3 Secrets to Social Selling for Restaurants: Customer Attention, Data, and Sales

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Social media has quickly become the king of selling and an area of focused effort for putting your restaurant at the forefront of people’s mind. Additionally, the fight for customer attention and eyeballs has intensified as we race toward an even more digital future.

In this blog post, we’ll cover the three secrets to selling on social media: customer attention, customer data, and customer sales.

Customer attention is a key part of the social media game. What are people talking about? You need to capitalize on this in order for your content to be seen – and if you don’t have anything new or interesting, then it’s time to pivot!

The second secret we’ll cover is customer data. It can help you attract more customers like the ones you already have, predict customer behavior and needs, or recapture lost customers.

Lastly is the sales secret: what’s your ultimate goal and how are you tracking it? What systems do you have in place to ensure you’re not wasting people’s time and your restaurant’s money?

Secret #1: Customer Attention

One of the most important secrets to selling on social media is grabbing customer attention.

A consumer’s attention span is short, and capturing it can be one of the most valuable “currencies” in the digital age.

You want to make sure that your content interests them and holds it long enough to get your message across, which should lead them into wanting more information about what you are offering.


When it comes to restaurants selling online, using high quality creative yields better results.

Rather than relying on outdated or generic content, such as canned or stock photo and video, use fresh and engaging visuals that resonate with your target market.


The Local Donut never disappoints with their customer creations - but get your order in because they sell out! ##donut ##az ##arizonacheck ##donuts ##food

♬ Melody (1983 Club Vinyl Mix) - Plustwo
of consumers prefer watching a video to reading about a product
0 %
of consumers want to see more video content from brands
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of consumers will watch a video on social media as long as it's no more than 5 min.
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Captions & Call-to-Actions

When you communicate on social media, people can recognize your brand voice in the same way they know who is calling when their phone rings.

Rather than drawing an audience with no clear goal, use a call-to-action to tell the visitor what you want them to do and keep their attention long enough for them to act on your request.

This is an important element of social media, as it helps with conversion and engagement rates.


If you want your audience to recognize your restaurant, then you must be consistent. Consistency will allow you to grow engagement with an audience and reach new users.

In order to successfully market on social media you need to be recognizable. A recognizable brand will use the tone of voice in their captions, visuals for creatives, and other aspects to capture their intended customer’s attention.

Dig Deeper: Explore Making High-quality Video Content

While videos are favored among consumers, they shouldn’t be long. It’s important to know your audience and identify what will get them engaged.

Secret #2: Customer Data

Successful restaurants know that customer data is a key factor in building a successful restaurant marketing strategy. They collect the necessary information to provide a personalized customer experience and make more informed decisions, ultimately leading to increased sales.

Personal Data

Personal data can be designated into two categories, Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and Non-Personally Identifiable Information (Non-PII).

PII includes any information that can be used to identify, contact or locate a person. Non-PII is data on an individual which does not contain anything personally identifiable like demographics and interests.

Personally Identifiable Information (PII): 2 categories
Linked Information: Information that can be used to identify someone without requiring additional information
Linkable Information: Information that can’t identify a person on its own, but it can when it’s combined with another piece of information
Non-Personally Identifiable Information (Non-PII):

The opposite of PII, which is anonymous infomration and can't be used to identify any one person

Examples include: IP address, cookies, Device ID's

Linked Information Types
Full name - Physical address - Email address - Login details - Social security number - Credit/debit card details - Date of birth - Phone number
Linkable Information Types
First or last name - Location (city, zip code) - Gender - Age group - Job details

Engagement Data

Restaurants should collect customer data from platforms like social media, as well as marketing activities, to understand how customers are interacting with their brands.

This includes data such as the customer’s website behavior, social media engagement, and more.

Engagement Data
Tells you how your customers interact with your brand online. This includes information such as the customer website behavior, social media engagement and so on.
Data Point Types

1. Website and Mobile Apps: Web visits, App stickiness, Most viewed pages, Traffic sources

2. Social Media Engagement: Post likes, Post shares, Post comments, video views, shares, saves

3. Email Engagement: Open rate, Click-through rate, Bounce rate, Email forwards

4. Paid Ads: Impressions, Click-through rate, Cost per click, Cost per view, Conversions

Behavioral Data

Behavioral data can help you update your customer persona to account for new information, uncovering interesting patterns that were not previously visible to you before their purchase journey.

Behavioral Data
Helps you uncover underlying patterns that your customers reveal during their purchase journey. Engagement data may or may not be a part of behavioral data.
Data Point Types

How You Can Gather This Information:

1. Transactional Data: Purchase details, Previous purchases, Average order value, Cart abandonment data, Average customer lifetime value, Customer loyalty program details

2. App Usage: Repeat actions, Feature usage & duration, Task completion, Devices

3. Qualitative Data: User attention, Heatmaps (clicks, scroll, mouse movement data)

Secret #3: Customer Sales

As consumers have become increasingly reliant on social media for their buying decisions, restaurants have cut back their focus from driving single point of sale transactions. It’s important to understand KPI’s such as:

  • CPF – Cost per Follower
  • CPI – Cost per Impression (1,000 people seeing your content)
  • CPA – Cost per Acquisition
  • LTV – Lifetime Value of a Customer

All four are designed to track your customers’ revenue value, calculate life span of the customer, and predict sales numbers to help you make better informed decisions about the future operations of your business.


Brand building and brand growth is the most undervalued and misunderstood currency in today’s online business environment. Restaurants that consistently invest in building their brand benefit from what’s called the ‘Halo Effect’.

What Is the Halo Effect?

The halo effect is a term for a consumer’s favoritism toward a restaurant or chain due to positive experiences or interactions they’ve shared with this restaurant. 

The halo effect is correlated to brand strength, brand loyalty, and contributes to brand equity. All three of which drive long-term monetary success for a restaurant brand.


Your customer acquisition cost (CAC) or cost per acquisition (CPA) is the measure of how much it costs you to win a customer. Spending $500 to acquire a new customer who will have a LTV of $300 probably won’t help your restaurant.

Annual Impact

Knowing how your direct marketing efforts impact sales can give your business the clarity it needs. By eliminating blind spots, you can identify areas where your marketing message is resonating and other areas to improve.

The Big Tech Data Wars

The Big Tech Data Wars are on! 

Restaurant owners need to be aware of what is happening so they can make informed decisions about how best to own their customer data and use it to build their brands. Relying only on Google, Facebook and Apple to continue marketing your restaurants without actually gaining anything tangible form the money you spend, will end up hurting your restaurant in the long run.

If these tech giants are fighting with each other over your customer data and it’s that important to them, then as a restaurant owner – it should be equally as important to you. 

1 month of data is worth $10,000 in annual revenue.

Knowing who your customers are is the first step in reeling in repeat visits and finding new customers that fit your business.

You better track if it’s working

It is important to collect as much customer data as possible when increasing your social media sales efforts.

The more points of positive attribution you have, the better decisions you can make for your restaurant business.

The $1 Rule for Paid Social Growth

It’s worth paying $1-2 one time to acquire a follower (CPF) for 3 reasons:

  1. The low cost of building brand awareness
  2. The low cost of acquiring engagement data
  3. The high opportunity cost of NOT doing it