How to Promote Your Restaurant on TikTok

TikTok ideas market your brand, menu, and showcase your BOH superstars
Restaurant management Jun 02, 2021

Promoting your business in the era of social media entails keeping pace with the latest trends and platforms. From reviewing the basics of making a TikTok restaurant video to finding ways to grow your audience, here is what you need to know to step up your restaurant marketing game.

Our team at Choco has put together a list of TiktTok ideas for restaurants to help chefs, managers, food servers, and line-cooks become the next online superstar!

What is TikTok?

TikTok was launched in 2017 and has become one of the most popular video-sharing social media platforms with approximately 74 million TikTok users. The App is used to make short videos of different genres such as dance, comedy, or education across all industries!

The concept of TikTok is based on the one of, an app focusing on lip-syncing to music, but with a broader range of video styles, filters, and scopes. At first, TikTok videos can be 1 minute long, and it is possible to string up 4 segments together.

How to brainstorm concepts for a TikTok restaurant video

It takes one single viral TikTok video for restaurants to break through, gain visibility, and strengthen their brand. TikTok videos range from viral challenges, dances and reactions to motivational, funny, and informative videos. At first, all the options in the app can be a bit overwhelming when brainstorming new TikTok restaurant video ideas.

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Let’s wrap it up and find out the key elements for a successful strategy. Are you ready to accept our challenge? Here are some TikTok ideas for restaurants and some tips to make them go live:

Location shooting can attract new customers and give them a tangible idea of what the dining experience at your restaurant is all about. Your TikTok restaurant video should focus on specific areas such as your dining room, bar, or patio. Put the spotlight on the details that make up the ambiance - customers love seeing curated interiors, quirky objects, and get to know your music taste through your chosen background track on TikTok.

A good location shoot is all about movement. Make sure that your story-telling presents a logical and engaging flow. For example, you can start by opening your restaurant door and doing a walk-in during your opening hours, as well as giving a 360-degree view of your space. Other segments should include actions such as customers being served or your front of house team in full action.

Food close-ups can draw strong emotions from viewers and help you promote your menu on TikTok. The most popular angle to shoot food and dishes is 45-degrees, but you should make sure that your video is not too static. Therefore, move your camera up and down, zoom in, grab a piece, twirl the anything to tempt your customers and show the colors and texture of your food. We said, movement.

Behind the scenes shots also show the soul and people behind the operations. Whether it’s about showing your food-prep or capturing your back of house team spirit, customers always love to know a bit more about your creative process and get a glimpse of your personality. And TikTok is the perfect place to do this as it is usually more homemade and less curated.

You can opt for different concepts such as quick recipe videos or chef interviews, as well as showing those back of house operations that customers don’t normally see like your mise en place. What is “normal” for you in the back of house (flipping an omelet, taking a bread loaf out of the oven) can make your audience go crazy.

When presenting your restaurant kitchen on TikTok, you can opt for different concepts such as quick recipe videos or chef interviews, as well as showing those back of house operations that customers don’t normally see like your mise en place. What is “normal” for you in the back of house (flipping an omelette, taking a bread loaf out of the oven) can make your audience go crazy.

TikTok ideas to grow your audience and engage with clientele

There are many ways to create a successful restaurant TikTok. If you’re not 100% familiar with the app, we recommend trying out different concepts listed above and collecting ideas from other TikTok accounts before defining your restaurant TikTok strategy. Here are some tips to get you started.

1. Check influencers

Discovering local food influencers can help you develop your restaurant’s TikTok style when opening your own account or choose the perfect candidate to promote your business.

Working with food & lifestyle influencers can also help your restaurant get lots of exposure among local customers and tourists, and it can be particularly helpful for special occasions like your re-opening or launching a new menu. TikTokers working with local restaurants like Austin-based influencer @atasteofkoko are the main reference for foodies that want to know more about what a city has to offer.

2. Take part in TikTok challenges

The beauty of TikTok is that users often don’t have to “reinvent the wheel” and come up with their own concepts. This means that you can promote your restaurant by simply filming your kitchen team taking part in the latest viral challenge...and delighting your followers with your in-house dancing or lip-syncing skills.

Popular TikTok content also includes awareness campaigns covering themes like mental health, inclusivity, and sustainability. This can have an already established format that all users are going for, or you can also come up with your own idea. Make sure that you are on top of the news and trends, and check on global events and popular hashtags such as #WorldEnvironmentDay2021 or #LidFlip.

3. Tease your audience

TikTok allows you to connect and engage with people as you can also reveal the incredible humans that make up your restaurant. Social media provides servers, managers, and back of house staff the space to talk to their community and discuss critical aspects of their job.

When it comes to promoting your restaurant on TikTok, make sure that you are aware of the fine line between being shady and making your audience laugh. Your bartender or food server talking about annoying customers can be fun, but when done in a clever way - such as in this storytelling provided by @august_gloop.

Tips to shoot a TikTok restaurant video

Knowing how to use TikTok for restaurants effectively entails learning about the platform’s basic rules, effects, communication style, and tricks.

You can purchase a basic TikTok kit (including a tripod, ring-light, and microphone) to help you stabilize your camera, provide good lighting and audio to your scene, and hit record via a bluetooth controller.

Last but not least: creating a TikTok video for your restaurant doesn’t necessarily imply shooting the content at your restaurant. You can use a simple TikTok restaurant background via the app can be enough if you want to create a video from your own home.

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