Restaurant Marketing 101: Engaging Images

As social media marketing becomes increasingly important, images have proven themselves as the best way to reach the next level of Klout Scores and Click Through Rates. Venga has put together some tips on how to enhance your images to keep your restaurant’s food in your customer’s minds and bellies.

1. Play up the Food Porn.

Don’t miss the chance to show off your goods and make your diners’ mouths water. A well-crafted photo of a delicious dish can successfully perform across all social media platforms. These images are a great way to introduce and market new menu items or play up customer cravings with posts around meal times!

Client who’s doing it right: Mazzone Hospitality has a strong presence on almost every social media platform- including YouTube and Pinterest- to feature their dishes in all shapes and sizes.

2. Capitalize on Transparency.

Get creative in letting customers see the ins and outs of your restaurant. Utilize social media as a tool for customers to learn more than just your menu items and showcase every aspect of your dining process. Not only does this mix up media feeds to keep posts interesting, but it also has shown to significantly increase customer engagement. Share a picture of your busy kitchens around meal times, feature your chefs or servers in action, or capture the freshness of individual ingredients.

Client who’s doing it right: Chef Michael White of Altamarea Group  has his own personal Instagram, @chefbianco, which he uses to share not only his savory creations but also his employees, social events, and even his family. This truly gives customers an inside look!

3. Hammer Home the Hashtag.

Ensure your content is sharable by utilizing one or even multiple hashtags in the captions of your images. Keep your hashtag simple and commonplace. Embrace trends such as #tbt for throwback Thursday, or use generic words such as #yum or #[yourrestaurantsname]. If you’re feeling especially savvy, try to create a targeted hashtag. If used repeatedly, a hashtag unique to your restaurant can really engage followers by motiving them to use your tags in their own posts.

Client who’s doing it right: Mastro’s Restaurants successfully links their Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages using hashtags, but goes beyond simply #Mastros through the use of their innovative hashtag: #TheBest. Not only does this tag help them to reach a greater audience and get trending, but can also relate them to a pool of other items that trend as being great. We’re hungry for #TheBest!

4. Don’t Overdo It.

Make sure your posts are truly quality photos. Be careful about the lighting, framing, and coloring in the images. To help with this, take advantage of photo editing tools such as Instagram filters and Photoshop apps. A recent article from gives helpful tips such as that red and orange coloring and the Ludwig and Amaro Instagram filters get the highest responsiveness! Finally, only post once a day and time it correctly as to when your sites tend to get the most traffic. Early morning posts tend to be shared the most.

Client who’s doing it right: Fig & Olive have managed to attract high levels of customer engagement by consistently posting once each day with an engaging image fitting their elegant and warm themes of the Mediterranean. They even take it a step further by tailoring the images to each season!

5. Find your Theme.

Make certain that your images reveal what matters to your restaurant. By adhering to your themes, it will ensure that there is a consistent tone across all your social media platforms. In addition, embrace your geographical location to play up your local engagement. By posting images relevant to your community, it connects them back to your restaurant and your message. Post an Instagram about a local event you are sponsoring or highlight a local food supplier.

Client who’s doing it right: Union Square Café reflects its inspiration of the Greenmarket and the Union Square community across its platforms. Almost all of their posts specifically relate back to NYC or their Union Square location, and they target environmentalists with their farmer’s market partnerships. Way to go green!