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How to use Instagram to increase restaurant bookings after your July 19th Freedom Day Re-Opening

‘Freedom Day’ is just around the corner! After the initial date of June 21st was cancelled, hospitality venues can now look optimistically to July 19th – when all restrictions can be finally lifted. Restaurants, bars and pubs have been operating at 60% capacity trying to adhere to strict government guidelines. Soon, things should return to some level of normality. With that said, it’s time to get ahead of the game by creating a real buzz around your July 19th opening. Here, we discuss how to use Instagram to boost your venues bookings for the July 19th re-opening and beyond!





1. Start a Countdown and Shout About your Re-opening/Freedom Party


It sounds simple but it’s so important to keep posting about your re-opening or Freedom Day party. Make every other post about July 19th and be sure to keep up with those Call to Actions (CTAs)! This could mean adding links to book tables or asking users to sign-up to your monthly newsletter. You should also place a link in your bio that will direct the customer to all this information as well as booking information. Promote your re-opening day as a big celebration to build some hype and post consistently. You could even start a ‘Freedom Day’ countdown on your feed and on your stories.


To create a feeling of exclusivity, snap some pics of behind-the-scenes for your stories. Post pictures of your staff getting excited for re-opening or your venue getting ready for the big day. Use polls & questions to get your audience involved too! Ask them what they’d love to see on your reopening day (live music, sports, games, quizzes etc…). You can create polls that will give you some great feedback or inspiration such as “what meal would you like to see on our new menu when we fully re-open?” or “shall we introduce a new line of cocktails to celebrate July 19th?” Not only does it give your company feedback, but it encourages the audience to feel included and part of your community.



2. Reassure your Audience about Safety Measures


Although ‘Freedom Day’ will see an end to all restrictions, you will still want to reassure people that your venue is COVID safe. Many people may not feel totally comfortable with the idea that all safety procedures could be scrapped. Just allocate a few posts/stories to your safety measures. This could mean a post about hand sanitising stations or your 5* hygiene rating. Due to the pandemic, consumers will care a lot more about your hygiene & safety procedures. Continue to reassure them! This is a quick and simple way to get cautious customers interested in your establishment.



Here, chai & chapati highlight their 5* rating against their iconic interior.



3. Run Ads


Ads will really help you to build awareness and reach people who may not follow you/know that you exist. Running some simple Facebook & Instagram ads that are targeted at people in your area is a great way to raise awareness and build hype. Ads are proven to get results. 92% of Instagram users say they’ve followed a brand/ made a purchase after seeing a product on the platform. A further 27% of internet users say they find new products through paid social ads.


Whilst it may sound out of budget to run some ads, it does not need to be expensive at all! For a small cost, you can easily reach thousands in your community with an ad highlighting your venue opening offers, updated COVID precautions and more. You can begin running these advertisements for as little as £1. This allows you to test the water, using a small budget at no-risk, no sign-up fees and minimal ad expenditure. Paid ads are highly cost-effective & reach further than more traditional forms of marketing. With ads, you can target specific locations, people & hobbies. This way, you are guaranteed to increase your exposure to the right audience who live locally & enjoy your cuisine. If you’re competitors aren’t running ads, then you will definitely stand out.



4. Invite Influencers


You can also work with local influences who have a large following within your local area who can share the news of your grand opening in exchange for a free dish/meal. This will attract more attention and therefore more followers to your page and more positive endorsements for your venue! Invite these ‘micro-influencers’ down for ‘Freedom Day’ or just before (so they can post about the opening before it happens to build awareness). If you think that local influencers are pointless, think again. Micro influencers on Instagram boast an average engagement rate of 3.86% compared to big influencers who have a rate of 1.21%. Micro influencers are held in high regard by their loyal followers and their opinions matter. You will be able to find local foodie accounts who will be willing to drop-by for a meal. Since they are a foodie account based in your area, you know that their post will be seen by your target audience.



Pizza Express share their news of their re-opening for bookings through influencer collaborations.




With less than a month to go until ‘Freedom Day’, we hope that these tips can help you build some hype for the big day! All of these actionable tips are cheap and hugely effective. Take the time to implement them and you’ll have a great time on July 19th.


If you would like to discuss any of the above points if you want some general advise, shoot us an email at mark@doubleupsocial.com.