11 TikTok Restaurant Marketing Ideas To Boost Your Business
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11 TikTok Restaurant Marketing Ideas To Boost Your Business 

Did you know that in December 2023, TikTok garnered the second spot for the most downloaded mobile app, generating 47 million downloads and have over 1.5 billion active monthly users as of January 2024?

With this data, imagine the impact it can bring to your business if you add this to your list of social media marketing avenues. 

But you first need to have a clear and strategic plan on how to use it to its fullest. 

Here comes your list of TikTok restaurant marketing ideas that may include behind-the-scenes short videos of mouth-watering food preparation or enticing mukbang sessions with your partnered influencers.

And the list can go on and on. 

So, to help you make a comprehensive strategy with these marketing ideas, we’ve collated essential activities and included efficient technology like a QR code menu to guarantee an increase in your brand popularity. 

Laying down the facts: The trend of TikTok

Inforgraphics for Tiktok
Statistics on the trend of TikTok

TikTok, a.k.a Douyin (in its home market, China), rose in popularity in 2016 and established itself in the international market by acquiring Musical.ly—a lip-syncing app. Couple of years after it became a household name, it launched several celebrities and accommodated brands across various industries. 

Let’s take a look at its progression from its first few years up until recently and its projected percentage rise:

  • 2016-2021:  With TikTok’s acquisition of Musical.ly in 2017,  it automatically imported 80 million users from the latter to its own platform. 

From there, the app became popular in 2019 and 2020 during the massive shifts of activities online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with a recorded 693 million and 850 million times downloaded, respectively. 

By the end of 2021, it had accumulated a record of 656 million downloads. 

  • 2022-2024: The downloads rose by 2.44% in 2022, and by the end of 2023, it reached 1.5 billion monthly active users, making it the fifth most popular social network. 

Besides it being one of the marketing avenues some businesses explore, there’s paid advertising on the platform, which can further boost the business’s impact when in use. 

Adding to the reason for its billions of users is the monetization feature, where users can earn by livestreaming and posting videos. 

Over the years, revenue rose even further, with an estimated amount of $11.1 billion as of  2024. 

With the growing popularity of this app, experts expect the number of active users to go up by 20% at the end of 2024. 

  • 2025-2027: This popular social media platform is expected to amass around 2.25 billion users in 2027. 

As brands leverage the platform’s impressive reach and engagement tools, fostering relationships with young customers, the revenue is forecasted to gain around $53 billion in 2027. 

Why market a restaurant on TikTok?

Filming a TikTok video
A customer filming a food review

As the popular expression goes, “numbers don’t lie,” it cannot be denied that TikTok’s potential to reach billions of audiences across the globe is a fact. 

With its total number of active users, the probability of boosting your restaurant’s brand recognition is high. 

In fact, restaurant marketing statistics showed that 36% of TikTok users have visited or ordered from a restaurant after watching food reviews or short video clips. 

To further substantiate the given data, according to the 2023 Insider Intelligence—eMarketer report on social apps—TikTok has passed Instagram in terms of daily usage in minutes, which recorded 4.43 billion per day in the US and is projected to surpass Facebook by 2025. 

Tracing back to 2022, Statista reported that the individual users’ time spent on TikTok is nearly 24 hours watching, interacting with, and posting video content. 

This only implies the effectiveness of using TikTok as one of your marketing tools to boost your business popularity, which can lead to increased sales. 

13 strategic Tiktok restaurant marketing ideas to boost your restaurant 

Behind-the-scenes footage of your food preparation

Taking your audience on a virtual tour of your kitchen is an excellent way to provide them with an insider’s view of your restaurant’s operations and showcase the effort and care that goes into preparing each dish. 

But keep in mind that it’s not just an “ordinary” clip of your chef cooking; it has to be of the best quality to catch the attention of your target audience. 

Here are a few things to consider: 

  • Start with the right equipment. While you can shoot a video with a smartphone, this is non-negotiable if you’re taking the step in social media marketing. Invest in a tripod or stabilizer to help you keep the shots from shaking. 
  • Frame your shot. Since the TikTok video’s orientation is vertical for convenient mobile viewing, ensure the subject is centered and takes up most of the frame. 
  • Invest in good lighting. Proper lighting makes a lot of difference when taking videos. So, make sure to use a lighting kit or even natural light when taking a clip of your subject. This avoids harsh shadows that can distort the quality of your videos. 
  • Keep your video simple. Steer clear of distracting features or cluttered backgrounds that could distract from your shot’s main subject. 

Recipe tutorials 

Create a quick recipe tutorial that reveals your chef’s signature dishes, making them easy for viewers to recreate at home.  

Through this visually engaging content, you can also provide them with valuable insights into the artistry behind your offerings. 

Just make sure to use close-up shots and overhead angles to give a clearer view of your cooking techniques and ingredients. 

Just like your other social media platforms, foster interaction through the comments and encourage viewers to try the dishes themselves. This cultivates a sense of community and expands your business’s reach beyond physical location.

Menu item highlights with a digital menu QR code

Showcase your high-profitable menu through a  Do-It-Yourself (DIY) virtual food exhibition. 

You can set up a small stall in your restaurant with your desired theme and do a livestream using your TikTok account. 

Put a digital menu QR code in every stall and encourage your viewers to access them for additional information and discount codes that they may use if they order. 

TikTok Challenges and Hashtags

TikTok food challenges with the hashtag “#TikTokFood”  has over 53 billion views on the platform. 

This number of engagements guarantees increased traffic to your restaurant’s website and physical store. 

But first, you should equip your business with content relevant to your specific age demographics. 

Take note that 93% of consumers find user-generated content helpful when making purchasing decisions. 

Here are a few tips that can serve as your starting point:

  • Deliver a concise message. Make content that is attention-grabbing but still in line with your brand, is on-trend, and audience-focused. This way, you’ll be able to get a precise response to the goal of your food challenges. 
  • Make it enjoyable to watch. #Entertaintment is the most popular hashtag on TikTok, with over 500 billion views, so make sure your videos are fun and engaging. Remember that your food challenges ought to be simple to duplicate. 
  • Be discoverable. To improve visibility in the platform, use popular soundtracks and pertinent hashtags. Don’t forget to include your unique hashtag for your challenges. 

Special offers and promotions 

Create a buzz in your live stream videos and content by offering limited-time offers and special promos and encouraging viewers to visit your restaurant to avail them. 

You can have 50% off for every order for the first ten customers who will visit on a specific period. 

You may add the link to your restaurant’s website to your videos for potential customers to access additional information about your offers. 

 Influencer collaborations 

Mukbang content
An influencer filming a mukbang video

Collaborating with influencers on TikTok can significantly amplify your restaurant’s visibility and reach a wider audience. 

To effectively execute this collaboration, you must first set a clear objective. Define the goal of your partnership, whether it’s to increase brand awareness, drive foot traffic, or promote a specific menu item. 

After setting your goals,  work closely with the influencer in co-creating engaging content that resonates with the audience while showcasing your unique selling points. 

One prominent food-related content across social media platforms that you might want to try is Mukbang, which originated from South Korea, a live-streamed video of the host eating. 

This is a great asset to highlight your menu items and directly respond to your objectives. 

If you’re interested in producing this kind of content, choose the right influencers with similar material. 

Trend-jacking in TikTok  Marketing 

If you haven’t encountered trend jacking yet, it’s a social media marketing technique that uses trending memes, events, topics, and hashtags. 

Let’s say there is a viral social media trend where people share videos about healthy meal prepping for a week. You can join this trend by offering premade meals during your livestream shows or on your clip videos. 

This can significantly impact your brand’s visibility, customer engagement, and sales, allowing you to tap into a cultural period that fosters a sense of relevance and excitement among consumers. 

Interactive polls and Q&A sessions

TikTok interactive polls
Interacting with customers using polls

Foster a sense of community around your restaurant through polls and Q&A sessions where your audience can interact. 

Use the built-in polling feature to ask them fun and relevant questions about your restaurant, menu, or dining experience. 

For example, you could ask your followers to vote on their favorite dish, preferred ambiance, or upcoming menu additions. 

Just keep your polls short, simple, and visually appealing. 

For the Q&A, it would be better to host it live, where you answer questions from your audience about your business or anything they’re curious about simultaneously. 

You can also have a pre-recorded video in which you’ll answer queries gathered from your polls to filter out the most relevant and interesting ones for you to address. 

Promote this in advance to give followers ample time to send out questions about anything they’re curious about. 

Contests and giveaways

TikTok contests ang giveaways
A poster for competitions and freebies

Running contests and giveaways on TikTok is a fantastic way for your establishment to build brand recognition. 

First, choose a format of how you’re going to pick the winners: It could be through digital roulette boards or randomly chosen in the comment sections. 

Afterward, send out instructions on how they’re going to claim the prizes. Speaking of it, remember that your audience will determine the awards you’ll be giving out. Since there’s no niche-specific prize, you can receive many entries but few quality leads. 

What you can do instead is to think about giving away merchandise from your business or offer a complimentary package. 

Educational content

A 2022 survey conducted by Study.com has reported that 92% of respondents who used the platform for educational purposes found the app helpful. 

This only implies its effectiveness in relaying valuable information to the viewers. 

So, go for topics that give your audience insights relevant to the industry your business belongs to. 

For instance, share the importance of food safety in cooking, various culinary techniques, and other kitchen-related subject matters. 

Live cooking demos

Add this to your list of restaurant marketing ideas where your chef can have a live cooking show on a specific dish your viewers want to try. 

You can have a step-by-step demonstration on quick breakfast or lunch meals that they can do without the need for extravagant kitchen equipment and expensive ingredients. 

Highlight the budget-friendly alternatives in the demos for your viewers to follow in the comfort of their homes. 

With this activity, you can strengthen your brand’s presence on the platform, guaranteeing increased interactions with your potential customers.

3 reasons for having a list of TikTok restaurant marketing ideas before diving into the platform

Strategic planning

A list of your marketing ideas for TikTok lets you plan your content strategically. 

Just like your other social media networks, brainstorming and organizing these activities can ensure that your materials align with your restaurant branding and target audience. 

This approach will help you maintain consistency in your content and maximize its effectiveness in achieving your market objectives. 

Content variety in your social media marketing 

You can diversify your assets, keeping them fresh and engaging to your followers if you have outlined what you will do.

Through this, you can appeal to different interests, preferences, and demographics within your audience. 

Whether it’s a glimpse of your kitchen, recipe tutorials, or promotional campaigns, having a range of content ideas caters to the varied tastes of TikTok users, keeping them interested and entertained. 

Efficiency and productivity

Lastly, your pre-prepared list can save you time and effort when creating content for the platform.

Instead of scrambling activities whenever you need to post, you can simply refer to your list and select the one that fits your occasion or objective. 

This streamlines the content creation process, boosts productivity, and warrants consistently delivering high-quality videos to your audience. 

Equipping your social network marketing with a QR code menu technology

QR code menu
A QR code in a video

With efficient social marketing ideas coupled with robust technology like a QR code menu, you’re re-calibrating your restaurant’s online presence. 

Here’s how this smart menu software like MENU TIGER can help strengthen your marketing efforts across social media for restaurants like TikTok.

Handy personalized menu 

This smart menu software offers a highly customizable tool to import high-quality images and videos of your offerings. 

This is useful if you wish to add information about a dish during your LIVE stream or in your ad videos. 

You can just put the link on the screen of your website or flash a QR code directing to the page. 

Within thirty seconds, you can give your viewers a virtual restaurant tour. 

Pro tip: To cater to various customers within different demographics, put a simple instruction on your videos on how to scan a menu QR code to avoid delays as they scan it.

Interactive website

Speaking of websites, MENU TIGER provides you with a webpage builder where you can put your creativity into action. 

Design it according to a restaurant theme you are going for in your different locations, but make sure it is still right on the track with your branding. 

Organized socials section

Put all your social media accounts in one basket with MENU TIGER’s designated section in the software that directly reflects into your website. 

This makes it easier for your customers to determine where to visit online. 

Caught in 4K: Make your restaurant visible on your followers’ FYP with a QR code menu tag

To get your online presence win, you need to have a comprehensive plan, and that is building an off-the-charts list of TikTok restaurant marketing ideas. 

These ideas will help you strategically create relevant, fun, and informative content that piques your viewers’ interest. 

Alongside your lit content, a QR code menu like MENU TIGER is an excellent addition to your TikTok videos. Remember, you have to market within thirty seconds, so having an accessible way to expound what you offer is a smart move. 

So, are you ready to rizz up the internet with your appetizing videos? 

We bet you are. So let’s get your business’s success cooking.


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