This is a comprehensive guide to online marketing for HoReCa. In it you will find:

About the author: Nik Lukashuk has been in marketing since 2014, the director of Marketing Link agency since 2017, before that he held managerial positions, a certified Google specialist. He has cases from projects in the USA, Canada, Ukraine.

Looking for ideas to promote HoReCa?

Analyze competitors and find interesting ideas

  1. Analyze traffic in SimilarWeb: volume and channels.
  2. Check the strengthening of posts, creatives, and competitors’ ads in Meta Ad Library.
  3. Determine competitors’ keywords in organic and advertising in SerpStat (Ahrefs, Semrush).

Peek at competitors’ keywords in advertising in Google Ads Planner.

Marketing for HoReCa restaurants and cafes

Traffic

If your competitor — whether it’s a hotel, restaurant, café, or any other business within the HoReCa sector — has a standalone website, analyze where their traffic is coming from using the SimilarWeb service.

The professional version at pro.similarweb.com, even without payment, registered to a company mail, shows more exact data than the standard version at similarweb.com or the browser plugin.

How to strategize on advertising and analyze competitors in HoReCa

Shortcomings of the service: there is a margin of error, chain establishments are not analyzed correctly, the free version shows three months and 5 sources of traffic.

The service will indicate: whether there is PPC (pay-per-click) advertising, display advertising, active targeting from social networks to the website, and the order of magnitude of the website’s visitor numbers.

Traffic from social networks seen across several competitors indicates a potentially interesting channel — try it out for yourself as well, allocate a test budget for this.

The absence of advertising from a major competitor suggests that the brand is well-known and can afford to have other sources of traffic. In this case, try to carve out a piece of their traffic.

Advertising in Meta Ads (Facebook Ads)

The SimilarWeb shows the actual traffic and transitions to the website. So, boosted posts, lead ads, all active advertisements (including promotional offers) — take a look in Meta Ad Library to understand the competitors’ activity.

Meta Ads (Facebook Ads) strategy for HoReCa

Shortcomings of the service: if there is no data, it does not mean that there is no advertising or there was none — the filter for display dates does not always function correctly.

Advertising and SEO

SerpStat is designed to see what keywords a website gets traffic for. Use Ahrefs and Semrush also.

Advertising and SEO for HoReCa, restaurants, cafes and hotels


The service allows you to filter by a keyword of interest, shows an approximate cost per click in Google Ads, and identifies the page to which a competitor’s traffic is directed. The tool is useful for analyzing large competitors and finding keywords.

Service limitations: it weakly displays Google Ads PPC (pay-per-click) advertising, and the absence of keywords in PPC does not mean that there is no advertising.

In Google Ads Planner, you can view keywords from your industry: frequency and cost per click.

How to promote HoReCa

Marketing of a restaurant, cafe, pizzeria


The bare minimum for a successful launch includes correctly chosen: menu, friendly service, location, design and concept, and a comfortable atmosphere. Then, the marketing basics come into play: understanding the target audience, quality content, photos of dishes, descriptions, and special features in the menu.

What should be included in the marketing strategy:

  1. Website.
    • Minimum: a homepage, a menu on the site or integrated with a service, an about us page, contacts, privacy policy.
    • Ideally, it includes reviews with the option to leave a new one, a photo gallery of dishes, live photos of the team, frequently asked questions, a blog, values, vacancies, certifications, partnerships.
  1. Application.
  2. Active profiles on social networks. Especially on Instagram, post more stories daily, regular posts, live shots, use of branded and universal hashtags, geotags.
  3. Reviews. Encourage visitors to leave new reviews. Monitor on all platforms where you are represented:
    • On Google Maps.
    • On other websites, as well as those where employees leave reviews (set up Google Alerts for your brand).
    • In the direct messages of social networks.
    • In the catalogs.
  1. QR Menu. Add your menu not only to your website but also create functional menus on third-party resources.
    • Online menu, at the very least a QR code leading to a static PDF.
    • Post your menu on Google Maps and other resources where your establishment is represented. If you don’t do it yourself, customers will do it for you, and it will be harder to update the information later.
  1. Business profile on Google Maps. Keep your profile on Google Maps and other resources up-to-date with your menu, reviews, and the correct opening hours (if they vary).
  2. Publications in local journals and online media. Top establishments in Kyiv, where to go in Kyiv on the weekend, best Italian restaurants? What exactly characterizes your establishment? This will have a positive effect on SEO and will also bring in customers. To place newsworthy stories, engage an SEO agency. Link builders will select local resources for article publication or specialized publications.
  3. Specialized catalogs.
  4. Google Ads. Use a marketing strategy for your restaurant’s PPC:
    • Search campaign for general queries (“restaurant in LA”, “cozy restaurant”, “restaurant nearby”).
    • Search campaign for queries related to your cuisine (“Italian restaurant”, “Italian restaurant in LA”, “Italian cuisine LA”).
    • Search campaigns for queries of priority dishes from your cuisine with segmentation based on dish features (if you serve ribs, users are looking beyond general queries: “ribs on the fire”, “pork ribs”, “bbq ribs”. Exclude “how to cook, marinate, bake, recipe, in the oven”).
    • Search campaigns for characteristic queries: family-friendly, in Podil, with a children’s room, on the rooftop.
    • Display remarketing campaign for people who have been on the site but did not interact with the menu, phone number, form.
    • Search campaigns for event-related queries: wedding, corporate, birthday, for a date.
    • Display remarketing campaign for people who interacted with the menu, phone number, form. There’s no such thing as too much advertising, it either works or it doesn’t. According to the Rule of 7, it’s better to show the ad one more time — a user who has booked a table or delivery will not click unnecessarily.
    • Display retargeting campaign to stimulate repeat visits to an audience who interacted in the last 540 days with the menu, phone number, form, is located in or interested in the city where the establishment is but hasn’t visited the site in the last 30 days.
    • Display campaign on a database of users (Google Ads and Facebook Ads allow uploading mobile numbers and email addresses to show ads to specific users).
    • Display campaign for visitors similar to visitors to competitors’ establishments.
    • Performance Max, if there is a CRM or an online menu with tracking of booking methods and establishment visits or deliveries.
    • Google Standard Shopping and Performance Max campaigns if there is online ordering with delivery and online payment.
    • Display targeted campaigns on relevant segments of your target audience, with a focus on the advantages and features of the establishment.
    • Local Google Maps campaigns for advertising on maps, as well as more frequent mentions in search or partner sites.
    • Video campaigns (with and without the option to skip) on YouTube videos posted.
    • Delegate the direction of contextual advertising to specialized agencies that understand your field, with clear processes and a well-tuned system of execution verification.
    • In the restaurant industry, it’s necessary to constantly monitor results, respond promptly to changes, have a separate advertising strategy for mobile, by time of day, and systematically respond to results to avoid appearing on Google for songs or movies (yes, we’ve had real cases with targeted queries from unqualified contractors for advertising).
  1. Social Media Advertising. We recommend dividing all ad groups in Meta Ads by placements on Facebook, Instagram, Instagram Stories. Additionally, use these strategies:
    • Advertising special offers in the feed and in stories to a specific target audience (for example, showing a sushi promotion to those interested in it).
    • Boosting posts for site visitors and users who have interacted on the site.
    • Advertising event-related queries through lead generation. Test 2-3 audience strategies with the same creative, automate the forwarding of lead forms to the manager’s email for timely contact.
    • Active remarketing. Keep it active at all times, segmenting by logic as for Google Ads.
    • Video content. Advertise videos in the same ad groups.
    • Comments. Monitor comments and promptly restart advertising (several users who ask why it’s so expensive or comment that they can cook better themselves will break the Meta algorithm, and further advertising will target similar commentators: those who find it expensive and those who cook themselves, so you’ll get a less targeted audience).
  1. Interaction with user-generated content. Interaction is not only SMS with no unsubscribe option or email, but also targeting by phone number or email in Google Ads and Meta Ads. Interact with the content created by users, repost their posts in stories, stimulate your word of mouth.
  2. Blog. Create a blog and/or news section on your website. Add articles and photo reports there. Share successes, challenges, fun stories, useful tips, and recipes — invite them to try and see how it compares to home-cooked meals. The main thing is quality, not quantity.
    • A blog helps to quickly announce announcements or news and is also a good place for feedback (in case of insufficient satisfaction — it’s better to receive a comment than a review).
    • Don’t forget to praise yourself, and duplicate all positive mentions of your establishment in compilations of the best establishments, online or offline newspapers, and other publications.
  1. Local SEO. For local SEO, systematic online mentions in internet publications (PR articles, press releases) are required, as well as:
    • New reviews and positive ratings on Google Maps.
    • A fully filled Google Maps profile, timely updates, special versions of posts and news.
    • Work with website content (blog and relevant pages).
    • Correct meta tags and technical SEO.
    • Continuous growth of local backlinks (PR articles, press releases).

Marketing for catering business

  1. Research keywords and the sphere. Catering is not only “catering LA”, “catering order”, “offsite catering”, look up your competitors. Here is a small list that will come in handy:
    • Mobile catering
    • Restaurant on wheels
    • Catering service
    • Buffet catering
    • Mobile kitchen
    • Café to go
  1. Create separate pages on your website for each service and city. Do you provide services in multiple cities? Create individual pages for each one. Specialize in large orders? Separate pages will come in very handy.
  2. Add negative keywords in Google Ads. For a company that provides mobile catering services, these are clearly not target keywords: “this”, “what is”, “boxes”, “DIY”, “cities where services are not provided” — by default, Google will show your ad to users from another city through extended geotargeting. For local businesses in Google Ads, we recommend enabling precise location settings for your target audience. Add your catering competitors’ brands as negative keywords — use them for your media campaign: targeting audiences similar to visitors of other mobile catering sites.
  3. Expand the website structure.
    • Create additional pages on the site to meet demand: “Corporate Events”, “Birthdays”, “Weddings”, “Office Catering”, etc. These can be expanded with informational articles and specific products, for example, for B2C — the “Birthday” page might include:
      • how to plan a birthday
      • appetizers for a birthday
      • dishes for a birthday
      • new hot dishes for a birthday
      • buffet snacks for a birthday
      • canapés for a birthday
      • birthday table snacks
    • Work seriously on each query. Corporate semantics, with the largest bill and LTV, is not as rich as private ones (birthdays, weddings, etc.), so give maximum attention to each query.
    • Refine directions, for example for B2B “Office Catering” also target:
      • Office food
      • Office lunches
      • Office buffet
      • Corporate lunches
      • Office meals
      • Office breakfasts
      • Lunches at work
      • Buffet at work
    • A well-developed site structure not only helps with SEO ranking — in PPC, it provides better conversion into orders.
    • A B2C user, especially if competitors in your region have it, googling queries like “catering price”, “catering menu”, expects to see a specific list of dishes, the ability to add to cart and order.
    • A B2B user might fill out forms or inquire separately about wholesale over the phone, get a PDF, but a menu list without prices (if there is no catering order calculator or shopping cart) will improve conversion to inquiries.
  1. Launch advertising and promotion. For catering services, PPC, social media targeting, and SEO are suitable. Results from contextual advertising can be immediate.
    • In targeting, model who your target audience is, who makes the decisions, and for which product. For example, if your target audience is HR specialists and they google “how to organize a corporate event” or “ideas for a corporate event,” then in addition to specific keys in contextual advertising like “catering for a corporate event,” also promote informational content such as “catering ideas,” “games for catering,” so that HR specialists remember your website and leave a contacts.
    • For cities with low demand, expand advertising to related directions, for example:
      • Tents and furniture.
      • Help with music (live, DJ, etc.).
      • Hosts for the event.
      • Clean-up services after the event.
    • We recommend delegating directions for PPC and SEO (content and expansion ideas, articles on external resources), and targeting to contractors with experience and knowledge of the industry specifics, while leaving the creative part to in-house specialists — vibrant appetizing photos, product improvement, collaborations with Event agencies and related directions.

Marketing for a hotel

  1. Price comparison sites. Work with all possible platforms used by your audience, allocate a budget for testing paid promotions on these platforms. Booking.com, Hotels24, for international visitors — Expedia, TripAdvisor, Agoda, etc.
    • Research which aggregators you can add your hotel to, and what appears in the search results for the location from which you plan to receive more clients. For example, residents of Germany looking for hotels in Lviv will see aggregators like Agoda, Booking.com, Hotels.com, TripAdvisor, etc., in the organic search results.
    • Some of these sites are aggregators where you could potentially list your property. For international bookings, consider hotel metasearch options.
Marketing for a hotel
  1. Launch newsletters for your visitors to notify them about promotions.
  2. Google Ads. For working with formed demand in popular destinations, advertise your website on Google Ads, be sure to initiate remarketing and ads targeting your old customer base to stimulate repeat bookings.
  3. Social media targeting. To generate additional demand and to advertise to an audience that has shown interest in a destination but hasn’t traveled yet, or was interested a while ago and needs a new vacation, advertise on social media. For general branding, boost the latest news, and for new bookings, use lead generation. Allocate a larger marketing budget during the peak booking season.
    • Lead generation with Facebook and Instagram Ads will quickly increase the number of bookings, both for apartments or villas and for hotels and hotel chains. Narrow down your audience and specify travel details right in the Instant Form to ensure leads are high quality and targeted.
    • Keep your advertising active, and adjust the advertising budget according to occupancy. Google and Facebook do not favor stops and downtime in advertising, so a halted campaign will take several days or even weeks to “pick up speed” again, while advertising with even a small budget is immediately flexible for scaling.

Marketing of goods and services for the restaurant, hotel and hospitality industry

Imagine yourself in the shoes of your target audience and investigate what problems your client faces.

Is it a restaurateur interested in wholesale products or staff motivation? A chef keeping an eye on colleagues and industry novelties? An investor looking for a location for a new establishment? Or a social media page administrator focusing on a specific theme?

In all cases, apart from direct recommendations, the best conversion rates are seen in ads and SEO. When users actively search for a specific product or service in a search engine, they are already in need of it.

In the HoReCa industry, as in most B2B sectors, decisions about changing suppliers or entering new partnerships are usually made at the highest level, and cooperation is built to last for years.

Our client in the trade automation equipment sector once said: “Meetings and introductions at the director-director level work more effectively.” Of course, this method has its limitations in terms of scaling, but even a “cold” contact database can be used as a targeting audience in the Google and Meta networks, allowing users to see the ads, click through, place an order, and then it’s up to the sales department to handle it from there.

For interest-based advertising, start lead generation in Meta Ads.

Which audiences can be activated if targeting HoReCa

  • Users with an interest in HoReCa (interest in Horeca business & finance).
  • Users similar to the visitors of your website.
  • Chefs (positions such as Chef, Chef/Line Cook, Kitchen Manager/Chef).
  • Restaurateurs (position Restaurateur).
  • Restaurant management (positions like Restaurant General Manager, Restaurant management, and interest in Restaurant management dining).
  • Advertising targeting competitors’ brands and products of interest to your target audience (brands of chefs’ knives, kitchen printers).
  • Advertising for supermarket brands, restaurants, gastro-markets, and other establishments where your products are available to stimulate offline and online purchases.
  • Facebook and Instagram page administrators (interests in Food & Restaurant page admins, Retail page admins, Travel & Tourism page admins, but don’t exclude marketing interests: SMM specialists are unlikely to click, but decision-makers are clearly interested in advertising for the establishment).
  • A combination of business interests narrowed down to the restaurant sector.
  • Interests in related products or services.
  • Remarketing (separately for visitors who did not respond to CPA elements, separately for those who did respond to CPA elements, and separately for everyone who made an order).

Delegate the optimization of your advertising: the “set it and forget it” approach no longer works — systematic work is necessary to make changes and improvements: identify which campaigns to scale up, which groups to pause, and explore additional opportunities for growing traffic and sales.

Universal strategy for promoting products (goods and services) for HoReCa industry

If word-of-mouth is the most effective and reliable source of leads, then search engine results are the second most targeted source.

A user who searches for a specific product or service has a need to satisfy it. The question is only which vendor or service provider they will choose.

Launch Google Ads search advertising (advertising cannot be expensive, it either works or it doesn’t) and invest in SEO.

If you are also targeting international markets, consider Microsoft Ads (formerly Bing Ads, includes Yahoo Gemini Ads). Due to antitrust laws by default in search engines and extended interests for targeting (available after purchasing LinkedIn) — it is a serious competitor and complement to Google Ads.

PPC ads are driving results already and now. A basic checklist of advertising campaigns:

  • Brand search ads (if there’s no competition for your brand, clicks will be cheap; if there is, you’ll see who and how aggressively is advertising in percentages).
  • Search ads for an expanded website structure (advertise each service, product category separately).
  • Search ads on competitors’ brands (optionally, clearly only with the advantages of your brand without using competitors’ brands in ads).
  • Dynamic Search Ads (DSA) (optionally, with excluded brand queries, DSA is suitable for large product sites or low-frequency queries where there is little search).
  • Search campaign for calls.
  • Display remarketing campaign (segment visitors, those who interacted with CTA elements, and separately those who made a purchase).
  • Display ads on phone and email databases.
  • Display campaign on keywords (target and related to the product or service, for example, if you sell a terminal for chefs, then chefs are interested in food trends, new knives, combi steamers, etc.).
  • Display campaign on interests.
  • Display campaign on similar visitors.
  • Display campaign on visitors similar to those of competitors’ websites or apps.
  • Display campaign on dynamic remarketing (for e-commerce, products with photos and prices).
  • Local campaigns in Google My Business (if there are offline points).
  • Video campaigns on YouTube, mirroring display interests.
  • Performance Max campaigns (for e-commerce, or if you have CRM and clearly understand the conversion to sales).

Submit an application, we can help you increase sales.

SEO

SEO is a long term work, minimal results are visible at 4-6 month, but more noticeable after 1-2 years of constant work, which includes:

  • Link profile building (PR article links that are beneficial for both SEO and brand recognition).
  • Enhancing structure and content (beneficial for SEO, complements Google Ads, which take into account the landing page quality score and directly affect the cost per click).
  • Accurate meta tags (completed meta tag templates with unique titles and descriptions positively affect SEO ranking).
  • Page Speed (development tasks or solutions with plugins, image compression on main pages).
  • Google My Business (profile updates, news with article updates).
  • Analytics (Google Analytics 4, Google Tag Manager, CRM consulting).
  • Search Console (checking and fixing errors).
  • Schema and OG microdata (necessary additions via Google Tag Manager or tasks for developers to maximize promotional effectiveness).

Submit an application, we can help you increase sales.

For targeting interests as an example, if your audience consists of restaurant owners, managers, or chefs, we have described them in the section “Marketing Goods and Services for Restaurants and Hotels.”

In Paid Social, focus more on different audiences while maintaining the same type of advertising campaigns. According to Pareto’s principle, universal campaigns include:

  • For ecommerce — Catalog Sales, Advantage Catalog Sales (separately Dynamic Retargeting).
  • For services — Lead Generation Campaigns for website and Instant Forms Lead Campaigns, separately retargeting audiences and definitely automated lead forwarding to the manager.

Segment by placements, systematically analyze, optimize, scale up effective campaigns, and pause those that are less efficient.

Optional Campaigns:

  • Boosting recent posts to the remarketing audience.
  • Advertising to subscribers.
  • Advertising on Facebook Messenger, Instagram Direct.
  • Traffic for phone number clicks.
  • Video campaigns.

Submit an application, we can help you increase sales.

Extra channels

Explore and set up sales through additional channels. Review a few ideas.

For hotels

  • Booking, Hotels24, Expedia, TripAdvisor, Adoga, etc.
  • Exhibition centers nearby.
  • Travel agencies.
  • Event-agencies.

For restaurants

  • RestOn, CityFrog, Tripadvisor, Tomato, Yelp.
  • Business centers nearby to promote corporate lunches.
  • Travel agencies.
  • Event-agencies.

For the catering business

  • Real estate for events (start with booking a villa, secure a recommendation from the lessor).
  • Related directions: hosts, music.
  • Event agencies.

For HoReCa products or services

  • Equipment aggregators.
  • Related suppliers of products or equipment.
  • Additional platforms: Ebay, Amazon. Even for new equipment, if these platforms appear in search results, users end up there, so mentioning or advertising with a transition to the site improves conversion.
  • Related services: restaurant consultants, professional equipment repair.

HoReCa case studies

We specialize in B2B advertising for manufacturers and suppliers of goods and services for the HoReCa industry.

1 Professional stainless steel equipment for catering establishments

The client is a manufacturer of stainless steel equipment and technological furniture for catering establishments. The main products include induction cooktops and thermal equipment, stainless steel tables, marmite pots, shelving, and custom refrigeration equipment.

  • Service: Google Ads
  • Region: Ukraine, Poland

Application cost


down by 15%

Amount of sales


increased by 370%

HoReCa marketing case studies

We initiated our Google Ads, setting up the account and all campaigns from scratch. In Ukraine, during the spring of 2022, the demand for professional equipment decreased, so we launched advertising campaigns for each priority group of products, including low-frequency ones.

Comparing the results of the last month with the previous year, and with the six-month mark of collaboration:

  • We reduced the cost per lead (CPL) by 15% in Ukraine (the CPL in Poland is slightly higher).
  • We expanded our search advertising presence from 20-25% to 70-85%.
  • We increased sales by 370% (with a 300% increase in budget).

#2 Clarium catfish farm

The client is growing organic fish. The main specialization is clarium catfish.

  • Service: Google Ads, Facebook and Instagram Ads targeting
  • Region: Ukraine

Application cost


down by 500% for B2C

Amount of sales


increased by 900% for B2B

маркетинговий кейс HoReCa рибна ферма HoReCa рибна ферма

The in-house marketer was in charge of PPC and targeting: there was only one broad campaign on general keywords (like “buy fish,” “fish,” etc.) in Google Ads and boosting posts on social networks. We left post-boosting to the marketer, but we implemented a lead generation process on Facebook ourselves. We restructured the Google Ads campaigns, added all types of products, remarketing, separate display and video campaigns targeting HoReCa interests.

With us:

  • We increased the profitability from Google Ads B2C sales by ROAS from 125% to 625%.
  • We increased the number of B2B leads in the HoReCa sector by 900%.

3 Restaurant Consulting

The client is a consulting company in the restaurant business, operating in the market for over 13 years. Specializes in turnkey restaurant, cafe, and hotel openings. Audit, reorganization, and support of existing restaurants.

  • Service: Google Ads
  • Region: Ukraine, Poland

Application cost


down by 87%

Amount of sales


increased by 650%

Restaurant consulting how to promote on the Internet

Google Ads was already set up, but the previous agency failed to grasp the niche, resulting in a conversion to inquiry rate of 0.0007. We conducted an audit, devised a plan, corrected errors in existing campaigns for openings, created additional campaigns for consulting and the hotel sector, and initiated ongoing optimization.

Collaboration results:

  • Corrected the conversion rate to inquiries to 0.0085 (excluding calls, chatbots, messengers, etc.). With the same advertising budget, we achieved +650% more inquiries.
  • Reduced the cost per direct lead from 7,916 UAH to 968 UAH.

We’ll perform a free marketing audit and identify growth opportunities for your business. Please leave a request.

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