According to Toast's 2018 Restaurant Success Report, Instagram's popularity as a marketing channel is on the rise amongst restaurant leaders while Facebook and Twitter are on the decline.
In 2017, 73% of restaurateurs surveyed chose Facebook as their preferred social media platform while 18% cited Instagram; in 2018, the number of restauranteurs who chose Facebook slipped to 68% while those who chose Instagram increased to 24%.
As with restaurants, Facebook is still the primary social media platform for the majority of Americans – according to The Pew Research Center, 68% of adult Americans are self-identified Facebook users – yet Instagram's increase in popularity since 2016 is telling, especially its dominance with the 18-24 year old age bracket.
As of June 2018, Instagram now officially clocks in 1 billion active users a month. If your restaurant isn't already on Instagram – or isn't very active – you're missing out on a huge customer acquisition opportunity.
Favored for it's emphasis on visuals and imagery, Instagram is a natural fit for restaurants and bars who already understand the importance of plating and presentation. Nowadays, people like to try before they buy; posting content on Instagram the gives guests a sneak preview of what it's like to dine at your restaurant is a surefire way to entice the customers you want.
If you're on the hunt for some restaurant insta-inspiration, look no further: we've put together a well-rounded list of the best restaurant instagram accounts across the country who are delighting their digital-guests with drool-worthy content.
We surveyed real restaurant-goers to share one noteworthy restaurant instagram account they follow and why. Here's what they had to say:
"Millie's highlights both their restaurant and Nantucket Island culture, which I love. Whenever I see posts of their famed food, delicious speciality drinks, puppy patrons and beach views, I wish I could take the next ferry to the island." - Olivia O'Malley
Located in the heart of Ocean Beach, San Diego – "the last beach town in America" – the Voltaire Beach House is an open-air, carefree destination for locals and tourists alike. With a menu decorated like a bumpersticker clad skateboard, Voltaire Beach House breathes a little of the ubiquitous California 'good-vibes' lifestyle into every part of their guest experience, from the stir-fry inspired bowls served in grilled pineapples to their polaroid filled doggo appreciation wall.
“They post gorgeous food pictures and events. I go there often and it makes me want to try things on their menu that I normally might not when i see it posted - kind of a mental note to try something new” - Allie Crane
Last Straw's brand – an homage to the pastel clad pop-culture of the 80's and 90's – is visible in everything they make, from their vintage inspired cocktails to their happy-hour promotions. Their menu is a greatest hits album in and of itself, featuring the likes of Britney and Justin's eye-gasmic all-denim VMA look, Burt Reynolds' swoon-worthy stache, and everyone's favorite James Cameron conspiracy theory – Rose Lied About Never Letting Go – Last Straw will transport you back to the days of synth-pop, Tang, and Tamagotchi.
"The food is delicious and the employees there are super fun. I'm a little biased on that second part because I use to be one" - Emily Schneider
"I NEED to know about their specials!!!" - Deidre Costello
"They post content that is timely, fun, and sticks to their core values. Through tasty cakes and cookies, they make it clear that they stand for inclusion and kindness for all.” - Kendal Austin
A post shared by bae (@baelittletokyo) on Sep 2, 2018 at 2:47pm PDT
"Bae stays consistent with every photo, catalogues incredibly unique flavors, and does a lot of creative things despite not having a lot of menu items.I mean, also have you ever tried swirling soft serve? Its hard as hell” - Cassy Lee
A post shared by Puritan & Co. (@puritanco) on Jul 6, 2018 at 11:15am PDT
"Invoking our guest experience in photos is the goal of Puritan & Company’s IG thread - we want people to feel connected to a dining experience that we provide plus a message of welcome.” - Co-owner, Ming-Tai Huh
Share your favorite Instagram accounts below! We're always on the hunt for more restaurant insta-inspiration.