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Facebook Ads for Restaurants: Strategies to Attract New Diners

Do you know that Facebook Ads for restaurants can boost engagement by up to 25%, driving more customers through your doors? If you own a restaurant and want to grow your customer base, you should know that they are on Facebook multiple times daily. In this post, I’ll provide you with the most effective Facebook ads for restaurants strategies to grow new customers and increase repeat visitors.

Why is Facebook The Platform Your Restaurant Needs?

Facebook has an approximately 2.19 billion daily active users. This large user base provides a substantial audience for restaurant advertising. More importantly, about 37% of Facebook users look for restaurant reviews and make reservations on this platform. That’s why Facebook is the most potential platform to help businesses easily reach their ideal customer segments. Do you want to target event planners, group dining, or private dining? That’s all achievable with Facebook ads.

Let’s find out why Facebook Ads is the platform for your business in 2024:

Why is Facebook The Platform Your Restaurant Needs

Reach the right customers with precise targeting

Facebook Ads allows you to target your ads to specific audiences based on their interests, demographics, location, and online behavior. This ensures that you reach customers who are most likely to be interested in your restaurant, increasing ad effectiveness and saving you money.

Attract new customers and retain existing ones

Use Facebook Ads to stay connected with existing customers, and inform them about new promotions, special events, etc., to increase the rate of returning customers. You can also create and run ad campaigns with attractive offers and promotions to entice new customers to visit your restaurant.

Engage directly with customers

You can use Messenger to respond to customer messages quickly and efficiently, address concerns, and increase customer satisfaction. Besides, you can also utilize online communities or groups to promote your restaurant, where you can interact with customers, share information, and build long-lasting relationships.

Integration with Instagram

As Facebook owns Instagram, you can run ads on both platforms. This opens up additional opportunities to reach potential customers. Facebook has a massive user base, while Instagram caters to a younger, visually-oriented audience. Combining these platforms ensures that your message reaches diverse demographics.

If you’re not utilizing Facebook ads to reach your customers, you are missing out on one of the most effective advertising channels to reach them. And the worst part, if you’re not promoting your restaurant with Facebook ads, your savvier competitors will likely steal your customers away.

Not using Facebook ads for restaurants meme

7 Best Facebook Ads for Restaurants Tactics To Follow

Now that you know the importance of running Facebook Ads for your restaurant’s success, I will show you some of the most powerful tactics for creating effective Facebook ads that will drive reservations. I will provide some real-life Facebook ads for restaurants examples along the way to make sure you guys understand these tactics.

Entice with seasonal offers

People crave variety, and seasonal offerings capitalize on this desire. High-quality visuals showcasing fresh, in-season ingredients trigger cravings and entice users to indulge. Seasonal promotions also create a sense of urgency, encouraging diners to try the limited-time dishes before they disappear.

Entice with seasonal offers

You have dozens of menu items you could promote, but choose a dish that makes sense for the season. Create seasonal promotions with specific start and end dates. Use phrases like:

  • “limited time”
  • “exclusive offer”
  • “while supplies last”

By crafting Facebook ads that highlight your seasonal dishes or drinks, you can tap into the excitement and anticipation that comes with each season.

Promote restaurant entertainment

People don’t just eat out at restaurants for food; they want an experience. This is still right even for people who order food online (I will talk about this later).

Entertainment at a restaurant can be a crucial advantage that set you apart from the competitors. If your restaurant have live music of entertainment on any day of the week, you should highlight your restaurant’s entertainment offerings through Facebook Ads to attract audience seeking a fun night out. The ads can provide details about the event, such as the date, time, and what customers can expect.

Promote delivery & takeaway options

Busy schedules often leave little time for people to prepare meals on their own. Not to mention that Not everyone lives close to your restaurant. Delivery and takeout options bridge the gap, make it easy for busy customers to enjoy your food from the comfort of their homes. Advertise your delivery and takeout options with clear calls to action.

Promote delivery & takeaway options

Example: Headline: “Craving Comfort Food? Get Your Favorite Dishes Delivered Straight to Your Door from [Restaurant Name]!” Include a clear link to your online ordering platform or phone number for takeout orders.

Establish a happy hour to boost sales in off-peak hours

A happy hour for a restaurant is a promotional event that typically takes place during off-peak hours. The goal of happy hour is to drive traffic during a slower time of day and increase sales while also providing a fun and social atmosphere for customers to enjoy.

Establish a happy hour to boost sales in off-peak hours

Restaurant owners typically choose menus that offer simple and delicious foods and promote them with appealing photos.

Highlight your staff, your food, and customer service

When it comes to your restaurant, great food and a memorable experience matter most to your customers. These factors determine whether they’ll return. To boost your restaurant’s visibility, consider using Facebook ads. Here’s how you should do it:

  • Showcase your team: Highlight your restaurant’s employees. Share their stories, skills, and dedication. People love connecting with friendly faces.
  • Capture delicious moments: Take mouthwatering photos of your best dishes. If budget allows, hire a professional photographer. Use these appetizing images in your Facebook ads.
  • Emphasize service: Excellent service is key. Share why your employees are exceptional. When guests feel welcomed and valued, they’ll keep coming back.

Organize a review contest

Positive reviews act as social proof. They build trust with potential customers, improve search ranking, and ultimately drive sales. According to Onlinedegrees, 77% of consumers ‘always’ or ‘regularly’ read online reviews when browsing for local businesses, and 89% of consumers are ‘highly’ or ‘fairly’ likely to use a business that responds to all of its online reviews.

Organizing a review contest through Facebook Ads is a great way to incentivize customers to leave those coveted 5-star reviews. Here’s how to Implement It:

  • Clearly define the contest: Decide the duration of the contest (e.g., one month), the criteria (e.g., leave a review on Google or Facebook), and the reward (e.g., a free meal, discount, or gift card).
  • Showcase the prize: This could be a free meal, a gift certificate, or a unique experience at your restaurant. Feature an image of the prize to grab attention.
  • Promote the contest: Use Facebook Ads to announce the contest. Create eye-catching visuals (images or videos) with clear instructions. Encourage participation through posts, stories, and event pages.
  • Track progress: Monitor the number of reviews during the contest. You can adjust your strategy if needed (e.g., extend the contest or offer additional incentives).
Organize a review contest

Create Lookalike Audiences to reach more customers 

In case you’ve already run a Facebook ad in the past and it appeared to perform well, you can try using the Lookalike audiences feature. Facebook creates the ideal target audience for your ad based on the characteristics of your current guests, showing your ad to those who are highly likely to dine at your restaurant.

Create Lookalike Audiences to reach more customers

If you have customers who follow your business page or are a part of your rewards program, you can upload this as the source audience that Facebook uses to find similar customers. 

It’s an efficient way to expand your reach and attract new customers without spending excessive time on marketing efforts.

How Much Does It Cost for a Restaurant to Run Facebook Ads?

The cost of running Facebook Ads for a restaurant can vary depending on several factors such as the competitiveness of your keywords, your geographic location, and your overall advertising budget. On average, small-to-medium-sized restaurant businesses typically spend around $50 to $100 per day on Facebook Ads to test the waters. As they gain more experience and see positive results, they might increase their budget to $250 or more while closely monitoring costs per conversion.

To give you a general idea of how your ad is performing compared to competitor’s, let’s look at some average benchmarks for the restaurant industry:

Average CPC (Cost Per Click)

Average Cost Per Click (CPC) is a critical metric that tells you how much, on average, each click on your Facebook ad will cost. For restaurants specifically, the average CPC is approximately $0.56. This means that for each click your ad receives, you’ll be charged around 56 cents.

Average CPL (Cost Per Lead)

For restaurants, the average CPL can be expected to be around $5.83. This figure represents the average cost to the restaurant for each potential customer that shows interest in your restaurant, such as by signing up for a newsletter or filling out a contact form.

Average CTR (Click-Through Rate)

Average Click-Through Rate (CTR) is a percentage that shows how often people who see your ad end up clicking on it. For restaurants, the average CTR is approximately 1.20%. This means that, on average, about 1.20% of the people who see your ad will click on it. A higher CTR indicates that your ad is effective at capturing people’s attention and enticing them to learn more.

Average Conversion Rate

Conversion rate is the percentage of users who take a desired action after clicking on your ad. This could be making a purchase, booking a table, or signing up for a newsletter. The average conversion rate for Facebook ads across all industries is 9.21%, but it can vary for restaurants.

>>> Read more: Facebook Ads Benchmarks for 19 Industries: What Experts Say?

Which Facebook Ads Types Work Best for Restaurants?

with so many ad formats available, which ones are most effective for restaurants? Here’s a breakdown of the Facebook ad types that will tantalize taste buds and drive traffic to your restaurant:

1. Carousel Ads

Most Recommended for Conversions.

Facebook Carousel ads for restaurants

Carousel Ads allow you to showcase your most mouthwatering dishes, enticing desserts, and inviting atmosphere – all in a single ad. They feature a series of images or short videos that users can swipe through, giving you a chance to display a variety of menu items, daily specials, or different aspects of your dining experience.

2. Video Ads

High Engagement and Good for Showcasing Menu Items or Cooking techniques.

Facebook Video ads for restaurants

Video ads create a more immersive experience, allowing you to tell a compelling story about your restaurant and its offerings. You can even use explainer videos to highlight your unique menu items or cooking techniques.

3. Photo Ads

Great for Showcasing Menu Items and Offerings.

Facebook Photo ads for restaurants

Facebook users scroll fast, so grab their attention with mouthwatering food photos in your ads. Invest in good photography and turn Facebook Photo ads into a virtual window display to drive traffic and hungry customers to your restaurant.

Top Facebook Ads for Restaurants Keywords 

Choosing the right keywords is key to reaching your target audience. Here’s a breakdown of some top Facebook Ads keywords for restaurants, along with estimated CPC to give you a budgeting starting point:

Keyword CategoryExample KeywordsEstimated CPC
General restaurant keywordsRestaurant FoodDine-inDeliveryTakeoutLunchDinner[Your City] Restaurant$0.50 – $1.00
Cuisine-specific keywords[Cuisine Type] Restaurant (e.g., Italian Restaurant, Thai Restaurant)[Specific Dish] (e.g., Pizza, Sushi, Tacos)[Dietary Preference] Food (e.g., Vegan Food, Gluten-Free Options)$0.75 – $1.25
Offer & promotion keywordsRestaurant Deals[Discount Percentage] Off (e.g., 20% Off)Happy HourFree Delivery[Special Event] Specials (e.g., Mother’s Day Brunch)$1.00 – $2.00

Remember, these are estimated CPC based on industry averages and can vary depending on your location, competition, and campaign settings.

Case Study: How P.F. Chang Drove More Foot Traffic to Their Restaurant


Restaurant owners often struggle with tracking online-to-offline activity. P.F. Chang faced a similar challenge: how to connect their digital advertising efforts to actual visits to their restaurant.


P.F. Chang implemented a two-pronged approach to increase foot traffic:

1. Direct Incentive: Free Item Ads

Facebook ads for restaurants case study_P.F. Chang

At the top of the funnel, P.F. Chang’s ads featured a compelling offer: a free item (such as a dessert or appetizer). This incentive encouraged users to click and explore the offer, leading them to the landing page.

Case study_P.F. Chang's landing page

On the landing page, visitors were prompted to opt in by clicking “join now.” By doing so, they received the free item, and P.F. Chang collected their contact information.

For established brands like P.F. Chang, this approach worked well. However, if you’re a new or lesser-known restaurant, consider offering something for free outright to attract customers.

2. Frequency Matters: Encourage Repeat Visits

Jon Taffer, a bar and restaurant marketing consultant, recommends focusing on repeat visits. The statistics he shares are enlightening:

  • Probability of returning the second time: 40%
  • Probability of returning the third time: 42%
  • Probability of returning the fourth time: 70%

P.F. Chang enhanced this strategy by providing free coupons during the second and third visits, given in person.


On average, the restaurant saw a 30% increase in the number of visitors compared to the previous quarter. The conversion rate from ad clicks to actual restaurant visits was impressive as well. Approximately 25% of users who clicked on the ad ended up visiting P.F. Chang’s restaurant.

Final words

If you’re looking for a strategic, cost-effective way to promote your restaurant, it’s time you consider Facebook ads for restaurants and let your creative side shine. Not only will Facebook advertising help you keep your existing fans engaged, but it can also help you reach entirely new audiences of potential customers.

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