Social media marketing for restaurateurs: here’s how it’s done

Instagram and TikTok aren’t just entertaining – they can also massively increase brand awareness for restaurateurs. Chef Xavier Pincemin from France inspires more than 2.5 million followers on TikTok with his daily cooking videos. He talks about what it takes to make it work.

Xavier Pincemin

Why is social media becoming more and more important for restaurateurs?
It’s important for any company – every generation is now represented in social media and people spend a large part of their time there. Communication on social media gives you the potential to reach a bigger audience. It’s important for restaurateurs to learn how to best present their work, because it can change your life overnight.

You have 2.5 million followers on TikTok – is that just a virtual number or does this fame actually have an effect on your business?
It’s a huge number, and I feel the effect on our business very strongly. At this point, I’ve got customers from all around the world. A lot of them couldn’t imagine leaving France again without having eaten in my restaurant!

What motivated you to get started in social media?
Many people find inspiration in what I do today, and that makes me proud. Before we got started, 90% of the food-related content on social media was photos or very long videos of cooking according to recipes. We changed all that!

On TikTok, you show how to prepare a wide range of dishes, but without recipes – why?
I post videos to make people want to try my dishes, not to teach them how to prepare them. 

Which platforms are most important?
Today, probably Instagram, but TikTok is well on the way to becoming the market leader. 

Xavier Pincemin

About ... Xavier Pincemin

Xavier Pincemin is a French chef from Versailles. The winner of Top Chef (2016) now has two restaurants of his own and is the second most followed French chef on TikTok, with 2.5 million followers and posts that have generated more than 36 million likes.

Website: www.xavier-pincemin.com/
Instagram: xavier_pincemin
TikTok: xavierpincemin

What advice would you give a restaurateur who wanted to establish a presence on these channels?
1. Develop your own style, post regularly and don’t quit before your channel really takes off.
2. Follow the trends daily and build on them.

What makes a good TikTok video or reel?
Attractive products, a clean worktop and good lighting. 

What tools do you use in making your videos?
Just an iPhone, good light – and creativity.

Do you film your videos yourself or do you have support from others? 
I film the bigger videos with my assistant, Antoine. I do the Instagram stories myself.

What kinds of dishes attract the most viewers?
Desserts, steaks and cheese. 

Which single dish of yours has got the most clicks?
I bought an Italian ice cream maker so we could make CBD ice cream in the restaurant [cannabidiol is an extract made from the blossoms and leaves of hemp plants]. We served it with home-made waffles made from crêpe batter. The video got over 50 million views.

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Header picture: © Stéphane de Bourgies

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