Snapchat is the new kid on the block for marketers since its launch in September 2011. It stayed under the radar for awhile but has had a relatively fast rise to popularity in the digital world (and is close to a $10 billion investment from Yahoo). The app, which allows users to send and open messages that self-destruct within seconds after being viewed, has attracted around 100 million users (as of 8/26/14). Here are a few other temping numbers:

  • 400 million Snapchats are shared per day
  • 18.6% of all iPhone users are Snapchat users, and 50 million Android users have installed the app
  • 50% of Snapchat members now utilize “Snapchat Stories” feature, which allows a user to stitch together snaps and keep them available for up to 24 hours before vanishing.

Snapchat Stories allows a great opportunity in social media for restaurant to interact with their customers while they’re in their establishment, and also ask customers to share their own stories to increase engagement.

Taco Bell – Beefy Crunch Burrito

Taco Bell was not only the first restaurant to turn to Snapchat, they were also the first Snapchat advertiser, and they haven’t looked back. Taco Bell’s social media manager Nick Train noted that his team sees Snapchat as “a great way to connect on a personal level and share stories as they happen in real time with our friends.”

Taco Bell leverages Snapchat for ongoing product announcements and deals. They sent snaps of the new Beefy Crunch Burrito to announce its return to the menu. They drove interest by announcing on Twitter to keep an eye out for the update on Snapchat, thereby integrating the two audiences and nurturing curiosity and interest.

McDonald’s – Bacon Clubhouse Burger

McDonald’s has maintained a solid presence since they joined in early 2014. They first focused on building an audience on the app by engaging followers on other existing social networks; offering exclusive deals for Snapchat friends; delivering engaging content about products and launch dates. For example, they’ve used Snapchat to announce the new Bacon Clubhouse Burger with basketball superstar LeBron James. During this promotion, they brought their Snapchat friends in on an exclusive and interactive tour with multiple touch points spread throughout the day.

16 Handles – UGC Sweepstakes

Frozen Yogurt chain 16 Handles was one of the first brands on Snapchat in 2013. Their very first promotion asked customers to snap a picture of themselves eating a yogurt on location, and as a thank you they’d win either a 16%, 50% or 100% off coupon in return. This element of surprise built in got customers engaged, bringing a lot of attention to the store.

As you can see from these leading examples, quick-serve restaurants have been making a big impact utilizing Snapchat for several months now for new product visibility and ongoing promotions. But a sales focus isn’t the only way to use the app – how about to attract talent?

Sober Lane – Snapchat for HR

A Dublin pub named Sober Lane asked applicants to send Snapchat photos and videos in lieu of resumes. The first tweeted their job ad, and encouraged applicants to “forget discretion” and that the jobs will only be offered to Snapchat applicants. Pub owner, Ernest Cantillion, told The Journal that he wants servers and bartenders with some personality and that he wanted them to focus on making a good first impression. He wants to literally give them a few seconds to catch their attention.

By using Snapchat just as individuals do, restaurants of all shapes and sizes can connect with audiences in entirely new ways. Experiment with it. Learn what it’s like, what your fans find most compelling, and ultimately what your Snapchat personality is.