10 Tips for Using Twitter for Restaurants

Screenshot of a Chipotle Tweet
10 Tips for Using Twitter for Restaurants

With millions of daily users, Twitter is a powerful tool to showcase your cafe or restaurant. Are you reopening the patio? Firing up the smoker for weekend brunches? Making Tuesday a pie night? You can share the breaking news about your specials and new menu items, promote events and engage in conversations with your followers and the foodie community, as well as listen for the overall sentiment and trends in your industry.

Like any muscle, it takes regular flexing to keep it strong. From hashtags to pinned tweets to funny memes that make your customers smile, Twitter might seem like a lot of moving parts, so let’s break down your strategy to actionable points.

Update Your Twitter Profile

Your Twitter profile consists of seven parts: your handle, username, profile picture, bio, header image and a pinned tweet. They all should represent your restaurant’s brand image.

Arguably the most important part is the image that serves as a background to all that information – your header image. That’s what makes your profile stand out. It can feature a seasonal deal or a new item on your menu or anything that conveys your brand’s personality and set the tone for your profile.

If you don’t have an in-house design team, check out PosterMyWall’s free Twitter header maker. You can pick from hundreds of templates and customize them with your text, photos and videos.

Learn (and Make) Hashtags

Hashtags help followers find your content and offer plenty of space to be serious and to play. Research what hashtags are being used by the restaurants in your area, as well as by food personalities and movements that inspire you. From #shoplocal to #vegan, #sustainablefood to #scrapcooking, there’s got to be several hashtags that represent your brand. Want to stand out? Add your own one to the mix (but stick to no more than three total in your tweets).

Start a Conversation (and Chime in)

Twitter is all about the dialog, so it’s important to interact with your customers and influencers, among other stakeholders. You can start your own conversation by asking your followers to share their thoughts, or reacting to someone else’s posts. The easiest way to create engagement, and the one with the most karma points, is by giving credit and a shoutout.

Cash in on Trends

What’s the talk of the town for your demographic? Twitch, a streaming platform for gamers, is all the rage among the large segment of Wendy’s customers, so the fast food giant ties it’s tweets to what’s hot:

 

Handle Problems Directly or In Public

Back to Twitter being all about the dialog, it’s a great place to handle customer issues publicly, especially if your customers are vocal about them. It shows that you care and that you’re willing to respond in an empathic way.  In some situations, it might be easier to handle a customer complaint through a direct message because there’s no character limit, giving you lots of freedom to help them properly.

Make Your Images  #Foodporn

Twitter is not all about the right wording – it’s about the mouth-watering images that make your followers cancel dinner plans and order from you. Sometimes a picture is truly worth a thousand words.

Embed tweets into your blog

If your restaurant has a blog, you can incorporate your tweets and the comments you received in your blog. It’s an easy way to showcase your social media accounts on your website. To incorporate a tweet, select the “more” tap in the upper right corner of the tweet you want to share, then pick “embed tweet” from the drop-down menu. Cut the HTML code that appears and post it where you want it to appear.

Collaborate

Just like fashion brands collaborate with musicians, you can work together with like-minded brands to surprise and delight your customers, a strategy that translates perfectly to Twitter. Maybe your next colab will happen with the neighborhood flower shop, or a locally made soap company or an up-and-coming artist. Chipotle, for example, teamed up with a make-up company e.l.f.  for an eye-shadow palette inspired by the fast food ingredients, making for a beautiful tweet, and successful cross-marketing.

Get a Chuckle out of Fast Foods Fights

For a bit of fun, why not tune into fast food chains hashing it out on Twitter? All bets are off as they take their brutal rivalry to Twitter with snarky quips that make customers giggle and promote retweets. When McDonald’s rolled out its spicy chicken nuggets in 2020, Wendy’s, in its usual fashion, roasted both its competitors: “Must have scraped up all of BKs leftovers and slapped a mcprice tag on it.”

Make It Real

One of the most viral restaurant tweets during the pandemic came from Manny’s Deli in Chicago. A sincere cry to help, it resonated with the home-trapped nation and caused an outpour of support. Sales shot up $1,500 percent. The struggle was real, and so was the love.

Twitter can be a great listening and engagement tool for your restaurant and certainly worth looking into as part of your overall social media marketing strategy. It has exceptional reach and its own conversation style, and the more you use it, the better you’ll get at it (and the more fun you’ll have). Happy tweeting!