August 2

Restaurants owning their Instagram marketing

Instagram marketing is one of the best free ways to expand your reach — here are a few of the best accounts to help inspire you.

Instagram started as an alternative to Facebook, a breath of fresh air for those who were tired of hearing the unwanted opinions of their aunt’s step-daughter, who they connected with over too many margaritas at the family reunion five years ago.

Today, Instagram has transformed from that photobook-style social media platform into an essential marketing channel for businesses to reach wider audiences and draw in a more extensive customer base. Businesses can truly benefit from their Instagram presence. If your company has an Instagram, but it’s generally an afterthought, and you’re unsure how to make it unique to your brand — take a look at a few restaurants listed below. We grouped some of our favorite restaurant Instagram accounts, highlighting their techniques to build their brand voice and tap into the potential of Instagram marketing.


With 28.5K followers, Portland, Oregon’s beloved Thai Barbeque spot, Eem, has a firm grasp of social media marketing. Unlike other restaurant Instagram channels — Eem leans into the social media culture, posting bizarre and hilarious videos and memes that creatively highlight their brand voice and build customer loyalty.

Eem’s technique: Don’t be scared of a bit of humor – or having fun with your social channels. 

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A post shared by EEM (@eempdx)


San Francisco’s handmade Pasta and Pizza restaurant Flour+Water has its Instagram game dialed down. With a more traditional approach, they post beautiful photography focusing on their restaurant, menu, and the local purveyors who make the whole thing happen! Flour+Water provides its 62.8K followers with endless mesmerizing pasta designs and mouthwatering dishes inspiring its customers to eat out!

Flour+Water’s Technique: Beautiful food photography in homage to local farms and purveyors. 


JuneBaby in Seattle, Washington, set out not only to celebrate the beauty and flavors of southern cooking but to educate their guests on the cultural and culinary history of Soul Food. Their Instagram account ties in a brief history of each dish they post and highlights significant African-American figures in southern cuisine and beyond.

JuneBaby’s Technique: Educating and representing the history of their menu.

Terry Black’s BBQ

Austin is home to renowned Texas Barbeque — places with the funding to have a killer Instagram marketing team. While Terry Black’s BBQ might be one of those places, their food photography is next level. They’re consistent and thematic in food photography, highlighting dark tones that emphasize the traits of melt-in-your-mouth barbeque. The artistic style of their posts works suggestively on the sense of vision to conjure up taste, smell, and texture.

Terry Black’s BBQ Technique: Thoughtful, consistent, and thematic food photography. 

Consumers today want to know, and like the brands they choose to spend their money with. Your Instagram account helps build the personality behind your business to connect with your customers. It’s also an essential marketing tool that is only ramping up. Each of these restaurants are killing it on Instagram because they use it as a platform to emphasize their brand voice.

To start your social media strategy, ask yourself what atmosphere you want to create and who your core audience is. Then, do some research! Take a look at these Instagram accounts and some of your competitors to see what they’re doing. Learning from others is a great way to become informed of techniques that could work for your business but stay true to your brand no matter what.

About the author


Ashley McNally likes to cook, loves to bake, and is always dreaming of her next meal. With over 13 years of experience working in various roles within a restaurant — McNally has made a home in hospitality.


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