Restaurant marketing

A new survey describes the growth of TikTok as a marketing tool for restaurants

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Popular social media channels provide businesses with an outlet for digital and social marketing campaigns. MGH, a full-service marketing and communications agency for franchise restaurants, sought to determine the level of influence of the increasingly popular platform, ICT Tac, has on restaurant industry users. Their findings indicate that TikTok can be an incredibly useful advertising tool if used correctly.

There are currently 65.9 million monthly active users of TikTok in the US and 1 billion active users globally, and the app is consistently listed in the top 10 most downloaded apps. Research conducted by MGH to examine its effect in the restaurant industry asked 700 US residents, all TikTok users, to complete a survey. Their findings concluded that 36% of TikTok users have visited or ordered food from a restaurant after seeing a TikTok video about the restaurant, and 45% of respondents said they would be interested in visiting a restaurant. in a different state based on a TikTok video. , 35% claim to have already done so.

“These results are particularly significant considering the size of TikTok’s user base. Not only does it have a massive user base, but its popularity continues to explode. The fact that a third of users report having taken action in a certain industry shows how powerful this platform could be for the restaurant industry,” says Ryan Goff, EVP, Social Media Marketing Director at MGH.

MGH has had TikTok on its radar for the past two years. “We started experimenting with TikTok in 2019, but at that time it was the new kid on the block. Once Covid hit, we started seeing TikTok content everywhere. Even Facebook and Instagram feeds were filled with TikTok content, so it was clear that not only were more people consuming content on the TikTok platform itself, but also sharing that content on other larger channels. , bringing more people into the TikTok sphere. Goff recalled customers’ initial reluctance to use TikTok as a marketing tool: “Most people saw it as a platform where teenagers could create fun dances, but in very little time. Over time, TikTok’s content and the platform itself have evolved to become more appealing to a much larger demographic.

The platform requires an adjustment period for the restaurant’s marketing team to experiment with the video structure and identify that particular aspect of the restaurant to highlight to attract customers.

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“You are rewarded based on engagement, so the more you understand videos that are already getting engagement, the stronger your content will be and the more likely you will be successful.”

Video content can take a number of different approaches. It could be a chef preparing a signature dish, a behind-the-scenes look, a highlight of the restaurant’s atmosphere, or any other aspect of the restaurant that makes it unique from its competitors. “The key to TikTok is making sure you don’t feel like an uninvited guest, but like a part of the TikTok community by understanding the video style,” Goff explained. When it comes to duration, a shorter duration is generally preferred, between 15 and 30 seconds, but TikTok allows videos up to two minutes, and the longer durations haven’t limited the popularity of these videos.

The time it takes to adapt to this new platform is a small price to pay considering the limited or non-existent expenses required to create this content. “I recommend clients come with a $0 budget. From what I’ve seen and how TikTok’s algorithm works, if a restaurant has the right product to stand out in the feed and does it in a way that grabs users’ attention to quickly garner engagement on the app, TikTok will reward these videos by showing them to a huge and growing audience. TikTok has plenty of examples of people with no followers suddenly going viral overnight, so there’s no need for a restaurant to come up with a huge investment. I would encourage them not to, so they don’t get pushed off the platform. Come with a low budget or none at all to experiment with the platform and see what kind of organic traction you can get,” Goff said.


A copy of this research, including questions and answers, can be found via MGH. For more information, visit the survey page on their website.