How Restaurants Can Use Instagram Stories for Visual Storytelling

As a restaurant, the easiest and most cost-efficient way to get new people to try your food is by posting mouthwatering food shots and videos online. Interestingly, 24% of people admit to checking out a restaurant’s Instagram page before deciding to visit. 

Instagram story for restaurants

After mastering the art of taking double tap-worthy photos for your grid, getting creative on Instagram Stories is another way to showcase what your restaurant has to offer. Through Stories, you can play with photos, videos, countless filters. and GIFs — it’s a fun new playing field altogether. And with over 500 million users on Instagram Stories daily, this is a feature you should definitely take advantage of. 

Below are seven ways you can use Instagram Stories for visual storytelling. 

Show Behind-The-Scenes Moments

New customers and loyal patrons alike will love to see what goes on behind those kitchen doors. This way, customers will have a glimpse of the hard work that goes behind preparing each dish on the menu. @12chaircafe shares how they prepare their best-selling schnitzel.

Behind the scenes story


You can use popular features such as boomerang to highlight visuals like smoke from your fryer or pouring of sauces. 

Another way to show behind-the-scenes moments is by introducing your staff. There is value in knowing the faces behind the food as it builds trust and familiarity. Simple photos of the chef, cooks, and servers with a short description of who they are is a great way to begin. 

Introduce dishes or limited menu items

After you’ve done your job of posting #foodporn on your grid, capture your followers’ attention by featuring your star dish on Instagram Stories. 

Don’t stop at simple close-ups! Using Instagram Story’s simple edit feature, you can add text on your image to label the parts and ingredients of your dish. @shakeshack’s way of introducing their limited Chick ‘n Shack


If you’re not satisfied with the standard font selection, you can also use apps like Instasize that has over 30 unique stylized fonts you can choose from. 

Get Up Close and Personal with Your Food

Unlike posting photos on your grid, which typically has to follow a certain aesthetic, Instagram Stories is where you can let loose and get creative. This means taking extreme close-ups of your food from every angle, experimenting with slo-mo videos, adding stickers, and more — you name it! @Katzsdelis stories are no stranger to no-filter close-ups.


Instagram Stories also gives you the chance to tell the story behind your recipes. Whether it be something you stumbled upon after multiple failed experiments or an heirloom family recipe you inherited, this type of content will always be interesting to your patrons. While your photo grid is where you post glossy, magazine-style photos, Instagram Stories is where you can be candid and show the humanity behind your brand. 

Promote Write-ups & Blog Features

One of the downsides of Instagram is that you can’t add links within your posts, you can only add one to your bio — that’s it. Thankfully, Instagram Stories let’s you get around that slight inconvenience. 

If your account is verified or if you have at least 10 thousand followers, you can add the swipe up feature to lead your followers to a website, write-up, or blog you want to promote. if you have yet to unlock the swipe up feature, you can work around this by making it a sponsored post. @tacobell has a blog that they regularly cross promote in their stories.

Taco Bell instagram story


You can create bite-sized versions of the feature you want to cross promote by adding note-worthy quotes and teasers. The call-to-action will always be to swipe up and read the full version

Feature User Generated Content

One of the easiest ways to tell a story is by reposting content from your followers. It’s free, and it tells interested diners that people actually enjoy your food. You can also feature customer reviews and feedback so that potential customers have a reference to convince them that you’re place is worth a visit. Most of @theshedbbq’s highlights are reposted from followers.

instagram restaurant click


To take it to the next level, you can include polls to get everyone involved in creating recipes.

A Creative Way to Order

One of the first features Instagram launched for Stories is the ability to add drawings on top photos and videos. This has been a popular and easy way to add a personal and quirky touch to each Instagram Story since its release in 2016. The Instagram Stories of Doodelivery campaign resulted in a big increase of sales.

image at a restaurant social page


Brands all over the world have taken advantage of the feature, one of which was McDonald’s Philippines. In 2018, they launched a campaign called Doodelivery where customers had the option to get their food delivered by simply doodling their orders on Instagram Stories, and tagging the McDonald’s Philippines’ official account. The campaign was an instant hit — getting 4 doodles per minute and a 300% increase in brand mentions. 

Restaurants can apply this fun way of capturing the interest of more customers through Instagram Stories. Aside from doodling, they can also switch it up by adding  stickers or multiple choice polls as a way to order. 

Post Promos

Since Instagram Stories expire in 24 hours, people are more inclined to view it before time runs out. You can utilize this feature by using it as a way to launch limited-time offers and promos. @piadaitalianstreet food announced their student promo via Instagram Stories.

instagram restaurant promo


Instagram Stories also has a countdown sticker, which you can label and customize with your date and time of choice. More than just being another medium for posting content, Instagram Stories allows brands to reach their followers in a more personal way. They can tell stories without having to worry too much about following aesthetics, and post as many times as they want without running the risk of being spammy. 

Restaurant Instagram stories play a huge role in being an engine for discovery. Knowing that over of the most viewed stories are from brands, it’s about time to tell yours. 


Aditya Sarkar

Aditya Sarkar

Aditya Sarkar is a Marketing Manager at LimeTray. When he isn't being a Marketer, he likes solo-travelling, playing all kinds of sports and chilling out with friends! He's reachable at