Getting Your Pizzeria Started on TikTok

TikTok is an app that allows users to post videos that are 60 seconds or less. And just like other social platforms, you can use filters and special effects to make videos stand out and gain followers. For operators, this app has the power to attract the attention of customers and get them to pay you a visit or order online.

Why should pizzerias think about being on TikTok?

This is the new platform where consumers are spending their spare time, especially the younger crowd, with 48% of U.S. adults 18-29 saying they have used TikTok.2 It’s easy to see why, with endless short, entertaining videos that are curated based on their interests, whether it’s celebrities, sports teams, politics or food and dining.

  • 36% of users have visited or ordered food at a restaurant after seeing their TikTok post.2
  • 65% of content creators who viewed restaurant videos on TikTok either visited or ordered takeout from that restaurant. 3
    • 55% said they wanted to visit because the food looked appetizing
    • 51% said they wanted to visit because the video showed interesting food

Exploring TikTok

It’s a good idea to get familiar with TikTok before creating video content. After downloading the app, select your interests to personalize your video recommendations with options like food, arts and crafts, comedy and more. You can even do a search for “pizza.” Swipe up to browse videos that come up. You should see examples of what others in your industry are creating, along with consumer-created content.

Create a brand account

When you’re ready to make an account for your restaurant, choose a username that represents your brand. Try to generate a username that clearly represents your restaurant so TikTok users can easily find you. Don’t forget to add a bio and link to your other social accounts.

Ways to increase your followers

A quick way to increase your followers is to follow others — then encourage them to follow you back. You can also use hashtags, as it helps users find content they’re interested in. For example, #pizza has over 20.7 billion views.

The most common tag you’ll come across on TikTok is #fyp. This stands for ‘For You Page,’ which is the first page you see when you open the TikTok app. It’s a curated feed of videos that a TikTok thinks will be of interest to you, even from accounts you are not following. Getting your video on people’s “For You” pages is a great way to grow your following.

Cross promoting your TikTok videos on your other social media platforms can also help those users engage with your content and ultimately find you on TikTok.

Ideas & tips for promoting your restaurant

Tell your brand story

Storytelling is the very heart of TikTok. What better place to talk about your humble beginnings or tell your quality story? Do you have a picture of where it all started? Family members? Include them. Click here for more tips on telling your brand story.

Show off your space

Part of what makes your business successful is the atmosphere and vibe of your restaurant. Not only does it play a role in the overall dining experience, it can also serve as another outlet for showcasing your brand story. If atmosphere is a strength for your business, consider giving an insider’s look into your restaurant to attract new customers.

Share recipes

You would never give away all your secrets, but maybe there’s a simple recipe your customers could have to feel even more connected to your restaurant. Use TikTok’s video editing features to show your chef making meals in seconds. Or offer other tips like how to prepare dough for different crusts.

Highlight your food

This is the best place to showcase unique new menu items and specials! Try introducing them with a graphic reveal or a fun song choice. Add your own unique spin to create a video your current and potential customers won’t forget.

Encourage user-generated content

Ask your biggest fans to generate TikTok content for your brand. The TikTok audience loves sharing and connecting with brands. Ask them on your web page, on social or on TikTok to interact with your brand or your menu items.

Make up a hashtag for your business and use it consistently. Encourage your customers to use the same hashtag on their videos and pictures of your delicious food.

Team up with influencers

Just like Instagram, there are popular influencers on TikTok. Using the voice of an influencer is one of the most cost-effective marketing strategies. Have them take part in a brand challenge or show them trying new pizzas or learning how to make a dish. It’s a quick way to expose your brand and get more eyes on your restaurant.

Go live

Behind the scenes of a busy, working restaurant is interesting to many potential customers. Like other social platforms, you can choose to go live and give customers a good look at your restaurant. Along the bottom of your screen, you can read comments from other users and respond in real time — making both you and your restaurant feel more approachable and real.

Have fun!

Potential customers are not on TikTok to be sold. They are there for entertainment. Oblige them with food prep, team or customer interactions and menu experimentation. If you’re bold enough, you can always try a dance — the bread and butter of TikTok (as long as it’s on-brand for your restaurant). The more people see how real and fun you are, the more they will want to visit.

Creating and posting your first video

TikTok has easy-to-use editing tools and features that will let you:

  • Adjust the clips of your video. One of the biggest benefits for video creation is the Clips Feature, which will allow you to reorganize, cut, trim and replace sections of your video more easily.
  • Add filters to adjust the color, saturation, and tone. You can also add stickers or graphic effects (like Instagram stories).
  • Select popular music for your video. TikTok is very much a music-drive platform and music continues to be an essential element. Adding music to any of your videos can make them much more fun to watch!

After you’re satisfied with your video, upload it to TikTok. Your video will now be posted under your profile for others to view and share. You can also cross-post to Facebook and Instagram, where your restaurant has a larger following.

For some, TikTok might seem like just another social platform and not worth the time investment. But TikTok is growing and is embraced by the younger generations. Most importantly, it’s yet another avenue to bring more customers through your door. Click here for more social tips.


1TikTok Sept 2021

2Pew Research April 2021

3,4MGH survey of TikTok users, August 2021

Date: November 17, 2021