Eight Video Marketing Tips for Restaurants

Video marketing and restaurants go together like grilled cheese and French fries. Show off your favorite chef in action, interview some of your regulars or highlight some of your best dishes. A video is the next best thing to getting a patron inside your restaurant.

A recent survey showed about half of Internet users look for a video before even going to a physical store and 80 percent believed a demonstration video helped them decide on buying. Imagine a local diner researching before they head out for their weekly date night with their spouse. They view several videos while choosing where to eat — yours should be one of them.

When it comes to creating a video for your restaurant, some strategies will make it attract more attention.

1. Interview Your Chef

Other than the owner, the chef is one of the most important people in your restaurant. The menu and the taste of the food drive the success of your establishment. When people enjoy your food, they're more likely to return and tell their friends about your restaurant.


Let people get to know your chef by interviewing them. Ask questions about where they learned to cook, what their favorite meal is and why their cooking stands out from the other chefs in the city.

2. Record Client Testimonials

When it comes to marketing tactics, customer testimonials have an 89 percent effectiveness rating. People tend to trust what others have to say over what the business says about itself, even if they don't personally know the reviewer.


Choose some of your regular customers who already love your establishment and dine there often. Ask them if they'd be interested in providing a video testimonial. In addition to reaching potential customers through video marketing, your regular customers will likely share their video interview with all their family and friends and gain potential traffic to your restaurant.

3. Be Authentic

Don't pretend your establishment is something it isn't. If your restaurant is a casual diner, show off what you do best. Don't try to look like fine dining if you aren't. Don't act family-friendly if you don't have a kids' menu.


Experts know a video that is believable gets more shares. The style of your video affects its authenticity as well. Consider your target audience and what tone speaks to them.

4. Tell Your Story

Create a corporate video where you show consumers your personality and dream for the restaurant. Where did you get your start and who started the restaurant? Talk about any struggles in the beginning and how you've overcome them. Don't be afraid to tell funny stories and show off the company culture of your brand.

5. Focus on Local Patrons First

Even though it might be tempting to reach out to the world with a global platform like YouTube, focus on driving local traffic to your restaurant first. Residents become repeat patrons and are the backbone of your restaurant. Later, you can always expand into global markets and target travelers to your city via different travel websites or even through targeted advertising of people planning a vacation to your area.

6. Use a 360-Degree View

If someone viewed your food in person, the experience would be three-dimensional, so it only makes sense the videos you shoot should be, too. Choose the dishes on your menu with the brightest colors and show them from a 360-degree video view. Allow the viewer to see the steam rising from your pasta and capture the chef pouring a rich, creamy sauce over chicken. Show the dish from all sides and the top. 


7. Recipe Videos

Have you noticed how many recipe videos are on Facebook, Pinterest and YouTube? Tasty, BuzzFeed's recipe video channel, has about 98 million Facebook followers and nearly as many likes. Their videos feature short, yummy recipes and meal ideas.


While you don't want to give away your top-secret recipes, you can share a few tips here and there and even create some recipes specifically for online video marketing. If your restaurant patrons love your sliders, offer instructions for making something similar or share most of the recipe, but don't give away the secret of your ground beef seasoning blend. Capture people's interest without giving away all your confidentiality.

8. Keep It Short

Most videos uploaded in the last couple of years are under two minutes long. The ideal length of a video varies, depending upon which platform it's for. Experts estimate video length should be:

Instagram — 30 seconds

Twitter — 45 seconds

Facebook — 60 seconds

YouTube — two minutes

There are reasons each length performs best on each platform, but as a rule of thumb, keep the video length to what is suitable for the social media channel you're targeting.

Gain New Loyal Fans

Adding videos is another way of marketing your restaurant and bringing in new loyal fans who will visit your establishment for years. Have fun with your videos and show off the best your restaurant has to offer. Highlight your customers, employees and owners in the best light possible. Even a single, high-quality video that highlights what types of dishes you serve is an excellent marketing tool.