Social Media

How to Target Your Restaurant’s Facebook Advertising

Facebook Advertising | NextRestaurants

Editor’s Note: This is the third post in a comprehensive, five-part series on Facebook advertising. We’ve invited an expert on this subject, Chris Moreno with Zog Digital, to write the series for NextRestaurants readers. Chris previously worked at Facebook and now heads up the paid social media advertising team at Zog.

Over the past two weeks, we have explained why Facebook advertising is necessary for restaurants and the ad options available. Next is how marketers can optimize each ad though the use of extensive targeting using data-driven insights.

Facebook’s targeting options allow restaurants to optimize each and every ad by putting the content in front of the exact audience it was created to influence.

Facebook can do this because of its unrivaled ability to understands its users on a personal level including everything from age and location, to which restaurants they have checked in previously, the type of restaurant they’ve checked in to, or the timing of life events like weddings or graduations.

For restaurant marketers, this means that they can present each ad to only the groups most likely to make a future purchase. Optimized targeting also allows advertisers to spend each advertising dollar efficiently, maximizing budgets and ROI over time.


For restaurants, the geo-targeting option may be the most valuable one available. Facebook allows marketers to single out groups of users based on geographic markers like city, state and zip code. Restaurant marketers can take advantage of this option by only presenting ads to users who are within driving distance of a restaurant location.

Facebook Geography

Marketers can also optimize this targeting option by creating unique ad content that appeals to each specific geographic consumer base, amplifying the potential influence and stimulating more saliva glands.

Facebook Local Awareness Ads

Just this past week, Facebook unveiled new Local Awareness Ads, which allow restaurants to target users who with within a specific geographic radius, such as a mile around the business. This is the most specific geo-targeting option offered by Facebook yet, and should be utilized with unique calls to action to bring in foot traffic.


Restaurant marketers can use Facebook’s demographic targeting abilities to create audience groups from data such as age, education level, gender, and life events like marriages. Restaurant marketers can take advantage of this by creating advertising content and promoted posts that appeal to specific demographics.

Facebook Demographics

For example, a post about a happy hour trivia night special could be targeted toward a younger demographic than an ad that focused on a romantic dinner option. Doing this dramatically decreased the potential target audiences, delivering the advertising content directly to its target population.

Interests and Behaviors

Facebook users liking brands and other interests give marketers insights into the potential purchasing choices of those users. Restaurants can use the data to target consumers that already have an affinity for its style of food.

Read:  How Restaurants Can Beat Slow Nights with Facebook Ads

For example, a marketer for an Italian restaurant can push advertising content toward users who self-identify as fans of pasta, lasagna, carbonara, or pizza.

They can also target users who have eaten at an Italian restaurant in the past 3-6 months, or that have interacted with Italian food articles, recipes and websites both on and off Facebook. By knowing that audience groups already have an interest in the style of food, marketers can increase the chances of the ads being effective at creating new, future customers.

Facebook Interests

Current Facebook Fans

Last week we talked about how advertisers could use Facebook ads to garner more likes. One of the benefits of increasing a restaurant’s Facebook following is being able to target that audience with ads because they are existing brand advocates.

Due to these users have already listed themselves as fans of the restaurant, marketers know that they are one of the groups most likely to make a future purchase. Targeting this group with special deals, new menu items and other insider-type deals can maximize this audience into making multiple repeat purchases.

Website Visitors

Restaurant marketers have the ability track website visitors back to their Facebook profiles and then target those users. This Facebook Pixel technology allows restaurants to target potential customers based on their search data, including which specific web pages the users looked at.

Marketers can also use this key web page visit data from their own site and use it to create look a like target audiences to find more users out their like those who are coming to their website.

This integration of search data with social advertising has the ability to dramatically increase results because marketers can create specific content based on search habits such as if they viewed the breakfast or dinner menu.

Current Consumers

Restaurants that utilize loyalty cards or have an email list can upload that information into Facebook and connect current consumers with their Facebook profiles. Marketers can target the highly susceptible audience of former customers who do not like the restaurant’s Facebook page with content that engages them as former customers.


Facebook allows for advertisers to layer all of the targeting options listed above to create very specific target audiences. Restaurant marketers focused on optimizing a Facebook advertising campaign should create custom content that speaks to each specific audience. By doing so, restaurants can maximize the reach of their advertising spend and increase ROI.

Next week, we’ll dive into and dispel many of the myths that plague many restaurant marketers and bog down Facebook advertising campaign.

About the author

Chris Moreno

Chris Moreno is the director of paid social advertising for ZOG Digital, a leading digital marketing and technology company based in Scottsdale, Ariz. With more than five years of experience in the digital space, Moreno is an expert in paid social, paid search, mobile and retargeting.