Facebook Ads for Restaurants: The Revenue Guide (+ Examples)

Luke Januschka

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May 30, 2024
facebook ads for restaurants
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Can we all agree that Facebook ads can flip the table on slow nights and empty seats for restaurants? Gone are the days of relying solely on word-of-mouth and print ads to get those bookings.

The key to success lies in mastering the art of social media marketing – and Facebook is the ultimate playground.

This comprehensive guide is your ticket to doubling revenue through killer Facebook ad campaigns that will have hungry diners beating down your doors.

You’ll learn:

1. How to set up campaigns that actually convert, from defining your goals to targeting the right audience

2. Strategies for optimizing your ads and getting the most bang for your marketing buck

3. Expert tips, straight from the playbook of Restaurant Growth to help you create ads that convert

But this isn’t just another generic “how-to” guide. It’s a behind-the-scenes look at the tactics Restaurant Growth has used to help restaurants just like yours crush it on Facebook.

So, ready to turn likes into bookings? Let’s get cooking!

Setting Up Facebook Ads Campaign On Meta Ads Manager

With the rebranding of Facebook’s parent company to Meta, the advertising platform has evolved into Meta Ads Manager, an integrated ad platform that caters to all Meta products, including Instagram, Facebook, Messenger, and Audience Network.

It simplifies the process of creating, managing, and tracking your ads across multiple platforms.

Here’s how you can get started with setting up a Facebook ad campaign for your restaurant on Meta Ads Manager:

1. Understand Key Metrics For Meta Ads

Understanding ad metrics is crucial to the success of your campaigns. 

Metrics like Click-Through Rate (CTR), Cost Per Click (CPC), Return on Ad Spend (ROAS), Cost Per Lead (CPL), etc, are more than just numbers—they’re the compass that guides your marketing strategy.

Here’s a quick glance at what these metrics mean and what the ideal success threshold looks like:

Metric Description Success Threshold
CTR
The percentage of people who clicked on your ad after seeing it
2% - 5%
CPC
The cost you pay for each click on your ad
Low CPC, ideally below $1.00
ROAS
The total revenue generated for every dollar spent on advertising
ROAS > 200%
CPL
The cost incurred for acquiring a new lead through your ad
CPL < $50
Engagement Rate
The level of interaction (likes, shares, comments) your ad receives
Engagement Rate > 1%

2. Set a Goal for Your Ad Campaign

Set a goal for your restaurant’s Facebook ad

The first step in creating an effective Facebook campaign is choosing a campaign objective that aligns with your restaurant’s goals.

This signals to Facebook the desired outcome of your ads so their advanced algorithm can direct your ads toward users most likely to fulfill that goal.

There are three basic categories most campaign objectives fall into, correlated with the different stages of bringing a new diner into your restaurant:

Awareness Objectives

Increase people’s awareness of your restaurant’s brand, new location, menu additions, or special events.

Show your ads to the maximum number of potential customers in your target demographic. It is useful for new restaurants trying to introduce themselves.

Consideration Objectives

Show your ads to the maximum number of potential customers in your target demographic. It is useful for new restaurants trying to introduce themselves.

Encourage people to like, comment, and share your post. The more engagement, the more likely they are to become loyal customers.

Got a fancy new ordering app? Use this objective to get people to download it faster.

If you’ve got mouth-watering footage of your dishes, this objective will get it in front of the people most likely to drool over it.

Collect leads like email sign-ups or have people give you a call. It’s like having a virtual maître d’ working for you 24/7.

Slide into your potential customers’ DMs and start a conversation. Whether it’s on Messenger, Instagram, or WhatsApp, this objective encourages people to interact with your brand directly.

Conversion Objectives

Want people to take a specific action, like buying a gift card or making a reservation? This objective is your new best friend.

If you’ve got an online ordering system, this objective will help you generate sales directly from your Facebook ads strategy for restaurants.

Got a physical location? Use this objective to get people through your doors and into your dining room.

Campaign objectives for Facebook ads

While conversions are crucial, objectives like reach and messaging are extremely valuable for restaurants too.

To figure this out, consider partnering with restaurant marketing agencies like Restaurant Growth that specialize in strategically balancing awareness and consideration campaigns with conversion efforts for maximized ROI.

3. Target Your Audience

The next step is choosing the audience that will see your ads. The more precisely you can define your target customer profile, the better your campaign results will be.

You should thoroughly research your existing loyal customer base to uncover common threads that you can then amplify in your ad targeting. Relevant targeting factors for restaurants include:

For example, a family-friendly pub could target parents aged 30-45 with household incomes over $100k living within a 10-mile radius, additionally narrowed by interests like “cooking with kids”.

Facebook provides advanced options for narrowing your audience to hone in on those most likely to visit and enjoy your restaurant.

Restaurant Growth creatives have produced thousands of ads optimized to drive restaurant sales. 

We guide you each step of the way from planning to execution, handling the heavy lifting so you can focus on daily operations.

So, don’t just feed the masses – feast on success with our Facebook ads services.

4. Use Appealing Images and Videos

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. When it comes to Facebook ads for restaurants, the right photo or video can be worth a thousand new customers. 

Close-up shots or a short video of your drool-worthy dishes are a must for any restaurant Facebook ad

But don’t stop there. 

Show off your dining room, your smiling staff, and the overall experience of eating at your restaurant.

And, if you’re not confident in your photography and videography skills, consider hiring a pro.

This way you’ll end up with a repository or media (images and raw footage) you can use for months, and they’ll pay for themselves in new customers.

Just remember – Facebook tends to reject images with tons of text or any offensive content. So keep your menu shots and flyers to a minimum and be mindful of their censorship rules.

A killer landing page is key to making sure that your audience:

– Stays hooked

– Clicks that button

– Converts like crazy

Targeting For Maximum Impact

When it comes to restaurant Facebook marketing, targeting is key. After all, you want your ads to be seen by people who are most likely to be interested in your restaurant.

Facebook offers a range of targeting options, including location, age, gender, interests, and behaviors. By using these options strategically, you can ensure that your ads are seen by the right people at the right time.

1. Location-Based Targeting

Location targeting for Facebook ad campaigns

One of the most powerful targeting options for restaurants is location-based targeting. This allows you to target people who are in a specific geographic area, such as a city or neighborhood.

For example, if you own a restaurant in New York City, you can target people who live or work in the city, as well as tourists who are visiting.

2. Interest-Based Targeting

Another effective targeting option is interest-based targeting. This allows you to target people who have expressed an interest in topics related to your restaurant, such as food, cooking, or dining out. 

For example, if you own a vegan restaurant, you can target people who have expressed an interest in veganism or plant-based diets.

3. Behavior-Based Targeting

Behavior-based targeting is another powerful option for restaurants. This allows you to target people based on their past behaviors, such as purchasing history or device usage. 

For example, if you own a high-end restaurant, you can target people who have previously made purchases at luxury retailers.

Managing & Optimizing Your FB Ad Budget

In addition to targeting, managing your Meta ad budget is important for maximizing the impact of your restaurant Facebook ads. Facebook offers a range of budgeting options, including daily budgets and lifetime budgets.

By using these options strategically, you can ensure that your ads are seen by as many people as possible without breaking the bank.

1. Daily Budgets

Daily budgets allow you to set the maximum amount that you’re willing to spend on your ads each day. This is a great option if you want to ensure that your ads are seen by a consistent number of people each day.

For example, if you have a daily budget of $50, Facebook will show your ads to as many people as possible each day until your budget is reached.

2. Lifetime Budgets

Lifetime budgets allow you to set the maximum amount that you’re willing to spend on your ads over a specific period of time. This is a great option if you’re running a campaign with a specific start and end date.

For example, if you have a lifetime budget of $500 and your campaign runs for 10 days, Facebook will show your ads to as many people as possible over that 10-day period until your budget is reached.

At Restaurant Growth, we specialize in helping restaurants maximize the impact of their Facebook ads strategy for restaurants

Powerful Tools for High-Impact Facebook Ads for Restaurants

Running Facebook ad campaigns can seem intimidating for restaurants. But with the right strategy and tools, your ads can drive massive growth.

Why choose ad campaigns instead of boosting posts?

🚀 Ad Campaigns vs. Boosted Posts
With ad campaigns, you have granular targeting options, detailed analytics, and the ability to A/B test different versions.

Facebook's algorithm favors ads over organic reach.

Boosting posts does have its place when promoting events or limited-time offers. But for the heavy lifting, ad campaigns pack more punch.

Now, let’s explore the tools you have at your disposal to create powerful Facebook ads for restaurants:

A/B Testing

A/B testing is paramount for restaurants to nail down what messages and images make diners drool.

You can test different headlines, images, call-to-actions, and more to see what drives the most conversions. Their automated split testing takes the guesswork out of optimizing campaigns.

Let’s say you test an image of your signature burger against one of your trendy interiors. If the burger brings in more clicks and sales, then patty power it is!

Facebook Pixel

Installing the Facebook pixel is a no-brainer. By tracking site visits, purchases, and more, it unfurls killer targeting like lookalike audiences.

The data flows directly into Facebook, allowing you to laser-target people likely to crave your eats. From diners visiting your site to customers who have already ordered, retargeting drives repeat visits and higher lifetime value.

And, with Facebook’s advanced matching, you can even create custom audiences to target people who match your existing patrons.

Lookalike Audiences

Lookalike audiences for restaurant’s Facebook ad

Marketing to total strangers can be hit or miss. This is why lookalike audiences make sure your ads are served up to—you guessed it—people similar to your current customers.

Speaking of lookalikes, these audiences work magic for restaurants. You feed Facebook your customer list, and their algorithm identifies people with similar interests and demographics.

So if you attract a lot of middle-aged foodies, Facebook will find people just like them to target (aka more potential customers!).

Geofencing

Geofencing ads allow targeting people within a specified radius of your restaurant. So when diners are in the area and feeling peckish, your ads can prompt impulse visits.

Facebook Offers

Facebook offers help tempt diners with deals and discounts. You can promote specials like happy hour prices or “kids eat free” directly within ads.

Then, add the Facebook pixel to your site to track conversions from offer claims. This reveals your return on ad spend and the actual revenue generated.

Events

Creating Facebook events is perfect for promoting special menus, launch parties, trivia nights, and more.

Events appear on users’ feeds, allowing people to discover happenings and spread the word by inviting friends. You can also boost event ads to widen your reach.

Post tempting photos, menu details, drink specials, and anything else to spark interest. Share live videos or behind-the-scenes sneak peeks to engage attendees. 

FB Messenger

Messenger ads catch users’ attention with click-to-message buttons. 

Once clicked, an instant chat with your Page opens right in Messenger. This facilitates direct communication with potential diners.

Moreover, chatbots and click-to-message ads open up a direct line of communication with leads. Getting the conversation started early makes it easier to convert them down the road.

Messenger ads also include a handy “send to messenger” button. So when users engage with your ads, they can easily contact your business to inquire about reservations or catering services.

Interactive Elements

Polls, contests, quizzes, and more. Facebook ads have lots of fun interactive formats to capture attention and boost engagement.

For example, try a poll asking fans to vote on new menu items or a contest to name a signature cocktail. The prize? Freebies bringing them back through your doors!

Store Visits Ads

For restaurants with multiple locations, store visits ads are indispensable. They can provide directions, contact info, and hours for the nearest restaurant.

For a hungry potential customer checking out ads on their phone, it means they can quickly satisfy their craving ASAP at your joint.

5 Expert Tips To Create Top Facebook Ads For Restaurants [With Examples]

Enough with talking the talk! It’s time to learn how you can create top Facebook ads for your restaurant. Here are 5 expert tips to help you stand out in the crowded online space:

Tip #1: Use Humor and Leverage Seasonal Promotions

Using humor to create Facebook ads for restaurants

When it comes to creating top-notch Facebook ads for restaurants, injecting a healthy dose of humor can be the secret sauce that sets your campaigns apart from the bland and boring.

After all, laughter is the shortest distance between two people, and if you can get your audience chuckling, they’ll be more likely to remember your brand and engage with your content.

But how do you strike the right balance between funny and flop? The key is to know your audience and what tickles their funny bone. 

Are they more into witty one-liners or slapstick shenanigans? Do they appreciate a good pun or prefer more subtle, sophisticated humor?

Once you’ve got a handle on your audience’s humor preferences, it’s time to start brainstorming ways to incorporate them into your Facebook restaurant ads.

The key is to find a theme that aligns with your brand and target audience, and then have fun with it.

Whether it’s a “Pie Hard” pizza special on Bruce Willis’ birthday or a “Shiver Me Timbers” seafood platter for Talk Like a Pirate Day, the more creative and humorous your Facebook ads for restaurants are, the more likely they are to stand out in a crowded newsfeed.

Example: Chipotle’s ‘Boorito’ Campaign

Let’s take a look at Chipotle’s genius “Boorito” campaign. Every Halloween, the fast-casual chain offers $4 burritos to customers who show up in costume.

It’s a simple concept, but it combines humor, seasonality, and a killer deal into one irresistible package.

The campaign’s Facebook ads for restaurants feature spooky, burrito-themed graphics and witty copy that plays on classic Halloween tropes.

The result? Massive engagement, with customers eagerly sharing their costumed Chipotle adventures on social media.

By tapping into the Halloween spirit and offering a fun, affordable promotion, Chipotle creates a buzz that drives foot traffic and boosts sales.

Plus, the user-generated content from the campaign provides priceless social proof and brand awareness.

Tip #2: Promote Loyalty Programs with Clear Value Propositions

Getting people in the door is one thing, but how do you keep them coming back? That’s where loyalty programs come in.

These programs incentivize return visits by offering perks like free items, discounts, and early access to new menu launches. 

But simply having a program isn’t enough – you need to promote it effectively to drive sign-ups.

When creating Facebook ads for your restaurant loyalty program, lead with a clear value proposition. Succinctly explain what customers will gain by joining.

For example, “Sign up for our Sweet Rewards program and get a free slice of pie on your birthday!” This ad copy clearly conveys the benefit of the program – a complimentary dessert.

Accompany this messaging with eye-catching creative showing your delicious pie. Include a strong call-to-action button for signing up on your website or Facebook page.

Example: Domino’s ‘Piece of the Pie Rewards’

Domino’s knows a thing or two about restaurant marketing on Facebook. Their ‘Piece of the Pie Rewards‘ program is a masterclass in clear value propositions.

They use Facebook ads to showcase the simple yet enticing offer – earn 10 points for every $10 or more order, and once you have 60 points, you can redeem them for free pie.

The ads feature mouth-watering pizza pics and a prominent call-to-action button that takes users directly to the sign-up page both on the website and the app.

By making the value crystal clear and the sign-up process seamless, Domino’s has created a loyalty program that keeps customers coming back for more (and more, and more).

So, take a page from Domino’s playbook and use Facebook restaurant marketing to promote your loyalty program. 

With a clear value proposition and a little creative magic, you’ll have customers lining up for seconds in no time.

Tip #3: Highlight Product Quality as a Unique Selling Point

Another effective way to create compelling Facebook ads for restaurants is to spotlight your product quality. 

Because, in a world where everyone’s claiming to have the best burger or the most authentic pasta, how do you convince potential customers that your grub is the real deal?

By putting your money where your mouth is and highlighting the freshness, sourcing, and care that goes into every plate.

In fact, research shows that food quality plays a central role in the restaurant industry and is essential to satisfy consumer needs.

Example: Wendy’s ‘Fresh Never Frozen’ Campaign

Wendy’s “Fresh Never Frozen” campaign is a prime example of how highlighting product quality can be a game-changer in Facebook ads strategy for restaurants.

By making their use of fresh beef the centerpiece of their messaging, they differentiated themselves from other fast food chains. 

On top of this, they appealed to customers’ growing desire for healthier, higher-quality options.

The campaign featured eye-catching visuals of juicy burgers and crisp produce, accompanied by a copy that emphasized the freshness and flavor of their ingredients.  

Tip #4: Leverage Current Trends and Viral Opportunities

If you want your restaurant’s Facebook ads to go viral, you have to keep your finger on the pulse of what’s hot and happening.

Keep an eye on social media, news headlines, and pop culture events.

When something starts gaining traction, ask yourself: “How can I put a unique spin on this trend that aligns with my brand?”

Now, you must remember that viral trends offer valuable real estate for your ads. But the connections must feel natural, not shoehorned.

Riding the momentum of viral waves can rapidly accelerate brand awareness. Just don’t wipe out!

Example: Sago’s Tavern Giveaway Campaign

One example of a Facebook ad by a restaurant that went viral because of utilizing a viral trend is the “Sago’s Tavern Giveaway Campaign.” 

Sago’s Tavern, a local restaurant, ran a giveaway campaign on Facebook that offered a free meal to the winner and three friends.

The campaign went viral, generating 40 new leads with a conversion rate of 3.14% and a cost per lead of only $1-$2.

The restaurant utilized the viral trend of giveaways and contests on social media to attract and engage customers. 

By offering a free meal, Sago’s Tavern created an incentive for people to participate in the campaign and share it with their friends, increasing the reach and engagement of the ad.

Tip #5: Offer Time-Sensitive Promotions to Drive Immediate Sales

Time-sensitive promotions for restaurant Facebook marketing

Want to get butts in seats faster than you can say “happy hour”? Try running time-sensitive promotions on your restaurant’s Facebook ads.

By putting an expiration date on your deal, you’re essentially telling potential customers, “Act now, or miss out on this incredible opportunity to stuff your face at a discount!”

And let’s be real – in today’s FOMO-driven world, the fear of missing out is a powerful motivator.

Example: Starbucks ‘Happy Hour’ Promotions

Starbucks has mastered the art of time-sensitive promotion with their famous “Happy Hour” deals.

Every few weeks, they offer a buy-one-get-one-free deal on select beverages, but here’s the catch – it’s only available for a few hours on a specific day.

They promote these offers heavily on their Facebook page, often with eye-catching graphics and countdown timers to really drive home the urgency.

By making these promotions exclusive to their Facebook fans, Starbucks not only rewards their loyal followers but also encourages others to follow their page to avoid missing out on future deals.

It’s a prime example of how restaurant marketing on Facebook can be used to drive immediate sales while also building an engaged online community.

Juggling multiple ad sets and creatives can get chaotic fast. 

That’s where Restaurant Growth comes in. Our experts help you get the most out of Facebook ads and simplify campaign creation.

You can set up the whole shebang in minutes: audiences, placements, budgets, creatives – the works. And with real-time reporting, you’ll spot winning ads ASAP.

Types of Facebook Ads for Food Businesses

By understanding the unique features and benefits of each Facebook ad type, food businesses can create targeted campaigns that effectively reach their desired audience and achieve their marketing goals.

Here’s a table that summarizes the different types of Facebook ads for food businesses, along with who should use them and when:

FB Ad Type Description When to Use It
Carousel Ads
Allows users to swipe through up to 10 images or videos, each with its own link.
- Launching new menu items to highlight the variety of offerings

- Promoting specific locations or branches to target local audiences

- Showcasing different catering options or private dining rooms

Video Ads
Videos can showcase the restaurant's atmosphere, food preparation, or customer testimonials.
- Introducing a new restaurant concept or cuisine to educate potential customers

- Highlighting the ambiance, decor, or live entertainment to attract diners

- Promoting special events, such as wine tastings or chef's table experiences

Lead Generation Ads
Effective for collecting potential customer information, such as email addresses or phone numbers, directly within the Facebook ad. Helps build a targeted marketing list for future promotions.
- Prior to a restaurant's grand opening to generate buzz and collect leads

- When launching a new loyalty program or email newsletter

- Offering a free appetizer or discount in exchange for contact information

Event Response Ads
Allows users to RSVP or purchase tickets directly from the ad.
- In the weeks leading up to the event to build anticipation and boost attendance

- Targeting local audiences or event enthusiasts to increase visibility

- Retargeting people who have previously attended similar events

Offer Ads
Can be redeemed online or in-store, and are easily shareable on Facebook.
- During slow times, such as weekday afternoons or late nights, to boost traffic

-When launching a new menu or seasonal items to encourage trial

-Promoting holiday specials or gift card sales to drive revenue

How To Maximize Profits With Facebook Ads For Restaurants?

Running Facebook ads can be a highly effective way for restaurants to reach potential new customers. With over 2 billion monthly active users, Facebook offers an immense audience full of hungry people looking for their next great dining experience. 

But setting up and managing a Facebook ad campaign takes time, skill, and trial and error. That’s why many restaurants choose to partner with experts like Restaurant Growth to handle their Facebook marketing.

Our team specializes in creating targeted Facebook ad campaigns tailored specifically for the restaurant industry. We handle everything from audience research and ad creation to performance tracking and optimization.

By letting us take the reins of your Facebook marketing, you can focus your efforts on daily restaurant operations while still reaping the benefits of a strong online presence. 

FAQs

Are Facebook ads good for restaurants?

Facebook ads are highly effective for restaurants, as they allow businesses to reach a large and engaged audience. With over 2.8 billion monthly active users, Facebook provides an excellent platform for restaurants to connect with potential customers.

According to Buffer, Facebook is the most effective social media platform for driving traffic to restaurant websites. Additionally, Facebook ads offer advanced targeting options, allowing restaurants to reach users based on their location, interests, and behaviors.

How do I advertise my restaurant on Facebook?

To advertise your restaurant on Facebook, follow these key steps:

1. Set up a Facebook Business Page for your restaurant.

2. Define your target audience based on demographics, interests, and behaviors.

3. Choose an ad objective, such as brand awareness, traffic, or conversions.

4. Create engaging ad content, including eye-catching visuals and persuasive copy.

5. Set a budget and bid for ad placement.

6. Monitor and optimize your ad performance regularly.

How much does a Facebook commercial cost?

The cost of a Facebook commercial, or Facebook ad, depends on several factors, including the ad objective, target audience, ad placement, and bidding strategy. On average, businesses spend between $0.50 and $2.00 per click on Facebook ads.

However, the cost can be higher or lower depending on the industry and competition. To budget effectively, set a daily or lifetime budget for your ad campaign and monitor your ad performance regularly to optimize your spending.

Restaurant Growth’s in-house tracking dashboard helps you keep track of your spending and understand where each penny is going, allowing you to make informed decisions about your advertising strategy.

What kind of advertising do restaurants use?

Restaurants leverage various advertising channels, but Facebook marketing for restaurants has emerged as a game-changer. Unlike traditional media, restaurant Facebook marketing allows precise targeting, real-time performance tracking, and seamless integration with online ordering platforms.

While print, radio, and TV ads still have their place, the flexibility and measurability of restaurant marketing on Facebook make it a must-have in any modern restaurant’s marketing mix.

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Luke Januschka
Luke Januschka is a pivotal partner at Restaurant Growth, where he spearheads strategies that have generated over 30 million dollars in tracked sales for our valued restaurant clients.
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