Content GuideHospitality IndustryRestaurants

Top 10 Restaurants on Instagram to Follow for Brand Inspiration during COVID-19

By October 22, 2020 No Comments

Are you a restaurant struggling to adapt to ever-changing coronavirus restrictions and the unprecedented impact that the virus has had on the economy?

While the hospitality industry has been heavily impacted by COVID-19, some venues have managed to adapt and find other ways to flourish during these challenging times, using social media as a catalyst. Indeed, now more than ever, out of the box thinking combined with mouth-watering imagery and clear communication on social media can go a long way in ensuring the success of your business.

To assist you, we’ve highlighted below ten restaurants that have successfully used creative thinking and transparent communication strategies on Instagram to guarantee their venue’s survival.

If they’ve done it, so can you!

1. Birdie G’s

Birdie G’s is a trendy upscale restaurant serving authentic, regional, and elevated comfort food in the heart of Santa Monica in California.  Their Instagram feed harmoniously combines mouth-watering creations featuring nostalgic flavors and authentic behind-the-scenes shots, turning it into a very personable brand.

This trendy business has also nailed its communication strategy regarding its health and safety protocols.  Indeed, not only does management share the COVID-19 measures the venue takes to ensure customers are safe, but the team also takes us right with them on the story of a local business supporting others and thriving amid challenging times.

Some of the best Instagram practices the brand has implemented to date include clearly communicating in their bio about the outdoor patio setting, advertising their takeout and delivery options, promoting their donations to support nurses and doctors, and posting multiple shots displaying servers and waitresses wearing masks.

The story highlights also feature excellent ideas as they display concrete steps the business is taking, such as adhering to stringent health and safety protocols with the GTHR safe badge.

The brand has even created a customer health guide, available to read on their feed!



2. La Mercerie Cafe

La Mercerie is an upscale French-inspired restaurant situated in New York. La Mercerie’s Instagram feed brims with pictures of French favorites such as crepes or patisseries. 

The venue evokes the feeling of a typical French brasserie, and the Insta pictures of this little French corner in New York do a great job of transporting the digital customers to the other side of the Atlantic. 

The restaurant has been adapting the seating arrangement to ensure the safety of their guests during COVID-19 and clearly communicates about it, emphasizing on the outdoor space. 

La Mercerie Cafe also regularly reminds its guests about the delivery options and shows waiters wearing masks to reassure the customers about the strict health and safety protocols in place.



3. Milo & Olive

Milo & Olive is another thriving Santa Monica restaurant.  This Cal-Italian spot serves delicious Italian favorites along with French-style pastries.

Their Instagram feed displays delightful dishes worth drooling over.  Indeed, their sharp and crisp imagery makes us feel as if we could hear the bread breaking in half, smell the melted cheese on the pizzas and taste the parmesan on the pasta!

The brand has been updating customers throughout the year about the steps they’ve been taking to ensure customers’ safety during COVID.  Indeed, the local restaurant proudly communicates about being a GHTR business and lets customers know strict health and safety protocols are in place.

The venue also showcases how seriously management takes social distancing measures by posting images of the newly refurbished COVID-safe venue’s table setting.  Followers and potential clients alike can also now read Milo & Olive’s health guide in the story highlights.

Last but not least, Milo & Olive clearly advertises its curb takeout and kit meals options.



4. Shake Shack

The Shake Shack is a burger restaurant chain with numerous locations across the USA.

In addition to colorful and mouth-watering burger pictures and videos, the Instagram feed of Shake Shack also features detailed videos about health and safety protocols in place to keep customers safe, along with information about delivery and takeout options. Shake Shack requests customers to keep a safe distance between them when visiting the venues with humorous posts.

The decadent brand also added a Curbside Pick Up feature on its app to make it easier and safer for customers to pick up takeout and even explains in detail how to order via the app on its feed.



5. Catch

Catch is an upscale restaurant brand featuring venues in Los Angeles, New York City, Las Vegas, and Playa Del Carmen.  The restaurants all specialize in Seafood and Asian cuisine. However, the newest addition to the group, Catch Steak, focuses on offering premium meat cuts to its customers.

The restaurant’s Instagram feed overflows with drool-worthy how-to videos showcasing talented chefs cooking Catch’s recipes. Catch is also nailing its communication strategy regarding its safety and health protocols by featuring posts and videos showing waiters and customers wearing masks.

The brand also clearly communicates about the delivery and takeout options with mouth-watering videos. Besides, the latest concept, ‘’steak to go kits’’ allows customers to order specific ingredients, including premium meat cuts, in order to recreate the catch experience at home.

This is an excellent example of how a restaurant can successfully adapt its offer and marketing strategy to the COVID-19 situation.



6. Uchi Denver

Japanese inspired award-winning restaurant Uchi Denver has been welcoming visitors from across the USA for years.

The venue’s Insta feed takes food minimalism to the next level with enticing and striking luxury food pictures shot on darker backgrounds.

The venue has adopted an informative and transparent approach making what to expect when ordering or dining at Uchi Denver clear. Indeed, Uchi Denver openly communicates on its feed about its dine-in by reservation and curbside pick up options.  The restaurant also requires guests to wear a mask, whether dining or picking up food, to comply with local regulations through eye-catching and informative posts.

Besides, the venue has recently decided to update its to-go menu with newly curated dishes on a monthly basis to spice things up for its customers and shares the new food items through high-resolution pictures.

Note that the brand’s story highlights take the customers through the booking process regarding curb pickup, making it easier and safer for everyone.



7. Milky Lane

This decadent Australian burger and dessert cocktail brand knows how to appeal to hungry customers! Indeed, Milky Lane’s Instagram feed perfectly harnesses the ‘’eating with your eyes’’ trend as the brand consistently posts jaw-dropping and carefully curated burger and indulgent cocktail photos.

The burger venue is also doing a great job of communicating about special measures during these unusual times.  Indeed, Milky Lane’s bio clearly states the venue only accepts reservations (no walk-ins) and that delivery is available.

The brand is also sharing special moments such as secretly coordinating with other venues’ teams in order to serve the same dish to a couple during a zoom date. Indeed, the couple was apart because of COVID and decided to attend Milky Lane in two different locations at the same time to share the same experience.

@Milky Lane


8. Heights Taco & Tamale

Heights Taco & Tamale is a trendy Arkansas Mexican, and Tex-Mex inspired restaurant with an original southern twist.

The colorful restaurant’s Instagram feed is packed with drool-worthy content featuring high-resolution pictures of unique cocktail concoctions and delicious looking meals.  The feed instantly breathes Mexican summer vibes.

This fantastic venue successfully adapted to Covid-19 by clearly communicating on its posts and in its stories about temporary closures and reopenings, the implementation of safety protocols, and has been very imaginative with the launch of a new takeout cocktail option.

Each post is informative and currently reminds customers to book in advance and wear masks.



9. Citrus & Salt

Citrus and Salt is a Mexican-inspired restaurant and tequila bar located in the heart of Boston.  The venue’s Instagram feed brims with colorful high-resolution pictures harboring summery tones and breathing beachside hacienda vibes.  Indeed, the refreshing colors and food items immediately transport the digital customers to a beautiful summer afternoon spent sipping margaritas.

The venue has cleverly adapted to these difficult times by launching a margarita cocktail kit option for takeout along with order pick up and delivery.

Citrus & Salt also shares honest and transparent heartwarming updates about the impact of COVID-19 on the venue, encouraging the community to support the team.



10. Bresca

Bresca is a French-inspired restaurant based in Washington, DC, featuring one Michelin star.

While Bresca’s Insta feed is packed with behind-the-scenes delightful food pictures, the venue is also very efficient at communicating about their health and hygiene best practices.  Indeed, not only do a lot of pictures and videos show chefs wearing a mask, but Bresca also showcases the new glass screens set up between tables to keep everyone safe.

The award-winning venue has also recently launched cookout kits for delivery, including holiday-themed menus, and frequently encourages customers to order them online through informative posts.



We hope this article provides some great ideas for you to step up your Instagram game and enhance your feed.

Do you need help to create great content and make your feed stand out?

Get in touch here as we’d love to discuss your needs and how we can assist you!

Leave a Reply