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With Facebook and Instagram down, restaurant marketers get creative

Chain social marketers from Dunkin’ to Cava delivered some humor to Twitter Monday to engage with customers during the outage.
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Photo: Shutterstock

A global outage of Facebook and the other social media platforms it owns, Instagram and WhatsApp, sent restaurant marketers scrambling Monday.

The tracking site Downdetector showed a massive spike in Facebook and Instagram outage reports beginning around noon Eastern time. The outages continued throughout the day, prompting Facebook to take to Twitter to say the platform was experiencing “networking issues” and that its teams were working to “debug and restore” as quickly as possible.

But the widespread outages put a crimp in the marketing plans of many restaurants, particularly since Monday was National Taco Day.

“On big days like National Taco Day, social media is critical to talk about a promotion,” said EdithAnn Ramey, CMO at Tex-Mex casual dining chain On The Border. “Without those channels, it hurts our ability to amplify the message and drive people in to the restaurants.”

Perhaps Taco Bell had a crystal ball, providing a look at the impending chaos. Even before the outage, the quick-service chain was promoting its National Taco Day trivia contest to be held on the messaging platform Discord, rather than via Facebook or Instagram.

Mostly, though, restaurant chains spent Monday engaging with customers via Twitter, one of the few remaining social media routes.

Twitter, for example, posted: “hello literally everyone.”

To which McDonald’s replied: “hi what can I get you.”

Twitter: “59.6 nuggets for my friends.”

McDonald’s: “for here or to go.”

Here’s a look at how restaurants and delivery providers engaged with diners on Twitter Monday, with other social media platforms down:

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