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Facebook Ads For Restaurants: Simple Tips For Getting More Diners

Do you run a small/mid-sized restaurant?

Then you’ll love Facebook ads for restaurants.

Facebook is a marvelous tool for advertising your eatery. Through Facebook ads, you attract tons of new customers and turn occasional customers into loyal regulars. And that at an affordable price than other digital marketing strategies and traditional advertising tactics. Many businesses and food establishments like yours have achieved splendid success through Facebook advertising.

In this article, I will explain how to use Facebook ads for local businesses to make your restaurant popular and the go-to spot among locals

Why Facebook Ads To Promote Your Restaurant?

Not sure if Facebook is a viable online marketing channel?

There’s no need to hesitate because Facebook ads work superbly across industries and professions. The restaurant industry is no exception. The major benefit of Facebook that makes the platform tower above all digital marketing strategies is its detailed targeting capabilities. It allows you to target people based on location, gender, interests, and more. 

We will discuss audience targeting in-depth later.

What Are The Benefits?

Why choose Facebook when there are countless digital marketing strategies?

Here are some top benefits of using Facebook Ads to promote your eating joint using restaurant Facebook ads:

Wide Reach

Facebook has a very large active audience. You market your restaurant to almost 3 billion Facebook users. Yes, billions, not that you need so many people coming to your eating house. But that’s just to show you how massive the social media marketing channel is. Not only are there many people on Facebook, but they are also deeply engaged, spending up to 1 hour per day on the platform.

Excellent Targeting

While it’s wonderful to have so many people to target, how do you narrow down your options to potential customers who are likely to engage with your Facebook ad campaigns? That’s where Facebook’s excellent targeting options come in. You target customer profiles better and create more engaging ads tailor-made for the target demographic.

Cost-Effective

Facebook marketing is economical. You can run an ROI-boosting ad campaign for a couple of hundred dollars. Not so with traditional advertising—it's crazy expensive. Look at the graphic below for a marketing channels cost comparison.

Cost-Effective

Source: Lyfe Marketing

Social media marketing channels trump traditional ones by a country mile. Among social channels, Facebook advertising, with a CPC that can be as low as $1 or less, is cheaper than other digital marketing paid ads platforms.

Boosts Traffic

Facebook ads for restaurants are excellent for increasing traffic to your landing page, where people can learn more about your delicious food. This traffic hike ultimately increases food orders at your food establishment.

The Initial Steps Of Starting A Marketing Campaign

This section will cover everything you must do to start a Facebook ads marketing campaign.

It all starts with a company Facebook page. Don’t have one yet? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. You can learn how to set up a Facebook Business account in this article.

Install The Facebook Pixel

Besides your Facebook page, another essential for successful digital advertising is a website. Having a dedicated company website for their restaurant makes it easy to reach your target audience through Facebook.

To take your marketing efforts further, install a Facebook Pixel on it, if you haven’t done so already.  In case you are wondering, a Facebook pixel is a piece of code you put on your website.

It acts as a link between your website and Facebook by collecting visitor information from your site and passing it on to Facebook. The pixel collects valuable data, such as:

  • Which pages website visitors visited.
  • How long they spent on the page.
  • Which actions they took (or didn’t) take on those pages, e.g. click on a CTA.

This info makes it easy for you to retarget people who exited your website without converting.

How To Set Up A Facebook Pixel

  • Go to Events Manager.
  • Click the green + icon Connect Data Sources and choose Web.
  • Pick Meta Pixel and hit Connect.
  • Put your Pixel Name.
  • Enter your website URL to check for setup options.
  • Hit Continue.

How To Install The Facebook Pixel On Your Website

Now that you are done with setting up your Facebook Pixel, go to your website’s admin panel, where you will insert the code. The process starts on Facebook and finishes on your site.

  • Go to Events Manager.
  • Click the Data sources icon on the left side of the page.
  • Choose the pixel you want to set up.
  • Click Continue Pixel Setup.
  • Pick Meta Pixel and hit Connect.
  • Choose Install code manually.
  • Copy the pixel base code.
  • Go to the header of your website.
  • Paste the code at the bottom of the header section, above the header tag.
How To Install The Facebook Pixel On Your Website
  • 10. Click Continue.
  • 11. Add events you want to track using the Event Setup Tool.
  • 12. Click Done to complete the installation.

Learn How The Ad Manager Works

Learn How The Ad Manager Works

To create a good Facebook ad for your business, you must first understand how the Facebook Ads Manager structures ad campaigns.

There are three major tabs on the Ad Manager:

Campaigns

Campaigns are the bedrock of a Facebook ad campaign. At the campaign level, you choose the major goal of your commercial. Do you want website traffic, likes on your Facebook page, or new customers at your restaurant? Ad sets help you execute your Facebook ad strategy and achieve your goal.

Ad Sets

With your restaurant marketing objective in mind, move on to ad sets. Ad sets are groups of ads. On this tab, you work on ad targeting. Decide your target audience, so you produce effective restaurants Facebook ads that line up with your goal. Such Facebook ads appeal to the needs of your target audience. Using Facebook’s detailed targeting options, pick a target audience based on location, interests, gender, and more. At the ad set stage, you also set your budget and schedule. Finally, decide the best ad placements for your Facebook advertising campaign so it’s seen by the right people.

Ads

Ad sets contain the individual ad creatives, that’s the last tab. The campaigns tab is for choosing a goal while the ad sets tab is for picking your audience. This tab deals with the different ad formats for reaching your potential customers efficiently. From images to videos, there are many ad formats to create effective Facebook ads for restaurants. We will dig into ad formats at your disposal later.

In summary, the tabs are connected and built into each other. A campaign contains ad sets, and an ad set contains a certain number of ads. That’s how you structure ads in Ads Manager.

You now understand the structure and flow of Facebook advertisements. Move to the next step.

Define Your Marketing Objective

For your Facebook ads for restaurants to resonate with Facebook users and drive action, have a simple marketing aim. 

Facebook groups marketing objectives into three buckets:

  • Amazon referral fee is $3.75 - this fee is around 15% of sales price
  • The fulfillment fee is $3.58
  • The monthly storage cost is $0.03 per unit
Define Your Marketing Objective

Let’s unpack each category.

1. Awareness Objectives

Awareness objectives create an interest in your restaurant. How? Create and distribute enticing restaurant ads about the delicious food you serve and the warm atmosphere people can experience at your restaurant. This way people who know nothing about your restaurant will become aware it exists and visit you.  

Awareness objectives include:

  • Brand Awareness: increase potential customers' recognition of the existence of your brand, where it’s located, and the food it serves. 
  • Reach: showing your ad far and wide to as many people as possible in your target audience who are likely to become customers. 

2. Consideration Objectives

Consideration objectives make people mull over your business offerings and reach out to you for more info.

  • Traffic: drive people to your restaurant website, app, or directly to your establishment as foot traffic. 
  • Engagement: run Facebook ads to connect people who are likely to engage with your posts through shares, comments, and likes. 
  • App installs: drive people to your website so they can download your business app and make doing business with you convenient.
  • Video views: share engaging videos about your food and room sets with people on Facebook who are most likely to watch them.
  • Lead generation: collect leads for your food establishment by creating ads that collect contact info from potential customers that show an interest in your service.
  • Messages: talk directly with potential or current customers via FB Messenger, Instagram Direct, and WhatsApp.

3. Conversion Objectives

The goal of conversion objectives is driving specific actions on your Facebook pages, app, or website. 

These actions include:

  • Conversions: encourage people to take a specific action on your site that moves them a step closer to becoming customers, e.g. download your app, see your menu, place an order online, or make a reservation.
  • Catalog sales: showcase your restaurant’s menu and specials to land more customers and sales.
  • Restaurant traffic: promote your brick-and-mortar restaurant outlets to local people who live in the area.

Identified and picked your marketing goal?

Great.

Next, work on the target people of your restaurant’s Facebook ad.

Decide On What Your Audience Will Be

Facebook ad targeting engine allows restaurant owners to advertise based less on keywords and more on interests. 

Interest-based targeting is more powerful because they resonate instantly with people who have similar interests as those contained in the Facebook ad. 

As a restaurant owner, target:

  • People who are located close to the restaurant - Proximity can be a powerful marketing advantage. Why? Simply because people love convenience. Given a choice between eating at a local restaurant that’s within stone’s throw distance and another that’s 15 miles away, most people will always go for the one that’s close by. Utilizing Facebook ads to tell locals about your restaurants can drive sales. To see potential customers who live close to your food establishment and are likely to visit it, enter the zip code of your restaurant location.
  • People with similar culinary interests to what the restaurant offers - Human psychology tells us if people have a pleasurable experience, they are likely to redo the action that delighted them. Say you’ve just launched a Mexican restaurant. By using Facebook ads for restaurants to reach out to people who’ve visited Mexican restaurants in the past, you will get new customers.
  • People with an interest in your competitors’ restaurants - You can narrow down your Facebook ad campaign to target people who have shown an interest in your competitor’s restaurants. If you can come up with a powerful, unique selling proposition, those people can give your food a try. Examples of unique things you can focus on in your Facebook ad include:
  • We serve generous super-size portions.
  • We have the friendliest staff ever.
  • We have a delightful ambiance you can’t get elsewhere.

However, use Custom Audiences only if you already have an established audience whose specific interests you know very well. Then you can use those interests to create Lookalike Audiences on Facebook to unearth people with similar interests.

If not, build an audience from scratch.

Coming Up With A Good Restaurant Ad

With your audience sorted, it’s time to work on the Facebook ad itself. 

Here’s how to set up your ad on the Ad Set tab.

Choose The Right Facebook Ad Format

First, choose the right Facebook ad for your restaurant marketing strategy.

  • Image ads: tell your brand story powerfully and drive people to your restaurant website with stunning still visuals that generate interest. Use custom images or hunt for excellent stock photos to create your ad. 

    See an image Facebook ad below.

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  • Video ads: add sound and motion to your visuals to showcase your restaurant’s setting, close-ups of your signature dish, and friendly staff. Use the Video Creation Kit to make your video or make one outside Facebook and then upload it. 

    Here’s a restaurant Facebook ad video example.

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  • Carousel ads: display your menu and all your service offerings using eye-catching visuals of up to 10 images or videos in a single ad. This format makes it easy for people to browse your menu. You can also use carousel slideshows to show different aspects of a single dish.
  • Collection ads: show off your impeccable table set up and the most popular meals on your menu using a primary video or image and three smaller supporting images. Customers tap on your collection ad to learn more.
  • Instant ads: treat people on mobile devices to a fascinating full-screen experience where you highlight what makes your restaurant special. With mobile usage always rising, instant ads are ideal because they are designed for mobile devices. Users can watch engaging photos or videos, tilt to pan, and swipe through carousels.
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Choose The Best Ad Placement

For your Facebook ads for restaurants to have the greatest exposure, the platform allows you to choose where they appear.

You can display them on the:

  • Facebook News Feed.
  • Facebook Right Column.
  • Facebook Instant Articles.
  • Facebook Marketplace.
  • Instagram Stories.
  • Instagram Feed.
  • Facebook Audience Network (3rd-party sites).
  • Sponsored Message.
  • Messenger Home.

You can place your Facebook ad manually. Alternatively, let Facebook do all the hard work through automatic ad placements. If you are not a content marketing specialist or are new to restaurant marketing on Facebook, choose automatic placements. 

To pick the right placement for your ad:

  • Go to the Ad Manager.
  • Choose an objective and click Continue. Note that not all objectives don’t support all placement types.
  • Go to the Placements section. You will find Automatic Placements already pre-selected by default.
  • Choose Manual Placements to leave out certain placements from the list. Uncheck the box next to each unwanted placement. This’ll remove it. If you don't see a box, this means your ad type or objective doesn't support the placement.
  • You can also turn off Placements by deselecting the boxes on Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, or Audience Network.
  • Get clicks from your unique affiliate links.

Here’s how the placements feature looks in Ad Manager.

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Pick An Ideal Budget Option

For your Facebook ad campaign to run, you need money to bid for clicks. 

You must allocate a budget for it.

There are two ways of allocating a budget on Facebook:

  • Daily Budget - When using the daily budget option, you set a daily budget for seven days. Once it gets depleted, you should add more money to continue funding your ad campaign.
  • Lifetime Budget - With a lifetime budget, you allocate a lump sum for the entire campaign. Facebook does the bidding for you each day without a daily cap, so your spending fluctuates based on the available opportunities that day.

Automatic placements are the best option because it allows you to take advantage of opportunities when they arise. You don't have to worry about your daily budget limit or that your ad spend will be depleted before you land good deals for the day.

Set Delivery And Ad Scheduling

Once you’ve created your Facebook ad, schedule when it will appear to your prospective restaurant customers. 

Here’s how to do it.

  • Create a new ad set or edit an existing one.
  • Scroll to the Budget & Schedule at the ad set level.
  • Choose Lifetime Budget from the Budget and Schedule dropdown menu.
  • Select Show More Options, then hover over Ad Scheduling and select Edit.
  • Choose Run Ads On A Schedule.
  • Click to pick the blocks of time you want your ad set to run.
  • Click Continue to finish scheduling your ad.

It’s wise to schedule your Facebook ads when your audience is most active. Use Facebook Audience Insights or split test to discover the best times. 

So how many times should you show your restaurant’s Facebook ad to your target audience?

Standard practice says 2 to 3 times a week is optimal.

Direct Your Customers Towards Online Ordering

In a post-Covid pandemic environment, online shopping is the norm. More often than not, people prefer food delivered to them.

Any self-respecting restaurant owner should offer food deliveries to maximize this opportunity and add another revenue stream to their business.

The best people to target for online order offers are:

  • People who don't live that close to the restaurant - After saturating the local market, spread your wings and target those who are far from you. If they can't come to your restaurant because it's far, go to them. Craft Facebook ads specifically targeted at online buyers who live far from your establishment.
  • People who have already visited the restaurant's online order page - If someone visited your online order page but didn't finish the order, retarget them with enticing Facebook ads when they scroll through their personal Facebook page. Woo them back to the page so they complete the order. Retargeting has high conversion rates because you are promoting to people who have already shown a strong interest in your service offer.
  • Repeat customers - Loyal repeat customers are a godsend to many restaurant owners. Your restaurant marketing strategy is incomplete if you don't offer your best customers a food delivery service. They already love your food, so why not use Facebook ads to tell them you can deliver their favorite meal to their doorstep?

Offer Spectacular Deals And Coupons

Everybody loves a good deal. Digital coupons are a lucrative restaurant marketing strategy.

The best Facebook ads for restaurants include coupon offers. Use coupons to make hesitant prospects buy their first meal because of the generous discount you are offering.

You can also use them to reward repeat customers with price reductions.

Successful restaurants who see significant results from the Facebook ads coupon strategy group their coupons by:

  • Time of day - Have a coupon deal for a specific meal that’s served at a specific time, e.g. lunch or dinner.
  • Day on the week - Have a generous coupon deal on certain days of the week.
  • Transaction type - Give coupon deals to customers who spend a specific amount of money at your restaurant.

Coupon deal restaurant ads highlight the benefits of the special.

Split Test Your Creatives

Split testing is a vital part of a solid restaurant Facebook ads marketing strategy. 

A split test, aka A/B test, is comparing two or more elements of a web page or specific page element to find out which one performs best.  

You can use split testing to:

  • Improve the creatives - Test and improve any aspect of your Facebook ad from images to headlines and body copy. 
  • Settle on the best days for posting - Experiment with posting your Facebook ads on different days of the week to see on which days your audience is most responsive.
  • Figure out which creative works for which demographic - Try many ad sets on similar audiences or a new audience to see which creative is best for your chosen demographic.

Here’s how to split test your restaurant Facebook ads.

  • Go to the Main Table in Ads Manager. The table contains all the current ads, ad sets, and campaigns in your ad account.
  • Check the left of the ad set or campaign you want to split test.
  • Click A/B Test on the toolbar on top.
  • Select an available variable and follow the on-screen prompts.

3 Restaurant Facebook Ads To Inspire Your Next Campaign

Here are three food industry Facebook ad examples to show you the kind of success you can have with Facebook advertising.

Pizza Hut Singapore saw impressive results by using mobile-optimized video ads to launch a new service office offering.

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They used a Facebook ad video like the one below.

Restaurant Facebook Ads To Inspire Your Next Campaign

Another case study of a successful Facebook ad campaign is from Pollo Campero, a Guatemala fast-food restaurant chain. They saw a 75% decrease in order processing time and a 16% hike in orders placed at their food establishment through ad placements on the WhatsApp Business Platform.

Restaurant Facebook Ads To Inspire Your Next Campaign

The third example of a fruitful Facebook ad is one is from Black Swan Catering. The restaurant increased sales by a staggering 57% through Facebook Automated Ads.

Restaurant Facebook Ads To Inspire Your Next Campaign

In one month, the restaurant saw a 2x return on ad spend.

Win More Regular Customers With Facebook Ads For Restaurants

Admittedly, learning how Facebook ads for restaurants work is easy.

But profiting from them takes time.

To find the winning formula, follow these 3 guiding principles:

  • Experiment with different Facebook ad formats and audiences.
  • Polish your ad copy so it's persuasive and drives action.
  • Keep optimizing your campaign using feedback from your split tests.

Master Facebook ads to move ahead of the competition and win more regular customers.

About the author 

Mike Vestil

Mike Vestil is an author, investor, and speaker known for building a business from zero to $1.5 million in 12 months while traveling the world.

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