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Chelsea Allenby

Chelsea Allenby is a Digital Marketer of 6 years and Managing Director of Allenby Digital Ltd, an online marketing agency she set-up in August 2015, specialising in social media and content marketing.

These four very different restaurants all approach social media differently, but they are all absolutely killing it! Let’s take a look at what makes their social channels so appealing and follower-worthy!

DoughNotts

Based in England in the city of Nottingham, (yes think Robin Hood), you will find a place of true heaven! DoughNotts create and sell innovative handmade doughnut delights that will leave your mouth watering for days. Trust me, I’ve tried and tested them for myself. Their social media is enough to leave you with a severe doughnut craving. Which of course, is the aim of the game! So how do they do it?

Well, this is one example where the food really does do all the hard work. Instead of just simply posting photos of multiple doughnuts, this brand switches it up with action shot video clips. Squeezing, squashing, breaking, crumbling… you name it. This is #FoodPorn at it’s finest and you can see why they’ve already acquired over 25k followers on Instagram, from only two store locations!

Howlin’ Rays

Howlin’ Rays have a very STRONG Instagram game and there is a lot we can learn from this small restaurant. Howlin’ Rays was born in a food truck before opening a brick-and-mortar restaurant in Chinatown, L.A. For such a small space they currently have over 54k followers on Instagram. That’s pretty epic considering they’re not even a chain! Their unique hashtag acts as the basis for their social identity. #STAYHOWLIN is all about enjoying hot chicken no matter what the day or the situation might be. ‘It’s all about loving and sharing the moment’. According to Howlin’ Ray, people always seem to be happy when enjoying hot chicken and they wanted to bring this to LA.was born in a food truck before opening a brick-and-mortar restaurant in Chinatown, L.A. For such a small space they currently have over 54k followers on Instagram. That’s pretty epic considering they’re not even a chain! Their unique hashtag acts as the basis for their social identity. #STAYHOWLIN is all about enjoying hot chicken no matter what the day or the situation might be. ‘It’s all about loving and sharing the moment’. According to Howlin’ Ray, people always seem to be happy when enjoying hot chicken and they wanted to bring this to LA.

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Along with their hashtag, which they reinforce through multiple posts and content, they also keep sharing regularly. Typically they post on Instagram twice a day, with a strong focus on showcasing their food in creative angles, lighting and different set-ups. They even set-up a separate Instagram account just to share content about the Howlin’ crew and what the staff get up to as part of their #STAYHOWLIN culture.

SweetGreen

Sweetgreen is all about consistency throughout social media. They keep their branding, imagery and messages consistent and regular. Each post is a reinforcement of their message; that fresh, sustainable food is the future. They are active in ‘building healthier communities by connecting people to real food’. That is the basis of their brand and that is the basis of their social media strategy.

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With over 134k followers, it’s certainly working, resonating with people who share this ideology. To represent their clean and fresh approach, they use bright, light colours and filters on photos. They keep things simple and neat to create aesthetic social channels that don’t distract customers from their message; Passion and purpose.

StarBucks

Coffee shop owners, this one is for you! How engaging can you really make your Insta page or Snapchat story, when all you sell are hot drinks? Well, if you were to ask Starbucks this question they’d probably say… VERY! You might argue that the Starbucks cup has become a fashion statement in its own right, therefore the trend on Instagram is a natural progression. I would argue that social media has paved the way and enabled Starbucks to reach that level of viral trend. With 15.4 MILLION followers on Instagram, there is clearly something to be said about photos of coffee cups!

Starbucks approach is what sets it apart in terms of social media. Each image isn’t just creative and different, it also generates an emotive response. Whether that’s the desire to grab a coffee and go on an adventure, reconnect with old friends, or simply chill out and de-stress. Each image is a feeling, it’s far more than just… coffee.

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The truth is, that everyone loves food. Therefore, food-related Instagram accounts and other social channels have the potential to do really well. Howlin’ Rays went from very few followers to thousands almost overnight. The trick is to be consistent and just do YOU. It’s okay to take inspiration from amazing brands like the ones we’ve mentioned, but being unique and offering something different is what inevitably wins followers and customers.