May 21, 2024

Food Creators of TikTok: A Game Changer for Restaurants Nationwide

By Samantha Kunody

Are you a parent looking for a quick easy meal? Are you seeking a new restaurant to try in town, or even to test out a new food trend but may need some help? TikTok has significantly transformed the landscape of the food and beverage sector. The platform revolutionized the process of finding recipes, playing a pivotal role in shaping culinary trends, and empowering experts and novices to express their perspectives. Additionally, TikTok’s impact has reached the realm of consumer preferences, compelling businesses to adjust to the new media practices. Consumers seek creators they can relate to, and this emerging media food market is the perfect outlet.   

The TikTok platform has brought forth a plethora of captivating recipes, showcasing culinary delights like feta pasta and propelling dishes such as birria tacos into mainstream recognition. This phenomenon opens up a valuable avenue for modest food enterprises to broaden their reach, attracting fresh audiences and customers through expanded visibility. With the work my team has done with Erins Table, a meal preparation and delivery service that provides ready-to-make fresh meals, we have analyzed the business’ media to see how we can successfully transition a community kitchen into a broader, more recognized platform.  

TikTok serves as a valuable means for restaurants to attract fresh patrons. Particularly advantageous for businesses featuring distinctive menu items, TikTok proves to be a powerful tool. Notably, a study revealed that 55% of visitors were drawn to a restaurant due to visually appealing food on TikTok, while 51% were enticed by the presence of a unique menu item. Furthermore, TikTok’s reach extends beyond the immediate vicinity, attracting customers from diverse locations. By promoting a dish as novel and thrilling, one can effectively alter the trajectory of one’s business.

A trend highlighting restaurants across the media is video Mukbangs. Typically found on YouTube and TikTok, Mukbangs feature a host that chows down on a lot of food all while interacting with the audience. Examples of these types of videos are present across all platforms, but a prime example of how these can change a business’s success is with TikTok creator, Keith Lee. Taking advantage of the vibrant realm of food influencers, Keith Lee has gained a following exceeding 17 million on TikTok and Instagram. When Lee commends a dining establishment through one of his videos by rating it, his fans flee to the restaurant causing lines to be around the block. Lee has supported struggling small, family-owned businesses, giving enterprises on the brink of closure a new beginning. It is influencers like Lee who are capable of using a sixty-second video to change the trajectory of a restaurant’s business. Find an example of Keith Lee’s content here.

Certainly, adhering to specific guidelines and tips is essential when producing video content on TikTok to present an appealing image to new consumers. Engaging in partnerships with influencers, keeping up with video trends, showcasing recipes, and actively participating in hashtag challenges are all strategies that can propel your restaurant into the realm of virality. Whether posting your recipes online, taking part in a ‘Mukbang’ for your restaurant, or simply broadcasting your food on the media through a short video, TikTok food marketing is the next rising marketing strategy.

Samantha Kunody’s LinkedIn

6 thoughts on “Food Creators of TikTok: A Game Changer for Restaurants Nationwide

  1. Hi Samantha! I enjoyed reading your blog post because it is super relevant today on social media. Foodtok has surged in popularity within the past couple years and not just for entertainment purposes. It has helped small businesses gain traction after COVID-19 and become successful. I like how you brought up Keith Lee because he has had a huge impact on this phenomenon.

  2. Hi Samantha! I love watching food content on social media and enjoyed reading your post about it. I see this kind of content all the time on TikTok and I’m surprised how popular the concept of “foodtok” became so quickly. I’m not sure why it’s so engaging to watch people record them self eating, but I sure get hungry watching!

  3. I find myself going to social media instead of google to find recipes and restaurants. I have found some of my favorite recipes by scrolling through Tiktok. I think food is one thing that can truly bring everyone together. In my experience, people engage with content pertaining to food more often than not. I remember the peak of Mukbangs and watching content for hours on end. Thanks for the great post!

  4. Hi Samantha! I found your post super interesting and insightful. I loved that you put Keith Lee in your post. I used to find his videos entertaining and he quickly got caught up in the social media drama. I remember the Mukbang trend and how popular it used to be.

  5. Hi Samantha! This article was very intriguing and relevant to the majority of content people see on their FYP. I think people like Keith Lee are transforming the food industry by marketing the experience of the restaurant and the taste together. I like how you mentioned Mukbangs as it is emerging as a bigger trend when just a few years ago it was considered “niche” content. I think it’s interesting to see Lee’s influence on food marketing and how much one viral video can shape a creator and businesses brand name.

  6. Hi Samantha,
    I remember how popular mukbang used to be and I always wondered what happened to the trend. I have found a lot of good food inspiration and recipe ideas on TikTok.

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