3 Simple Strategies to Build a Community Around Your Restaurant

Today, we will explore 3 strategies to build a community around your restaurant. The best part is that these strategies are very simple, so you can start using them right away.

Let’s start with what can we call a restaurant community and why do you need one.

So, what is a restaurant community?

In my opinion it is about a shift in focus. Traditionally, a restaurant is primarily about food. The entire emphasis, both in communication with guests and in the guests’ minds, revolves around food. This approach isn’t flawed—it works. However, there’s a risk involved.

Imagine owning a pizzeria and proclaiming to have the best pizza in town. All communication with guests revolves entirely around pizza. Things are going smoothly, and guests visit the establishment for the pizza.

Then, one day, a new pizzeria opens right across from yours. In their communication with guests, they echo your message, claiming to have the best pizza in the city. Whether true or not is another matter. The crucial point here is that you’re now in direct competition, and it’s highly probable that this new pizzeria will draw some of your guests. This scenario is quite common.

Is there a way to prevent this outcome?

Indeed, there is, and it’s called community.

Community represents a shift in focus from food to creating a special space for customers. It becomes a part of their lives, a place of interest where they know people and frequently spend their time.

The beauty of it is that almost any restaurant can achieve this. The key lies in the right focus and effectively crafted communication with potential and existing guests.

Yes, it will require effort, but the benefits are huge.

When a community forms around your restaurant, you’ll see more regular guests. There’s no need to fear competition because a community is a strong, practically unique competitive advantage for those who are part of it. You’ll likely witness an increase in user-generated content as people spend more time in your restaurant, snapping photos and videos with friends, making your restaurant part of their lives.

You might argue: ‘Okay, Mila, that sounds promising, but building this community seems to require a team of marketers. I don’t have the budget for that right now.’ Not so. You can easily start fostering a community around your restaurant on your own, and right now, we’ll explore three simple strategies to help you do just that.

Feature your guests on social media

It is essential to showcase your restaurant’s ambiance and audience on social media. By providing potential customers a glimpse of the atmosphere and the people who frequent your establishment, they can better decide if it’s the right fit for them.

How can you achieve this?

  • Capture the restaurant’s atmosphere: share what is happening in the establishment at the moment.
  • Repost user-generated content to your stories.
  • Conduct interviews with your guests to gather their impressions on the menu, special offers, and events.

Become an integral part of the local community

Act as a platform for creativity by hosting exhibitions, musical events, or stand-up events.

This showcases your restaurant as more than just a place to eat out. It demonstrates a commitment to the local community and investing in art. 

Involve guests in the restaurant’s work

Instead of hiring models for advertisements, organize a photo contest with simple conditions like taking a photo in your themed photo zone. The winner receives a professional photo shoot in the restaurant. You can use the photos and videos from this photo shoot for your advertising and social media content.

Of course, given the nature of the competition, it’s important to clarify that the photos from this shoot will be utilized for promotional purposes for the establishment. Therefore, by participating in the competition, guests implicitly agree to this condition.

This approach conveys that your restaurant is a place of limitless possibilities, where everyone can become whoever they want, even a model featured in advertising. 


So, we’ve explored three strategies that can help you build a community around your restaurant. As you can see, they are quite straightforward and simple to implement. The key to building a community around your restaurant is to actively work on it. With consistent effort, you’ll soon see the results.