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Social media has allowed us to interact with food like never before. ‘Food porn’ doesn’t mean what we imagine it might have meant twenty years ago. But restaurants using social media to connect to consumers are no longer limited to just pictures of food, and social media has become so much more than a gallery of people’s #mealoftheday. It’s now a means to collect information, ask questions, get updated on the latest events and promos, and to be told (or reminded) that something exists. In fact. social media allows restaurants to connect with customers in a more personal and authentic way.

While there is no true formula, restaurants can approach social media in a number of ways. Each restaurant has its own personality and voice on social media. The goal is to reflect that personality in a way that is intriguing and engaging to customers.

Let’s take a look at some of the local restaurants that have done it right:

1. 8Cuts Burgers by The Moment Group (@8cutsburgers)

Strategy: Using humour and relatability to get engagement.

There are only so many pictures of burgers that a restaurant can post before becoming redundant. Instead, 8Cuts has created an aesthetic as big and bold as their burgers with posters that are on-brand with bright orange and blue hues, and a playful attitude. 

Oftentimes people do not respond as well to posters on Instagram as they do to outright photos—because no one likes to feel like they are being sold to. The posters overcome this barrier by being funny, sly and attractive enough to hang on your wall (if you still lived in a college dorm, that is), or in this age’s equivalent, enough to pause and double-tap as you scroll. Their captions often beg a response from their audience, tapping into the relatability of a widely shared love for burgers and fries.

2. Sprout by Mothership (@sproutph)

Strategy: True and to-the-point.

Frankly, Filipino culture and healthy food are not strongly associated. Yet Sprout has found a consistent aesthetic that resonates with the niche market they have carved out for their healthy convenience store concept in the heart of Salcedo Village. 

Their Instagram feed is tinged with greens and whites—colours associated with freshness and cleanliness. The feed doesn’t try too hard to have picture perfect images—instead, its photos are raw, honest and to-the-point, just like the brand personality. Their happy-hued posters are used to announce menus, new arrivals, promos and partnerships, and the social media page is focused on information rather than lifestyle.

3. Twelve Ten (@twelvetenph)

Strategy: Your coolest friend on Instagram.

Owned by young couple Thea Rivera and Gab Bustos, Twelve Ten’s Instagram account manages to be sophisticated and irreverent at the same time, much like their approach to food. Illustrations and photos pulled off the internet keep their feed young and assert the brand personality, while the photos (often showcasing technique or their artfully plated dishes) adhere to a colour palette and uncompromised aesthetic. 

It’s no wonder that two millennials know exactly what they’re doing when it comes to social media. Unlike other feeds that try so hard to get engagement, Twelve Ten’s efforts come off as authentic and casual, with photos that are equally focused on people in their Twelve Ten family as they are on food, uncharacteristic of the industry but perfect for building a brand identity. Social media is how people connect, so when your restaurant’s social media account manages to come off like its own person, you’ve succeeded.

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