Snapchat For Restaurants – How To Include Snapchat In Your Restaurant Marketing Plan

Snapchat For Restaurants - How To Include Snapchat In Your Restaurant Marketing Plan

With social media taking over our lives it is but necessary for all restaurant marketers to include social media in their restaurant marketing plan. But in this conundrum of ads and apps, Snapchat is one of those social media platforms that despite its wide reach has not been completely tapped into by restaurant marketers yet. Unlike Facebook or Instagram, Snapchat is a little tricky when it comes to advertising, especially organic advertising but nonetheless, it must be on your social media list.

Why You Should Include Snapchat In Your Restaurant Marketing Plan

Snapchat has no hashtags, you need a number or code to get added as friends and more so there is no direct way to get yourself discovered apart from using your other social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and your website where you urge people to get on your Snapchat. Why then must you use it for marketing your restaurant? Here are some numbers that can change your mind:-

  1. There are 158 Million daily active Snapchat users, which is more than even Twitter
  2. Over 2.5 Billion snaps are sent per day
  3. Users view 10 billion videos every day on Snapchat

If your restaurant target audience lies below the age group of 35, they are definitely on Snapchat and even if it is above 35, Snapchat usage of over the age of 35  has increased over 224%.

Once you have your Snapchat account up and running, it naturally and easily reaps benefits and because the beauty of Snapchat lies in its raw nature, a tad bit shaky videos, sneak peeks and informal content is great for customer engagement! And trust us when we say this, your competition is also on it.

Restaurant marketing on Snapchat

Snap Features And How To Use Them In Restaurant Marketing

Snapchat even though does not have hashtags or marketer friendly features, it has a dozen other cool features that you can use for restaurant marketing. To see how to use these features and promote your restaurant, read on:-

1. How To Use Stories For Restaurant Marketing

Stories are a new hit on every social media platform right now but before turning to a trending hit everywhere else, it used to be an exclusive Snapchat feature. Stories can be used in a number of ways, from uploading sneak peeks, to making and uploading boomerangs of events or people just having fun at your restaurant. It creates engagement and lets people know about the vibe of your restaurant, the types of events you hold and the great things happening in real time.

If something in your restaurant is great enough to attract a lot of viewers, your chances of walk-in customers would increase manifold.

2. How To Use Disappearing Messages

Snapchat’s USP before stories or anything else were its self-destructive messages. Every message even today comes with a timer and when the time expires the message disappears.

Now as a restaurateur you may ask yourself, why spend time on a message that will go. Here is the thing, if the message includes relevant content people will save it.

If you start a campaign saying that you will send discount coupons to 100 lucky followers on Snapchat, your following will increase, messages would be saved and messages sent by you will be taken seriously.

Those who think of it as spam will also not be inclined to simply unfollow you as all they need to press is back for the message to disappear. You can use messages both ways by putting up contests where customers send you messages and the best ones would be displayed on your other social media platforms.

If you are launching a new menu item you can urge customers to send you a funny or creative video or picture using Snapchat features with that dish and the best entries will win a prize. Your customers on Snapchat ultimately end up becoming your brand ambassadors!

3. Our Story Feature

Our Story is a relatively new feature on Snapchat. Our story in a way shows different points of view of the same location, in this case, your restaurant. If you have an event happening chances are that a lot of people at your restaurant are going to make a story of it. Join them and post an Our Story in addition to your story. That way the story would appear on snap maps for public view. If enough people post it, you can make it to the ‘Discover’ section of Snapchat and depending on the event, you may also end up at a third party platform. Talk about reach and views!

What Type of Restaurant Marketing Content To Promote On Snapchat

Before actually venturing into the type of content that will work on Snapchat, here is a little trivia about it – Snapchat is lovable because it is raw. This is the one platform where you can engage with your potential and present customers on a more humane and informal side, so do that!

1. Promo Codes Or Coupons

As mentioned above, promo codes and/or coupons work well on Snapchat. They get filtered out for those who think its a spam and those who like it would save it. Snapchat, thanks to its lenses, filters and stickers, allows you to create funny and engaging content even in its messages. Add these to your codes and coupons and stick to your audience’s memory.

2. Games, Competitions And Innovative Entries

The best way to market your restaurant on Snapchat is through innovative and fun content. Innovative and suspense videos leading up to something, funny videos or a picture of your latest dish with a Swipe Up to know what it is, works wonders on Snapchat. Let your followers participate in games related to your restaurant, participate and add the fun and silliness to stories, personal or theirs and your engagement will definitely rise!

3. Real-Time Stories

Thanks to stories what works best on Snapchat are unedited, unpracticed videos or pictures of what is happening around you. An unadulterated view of your restaurant will work better than an edited image on Snapchat any day!

Use the Our Story feature on Snapchat for restaurant marketing

4. Sneak-Peeks, Insider Views And Announcements!

A message appears on your screen and boom it disappears as soon as the timer goes off. Sounds mysterious and interesting, right? Because Snapchat was founded on this mystery, mysterious sneak peeks and incomplete videos are the attention catchers here. Building a new project? Feel free to upload all your behind the scenes! Working on a new dish that ended up in a hilarious laugh? Upload it and your audience will love it and yes it can work as a funny pre-announcement. The best part of Snapchat is the fact that it does not need to be perfect, the rougher the better!

For a restaurateur wanting to increase his organic reach all the methods we mentioned are fine, but if you have a couple of thousand dollars lying around, you can invest in your Snapchat marketing and avail more sophisticated and wide reach options that snap chat offers. These are:-

1. Lens For A Day

Like Taco Bell, you can pay Snapchat to create a custom lens all around the world for a day with your brand logo and signature dish on it. Super Bowl, Taco Bell and countless other brands have done this and it has worked wonders.

2. Snap Ads

Snap ads are skippable ads that play between snap stories and are not more than 10 seconds long. These ads are vertical and have to fit in this time frame. Brands have gotten as high as 12.5 years worth of video content reach by one day of these ads.

3. Discover

The other way to end up at the Discover section of Snapchat is by rolling out a few thousand dollars. This section garners the most number of views and is a sure shot way to market yourself big!

How to do restaurant marketing on Snapchat

4. Geo-Filters

Geo-filters are a little less cheap than normal lenses/filters but just as effective. They come up when a Snapchat user is near a location that has activated a geo-targeted filter. For example, a signature coffee mug of Starbucks gets a geo-filter for a day near every Starbucks store. Geo-filters will promote your restaurant through the fact that the filter is exclusive to you and all those who click a picture with that filter basically turn to your brand ambassadors.

Tracking Success Of Your Restaurant Marketing Efforts At Snapchat

All things said and done, the biggest drawback of Snapchat is that unlike other social media channels it does not give any analytics. You will have to calculate your post-completion and fall out rate to determine if it is successful or not.

In order to find your completion rate i.e the percentage of people who watch a Story from beginning to end divide the number of Story completions by the unique view count and multiply by 100. Here is an example:-

measuring the success of your restaurant marketing campaign on Snapchat
Image source – Hubspot

Fall out rate is basically where people lost interest. Divide the difference by the views from the previous Snap and multiply by 100. This will be helpful in understanding what content contributes to people exiting from viewing your Story. Here is how:-

Measure the fallout rate of your restaurant marketing campaign on Snapchat
Image source – Hubspot

The key to social media restaurant marketing is identifying where the world is going and being the first one to reach it in order to attain maximum results and reap the highest benefits. Snapchat is the new trend, so get on it and look at yourself soar!

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Prachi is the Marketing Manager at Restroworks. In her current capacity, she establishes connections with key stakeholders in the F&B industry and serves as the host of The Restaurant Times talk show, "F&B Talks," tailored for the restaurant sector. With hands-on experience in international sales and marketing, Prachi has led initiatives in the LATAM and USA regions, contributing to the platform's global outreach.


  1. Snapchat now is seen as a social app for millennials with no real benefits. While big brands spend millions advertising on the app, there couldn’t possibly be a way to reach your local restaurant customers and is certainly creating a space in the marketing space for restaurants. This article is very comprehensive and well written. Good Read.


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