Boosting Engagement: Social Media Contests for Restaurants

Are you a restaurant owner searching for creative ways to connect with customers and enhance online visibility? Hosting social media contests can be the way to accomplish exactly that!

This article will discuss the advantages of organizing social media contests for your restaurant, how they function, and give you some exciting ideas for running contests on social media to attract more social media followers.

Let’s begin!

The Benefits of Running a Restaurant Contest

The Benefits of Running a Restaurant Contest
The Benefits of Running a Restaurant Contest

Organizing a successful social media contest for your restaurant can bring numerous advantages. Here are some of the key benefits of this restaurant marketing:

  1. Increased Engagement: Contests encourage customers to interact with your restaurant’s social media platforms, leading to higher engagement rates.
  2. Brand Awareness: Contests can attract new customers who might not have known about your restaurant.
  3. User-Generated Content (UGC): UGC from contests can serve as authentic testimonials, boosting your restaurant’s credibility.
  4. Data Collection: Running contests allow you to collect valuable customer data for future marketing efforts.
  5. Social Media Growth: Contests can help your restaurant’s social media following grow exponentially.
  6. Word-of-Mouth Marketing: Exciting contests encourage participants to share their experiences with friends and family, leading to organic word-of-mouth marketing.

How Do Restaurant Contests Work?

How Do Restaurant Contests Work?
How Do Restaurant Contests Work?

Restaurant contests on social media follow a straightforward process:

  1. Choose the Right Platform: Select the social media platform(s) most relevant to your target customers, such as Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.
  2. Set Clear Goals: Define your objectives, whether it’s increasing followers, promoting a new dish, or encouraging user-generated content.
  3. Select a Prize: Offer an enticing prize that aligns with your restaurant’s theme and appeals to your audience.
  4. Create Engaging Content: Craft visually appealing and engaging content to announce and promote the contest.
  5. Promote and Monitor: Advertise the contest across social media platforms, email newsletters, and your restaurant’s website. You can even also collaborate with social media influencers. Keep a close eye on the level of participation and engagement to gauge its success.
  6. Announce the Winner: After the contest concludes, publicly announce the winner and celebrate their success as they win prizes.

Social Media Contests Ideas for Restaurants

Giveaways as Social Media Contests Ideas for Restaurants
Giveaways as Social Media Contests Ideas for Restaurants

Here are some exciting social media contest ideas that will surely captivate your audience:

Favourite Dish Instagram Photo Contest

Here’s one of the brilliant social media giveaway ideas: Encourage customers to share pictures of their favorite dish from your restaurant on Instagram using a designated hashtag. The most creative and appetizing photo will be the lucky winner of a fabulous prize.

Like, Follow, and Tag to Win

Spark engagement with your customer by using this exciting contest idea! Encourage users to not only like and follow your social media posts but also tag their friends for a chance to win a delightful dining experience.

Restaurant Memories Facebook Contest

Get contest participants involved by asking them to share their favorite dining memories at your restaurant on Facebook. The most heartwarming or funny story will win a special treat. Use Facebook advertising to promote the contest and attract more entries.

Leave a Review to Win

Elevate your online reviews by incentivizing customers to share their honest feedback on platforms like Google or Yelp.

One effective way to achieve this is through an engaging essay contest where customers can express their thoughts about their experience and, in return, stand a chance to win exciting rewards!

Caption This Photo Contest

Create an interactive and entertaining social media post by sharing a fun or quirky photo related to your restaurant. Engage your followers by inviting them to come up with witty restaurant branding captions for the image. The most hilarious caption will be awarded a prize!

A Naming Contest

Engage customers by inviting them to suggest names for a new menu item or a signature dish. The winning entry becomes part of your menu, and the creative contributor will also receive a special treat as a token of appreciation.

TikTok Dish Tutorial Video Contest

Embrace the trend of short-form videos by asking customers to create TikTok tutorials of their favorite dishes. The most creative and visually appealing video wins a reward.

If you prefer to use other platforms, you can use Snapchat marketing for short-form video contests.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the perfect check contest?

The perfect check contest is a restaurant promotion wherein patrons receive a receipt containing an exclusive code to submit online, offering an opportunity to win enticing prizes.

This initiative fosters frequent visits and fosters customer loyalty through the participation of valuable contest entries.

How do I host a social media giveaway?

To conduct a social media giveaway, select a reward, establish explicit entry guidelines, craft captivating content to promote the giveaway on various social platforms, and publicly announce the fortunate winner.

What is the difference between a contest and a giveaway on social media?

Contests involve some form of skill or effort from participants, such as submitting a photo or coming up with a caption.

On the other hand, giveaways are random draws where participants enter for a chance to win a prize without requiring any skill-based entry.


Social media contests tailored for restaurants present an excellent opportunity to boost interaction, expand your digital visibility, and forge a deep connection with your clientele.

By opting for the right social media contests, you can transform these events into an unforgettable experience for loyal and potential customers. So, begin planning your next set of social media contests and witness your restaurant’s popularity soaring!

=> Book a 30-minute call with Andrea <=

Andrea Abbondanza

Andrea Abbondanza, born in Milan (Italy) and now a proud Australian citizen, is a passionate food lover and the dynamic CEO of With his rich culinary background and deep understanding of online marketing strategies, Andrea helps restaurants and cafes around the world elevate their online presence. His journey from Italy to Australia has infused his work with a unique blend of European flair and Aussie charm, making him a go-to resource for cafes and restaurants looking to elevate their digital presence and grow their businesses.

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Seo for Restaurants is a boutique agency specialised in Google Business Management, SEO and Local SEO for restaurants and Cafes.

What can we do for you?

  • Be on top of Google in your local area
  • Reach new customers
  • Increase the number of phone calls
  • Increase the number of bookings and most importantly, increase revenue for your restaurant

Andrea Abbondanza is a passionate food lover and the CEO of Seo for Restaurants. With his rich culinary background and deep understanding of online marketing strategies, Andrea helps restaurants and cafes worldwide elevate their online presence and increase

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