TikTok Marketing for Restaurants: Start Trending for Free!

Why should you use TikTok for your restaurant?

If you're a restaurant owner, it's important to know the best way to reach your target audience. After all, millennials are the biggest spenders on food right now.

As of January 2022, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have the highest TikTok penetration in the world for adults over the age of 18! 87.9% of people over 18 use TikTok in KSA, and 81.3% in the UAE.

If that stat doesn't convince you, maybe these will:

  • 36% of TikTok users have dined at or ordered from a restaurant after seeing a video about it on TikTok (and that number increases to 65% among content creators)
  • 55% of users visited a restaurant after seeing its appetizing food on TikTok
  • 51% of users visited a restaurant after seeing a unique menu item on TikTok
  • 20% of users have dined at a restaurant in a different location after seeing it on TikTok
    (Source: MGH)

Convinced? You should be! Now let's do a quick run-through of how you can make the most of TikTok to build brand awareness, get more customers, and maybe even make your restaurant go viral!

The basics of TikTok marketing for restaurants

There are many ways to market on TikTok, but there are also some basic rules that should be followed. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your marketing efforts are effective and help drive customers to your venue.

  • Use hashtags: this is one of the best ways to gain followers on TikTok and increase engagement with posts and other users. Use hashtags related to your business, such as #dinner or #breakfast, and location hashtags so that people searching for restaurants in their area will see yours pop up —for example, #dubaicoffeeshops or #coffeeshopsdubai

  • Find trending challenges/videos: and make your own restaurant's version! Be fun, highlight some of your incredible dishes, and have fun with your videos. Short and fun videos work best on TikTok

  • Pro tip: Use trending sounds! An easy way to start trending is by using popular songs that will land your video on users' 'For You Page'. Make the most of the "TikTok viral" section when choosing audio for your videos

Showcase new menu items or specials on TikTok

There’s no better way to get customers queuing up to try your new menu items than by making them hungry through a screen! Show off your tasty new menu items on TikTok, add some cool video transitions, and use a trending sound on your video. You’ll start creating hype around these dishes before you know it!

Let customers know the vibe of your restaurant

Dining out isn’t just about the food, it’s also about the vibe and ambiance. People love getting a sneak peek of what a restaurant looks like, from the entrance to the decor, and of course, the presentation of the food!

TikTok is about the visuals, so get customers lining up outside your restaurant by showing them the awesome vibe you have going.

Show behind the scenes and share recipes

Take videos of your team and what they do in the kitchen. For example, if you're a cook, you might want to share videos of yourself preparing meals. You could also record your staff members talking about their favorite dishes or sharing how they prepare them. Customers love seeing behind-the-scenes videos!

To make things even more enjoyable while filming these videos, try adding music or sound effects like sizzling bacon, whipped cream from a bottle, or any other sound that could activate people's tastebuds while watching.

Work with micro-influencers to promote your restaurant

TikTok influencers are essentially micro-influencers, who are more authentic and relatable than their full-sized counterparts. They’re also cheaper and more efficient, but what’s most important is that they can be committed to the restaurant for a long time, which makes them great at creating long-term partnerships.

Your best bet for recruiting TikTok influencers is to start with your friends and family! You can reach out to people who have already been posting about your restaurant on social media or through word of mouth.

Advertise your restaurant on TikTok

If you have a unique selling point, such as an innovative menu or a good location, then it's worth considering advertising on TikTok. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • You can target your ads based on location, age, and interests
  • Adverts are cheaper than Facebook or Instagram ads
  • They're quick and easy to set up

TikTok can completely change the way you connect with customers! The best part is, that the process of taking these videos is fun, simple, and completely free! What video ideas are you going to try?