Everyday, more and more people turn to social networks like Twitter to make decisions such as where to go for lunch or dinner. Twitter enthusiasts follow their favorite restaurants, and many tweeters scan hashtags on the social network to find the exact information they’re looking for.

As a restaurateur, you can make your tweets more effective by tagging them with appropriate hashtags. Your tweets will find a broader audience and have a greater chance of drawing more people into your local business.

Business recommendations fuel a lot of the social web, so get in on the conversation! Expose your restaurant to as many people as possible by trying out some of these hashtags in your next tweets.

1. #yourcity

When you add your city name as a hashtag to your tweets, you’re targeting people who keep their eyes open for social activities and news around town. It may seem like a very broad term to add as a hashtag, but when you add your city name you’ll find an audience that’s engaged with things such as the culture and night life in your area.

There are also people out there who set up Twitter accounts that will auto-tweet hashtags like city names. Despite the fact these Twitter accounts are more or less bots, many people still follow these accounts as an easy way to keep abreast of what’s going on in their city.

2. #restaurants

You may think that when you add the hashtag #restaurants to your tweets it’s a bit redundant. After all, you’re tweeting from an account that probably has the term restaurant somewhere in its description, or is obviously a restaurant by the nature of its tweets. But when users are seeking out a restaurant in their city, many will not only search for the term restaurants, they’ll also combine their search with the aforementioned city name.

Use both the #restaurants and #yourcity hashtags in your tweets when space allows, and your updates will appear in a larger number of Twitter search results.

3. #localfood

As a restaurateur, you are a part of the local food community. You may engage with farmers, bakers, artisans, and other restaurateurs on a daily basis. Tap into this subculture when it makes sense. For example, if your menu that day includes local ingredients, tweet about it and include a hashtag such as #localfood.

Restaurant goers and foodies are becoming more and more conscious of where their food comes from. If you’re a part of those types of food movements, mention it in your tweets to help those niche audiences find your business.

4. #typeofcuisine

Similar to including #yourcity and #restaurants, including a hashtag about your cuisine may also seem a little redundant. But when space allows and when it makes sense, use it. If a hungry tweeter is searching for “sushi in NYC” they just might stumble upon your tweet.

Alternatively, if your restaurant doesn’t focus on any one type of cuisine, using this type of hashtag for specials or new menu items will alert your existing followers and clientele to the new dish.

5. #vegan or #vegetarian

There are certainly more restaurants with meat on the menu than without. If your menu includes dishes for vegans and vegetarians, tweet about it. The vegan and vegetarian community is based upon very specific food choices. Tap into that niche by using the appropriate hashtags and you’ll bring your restaurant closer to this audience.

6. #competitors

Finally, don’t forget to check out your competition. You may find some hashtag trends exist amongst restaurants in your area. Keep your eye on competitors’ tweets. Check out what hashtags other local restaurants are using, and use them when it makes sense for your business.

Are you using hashtags to get people to pay attention to your restaurant’s tweets? We’d love to hear about it. Share your comments below.

[Image credits: Miren Berasategi, Joanne Wan, Steven Harris, paige_eliz, Evan, Tawnee Kendall, bocavermelha-l.b.]