Social Media Strategy

How restaurateurs keep in touch via Instagram and Co.

Selfies in restaurants are among the top subjects on Instagram and co.
IMAGO / Westend61
Selfies in restaurants are among the top subjects on Instagram and co.

In lockdown times, Facebook, Instagram and the like were often the only link to the guests. Social media communication experienced a rapid boost - but is used differently by restaurateurs.

This text is an excerpt.Subscribers read the full article in the June issue of foodservice (in German). Read now!

No chilling at your favorite coffee shop, no small talk at the bar, no anecdotes from your night out at a restaurant - everything that makes up a visit to foodservice has been largely off-limits for months with the second Corona lockdown. For restaurateurs, this means not only existential financial losses, but also the loss of the emotional connection with the public created by the ambience that diners put their hearts into.

"We have to try even harder to reach the guest through images and words," says Benjamin Walter, marketing director of Apeiron, operator of the steak concept The Ash and several L'Osterias – a German pizza chain –, describing the challenge: "The guest is currently deprived of the other senses, can't smell the good food in the restaurants, can't soak up the atmosphere." Apeiron - like other restaurateurs - has to compensate for this and is trying to do so through digital channels.

Social media communication in particular has therefore received a strong boost in the industry. Not least because the culture of the hosts, which is based on a personal approach, suits this media genre. "Basically, the gastronomy industry is very social media-savvy, because it involves very impulse-driven interactions such as ordering a meal or making a reservation," states Jan Koenig, co-founder of the Odaline agency, who advises companies on their social media strategies.

Interaction rates have also risen sharply on various platforms according to evaluations by the Linz-based start-up Storyclash, which uses its software to analyze the social media activities of companies. According to an evaluation of the interactions of quick service and full service brands from the Top 100 Ranking 2020, carried out exclusively for foodservice, social media activities have increased massively from March 2020 to March 2021. By far the strongest medium is Instagram, followed by Facebook, while Tiktok, Twitter and Youtube play subordinate roles in total.

The market leader McDonald's also holds the top position by a wide margin, ahead of the industry runner-up Burger King - an order that is to be expected given the size of sales and marketing budgets. However, smaller players such as Hans im Glück and Frittenwerk also show that it is possible to communicate convincingly via Instagram, Facebook, Tiktok and the like with a manageable budget.

This article marks the start of a series of articles on, which will present the strategies of system caterers who perform successfully on social platforms in the coming weeks.

In the cover story of foodservice 6/2021, subscribers can read more about which trends are shaping social media communication, which platforms are on the upswing or downswing, and how differently restaurateurs are using social media. Read now!