Hashtag Strategy: How to Use Instagram Hashtags for Your Restaurant

May 29, 2019 7:30:00 AM

Hashtag Strategy: How to Use Instagram Hashtags for Your Restaurant

Hashtags can help bring more attention to your restaurant. Read this hashtag strategy guide to learn how to use Instagram hashtags.

There are over 1 billion active users on Instagram.

If you're not using this social media platform to grow your restaurant, you may be missing out on a huge number of new customers.

But, if you're going to use Instagram, you have to make sure you have a great hashtag strategy in place. This will ensure your posts are seen by the right people who are interested in your food.

Keep reading to learn more about hashtags, how to set up a strategy for hashtags, and which hashtags to use for your restaurant.

What is a Hashtag?

A hashtag is a word or phrase preceded by a pound sign, like so: #hashtag. They're used to group posts based on their subject matter.

For example, if someone is looking for recommendations for vegetarian restaurants near them, they may look up #Vegetarian on Instagram. They'll then get all the posts that have this hashtag.

How Can Hashtags Help Your Restaurant Grow?

Let's go into a few ways using hashtags can help your restaurant grow.

1. Gain Exposure

The most important way you can grow your restaurant through Instagram is by gaining exposure. As you increase your social media followers, you'll get more posts shared and can reach countless new customers.

2. Raise Brand Awareness

There are over 647,000 food or drink establishments across the United States. With so many restaurants to choose from, it's easy to understand why someone just down the street from your restaurant may not have heard of you.

However, if you start using hashtags on Instagram, your name will start to pop up more often. This can cause locals to become interested in your restaurant so they end up coming to check you out.

3. Improve Online Ratings

Your online reputation is crucial to the success of your business. However, many places struggle to maintain high ratings on independent rating sites because people are more likely to post when they're unhappy.

When you have an online presence through Instagram, it's a great way to encourage your happy followers to also post ratings on these websites so you can get more positive reviews.

Best Hashtag Strategy

Having a hashtag strategy in place will ensure your success at marketing your restaurant on Instagram. Here are a few guidelines to follow:

High-Quality Photos

If you're not using high-quality photos, it won't matter what hashtags you use because people won't open the post. People want to see great pictures of the food and drinks you offer, your staff, and your other patrons.

Limit Hashtags

Limit the number of hashtags you use for a post to no more than four to five relevant ones. As a general rule, your hashtags shouldn't take up more space than your description.

Follow Trends

Participate in current trends to take advantage of them. Just be sure you're adding to the conversation and keeping things relevant. You should also avoid controversial and political trends.

Create a Brand Hashtag

Find a unique hashtag that you can use for all of your posts that promotes your brand. It should be easy to remember so you can also encourage customers to use it in their own posts.

Use Popular Hashtags

If you're using hashtags that nobody else is using, you're defeating the purpose of hashtags. In the next section, we'll give you some of the most popular hashtags on Instagram that you'll want to use for your restaurant marketing.

Automate Posts

Having a great product in place to automate your posts will help you work smarter rather than harder. You can't spend your whole day on Instagram which is why we recommend automating the process as much as possible.

Most Popular Hashtags for Restaurants

Now we'll get into more details about the most popular hashtags you can use in the restaurant industry to ensure your brand is getting as much exposure as possible. There are two basic categories to consider.

Food-Related Hashtags

Some popular food-related hashtags include:

  • #food
  • #foodie
  • #foodporn
  • #foodstagram
  • #wine
  • #vegan
  • #dessert

You'll also want to use hashtags for the type of food you're posting, whether it's #pizza, #sushi, or #burgers. This is another way for more people to find you.

Daily Hashtags

These hashtags are used every day by millions of people on Instagram. Joining in the daily trends will help your brand be seen by more people.

Here are some popular daily hashtags to use and some quick information on how to use each one.


Share a motivational quote or image with your followers to remind them that there's no reason to start the week off lamenting that it's Monday.


Got some great vegetarian or vegan dishes? This hashtag is a great way to show them off while others are celebrating skipping meat on Monday.


Use this hashtag to highlight some of the tasty meal options you have every Tuesday.


If you've got some healthy meals available to your customers, Wednesday is a great day to show them off with this hashtag.


For any restaurant that offers wine, #WineWednesday is a great way to show off your best bottles.


Speaking of drinks, this is another hashtag that can display your drink options, no matter what they are.


If someone's looking for something to do on Friday evening, give them something to find by showing off your restaurant with this hashtag.


Do you have a Saturday Special? Then this is the perfect way to let customers know what they can expect if they swing by your restaurant.


Take selfies of yourself or your staff members enjoying their Sunday at the restaurant, and encourage other patrons to do the same while also using your brand hashtag.


If you have brunch options, then this hashtag is the best way to let anyone looking for a late morning meal know your place is the place to be.

Want to Automate Your Instagram Marketing?

Now you know how to use a hashtag strategy to market your restaurant on Instagram. As you can see, it can take some work to get it right.

If you want to automate this whole process, contact us today. We'd be more than happy to tell you more about how our software program can help you.

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