TikTok for restaurants: Marketing tips to attract new customers

Published 07.01.2024 - Last update 07.02.2024
TikTok for restaurant marketing
Table of contents
  1. Shout about your special offers
  2. Show off your decor, views or quirky features of your restaurant
  3. Make people laugh
  4. Try TheFork today
  5. Add your own twist to popular trends
  6. Take people behind-the-scenes
  7. Share advice and tips
  8. Highlight new dishes

Despite starting out as an app best known for its dance crazes and lip-syncing, TikTok has evolved to become of of the world’s most popular apps for finding out information, learning new skills, and discovering hidden foodie gems.

With over 1 billion monthly users, primarily from Gen Z and Millenial audiences, TikTok can be an extremely powerful marketing channel for restaurateurs. In fact, a 2022 survey found that 38% of all TikTok users have visited or ordered something from a restaurant after seeing a video of it on the platform, and this number will continue to rise in 2024.

For many, TikTok has become their search engine of choice, particularly when it comes to finding new dining spots. A simple search of a term such as ‘London restaurants’ or ‘UK dining’ will bring up an endless stream of videos with hundreds of millions of views between them.

But with so much content available, advertising your restaurant successfully on TikTok isn’t as simple as shooting a quick video and hitting upload. TikTok is known for its fast-paced nature, so you need to grab viewers’ attention within the first few seconds to stop them scrolling past.

There’s no magic formula for creating a viral video, but there are many different types of content you can play around with and put your own spin on to try and increase your visibility on the app — and fill more tables.

Here are seven of our favourite styles of TikToks your restaurant can recreate, including some examples to get your creative juices flowing.

Shout about your special offers

If there’s one thing that’s universally loved, it’s a great deal. So if you’re offering an unmissable discount, package, or freebie in your restaurant, make sure you advertise it on your TikTok page.

Highlighting a special offer is a great way to capture the attention of potential diners in just a few short seconds, and Sushi restaurant Inamo did this simply but effectively in one of their most popular TikToks. 

The team created a 10-second video compiled of clips from the restaurant with an overlay of text that says “where you can find unlimited sushi in central London for only £24.95pp”, along with the restaurant's name.

Racking up almost 15k views, this video is a perfect example of how to create a short piece of content that’s immediately compelling and highly shareable. 


If you’re involved with special events on TheFork such as TheFork Festival or a Double Yums promo, a short and snappy TikTok can help you spread the word to the masses, increase your bookings, and acquire loyal new customers.

Show off your decor, views or quirky features of your restaurant

As a video-first social platform, it’s no wonder some of the most viral restaurants on TikTok are often those with gorgeous interiors, stunning views, or one-of-a-kind features that diners just can’t resist capturing on camera.

If your establishment is a feast for the eyes as well as the tastebuds, showing this off through high-quality video content can help to grow your TikTok presence and entice new customers. 

Hutong at The Shard takes a simple and elegant approach to showing off its awe-inspiring views of London through its TikToks, such as this video promoting its ‘Brunch in the Clouds’.


Even if your restaurant isn’t sitting sky-high on the 33rd floor, focusing on highlighting your most attractive and unique features will satiate diners’ desire for a gastronomic experience that appeals to all the senses. Don’t forget to highlight these views and interiors in your photos on your TheFork listing, too. 

Make people laugh

One major factor in TikTok’s stratospheric rise in popularity is its abundance of funny content from a huge range of creators.

Restaurants can tap into TikTok users’ penchant for comedy videos by creating their own, but like many styles of marketing, authenticity is key.

Whether you’re creating a video with a popular sound and a witty caption or showing off your own offbeat sense of humour, hitting customers’ funny bones is an effective way of putting your business in their minds and encouraging bookings.

UK-based chain The Botanist have taken this approach and run with it, racking up hundreds of thousands of likes across their clever yet simple style of relatable comedy.


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Add your own twist to popular trends

Something else TikTok is well known for is its trends and challenges.

From pranks to dance routines, these trends and challenges spread the fastest when they’re fun and easy to join in with.

Take some time to look through your For You Page and note down some of the trends you’re currently seeing. If you spot an opportunity for your restaurant to get involved, join in — but make it fast, because TikTok trends can lose their relevancy and appeal almost as fast as they gain it.

For an achievable yet entertaining example of an authentic take on a TikTok trend, check out this video from Portuguese restaurant Casa Do Frango.


The team recreated a popular trend based around stereotypes, adding their own uniquely Portuguese perspective and the witty video racked up 35k views.

Take people behind-the-scenes

As you know by now, authenticity is an essential ingredient in marketing your restaurant on TikTok effectively.

And what could be more authentic than giving current and future customers an exclusive look at what goes on behind the curtain in your restaurant?

With kitchen-based TV shows like The Bear more popular than ever, it’s the perfect opportunity to take advantage of people’s curiosity to learn more about the inner workings of the hospitality industry.

You could ask one of your team to record a ‘day in the life’ style video, interview a chef about the secrets of working in a kitchen, or follow Carluccio’s lead and let your Head Chef demonstrate how they make one of your most popular dishes.


Share advice and tips

To appeal to budding chefs, sommeliers, and restauranteurs, you could try recording some TikToks where your team shares insider information and tips, such as advice on how to get into the industry or in-depth tips about working in a restaurant.

As well as giving you a better chance of growing your TikTok presence by appealing to people specifically searching for these tidbits, you’ll also demonstrate to more casual viewers that your team are experts in the industry, encouraging them to give your restaurant a visit themselves.

Even something as simple as sharing tips for segmenting a blood orange can attract attention — just look at Galvin Bistrot & Bar, who earned a supreme 115k views on a video doing just that!


Highlight new dishes

If you’ve got an exciting new addition to your menu, whether that’s a seasonal drink or a unique spin on a classic dish, TikTok can be a great place to advertise it.

Keep the video simple, showing off the new item with an on-screen description and any information about special deals or limited availability to create a sense of FOMO.

This TikTok by The Real Greek unveiling its new Greek frozen margarita is a perfect example that certainly got mouths watering — and users sharing it with their friends to arrange a visit.

https://www.tiktok.com/@therealgreekuk/video/7116909000939146502?is_from_webapp=1&sender_device=pc&web_id=7312093641512912417 -  

These are just a few examples of ways your restaurant can leverage TikTok to draw attention and attract potential new customers.

However you choose to use the platform, be sure to use hashtags relevant to your videos and your restaurant, keep your content clear and concise, and have fun with it!

Once your TikTok strategy is up and running, add the link to your TheFork booking page in your bio so you can turn a surge in views into a surge in bookings. Not yet signed up to TheFork? Get in touch with our team now.