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If you use  Facebook or Instagram then you’ve most likely have seen or participated in some type of giveaway. Giveaways and contests are a quick way to increase the number of people who like or follow your page. The more followers and loyal customers you have to your brand, the more business your restaurant will get. Instagram contests generate 65x more comments, and 3.5x more likes than regular posts. The contests and giveaways create a different type of relationship between you and your customers while also assisting in building brand visibility. People love receiving incentives and free things. Here are a few quick restaurant contest ideas to get more customers.

New Menu Items

Turn to your most popular social media page to open up dialogue and conversation about a new menu item. Ask your following a question about what they would like to see on the menu that currently doesn’t exist. Adding new items is a great way to add diversity without getting rid of what’s working. For example, maybe you specialize in making specialty tacos and you want to know what should be added to the menu. Post the question: “Time to switch things up! We’re looking for some fresh taco takes. Do you have recipes you really enjoy? Let us know! Post in the comments below, and if it looks like a flavor that fits our menu, we’ll name the taco after you!” When the contest is over, you will announce the winner and new menu idea on your page while also individually messaging everyone who participated. Doing this will increase engagement and brand awareness.


Like to Win

This is an easy one! Choose a week where you encourage your following to like your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram page for a free group dinner for you and your friends (or prize of your choice). Accounts that hold Instagram contests grow their followers 70% faster over three months, on average, than accounts that don’t. Make the prize large and set an end date to the contest to keep the giveaway focused while driving sense of urgency. Give a prize away to multiple people so your followers feel like they have a good chance of winning.Use all of your social media channels to promote and advertise the contest to maximize tparticipation.


Gift Card Giveaways

This contest is a little different than the previous one in that you aren’t giving away a one-time only prize. You can do gift card giveaways more often and at a smaller price point. For example, find the day of the week where your customers interact with your brand the most and use this to your advantage by giving away $20 to the person who offers the best caption to a yummy photo of your food. By giving a gift card, you are also rewarding someone with YOUR business, and this could lead to return customers in the future.


Tag a Friend

Instagram is the place to find food. It’s very rare that you scroll through your feed before without seeing photo of food within a few seconds. As Instagram continues to grow, Instagram contests continue to rise rapidly in popularity. One contest that is simple to create and easy to get customers to participate is a “tag a friend” contest. Encourage customers to take a photo of one of your meals and tag 3 friends for the chance to win a free meal. You can run this contest weekly or monthly to keep engagement levels up. It’s also important to stay consistent and commit to the contest so customers continue to enter and promote the contest in hopes of winning.


Friday Fun Fact

Let’s get back to the basics. Everyone loves a little fun fact. Post a question (that your customers will be able to easily answer because… Google) that directly appeals to your followers. Try to make the question a little tricky so that participants don’t immediately get discouraged and not participate. Over 84% of customers say being treated like a person, not a number. One way to do that is to discuss topics and ideas that aren’t always business-related. Optical illusions, riddles, “What ingredient makes our pancakes so good?” Keep the question fun, light-hearted, and different each week. Then offer a small prize to whoever answers the question correctly first.


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