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How to Use Facebook Advertising to Drive Traffic to Your Restaurant’s Online Menu

Driving traffic to your restaurant’s website is essential for attracting customers, increasing sales, and boosting your bottom line. Social media, email, radio, direct mail, and print, are all effective channels for getting your business’s name out there.

But since the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, there’s probably no better, easier, and more cost-effective way to draw a connection between you and your target audience than to reach them where they spend their time. And based on some very compelling evidence, much of their time is spent on Facebook.

Important stats to consider:

Most people know Facebook as a social network, used to stay in touch with friends and family online. But Facebook’s enormous database is a treasure trove of information you can use to get up-front and personal with the people you want to reach. Facebook lets you target your advertising to reach your existing customers, attract new ones, and keep them all coming back.

If you’re new to the world of Facebook advertising, you probably have some questions about how you can best utilize the power of this platform to help you drive customers to your restaurant's website. We’ve put together a guide to help you get started.

What type of Facebook advertising is right for me - boosting or ads?

There are a few different ways to advertise your business on Facebook - boosting posts or creating targeted ad campaigns. It’s important to understand the difference between the two.


A boosted post is a post that appears in your audience's Facebook Feed as an ad. You can choose a post that's already present on your Page's timeline and boost it. Boosting a Facebook post is easy to do, which is why it’s often very tempting. By simply clicking the “Boost Post” button and answering these questions, you’re all set!

  1. How long do you want to run your ad?

  2. To whom do you want to connect (your target audience)?

  3. How much do you want to spend?

When is Boosting a good idea?

  • If you want more of your current followers to see your posts

  • If you just want more folks to see your post.

  • If you have a post that is already driving traffic to your website, and you want it to work even better

Before hitting that “Boost” button, ask yourself these questions:

  • Does your post serve a purpose?

  • Does the post have a clear call to action?

  • Does the post link directly to your online menu?

In other words, if your post gives the viewer a reason to become a customer, then “boost” away!

On the other hand, if the post is getting a lot of “likes,” but not driving traffic to your website, you might want to reconsider. Resist the temptation to boost for the sake of boosting, especially because your goal is to increase sales, not just make friends.

Create Ads From Your Facebook Page

Creating ads directly from your Facebook page is one of the fastest and easiest ways to reach people who matter most to your business. But knowing which ad type to choose can be difficult.

What is the goal/objective of your ad?

The first thing you’ll need to do is set a goal or objective for your ad. You can choose your goal within the Facebook ad manager. Is your goal to build local awareness; increase engagement; or is your objective to up your number of conversions?

Choose your ad’s goal before you start so that you can create a strategy around that goal, getting you the most return on your investment.

Who is your target audience?

Facebook lets you target your customer’s location, age, gender, interests, and more. Generally, the more specific you are with your targeting strategy, the better your results will be.

What materials will you need?

Do you need copy, photography, personas, videos or other resources for your ad?

What is your budget?

Plan how much you are spending and for how long.

When is a Facebook ad campaign a good idea?

  • If you want to expand your reach to new customers

  • If you have a goal that isn’t achievable with boosting alone

  • If your ad incorporates a call-to-action button that links directly to your menu

Ad Type by Goal

When deciding on what type of ad is right for you, start by thinking about what action you want people to take when they see your ad. Do you want people to engage with your ad (share or comment), like your page, become more aware of your business, or go to your restaurant’s website?

Promote Your Page: To increase awareness of your restaurant

Promote Your Business Locally: To reach people near your restaurant

Boost your Post: If you want to increase engagement

Boost an Event: Generate interest in an upcoming event

Promote Your (Call-for-Action) Button: To encourage people to take a specific action, such as an order from your menu

Get More Website Visitors: To increase visitors to your website or blog, Get More Website Purchases: To encourage people to make a purchase or place an order.

Facebook ads are excellent tools for promoting your restaurant’s catering delivery. Because Facebook allows you to tailor a campaign that narrowly targets a specific audience, the platform’s algorithm lets you create a campaign that reaches users who not only live within your delivery radius but have recently searched for catering menus.

For more information, go to Facebook’s help page.

More things you can do with Facebook Ads

  • Choose different ad placements: When you boost a post, you'll be able to decide whether or not you want to place your ad on Instagram in addition to Facebook mobile and desktop Feed. With Facebook ads, you can choose placements in Facebook Feed side ads, Messenger ads, Instagram stories, instant articles, and Audience Network.

  • Use specific ad objectives: Choosing an ad objective helps you to focus on which campaign type best aligns with your current business goals. Boosted posts allow you to focus on website clicks, Page engagement, and local business promotions. Full ads let you choose objectives like store traffic, conversions, and lead generation.

  • Maintain creative control: Facebook Ads created through Ads Manager let you design an ad that fits your goals.

  • Use advance targeting capabilities: Boosting lets you target by interests, age, and gender, which helps you reach people who are most likely to be interested in what your restaurant offers. Facebook ads provide more advanced tools to create overlapping audience types, lookalike audiences, etc.

11 Tips for Using Facebook Ads

Start with your current customers

When creating a Facebook ad, you are given a range of options. You can decide who you want to see your ad based on profile information, location, and demographics. Your current customers are the people most interested in a promotional offer or new menu item.

Create a “warm audience” list

The next step is to create a “warm audience” list. This is a list of people who have interacted with either your Facebook page or with content you’ve posted on Facebook but have yet to order from your menu. These potential customers already know who you are and what your restaurant offers, so it’ll be easier to get them to visit.

Target “new” customers

A “new” customer is a person in your local market that still does not know that you exist. When creating a Facebook ad strategy, target people in your local market, using factors like demographics and interests, that would most likely be interested in your restaurant.

Create a “Look Alike” List

Facebook provides tools that allow you to analyze your current customers and to create audiences that are similar to your current customers.

Facebook Lookalike Audiences analyzes the demographics and interests of the people in your current audience and then finds people who “look like” them.

Target people visiting your area

Facebook targeting options allow you to target everyone in an area, including people who are visiting. This is perfect for restaurants in tourist areas or for restaurants near where people work.

Facebook uses location data from a person’s mobile phone, allowing your ad to display on the mobile devices of people in your area that meet your targeting criteria.

Targeting customers interested in online ordering

When running a Facebook ad for online ordering, the best audience is the one including people you know who have visited your online order site, and the hottest audience is the one that includes people that have already placed an online order through your site.

Use email marketing to help build your Facebook custom audiences

Email is a powerful marketing tool and guests appreciate hearing about new items and discounts from their favorite restaurants.

The most effective email marketing messages include coupon offers or discounts, driving the customer to view additional website information or start the online ordering process.

Use Facebook ads to grow your email marketing list

When running a Facebook ad with a special offer, land the customer on a web page where the customer requests to have the offer emailed to them. Allow customers to opt into your email list after completing the form.

Adding the email opt-ins to your email marketing list allows you to target all of the people that requested the coupon with future email marketing messages, helping to build and nurture your guest relationship.

Use cross-channel functionality

The ad you create on Facebook can be shown to people on Instagram.

Direct-channel ordering

Level up your restaurant’s social media presence and make the most of your Facebook restaurant marketing by taking orders straight from Facebook. When you partner with Sauce, your customers can order directly from Facebook, eliminating steps that sometimes cause potential customers to get lost.

Drawing a straight line between you and your customer, using social media advertising, is a streamlined strategy to boost your restaurant’s bottom line.

See our blog post, The Top 5 Social Media Platforms for Restaurants for more information.

By Eileen Strauss


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