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How TikTok’s “FoodTok” can change the fate of your independent restaurant 🥗


In a new study, Bionic wanted to explore how Foodtok is impacting independent restaurants, as well as how it can (and has!) been used to change the fate of many small businesses. Bionic also looked into which cities are social media’s favourite when it comes to dining out, and the results are in…

The Power of creating social media accounts for your independent restaurant

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Going viral can change everything for a small business. TikTok is the perfect platform for small businesses to build up a rapport with their existing customers as well using the incredibly personalised algorithm to put themselves in front of their target audience, gaining their attention and converting them into customers. A recent study found that up to 90% of consumers in the UK will research a restaurant before visiting, allowing them to have an insight into the dishes on offer as well as the overall vibe of the venue. 

Another study found that 40% of Gen Z users prefer using TikTok and Instagram for search over Google, meaning that having a website is not enough to maximise exposure in 2023 and a business’s presence on TikTok is more significant than ever. 

On TikTok, #restaurantreccommendation has 5M views in the UK, with views per month on this hashtag reaching an all-time high in April 2023 proving the demand for this content is only growing, as food-related topics continue to be top-performing hashtags on TikTok in 2023.

Let your customers speak for you

Going viral can change everything for a small business- and often times the video isn’t from the restaurant themselves, but from customers! Everyone is a food critic in their own right these days and has access to share an experience, good or bad, with millions of people. Keith Lee is a Las Vegas-based TikToker with over 9 million followers, who has helped dozens of struggling restaurants turn their luck around after sharing glowing reviews on his page. He even helped a seafood truck go from profits of $50 to $100 a day to making $30,000 in 24 hours with a positive TikTok post. The magic of TikTok is that this can happen anywhere in the world, and your restaurant could be next!  

Social Media’s favourite cities for dining out

In their independent restaurant index new study, Bionic wanted to find out which cities are social media’s favourite when it comes to food. Bionic analysed how much each city is posting to social media about dining out, looking at data such as the number of Influencers on different platforms associated with both Independent Restaurant terms and particular cities through their content.

Glasgow is TikTok ‘food-Tok’s favourite city

For Glasgow, TikTok is the platform of choice, ranking as the city with the highest restaurant presence on TikTok, with 286,409 videos referencing independent restaurants in Glasgow when it comes to! If you’re looking for some foodie inspiration and a trusted voice in the space, @foodngemsglasgow is a page you won’t want to miss! With over 100k followers and just shy of 3 million likes, the page is full of restaurants that’ll leave your mouth watering at the screen!

Manchester is Instagram’s favourite UK food hotspot

Manchester has ranked as the UK location with the highest Instagram foodie presence, which comes as no surprise as the city is buzzing with picture-worthy decor – from neon signs to mural walls, there are plenty of photo opportunities within Manchester’s food scene. 

The Laundrette in Manchester, an independent restaurant serving ‘cocktails and carbs’ makes a great example, featuring floral walls and disco balls, along with extravagantly designed food to match, it’s no wonder they are so loved on Instagram!

Telford is YouTube’s favourite UK food hotspot

When it comes to YouTube, Telford is the cream of the crop, ranking as the UK city with the highest YouTube presence within the food scene. YouTube is great because users can share lengthier reviews, giving potential customers an in-depth insight into what the dining experience is truly like! However, when it comes to Instagram, Telford has not ranked as favourably, with the lowest presence when it comes to restaurants in all of the UK. So if you’re looking for the best places to dine in Telford, YouTube is the place to look!

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