Did you know that there are over 400 million #food hashtags on Instagram alone? Social media platforms allow restaurants to interact and engage with diners. When used effectively, you take your marketing efforts to the next level. 

One way to do this is through the use of hashtags. Hashtags enable restaurants to reach a larger audience with their social updates. Platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook all use them in their own unique way. Hashtags allow you to connect and create conversations with your customers.

The proper use of hashtags can increase your social engagement and impressions. It also can encourage your existing diners to share their own photos. They’ll post about their experience on social and attract new customers for you.

In this blog post, we’re going to give you the best hashtags to use for marketing your restaurant. We’ll also go over some of the best practices for them.

Let’s take a look at some of the most popular restaurant hashtags to help boost your marketing efforts:

#foodie

From decadent dishes to drinks, there are 161+ million #Foodie hashtags on Instagram. What is a foodie? This term was first used in 1980 and is defined as “a person having an avid interest in the latest food fads.”

The power of social media has taken being a foodie to the next level. Users love sharing their experiences with other fellow foodies. They showcase the food they are about to indulge in by snapping a picture and using the hashtag #Foodie. It’s a hobby and this hashtag allows users to see who else is passionate about food.

#foodporn

This wildly popular hashtag is added to over 237 million photos on Instagram. This hashtag is great for showcasing delicious-looking, over-the-top dishes from your restaurant. Your #foodporn photos should be drool-worthy. Looks so good your customers can’t help but like and share! Use this hashtag when your photos are enticing and trend-worthy.

View this post on Instagram

Lunch is calling your name… • Tomato Burrata + Prosciutto • 📷: @hungry_hungry_hanley

A post shared by Toastique™️ (@toastique) on

Check out the 5 tips in this blog post for taking mouth-watering photos.

#foodstagram

#Foodstagram users post high-quality photographs of their food. In essence, this hashtag is Instagram solely for food photos. Often times this hashtag is grouped with #foodporn and #foodie. A #foodstagram hashtag will likely open the doors for your content to be seen by local foodies.

#dessert

Looking to crave your customer’s sweet tooth? This hashtag showcases decadent and extravagant #dessert posts. Within this hashtag, you can find anything from #sweet to #savory. A couple more related hashtags are:

  • #Yummy
  • #Baking
  • #Cakes
  • #Treats
  • #PastryChef

A helpful tip when using hashtags on Twitter is incorporating them within your copy. For example, “It’s a piece of #cake.” On Instagram, hashtags tend to be grouped together after it’s catchy captions.

View this post on Instagram

Come by to enjoy this Mixed Berry Fruit Tart starting today!😊☀️

A post shared by B. Patisserie (@bpatisserie) on

If you check out B. Patisserie’s comments and captions, they have grouped together location-based and dessert hashtags.

#wine

Did somebody say #WineWednesday? The wine hashtag can be used in so many ways. Try using #wine to promote your happy hour or wine list. A Wednesday night with wine specials would be a perfect example of when to use this. You can even add #happyhour and #winenight to compliment this hashtag.

Check out the most popular wine hashtags here.

#vegan

#Vegan photos showcase their healthy, clean eating lifestyle. Does your restaurant offer any vegan dishes? Or are you an entirely vegan restaurant? This hashtag can help differentiate your business from competitors.  Consumers search this hashtag when looking for restaurants offering this type of cuisine.

#Vegan is more than just a dietary restriction, it’s a lifestyle. So, this hashtag will contain photos beyond food. Try incorporating more hashtags like these:

  • #PlantBased
  • #PlantLife
  • #VeganRestaurant
  • #VeganLife
  • #VeganFood

When you begin to get more specific in your hashtags you’ll capture your target market.

#pizza

Did you know that pizza is the most Instagrammed food in the world? The #pizza hashtag users tag deliciously cheesy images of their favorite pies. Use this hashtag to share a picture or video of your most popular pizza on social media.

Some popular hashtags to use alongside #pizza are #pizzatime, #pizzeria, and #pizzalover.

#sushi

Another cuisine-specific hashtag, #sushi users often share their shots of different roll types. Sushi is also one of the top Instagrammed foods. It’s no surprise because the presentation is key for sushi rolls. When using the sushi hashtag you can also incorporate related tags like these:

  • #SushiBar
  • #JapaneseFood
  • #Sashimi
  • #Nigiri
  • #SushiRoll

You can tell that these hashtags relate to each other and would be appropriate to use with the #sushi.

View this post on Instagram

Suns out 🌞 sushi time! 🍣 #midtownsushi

A post shared by Midtown Sushi (@midtown_sushi) on

After taking a look at some of the top hashtags you should be using, it’s time to go into how to use them.

Best Practices for Hashtag Use

The hashtags above are a great place to start, but you need to go more in-depth. The goal is to create specific content that generates direct engagement. Let’s go into some of the best practices when using hashtags.

Branded Hashtags

Your brand is what makes you different. When you create a brand hashtag even as simple as your restaurant name, it sets you apart from the rest.

You can also get creative with this and have more than one. Your branded hashtags can include things such as your city and cuisine. Many restaurants use their branded hashtags in social media contests. Hashtags encourage your customers to tag your brand when sharing your content. This attracts local foodies to check you out!

Find the top practices that will help you choose the branding for your restaurant here.

Location Hashtags

Do you want to attract new local customers? There’s no better way than using location-based hashtags. You want to use hashtags that will put your photos in front of nearby consumers. Do this by searching your city’s top food hashtags. An example is #EdibleSD and #Sandiegofood. When you target your hashtags to your location you improve the reach of your content to users nearby. Check out how our customer Huskers Cafe includes #AtlBrunch in their tweet to draw in local diners from Atlanta, GA.

Don’t Overdo It

How do you know if you’re using the right hashtags? You have to be able to track your hashtag use. This is essential to your social strategy so you don’t overdo it.

Your social media photos and tweets should always contain related or niche hashtags. Take advantage of popular foodie, local, and cuisine-specific hashtags. Specific hashtags will help your posts show up in searches for relevant phrases.

You want to make sure your hashtags are relevant to your industry and won’t be misunderstood. Using irrelevant hashtags can bring negative attention to your restaurant. Also, using more hashtags than needed will decrease your engagement.

Check out these 15 free hashtag tracking tools to help you.

Here are a few social statistics from Quick Sprout for you to keep in mind:

  1. Tweets with hashtags get twice the amount of engagement than those without.
  2. 40% of tweets with hashtags get retweeted.
  3. Engagement drops by an average of 17% on tweets with more than two hashtags.
  4. Interactions are highest on Instagram with more than 11 hashtags.
  5. Using 1 to 2 hashtags on Facebook leads to an average of 593 interactions per post.

Make sure your hashtags aren’t too long or vague. Use effective hashtags and you’ll always be at the top of your customer’s feed.

#TheEnd

In the end, social hashtags are a great way to spread awareness of your restaurant. Incorporate these to boost new engagement and entice new customers to visit.

Remember to use hashtags that are specific for marketing your restaurant. They’re a free tool that will help you get the most out of your social media strategy.

Follow CAKE on social media to learn more about our company and operators! Find us mostly on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn – happy posting!