Every week we comb through the news to find employment trends affecting the hospitality industry so you don’t have to. This week’s Hospitality in the News topic: TikTok restaurant marketing.

By now, regardless of your age or occupation, you’re familiar with the social media giant TikTok. The app currently has more than one billion active users each month. With the sheer number of people using it, it’s likely that businesses can tap into their key demographic by joining the platform.  

In the restaurant industry, millennials (those born between 1980-2000) dine out/spend the most, effectively making them the key age demographic. And on TikTok, this group makes up almost 46% of monthly users. With this data in mind, we know that TikTok can reach a crucial pool of potential customers.  

Besides being able to tap into the key age demographic, there’s data which suggests that consumers visit restaurants after learning about them on TikTok. Some people are looking at TikTok as the new restaurant review platform. In fact, there are influencers whose focus is to post (sometimes brutally) honest reviews of popular restaurants they visit.  

It’s not just influencers getting in on the trend – both major chains and independent restaurants utilize the app to promote their business. Using eye catching photos and videos, restauranteurs are promoting new menu items, fun atmospheres, and unique experiences to entice new or return guests. Check out these results from an MGH survey: 

  • More than half of millennial TikTok users (53%) have visited or ordered from a restaurant after seeing the eatery on TikTok. 
  • 38% of TikTok users across all generations — or approximately 51.8 million diners — have visited or ordered food from a restaurant after seeing a TikTok video about it. 
  • 30% of those surveyed have traveled longer than they normally would to visit a restaurant after seeing it on TikTok.
Does TikTok Restaurant Marketing Work?

Here’s what we know. Millennials, the key age demographic for restaurant diners, exist in millions on TikTok. And half of that group takes recommendations seriously because they end up visiting/ordering from the establishment after seeing them on TikTok. Based off this information, we can confidently say that – when done right – TikTok restaurant marketing can help drive business. So yes, it works. If you haven’t already, will you be adding TikTok to your restaurant’s marketing plan?