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How to Setup Instagram for Your Restaurant

What is Instagram and Why should I Use It?

Instagram is a social media platform to share pictures about your lifestyle, travel, food, business, or just about anything. Using Instagram for restaurants is a great way to build a brand and reach a wider audience online. It is free to setup and fairly easy to use once you get the hang of it.

Below are the steps to create your own Instagram account and how to share a post as a restaurant for the very first time.

Creating your Instagram Account

To get started, visit instagram.com or download the app from the Play Store or App store. Create an account by entering your details and clicking Sign Up. Once all your information is entered, you will receive a notification to verify your account.

Instagram sign up
Desktop view (app signup will be different)

After your account is verified, it’s time to setup your Instagram profile!

Setting up your Instagram Profile

Instagram’s app is pretty easy to navigate. At the bottom menu from left to right, you will see buttons for Home, Search, Add Image/Video, Activity, and Profile.

Instagram menu bar
Instagram Navigation

Your profile is where users can visit to learn more about your restaurant and view images that you post. The profile should be set up first before posting anything.

To setup your profile, tap the last button in the menu and it will take you to a fairly blank page. Click “Edit Profile” to start adding details.

Instagram profile setup
  1. Change Profile Photo: add a logo of your restaurant or an image users can recognize you by
  2. Name: your full restaurant name. This name allows users to search for your business on Instagram
  3. Username: a shorter version (no spaces) of your business name that is used by others to tag your restaurant. Sort of like a nickname for your account!
  4. Website: this can link to your website, other social media, or any page that you’d like customers to see.
  5. Bio: description of your restaurant. Make it fun! However, you’re only limited to 150 characters
  6. Click the check mark in the top right to save.

Next, your account will need to be converted to a Professional Account to add information about your business.

  1. Click Edit Profile again
  2. Click “Switch to Professional Account”
  3. Select “Business” and continue through the tutorial
  4. Select Category: “Restaurant”. Click Next
  5. Enter business email, number, and address. Click Next
  6. Connect Facebook if available or Skip. (Skip this for now)

Perfect! After the set up, your profile will look something like this:

Bio page

With your profile ready, you can now create your first Instagram post.

Creating your First Instagram Post

The great part of using Instagram for restaurants is the vast amount of dishes that can be shared onto the platform. Instagram provides the ability to upload a photo from your phone gallery or to take a picture while inside the application.

Step 1: Choose a Picture

There are a lot of articles on how to take the perfect picture, however we only cover the basics of creating and posting a picture here.

To start creating a post, tap the middle “+” button on the bottom menu bar. You will see a page with options for Gallery, Photo, or Video. The “Gallery” lets you browse through previously taken photos while “Photo” and “Video” lets you take a current picture or video. We will focus on the Gallery and Photo options for now.

Instagram upload image

With the Gallery, simply choose a picture from the bottom half of your screen. The top half will show the image that you’ve selected. In the Photo option, Instagram allows you to capture an image right inside the app. Simply point your camera at the object to snap a picture!

Once you have your photo ready from either method, click Next at the top right corner. This will bring you to a Filter/Edit Page.

Step 2: Filter/Edit Image

filter/edit image

As this will be your first post, we will skip the Filter & Edit options for now as they are more advanced. Filtering and editing can make your images look better, however they do take some time to learn. Feel free to play around with the options!

Now that your image is ready, let’s finish off your post with some details. Click Next on the top right corner.

Step 3: Add Details and Share Post

At this final step, context about your image can be added. You will see the following text boxes and options to provide more details about your post.

add details and post image

Write a Caption

This is the text that your audience reads when they find your image intriguing. In the “Write a caption” box, provide a sentence or two that is engaging and interesting. Some examples include:

  • Asking a question.
  • Educating. Provide facts, unique ingredients, cooking tips or anything special features about your dishes
  • Announcing special events, deals, or offers

In the same caption area, you also have the option to add hashtags (#) or mention other users in your post.

Hashtags

Hashtags are keywords with a “#” sign in front of them that act like categories describing your picture. These keywords are searchable by the community and are a great way to reach an audience with similar interests especially if you are first starting out with few followers.

As an example, a post about food in Edmonton, Alberta would contain hashtags such as #yegfood and a a few more “categories” related to the image.

Tip: A great way to find the hashtags used in your local food community is to use the search button. Tap the second button in the menu, hit Places, and type in your city. Browse through the images and click on food pictures to see what hashtags local restaurants and foodies are using!

Instagram search bar
Mentioning Other Users

In addition to hashtags that use “#” in front of keywords, you can “mention” other users by using the “@” symbol in front of a user name. Mentioning another user (or a business if using their product) is a great way to grab their attention as a notification is sent to their account.

Tip: If unsure on when to mention another user, ask for permission first before including them in your post.

Tag People

Under the Write a Caption area is the Tag People button. It is another method to tag people but adds the mentioned user name into the actual photo.

Add Location

The Add Location Button is a great way to include your business location or city. Users will be able to see and directly click the location when viewing your post.

Also Post To:

The Also Post To section is more advanced and requires connecting your account to other social media accounts. We will cover this portion in a future article.

Share!

Now that we have covered the basics of creating a post, it is time to share it! Click “Share” on the top right corner and your post will be available to the public. Your followers as well as the communities that browse the hashtags will be able to see and learn more about your amazing food and your restaurant.

We hope that this guide on Instagram for restaurants can help your business grow. Let us know if you’ve used or are looking to use Instagram for your business!