Attract followers with the best food business Instagram hashtags

You probably are already aware that Instagram is where it’s at for restaurants and other food businesses. For a while, it seemed like every other post contained a smoothie bowl, a latte or an artfully filtered avocado toast.

You already know this. You’ve created a mouthwatering feed with cohesive images. Visitors to your profile can actually see your branding in your grid. You’re doing everything right, but your food business still isn’t where you want it to be. 

It’s time to look at hashtags. More specifically, you need an Instagram hashtag strategy.

The best restaurant hashtags

Instagram users search for hashtags and browse hashtag pools all the time. They’re finding new businesses to engage with every day. You need to get in on this.

Whether you run a restaurant, a catering business, a bakery or something else entirely, Instagram already has plenty of food-related hashtags for you to choose from. The trick is selecting the right mix to target your customers.

And, the best part is that you can use this Instagram hashtag strategy on both still posts and video posts! Not sure how to get started with video posts? Check out our Instagram video ad maker to help promote your business on Instagram.

So where do you start with your Instagram hashtag strategy? With the most obvious hashtags.

Popular food hashtags


There are a lot of trendy food-related hashtags. All joking aside, #latte already has more than 12 million posts. If you target only very competitive hashtags like this one, your small business will likely get lost in the noise. That’s why it pays to take some time to identify less competitive hashtags. Posting to these pools will help your food business stand out and get noticed.

Narrow your focus

You can use the popular hashtags to find other hashtags. Instagram makes this really easy. 

When you type a hashtag into the Instagram search box, the platform will give you predictive suggestions along with the number of posts that already appear in that pool. So, while #sushi  has a staggering 29 million posts, when you type it in, Instagram will offer #sushimaking (21,000 posts), #sushilounge (21,000 posts), #sushiset (31,000 posts), and #sushishop (99,000 posts).

Using this handy built-in feature is a great way to quickly find hashtags with smaller pools—and ones you hadn’t even thought of.

Find more specific hashtags by drilling down to the categories that set you apart. You can use your location for starters. For example, while #foodtruck has 6 million posts, if you’re in Washington, D.C., you can use #dcfoodtruck, which only has 10,000 posts.

You can also harness your specialty or niche to narrow things down, as with #koreanfoodtruck, at 3,600 posts.

Grow your food business with the best hashtags

Instagram is already huge, and is only getting bigger. With more than one billion monthly users on the platform, you can’t afford not to optimize your Instagram hashtag strategy. 

So use our tips to find the most effective mix of hashtags for your restaurant or small food business. With a little practice and some trial and error, you can steadily draw new views, gain followers, and turn them into customers.

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