YouTube Restaurant Marketing

YouTube Restaurant Marketing

In this guide, we’ll cover the basics of YouTube marketing, in particular how to use vlogging, streaming and other types of content on YouTube to promote your restaurant.

We’ll cover the reasons why you’d want to market using YouTube and how to integrate video into your overall social media marketing plan.

Read More: Choosing a Restaurant Business Structure

The Types Of Video Content Marketers Post On YouTube

Vlogs — A vlog or video-log is like a diary entry, generally very off the cuff and casual, but with more planning and editing than a stream. You can use your restaurant vlog to cover a wide range of topics you and your viewers are interested in, and of course news and updates about the goings-on of your restaurant.

Streaming — Streaming videos are live vlogs, a little more casual but with the added benefit of live interaction with your viewers. To have a successful streaming video it’s good to notify your fans ahead of time. Tease them with being the first to know about something exciting you’re launching or an insider’s view of an event.

Documentaries — These videos help your fans get to know you, your staff and how your restaurant is run. You can give a tour, tell a story, do interviews, show prep and lots more. A documentary gives your followers an inside look and an opportunity to feel like part of your restaurant.

Tips Videos — In a tips video you share your area of specialized knowledge that you possess. This could be a “how to” video with kitchen tips from your chef, or how to degrease like a pro. What’s the best cooking oil? How do you know good truffles? Or any other area of knowledge that the average Joe wouldn’t know about without working in a restaurant.

Reviews — In this case it could be a review on equipment used in commercial kitchens that people may want. Who makes the best pans? The best knives? The best mixers? What’s the best gourmet olive oil? Just think about what interests you and your opinions about what you encounter in your work. Your professional advice makes for an awesome review video.

Commercials — There are two kinds of commercials on YouTube. One way is to post your commercial as another video on your channel. The second is to participate in YouTube’s advertising system.

The choice you make depends on the type of commercial you’ve produced and if you have a means of distributing it on your own. If you just want to send it out to your social media followers you’ll avoid the costs of paid advertising.

However, having your commercial air before other videos on YouTube is a great opportunity to reach new people and generate interest in your restaurant. Just keep in mind that viewers can skip a commercial after the first 5 seconds so you’ll need to put something really exciting or interesting at the front.

Read More: Social Media for Restaurant Marketing

What are the benefits of a Restaurant YouTube Channel?

It’s super personal.

Because people can see you it helps to build a strong connection with your target audience.

With the comments section enabled, you reply to your viewers directly, heightening the rapport between you and your customers. There is no better way to get your brand message across than to speak directly to members of your target market.

When they watch your videos they learn about you and your restaurant brand. It’s not just about great food and service now, it’s about a personal connection. That’s how you build customer loyalty.

You’ll have lots of content to post across social media.

YouTube is also a great way to generate social media engagement on other platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Reddit. Because you can create short videos on a regular basis, video blogs are an important element for marketing your restaurant online.

The fact that many people are more willing to watch a 5 minute YouTube video than read a blog post should stick with you. It means you’ll have an unprecedented opportunity to communicate with your followers.

Read More: Choosing a Restaurant Business Structure

Rules For Great Restaurant Marketing Videos:

You always want to put your best foot forward when posting your videos. Stay true to yourself, your style and your brand message to appeal to your target customer. Follow these basic video production tips to create YouTube content you can be proud of.

Lights, Camera...

Camera — Although some smartphones these days have great cameras and are easy to use, there are some limitations to consider.

The lenses are not interchangeable and the exposure is set automatically. Video quality is also lower than a DSLR used for video. Phones are great for live streaming and vlog style posts but for other types of videos such as interviews and how-tos, you’ll want to use a DSLR digital camera with video mode.

Before you start shooting do some testing to make sure you are satisfied with the quality. Avoid webcams and built in cameras on laptops, which do not have the video quality you need to present yourself professionally.

Tripod — One of the surest signs of amateur quality is shaky video. There are many inexpensive tripod options. A DSLR camera will have a tripod mount.

For your smartphone you’ll need to get an adjustable mount designed to hold a phone or tablet.

Important — Never orient your phone for “vertical video”. Make sure your phone is sideways, or longways so your video matches the viewer’s computer monitor, without black bars.

Audio — High quality audio, free from background sounds and static is extremely important. No one will watch your videos if the sound is bad. An easy tip when recording on your phone is to use the “mic” jack to connect a lapel mic or other external microphone for recording.

Make sure you’re recording in a quiet place, without background noise from machinery, equipment, fans, music, people talking, vehicles or echos.

Take care that your audio levels are not too loud or too quiet. Some adjustments can be made when editing, but don’t count on it.

Be careful when adding background music to your video because it can be very distracting if done incorrectly.

Lighting — Lighting is another make-or-break element of good video. You want your restaurant to be shown “in the best light,” after all. As a quick solution you can shoot near a large window during the daytime, but avoid direct sunlight.

For more flexibility it’s recommended that you buy an inexpensive lighting kit designed for video bloggers. The kits will usually include two lights with adjustable height stands and some kind of material to diffuse the light so it’s not so harsh.

If your video is dark, too bright or the lights are casting strong shadows you will not be presenting a professional look and most viewers will move on, no matter how interesting what you have to say is.

Background — Pay attention to what is behind you. You want a pleasant background that is clean and free of clutter or distracting movement. It’s recommended to show off a nice feature of your restaurant if you can. Find an interesting wall or a great view without too much movement. Give your viewers a chance to see what to expect when they visit.

Editing — When deciding how much editing you want to perform, keep in mind that the more editing you plan to do when shooting, the more work it will take to get your video online.

For most videos it’s best to pre-plan and let your video flow naturally rather than expect to edit it a lot. For live streams there isn’t any editing at all. This casual approach is part of the charm of a YouTube video.

YouTube includes simple editing tools that you can use after you upload your video. For more complex videos like interviews and how-tos, adding intros, restaurant logos, music and editing will likely require a computer with dedicated video editing software such as iMovie.

Read More: Choosing a Restaurant Business Structure


Before you start recording, always check to make sure you have a full battery and enough storage space. You don’t want to get cut off in the middle of a great moment!

To avoid having to spend too much time editing, strike a balance between casual and prepared. This is why planning ahead is so important.

To give a great performance follow these tips:

  • Have a clear topic in mind before you start recording.
  • Don’t be afraid to refer to your notes if you need to.
  • Speak about what you know, and let your natural personality shine!

People will enjoy your YouTube videos the most when they can relate to you. They’re not looking for perfection, so don’t be too hard on yourself.


YouTube allows you to create and post restaurant marketing content including vlogs, live streams, commercials, interviews, events, how-to videos and more.

These videos will give you a constant source of material to post to other social media platforms. Many followers prefer to watch a video over reading a blog post so take advantage of their interest.

As you gain familiarity with the tools used for recording and editing video the door opens to create more complex YouTube restaurant marketing content. The best way to learn is to get started!

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