7 Restaurant Viral Hacks For Social Media Mastery

In today's digital age, social media has become an indispensable tool for restaurants to connect with customers, build brand awareness, and drive sales. With billions of users across platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook, the opportunities for creative restaurant marketing are vast. However, simply having a presence on social media is no longer enough – restaurants must find ways to cut through the noise and go viral. Going viral on social media can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be. By leveraging the right strategies and tactics, restaurants can create content that resonates with their audience, sparks engagement, and spreads like wildfire across the internet. In this article, we'll explore seven proven viral hacks that can help restaurants achieve social media mastery and tap into the power of word-of-mouth marketing.

Leverage Trending Topics and Memes

One aspect of social media mastery is tapping into the cultural zeitgeist by aligning your content with trending topics, memes, and viral challenges. By creating content that aligns with trending topics, memes, and viral challenges, restaurants can increase their visibility and engage with a broader audience. For example, when the "Corn Kid" meme took the internet by storm in 2022, Chipotle capitalized on the trend by launching a "Corn Grill" menu item and creating TikTok content featuring the viral star. This strategy not only generated buzz but also demonstrated Chipotle's ability to stay relevant and connect with internet culture. To leverage trending topics and memes effectively, restaurants should monitor popular hashtags, viral videos, and cultural moments. They can then create their own spin on these trends, infusing them with their brand's unique personality and offerings.

Partner With Influencers

Influencer marketing has become a powerful tool for brands across industries, and the restaurant sector is no exception. By partnering with influencers who have a strong following and align with your brand's values, restaurants can tap into new audiences and leverage the power of social proof. There are two main types of influencers that restaurants should consider: macro-influencers and micro-influencers. Macro-influencers are individuals with a large following, often in the hundreds of thousands or millions. While they can be more expensive to work with, their reach and influence can be substantial. On the other hand, micro-influencers have smaller but highly engaged followings, typically ranging from a few thousand to tens of thousands. These influencers often have a niche focus and can provide a more targeted and authentic approach to influencer marketing. When partnering with influencers, restaurants should prioritize authenticity and creative freedom. By allowing influencers to showcase their genuine experiences and share their honest opinions, restaurants can build trust with their audience and increase the likelihood of their content going viral.

User-Generated Content Contests

One of the most powerful viral marketing strategies is to leverage the creativity and enthusiasm of your customers. By encouraging user-generated content (UGC) through contests and challenges, restaurants can tap into a vast pool of content creators and amplify their reach organically. For example, a restaurant could run a contest challenging customers to share their most creative or visually appealing dishes on social media, using a branded hashtag. The best submissions could be rewarded with prizes, such as gift cards or free meals, while also being featured on the restaurant's social media channels. Not only does this strategy generate a wealth of shareable content, but it also fosters a sense of community and engagement among customers. As people share and interact with each other's submissions, the restaurant's brand and offerings are exposed to a wider audience, increasing the potential for viral success.

Behind-the-Scenes Videos

In a world where authenticity and transparency are highly valued, behind-the-scenes videos can be a powerful tool for restaurants to connect with their audience on a deeper level. By giving customers a glimpse into the inner workings of the restaurant, from the kitchen to the sourcing of ingredients, restaurants can humanize their brand and create a sense of intimacy with their audience. These videos can showcase the passion and craftsmanship that goes into creating each dish, the relationships with local suppliers, and the personalities of the staff. When executed well, behind-the-scenes videos can be both informative and entertaining, making them highly shareable and potentially viral.

Show Personality With Voiceovers/Skits

While food is the primary focus for restaurants, injecting personality and humor into social media content can be a game-changer for going viral. By incorporating popular voiceovers, movie quotes, or skits into their posts, restaurants can tap into cultural references and create content that is both relatable and entertaining.  For example, a restaurant could film a server lip-synching their greeting using an iconic movie line or create a skit parodying a popular TV show but set in their kitchen. When done well, these types of posts not only showcase the restaurant's personality but also have the potential to resonate with a wider audience and spread rapidly through shares and engagement.

Run Targeted Ad Campaigns

While organic social media content is essential, running targeted ad campaigns can be a powerful tool for amplifying viral success. Most social media platforms offer advanced targeting options that allow restaurants to reach specific geographic and demographic audiences with precision. By boosting their top-performing organic content through paid advertising, restaurants can dramatically increase their reach and visibility, putting their viral content in front of highly relevant potential customers. Additionally, social media advertising often offers robust analytics and performance tracking, allowing restaurants to optimize their campaigns for maximum impact and return on investment.

Host Live Stream Events

In the era of instant gratification and real-time engagement, live streaming has become a powerful tool for brands to connect with their audience authentically and interactively. Restaurants can leverage this format by hosting live stream events, such as interview shows, cook-a-long with their chef, or behind-the-scenes tours of their kitchen or supplier locations. These live-stream events create a sense of excitement and exclusivity, allowing viewers to engage directly with the restaurant through comments and questions. Additionally, these events can be repackaged as long-form content and repurposed on platforms like YouTube, extending their reach and longevity.

Achieving viral success on social media requires a combination of creativity, strategic planning, and a deep understanding of what resonates with your audience. By implementing the seven viral hacks outlined in this article, restaurants can increase their chances of creating content that captures attention, sparks engagement, and spreads rapidly across the internet.

Remember, going viral is not just about amassing likes and shares – it's about building brand awareness, fostering customer loyalty, and driving sales. With the right approach and a commitment to consistently delivering valuable and entertaining content, restaurants can leverage the power of social media to take their marketing efforts to new heights. For restaurants seeking a comprehensive solution to streamline operations and elevate the customer experience, platforms like TouchSuite offer cutting-edge tools to manage everything from online ordering and payment processing to staff scheduling and customer loyalty programs – setting the stage for even more buzz-worthy moments and viral success.


  • Jonathan Bomser

    Writing for Touchsuite, Jonathan Bomser, is a technology and marketing expert with over 30 years of industry experience. He is a businessman, writer, artist and musician. He has vast knowledge of finance, business and technology. Jonathan is currently founding, investing and board advising in several early stage and start up companies. Jonathan has been involved in Technology, Media, Marketing and Advertising for a multitude of Fortune 500 companies for over 30 years.He has served as a strategic, creative and marketing executive and consultant for both parent companies and subsidiaries at AOL, The National Football League, The Walt Disney Company, NBC, MTV, Viacom, Time Warner, USA Today, Alliance Entertainment, WPP, Penguin USA, along with numerous other established companies, start-up ventures and reorganizations.Jonathan was the CEO and Founder of BigLinker.com, which was acquired by Ziff Davis (Nasdaq: ZD) in 2021, CEO and Founder of TownTarget.com from 2013-2015 which was acquired by Touchsuite/American Bancard in 2015 and previously Bomser Payan Interactive Agency from 2008-2012 which was acquired by Big Step Interactive/Digital Marketing Associates. Jonathan was the key developer for the technology used to power many of their successful digital campaigns. Clients included national brands such as Adidas, PNC Bank, Massage Envy, European Wax Center and others.Jonathan has also helped manage the technology initiatives, creative strategies and business development for AIM Pages.com, AOL’s Social Network. Since May 2006, Jonathan has also been consulting for technology, marketing, sales and creative strategies for Veoh.com, BigString.com, Vuguru.com and others. Before consulting for these major companies, Jonathan was a principal in En Pea Productions,Inc. which was a television production company focused on reality television, commercials and music videos. Jonathan is also the former Board Member, CEO and President of WoozyFly.Inc. Trading on under the symbol WZFY.Jonathan's current projects at AccountSend.com, VocalChimp.com and CoolValidator.com

    Touchsuite is located in Boca Raton, FL and is a payment processing and point of sale company that specializes in merchant accounts, point of sale systems, Grubbrr self-ordering kiosks.