9 Tips to Successfully Use Google Ads for Restaurants

google ads for restaurants

Did you know 62% of customers use Google to search for a restaurant? If you want more clients to find your restaurant, you need your business to rank high in Google searches.

There are two main ways to do this:

  • Organic ranking: read our in-depth on-page and off-page SEO guides to help you get visibility organically;
  • Google Ads for restaurants: provides faster results, so it is worth incorporating their cost into your marketing budget.

In this article, we give you valuable tips on how to set up restaurant Google Ads that achieve your desired results:

What is Google Ads?

When you search for a restaurant, on top of the organic results, you will sometimes see ones marked “Sponsored” or “Ad”. Those are Google Ads generated by businesses who are trying to reach you.

Google Ads is Google’s paid search engine advertising service that helps you place ads at the top of search results and across its Display Network.

To start, you will need to create a Google Ads account:

  • Go here and sign up
  • Choose the email you will be using for the account
  • Add the restaurant’s name and website
  • Start setting up your campaigns

What are the benefits of Google Ads for restaurants?

Owning a restaurant is no easy feat and you have to constantly invest in business to remain relevant. Here are the benefits you will enjoy if you start using Google Ads for restaurants:

  • Outrank your competition: when people search for your type of cuisine in your area, your result is guaranteed to be on top of your competitors, where potential customers will notice it first;
  • Attract new customers: by having your restaurant at the top of the page, you increase your visibility and persuade people to become first-time customers;
  • Target your specific audience: Google gives you a variety of factors you can take advantage of to target your audience. This way, you don’t waste money, you show your ads only to people who are interested in your food;
  • Increase conversion rate: with persuasive descriptions, your restaurant's Google ads will convince people to take the big step and become customers;
  • Learn more about your customers: by monitoring your ads, you will see what campaigns work for your restaurant and what type of information persuades people to visit and order from your restaurant.

9 Tips for successful restaurant Google Ads

Once you set up your account, Google will guide you through the process of setting up your first campaign. But, if you want to ensure your money is well spent and you achieve your goals, follow these Google Ads for restaurants tips:

1. Set up the tools necessary for your campaigns to convert

The ad is the hook, but you need a place for people to land if you want to convert them to clients. For example, if you tell people to book a table, you should also provide a place where they can do so easily.

Here are the tools you will need to make your restaurant’s Google Ads a success:

  • A sales and SEO-optimized website: when you create a Google Ad, you want people to take action, be it order or visit your restaurant. But first, you need to give them a way to find more information about your restaurant and browse your menu. Therefore, you need a sales-optimized website that offers a convincing online experience. Use our restaurant website builder to generate a website that is SEO optimized, to also help you rank on the first page organically;
  • An online ordering system: if you set up a campaign to increase online orders, you must have an online ordering system that makes the ordering process a breeze. Check out the GloriaFood system that helps you skyrocket your sales and is extremely easy to set up;
  • A table reservation system: clients will be more tempted to follow the ad advice and book a table if they can do so in just a few clicks on your website. Good news, with GloriaFood, you also get access to a free table reservation system you can set up in minutes.
    Google Ads for Restaurants
Set up your restaurant Google Ads for success with a sales and SEO-optimized website Generate your own in under 10 minutes Start Now

2. Choose trackable objectives for your campaign

The first step of setting up Google Ads for Restaurants is to choose a goal. Having an objective will help you target interested potential customers and easily monitor your ads to see if you reached the success you hoped for.

Here are the most common objectives you can choose for restaurant Google Ads:

  • Sales: target people with a higher intent to purchase such as previous clients to convince them to order food or make a reservation;
  • Leads: drive people to interact with your business by giving their contact information or signing up for a newsletter. You can use the data to build a connection with your clients and send outtargeted email campaigns;
  • Website traffic: persuade potential clients to visit your restaurant's website where they can find out more about your business. On the plus side, the increased traffic will also help with your SEO;
  • Awareness and consideration: ideal if you are just starting or want to expand your audience. You can also use this type of goal when you launch a new menu item or a new location to spread the word;
  • App promotion: encourage people to download your restaurant’s native app. Having a branded app will significantly enhance the ordering experience for customers because they can place an order in an easy and familiar way. If you don’t have an app, you can easily generate one using our online ordering system.
    best google ad strategy for restaurants

Read more: Restaurant App Statistics: How to Use a Mobile App to Sell More [Infographic]

3. Do keyword research

The two main things you should keep in mind when you choose keywords are your target audience and your type of cuisine. What type of customers do you want to attract and what can you show off?

To find the keywords you can use tools like Google Keywords Planner, SEMrush, Ahrefs, etc. Here are a few tips that will help you choose the best conversion-centric keywords to use in your restaurant Google ads:

  • Stay away from broad keywords: using general keywords will only eat your money up and not provide any results. For example, don’t target “Sicilian food” as it is not something a person would look for if they are searching for a restaurant. Instead, be more specific, such as “best arancini Camden town” or “traditional cannoli King’s Cross”;
  • Bid on high search intent keywords: to get results from Google Ads for Restaurants, you must invest your money wisely. Don't choose keywords that only have 10 searches because you won’t get conversions. You need to get your ad to as many people as possible which implies using keywords with lots of searches;
  • Target keywords to your location: your clients all live around your location, not in another city. Therefore, try to find keywords that include your city or neighborhood, so you can reach interested people;
  • Create ad groups: to easily monitor your campaigns, you should create ad groups that focus on a main keyword. For example, let's say you choose "brunch Shoreditch". Find similar keywords for your headlines you can use to create an ad group such as "family-friendly brunch Shoreditch" or "all-day brunch upper London".

4. Target the local community

On top of using local keywords, you can also choose to only display your ads to people in your geographical area. There is no point extending your ads radius to other cities as people who live there are likely to nether become your clients.

Focus your efforts and money on areas where you have previously ordered. To get specifics, you can use the Delivery Heatmaps feature from our online ordering system. It allows you to see which zones most of your orders come from and which you should target more.

You can use the info to set up Google ads for restaurants for awareness and also to retarget old customers.

Keep an eye on your ad’s progress with a powerful data analytics module Install an online ordering system to your website for free Start Now

5. Use a profitable restaurant Ad schedule

To increase the visibility of Google ads for restaurants, you must show them when your audience is more likely to see them. For example, having ads running during the night when people are sleeping and your restaurant is closed, will not bring you any results.

You can schedule restaurant Google ads to be available only during certain hours. Here are our recommendations:

  • While your restaurant is open: limit yourself to daytime, but you don’t have to have them running all day. Depending on what you are promoting, you can choose a different period. For example, if you are promoting your brunch, run your ads during the early hours when people are bound to be looking for a place to eat;
  • During lunch hours: the hungry lunch crowds can be persuaded to visit or order from your restaurant with a few ads that highlight your restaurant promotions;
  • Before the dinner rush: people may start searching for a place to dine a few hours before dinner time, so that’s when you should promote your best menu items.

6. Set up a Google Ads budget

Setting up a budget is important to ensure you don’t go overboard with your marketing budget while still increasing visibility and sales. The good news is you can set a monthly budget that Google will not go over.

Precisely, you set an average daily spend. Google may spend more than the average on some days, but at the end of the month, you will pay no more than the average daily spend x 30,4.

You will be charged according to cost per click: every time a customer clicks on an ad. You can set CPC in two ways:

  • Maximizing CPC: Google will manage your bids to get the most clicks within the budget;
  • Manual CPC: you can set the bids yourself. It takes more time and effort, so it is best to try it after you become more experienced with Google ads for restaurants.

7. Make use of Ad extensions

On top of the ad copy and keywords, you can also add Google Ad extensions to give extra information and really seal the deal. Here are your options:

  • Call extension: you can add a phone call that people on mobile can call with a single click. Ideal if you take event reservations and you want people to call you directly;
  • Location extension: let people know your exact address. They can click on the extension and they will be able to see the location and indications in Google Maps;
  • Review extension: persuade people to visit you by showcasing your high rating in the ads;
  • Sitelink extension: increase conversion rate by including a direct link to your website;
  • Structured snippet: let people know what type of food you serve or what your best-selling dishes are;

8. Use powerful Calls to Action

Google ads for restaurants have two main parts:

  • Headlines: only 30 characters
  • Description: only 90 characters

You don’t have a lot of space, so you must make every word count. Here are a few tips to ensure your ads are persuasive:

  • Use strong Calls to Action: tell people what you expect them to do. For example, “Order now” or “Reserve a table”;
  • Use your unique selling proposition: let people know what makes you special and why they should choose you;
  • Include benefits: attract people by showcasing what they will benefit from if they order from or visit your restaurant;
  • Mention promotions: can be the push potential customers need to place an order

Read more: Restaurant Call to Action: 6 Tips for Converting Visitors to Loyal Clients

9. Analyze your campaigns’ performance

Don’t just set up your campaigns and forget about them. You need to monitor them and notice which ones performed best so you can replicate them.

You can correlate the data from Google Ads with the ones from Google Analytics and GloriaFood’s Reports module to notice if you have reached your goals and afterward, make improvements.

Restaurant Google Ads examples

You can search for your targeted keywords to see what your competition is doing and try to one-up them. Here are three examples of Google ads for restaurants you can use as inspiration when you create our own:

Traditional Sicilian Food | Special Offers | Order online now

Our dishes taste like a vacation in Sicily. We only use the best ingredients for an authentic taste. Try our bundle of arancini and cannoli for only $20!

Best oven-fired pizza in Cambridge | Open ‘till 02.00 | Place an online order now

No matter how late hunger strikes, we are here to satisfy your cravings with the tastiest pizza in Cambridge. Book a table now and take advantage of our 2+1 pizza offer.

The best comfort food in Brighton | Order online | Make a reservation

Forget about your worries and come enjoy comfort food that will remind you of your childhood. Bring your family and friends because we offer a 10% discount on orders over $80!

Final words

When you set up your next marketing budget, make sure you leave some room open for restaurant Google ads. Now that you know how to set up the most efficient Google ads for restaurants, it is time to put your knowledge into practice.

You might also like:

Otilia Dobos

Otilia Dobos is sometimes a content writer, other times a copywriter, but always produces high-quality content that helps clients up their marketing game. She devotes her attention to helping restaurant owners have a successful business with well-documented and SEO-optimized articles.

Create your own restaurant website

Get Started