PR contacts is crucial to getting featured and them wanting to pick up the story. Although not necessarily guaranteed, it helps to have a great story, unique point of difference, catchy dishes and also a good relationship with the editors 😉

If from your efforts you happen to get interest from one of the food publications. Make sure that they have a VIP visit and that all the information and photos you give them are your best as this is your big chance to show a huge audience what you are all about and how you are different to everyone else.


If you like these tips and are curious to find out how other Sydney cafes and restaurants are using them effectively, then feel free to contact CPM for a chat.

Also click on the button below to view some case studies and testimonials on businesses that have used these techniques to build great fans, customers and revenues.

There has been an update on this article, read on here to see the 2020 version.


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