Forking their Way to Fame: 10 UK Restaurants Winning the Digital Dining Game


The UK restaurant scene is a battlefield, a delicious, competitive one. In this digital age, simply having a great menu and ambience isn’t enough. To truly thrive, restaurants need to be digital warriors, wielding social media, online platforms, and targeted campaigns to fill those tables.

CJ Digital, one of the top restaurant marketing agencies in the world, has scoured the country to find 10 restaurants that are mastering the art of digital marketing, turning clicks into covers and likes into loyal customers. From Michelin-starred marvels to neighbourhood gems, these guys are a masterclass in getting seen and, most importantly, getting booked.

  1. 1 Lombard Street (London): Brasserie Brilliance with a Bit of Banter

Nestled in the heart of London’s financial district, 1 Lombard Street could easily get lost in the sea of suits. But their social media presence is anything but buttoned-down. Their Instagram is a delightful mix of mouthwatering food shots (think perfectly golden roast chicken) and witty captions that poke fun at the corporate world. They also run cheeky Twitter polls asking followers to choose their lunch plans – a “Steak Frites Friday” versus “Veggie Wellington Wednesday” showdown, perhaps? It’s this playful approach that cuts through the digital noise and makes them a lunchtime favourite.

  1. Black Axe Mangal (Manchester): Meze Magic with Influencer Magic

Black Axe Mangal isn’t just a restaurant; it’s a full-on sensory experience. Their dimly lit, atmospheric space is as much of a draw as their delicious Turkish mezze. But how do you translate that atmosphere online? Enter their influencer partnerships. They’ve collaborated with local Manchester food bloggers and Instagrammers to create stunning photos and videos that capture the restaurant’s unique vibe. These partnerships not only reach a wider audience but also offer potential customers a glimpse into the Black Axe Mangal experience, making them crave a visit.

  1. Kiln (Edinburgh): Firing Up Social Media with Fiery Flavours

Kiln isn’t your average pizza place. They’re all about wood-fired mastery, and their dedication to open flames extends to their digital presence. Their Instagram is a feast for the eyes, showcasing the artistry of their pizzas – think charred sourdough bases topped with seasonal delights. They also use Facebook Live to host interactive cookery demonstrations with their pizzaiolos, giving viewers a behind-the-scenes look at their fiery craft. This focus on visual storytelling is a surefire way to ignite appetites.

  1. BAB (Bath): Taking Brunch to the ‘Gram

BAB (Bath Assembly Rooms) understands the power of brunch. Their Instagram is a love letter to leisurely weekend mornings, overflowing with fluffy pancakes drizzled in maple syrup and perfectly poached eggs nestled on colourful plates. They also host regular Instagram competitions, encouraging followers to share their BAB brunch photos for a chance to win a free meal. This user-generated content not only creates a sense of community but also provides valuable, authentic marketing material.

  1. The Pig (Multiple Locations): Farm-to-Table Delights, Delivered Digitally

The Pig hotels are renowned for their commitment to fresh, local produce straight from their own farms. Their digital marketing reflects this philosophy beautifully. Their website features a dedicated “Our Produce” section with information on their suppliers and growing practices. They even offer virtual farm tours on their Facebook page, allowing customers to connect with the source of their food. This transparency and focus on provenance builds trust and makes their farm-to-table experience all the more appealing.

  1. Fuji Hiro (Leeds): Authentic Japan, Served with Social Savvy

Leeds may not be the first place that springs to mind for exceptional Japanese cuisine, but Fuji Hiro is changing that perception, one perfectly plated dish at a time. Their digital strategy is all about showcasing their culinary authenticity. Their Instagram stories take viewers on a virtual trip to a Japanese fish market, while their website features a blog run by the head chef, detailing the inspiration behind his seasonal menus. This focus on knowledge and origin story not only educates diners but also builds trust and a sense of experience.

  1. Dishoom (Multiple Locations): Bombay on a Budget, Big on Social

Dishoom’s vibrant take on Bombay street food has won hearts (and stomachs) across the UK. Their social media presence is just as energetic as their restaurants. Their Twitter feed is a constant stream of witty remarks, Bollywood trivia, and mouthwatering food photos. They also run creative social media campaigns – think a recent “Dishoom Dish Dash” where followers had to guess the ingredients in a new dish. This constant engagement keeps Dishoom at the forefront of diners’ minds, making them the go-to spot for a fun and flavourful Indian fix.

  1. The Ninth (Glasgow): Fine Dining Finds its Foodie Fanbase

Fine dining restaurants sometimes struggle to translate their elegant experience to the often-casual world of digital marketing. The Ninth in Glasgow, however, does it with aplomb. Their Instagram is a masterclass in understated luxury. They focus on high-quality close-ups of their beautifully plated dishes, letting the artistry of the food speak for itself. They also utilize targeted online advertising platforms to reach diners interested in high-end experiences. This approach ensures they attract the right clientele without compromising the sophisticated air of their establishment.

  1. Yard (Multiple Locations): Sustainable Seafood Sails Through the Digital Sphere

Sustainability is a hot topic, and Yard restaurants are making waves (pun intended) with their commitment to responsibly sourced seafood. Their digital marketing reflects this focus. Their website features a dedicated “Sustainability Pledge” section outlining their sourcing practices and partnerships with local fishermen. They also partner with marine conservation charities and influencers to spread awareness about ocean health. This commitment to environmental responsibility resonates with eco-conscious diners, making Yard a restaurant they can feel good about supporting.

  1. The Barbican (Plymouth): A Michelin Star Doesn’t Dim Their Digital Light

Michelin-starred restaurants can often appear intimidating or out of reach. The Barbican in Plymouth is changing that perception through their warm and welcoming digital presence. Their head chef, Jack Stein, regularly hosts Instagram Q&A sessions, answering diners’ questions about the menu and his culinary philosophy. They also offer virtual tours of their stunning seafront location, giving potential customers a taste of the experience before they even book. This down-to-earth approach makes The Barbican feel approachable, showing that a Michelin star doesn’t have to mean a stuffy atmosphere.

These 10 restaurants are just a glimpse into the exciting world of UK restaurants that are winning the digital dining game. By using a variety of online tools and strategies, they’re not just filling tables, they’re building communities and creating lasting relationships with their customers. So next time you’re searching for a delicious meal, remember, a great digital presence can often be the sign of a great restaurant experience waiting to happen.