Complete Guide to Facebook Ads for Restaurants
Driving traffic to your restaurant is essential to becoming a profitable, growing business. Restaurant marketing has changed substantially over the years, though. In the past, your marketing channels may have included radio, television, or physical flyers — today’s channels are quite different. By utilizing Facebook ads for restaurants, you can find your target audience affordably and efficiently.
Digital advertising is one of the most popular ways to advertise your business across almost any industry, including restaurants, and there are numerous options. In this guide to Facebook Ads for restaurants, we aim to help you create an effective Facebook advertising strategy, show you how to create Facebook ads, and detail various ways of measuring ad performance and optimizing your ads to boost the ROI.
Intro to Facebook Ads for Restaurants
Before you dive into Facebook ads for restaurants, you need to understand how digital advertising fits in with your overall marketing strategy and goals.
Are you trying to increase takeout revenue? That particular strategy might differ considerably from one aimed at boosting foot traffic to your restaurant.
Why Facebook Ads?
Let’s look at some statistics about Facebook advertising to help motivate you!
- 69% of all adults in the United States use Facebook.
- 51% of millennials check Facebook every five hours.
- Facebook is the number one ad channel for both B2C and B2B companies.
- 67% of marketers consider Facebook as the most important social media channel.
Creating a Facebook Ad Strategy
When you’ve aligned your digital advertising with your overall marketing strategy, you’re ready to craft your Facebook ad strategy. Here’s a template to get you started:
- What are your goals? Setting clear and measurable goals will make optimization easier down the road.
- What is your budget? How much money can you allocate to your ads?
- How will you measure success? Will you measure success through sales data at your location, or another method?
By leveraging access to millions of potential customers, Facebook ads should be a vital component of your restaurant’s growth initiatives.
Creating Facebook Ads for Restaurants
Now that you’ve determined your Facebook ad strategy, it’s time to get creative. This step can frighten people, causing them to drop off and forget Facebook ads altogether. Don’t worry! We’re here to help, and you’ll be surprised about how easy creating Facebook ads can be.
Step 1: Create a Facebook Business Page
To use Facebook ads for restaurants, you need to have a Facebook Business account. You’ll also need to link this account to a personal Facebook page. So if you don’t already have one, now is the perfect time to create one. Not sure how to create a business profile for your restaurant? Check out our guide on how to create a restaurant Facebook profile!
Step 2: Create a Campaign
Facebook ads break down into several levels, including campaigns, ad sets, and the ads themselves.
When you create a campaign, it will prompt you to select an objective. Currently, there are 11 options; we’ll explain some of the best for restaurant marketing.
Store Traffic is the most widely used campaign objective for restaurants. By selecting this objective, you’re setting a goal to drive more in-store traffic to your site.
Another objective you may consider selecting is Brand Awareness. While this doesn’t directly drive in-store traffic, it can boost your visits over time by making potential customers aware of your restaurant.
When selecting the Reach objective, it will optimize your ads to reach as many people as possible within the audience you target. When compared to other goals, reach is the broadest. Facebook’s algorithm will attempt to show your ad to as many people as possible directed by your targeting.
By selecting the Traffic objective, Facebook will configure its algorithm to drive as many users to your webpage on your site as possible. You might use this method if you run a promotion with an offer located on a webpage or online menu.
You’ll also need to input your budget for the campaign. You can select Daily for the amount you’d like to spend per day or Lifetime for the amount you’d like to pay over the entire duration (life) of the campaign.
Step 3: Name Your Campaign
Give your campaign a unique name so that you can identify it. Some businesses will create many different campaigns based on different objectives, so names will help you will separate them.
Step 4: Name Your Ad Set
As previously mentioned, there are three levels for organizing your ads. Campaigns are made up of ad sets. Ad sets are groups (sets) of different ads. You can apply different audiences to several ad sets, so it’s wise to give them names that help you understand both the objective and audience of that particular ad set.
Step 5: Name Your Ad
When creating a campaign, you won’t be able to continue to the next step until you give your ad a name. Don’t worry too much here, because you can change it before completing the campaign. If you need to, you can use a “placeholder” until you’ve developed a more suitable name.
When you get around to naming, you’ll want to give your ad a name that describes it. For example, a reliable ad name might be “French Fries – Blue Background.” This name specifies what the ad is about, as well as its creative direction. These details will help you optimize it later.
Here’s what our campaign might look like so far:
NOTE: You’ll need to have your store location set up before you can continue creating your campaign with the Store Traffic objective.
Step 6: Choose Your Audience
If you have a marketing strategy in place for your restaurant, you probably have an ideal customer in mind. If not, check out this post to help you define your target market. Facebook allows you to target these individuals based on many different criteria.
When inside the ad set settings, you can use custom targeting to select who should see your ads. Here’s the audience overview tab.
Let’s go deeper to see what options are available. Select Create New then Custom Audience. You should encounter the following popup:
If you have a list of customers, or you have installed the Facebook Pixel on your website, you can target people (or people similar to them) with the Website or Customer List options.
Please note: For those without any data or customer lists, click “Cancel” to generate a new audience based on Facebook user demographics.
You should end up on the previous screen. Hover over the Detailed Targeting and select Edit to target your audience even further.
Below, I’ve narrowed a group down to parents of all genders between the ages of 40 and 50 within 25 miles of Louisville, Kentucky that have an interest in fast food or fast-casual restaurants. I believe that these people would be likely to visit my restaurant (and hopefully their kids too!).
You’ll also notice the estimated daily reach on the right-hand side of your screen. This metric shows how many people Facebook anticipates to see your ad based on the targeting you select. In this example, Facebook expects between 1,600 and 4,600 people to view my ad. There are many different targeting options, so experiment to see what performs best for your restaurant.
Step 7: Create Your Ads
The final step in creating your Facebook ad campaign is to create the ads themselves. You can start by selecting Create+ on the Ads tab of the Facebook Ads Manager. You’ll then find the option to name your ad and input your designs. See our example below.
Your ad would look like the one below. In this example, we used the See Menu call to action (CTA) button because we want to drive traffic to our website. If using the Store Visit objective, this option would be different.
That’s it! Once you’ve published your ad and turned your campaign on, it should start showing in your newly-targeted audience’s Facebook newsfeeds within a few hours. After posting your ads, Facebook’s system will review them to ensure they meet the requirements. If your ads aren’t approved, Facebook will detail the reasons so that you can fix them.
Measuring Ad Results
After your ads have been running for at least one week, you should analyze their performance to understand if they’re driving revenue at your restaurant. This analysis can be somewhat tricky, especially if using the Store Traffic objective. However, there are several things you can examine to understand how your ads are performing.
Analyze in Store Traffic
Have you seen a boost in traffic to your restaurant for no apparent reason other than your new Facebook ads campaign? You can probably assume this traffic is a result of that ad. Because this is still a “guess,” some companies will attribute only a portion of this traffic to Facebook. For example, if your stores see a boost of traffic by 32%, some companies might only attribute 50% of that to Facebook ads. This dynamic is known as attribution or defining what specifically caused the increase in traffic to your restaurant
Using Facebook To Measure Performance
Facebook has its own set of tools to measure performance. You can look at the number of clicks, comments, or likes on your ads to see which are performing the best. It’s common to find that ads with more clicks and likes will be shown more frequently due to Facebook’s algorithm.
Optimizing Your Restaurant Ads to Improve ROI
After analyzing how your ads are performing, you can implement these techniques to increase your ROI.
Check Your Targeting
If your ads aren’t performing up to your expectations, you might want to look at your targeting. Your low performance might be due to a mismatch between your restaurant and your targeted audience. For example, if you’re a high-end fine dining restaurant, you probably shouldn’t be targeting mothers or fathers with children as they’re not your ideal customer.
Another common mistake when it comes to targeting is an incorrect setup. Because there are so many potential selections, you should make sure that your targeting is correct before publishing your ad set. It could be the wrong city (there’s a Louisville Colorado too!) or targeting another language. You could also try expanding your age range to increase ad impressions for your campaign.
Check Your Ad Copy and Design
Does your ad entice customers to visit your restaurant? By connecting your ads with a unique offer, you can achieve two things:
- Better tracking. Because the offer is exclusive, you’ll know which customers came to your restaurant because of that particular Facebook ad.
- Better conversions. People are more likely to respond to an offer than a generic advertisement. Something as small as a free side of fries can suffice.
You should test various designs to see which colors and images perform best. In some cases, using one color over another can be a 5% difference in traffic. There are several claims of specific colors drawing more interaction than others. This article shows that yellow might be the ideal color for your designs because it grabs the eyes.
When it comes to the text or copy in your ad, try using persuasive language to get the best results. Some companies have also seen a boost in performance by using various emojis, and luckily for restaurants, there are a plethora of options.
Video advertisements tend to engage audiences more than their stagnant counterparts. If you have the tools to create a video advertisement, it’s worth trying. If you’re looking for more info on video marketing, check out this guide to make the most of your efforts. If creating video ads seems overwhelming, you might consider a drag-and-drop video creation platform.
Test, Test, Test
Testing is the key to your success in Facebook advertising. Some ads will perform better for no exact reason. You should aim to boost the ad budgets that generate more traffic and cut the budgets for those which underperform. You should try to create many different ads across several ad sets to identify high performing ads and test various designs.
Conclusion: Boosting Restaurant Revenue with Facebook Ads
Facebook ads for restaurants offer a unique way to reach millions of people across the world with the click of a button. By utilizing Facebook ads for your restaurant, you can boost traffic, awareness, and (ultimately) revenue for your business. To implement Facebook ads for your restaurant, you’ll need to formulate a strategy that’s in line with your other marketing efforts. After defining your plan, you can start creating ads, measuring performance, and optimizing your campaigns to increase your ROI.
Has your restaurant used Facebook ads to boost traffic? What were your results? Comment below!
How has the pandemic altered your course? Click the link below for our page containing helpful restaurant resources for the COVID-19 outbreak.
About the Author
Forrest is the Digital Marketing Manager at QSR Automations, where he oversees all things in the digital realm. He graduated from the University of Kentucky with a bachelor’s in Marketing. Forrest enjoys the challenges of the evolving digital landscape. In his free time, he has strong passions for both fitness and finance. You can find him running in the park or keeping up with the latest financial trends.