Check Committed online partner
Check Especially for hospitality and catering
Check Proven effectiveness
Contact us

How do you reach out to new people as well as your loyal followers on Instagram? Now you might think of advertising. But there is also a free option: using hashtags! Of course, you are not the only one doing this. There are other restaurants and hotels that use hashtags besides you. A good hashtag strategy is therefore indispensable for restaurants and hotels.

Wondering how to find the right hashtags and what to look out for when coming up with hashtags? Read this blog to learn how to take the first steps to getting noticed.

Hashtag strategy intro

How do you use a hashtag on Instagram?

In case you don't know what a hashtag is or how to use it, let us briefly explain. You use a hashtag to collect content about a certain topic. And to be found by people searching on this topic. 

If you click on a hashtag, you will see all posts with this hashtag. That's easy if you're looking for a # French restaurant, for example, or if you're looking for a hotel in a particular city (#hoteldenhaag). Be careful not to put spaces in a hashtag.

Follow Hashtags

On Instagram, you can not only search for hashtags, you can also follow them. 

If people are following #italiaanseten and you use this hashtag, chances are they will see your post. It is also useful to follow hashtags yourself and see what kind of posts go with them. This way you will find out what is going on on Instagram. Who knows, it might inspire you to create new content!

Hashtag strategy hashtag following italian food

Different types of hashtags

When using hashtags, it's smart to use a combination of different types of hashtags. Let's first distinguish between descriptive hashtags, branded hashtags and location hashtags. Later, we'll take a closer look at the relevance and effectiveness of hashtags.

Descriptive hashtags

A hashtag that literally describes what is in the photo is a descriptive hashtag. So if there is a croissant in the photo, use #croissant. This makes the hashtag very specific and therefore relevant. 

Also try out more variants, such as the plural #croissants or #chocolate croissant. If you type #croissant in the search bar on Instagram, you will get all kinds of suggestions. Along with the number of posts that use this hashtag. Very handy to see if this is a popular hashtag and get some inspiration! 

Branded hashtag

This is a hashtag that you choose yourself. Often, this is your company name, but it can also be another hashtag of your own that represents your company. Be creative with this. As long as the hashtag doesn't exist yet, you have the chance to claim your own hashtag. 

The advantage of a branded hashtag is that you can easily find content about your restaurant and see what others are saying about you. 

Location hashtag

The more specific your hashtags are, the faster you will attract guests who are looking for you. Location is especially important for a restaurant or hotel. So always use a hashtag with your location, such as #restaurantrotterdam or #eteninbreda.

Hashtag strategy rules of thumb

How to choose the right hashtags for Instagram?

If you use the right hashtags, you will not only reach more people, but also the right people. Therefore, keep the 4 R's in mind when thinking of hashtags. Are your hashtags relevant, researched, the right size and recognisable?


If you want to be found by the right people, your hashtags should be relevant. We have already talked about descriptive hashtags. This is a good example of a relevant hashtag. Relevant hashtags say something about the photo, video or text that you are posting. 

If you are talking about croissants as a tasty breakfast, for example. In any case, post #croissants and #breakfast. The hashtag #dinner does not make much sense, of course, even though it gets a lot of traffic.


Relevant hashtags are therefore not hard to find. But how do you know which hashtags work for you? By researching it! For example, see how many posts the hashtag has. But also what hashtags your ideal guest is searching for. You can do this by looking up the hashtag in Instagram. If you search for #italianEats, for example, you will see all kinds of popular posts. Use this to your advantage!

Hashtag strategy four rs

Right size

Some hashtags reach more people than others. It also depends on how big your account is. The bigger your account, the smarter it is to use popular hashtags. For example, do you have thousands of followers? Then feel free to use more popular hashtags. If you don't have that many followers yet, you're more likely to stand out to your guests with niche hashtags.

Mix of niche, medium and popular hashtags

So find hashtags with the right range. Don't just use popular hashtags, because these hashtags have a lot of competition and you won't be found quickly. It is best to use a mix of niche, medium and popular hashtags.

  • ​​Niche hashtagsrange < 10,000
  • Medium hashtagsrange 10,000 - 100,000
  • Popular hashtagsrange > 100,000


We talked about branded hashtags earlier; hashtags that you create yourself and that are unique. This makes your hashtags recognisable and your content easy to find. If you have a fun promotion for the holidays, you can also use a campaign hashtag. With this temporary hashtag, you can immediately measure the impact of your campaign and easily filter the content that others are posting about it.

Hashtag strategy number

What is the right number of hashtags?

After your research, you should have a good list of hashtags. The more hashtags you come up with, the easier it is to alternate. In any case, always include the branded hashtag in your post and the descriptive hashtags as much as possible. 

The maximum number of hashtags you can use is 30. But experience has shown that using so many hashtags comes across as spamming. It is better to use between 5 and 15 hashtags. That's when you'll have the best chance of getting the most interaction.

Beware of spamming

Once you've found the right hashtags, you're well on your way. But be careful not to use the same batch of hashtags over and over again. Use as many different hashtags per post as possible. This is because it is against Instagram's rules to use the same hashtags over and over again. If you do this too often, Instagram will see it as spam. And of course you don't want your account to be blocked!

Post the hashtags as a reaction

Another handy tip: don't put the hashtags in the caption of your post, but as the first comment. Why? This way you keep your post short and sweet. Your message is much clearer because it is not flooded with hashtags. And the effect is the same. So don't worry that people will be less likely to find you.

Hashtag strategy at work

Get active on Instagram

The more energy you put into your Instagram account, the better the results. Besides a good hashtag strategy, it is important for Instagram whether you are active with your account. The more active you are, the more visible your posts will be to the Instagram algorithm. 

That is why it is smart to become active on the platform yourself half an hour before you post your message. Like other posts and leave comments. This will also give you a good image!

Ready to stand out on Instagram with your hashtag strategy?

The basis for a good hashtag strategy has been laid. Now it's up to you! Do the hashtags roll out for you? Or are you still in need of inspiration? The Fully Bookers help you on your way! 





Curious about our working methods and the results we have achieved? Let's meet! Make an appointment without engagement.

Contact us