From likes to profits

How TikTok is cooking up success for Australian Businesses


TikTok recently celebrated reaching more than 8.5 million Australian users and 350,000 Aussie businesses on the platform. Audiences are willingly influenced by what they see on TikTok and use the platform to find inspiration on where to dine out. They are moving away from more traditional review sources and towards the quick, visually appealing video summaries offered up by influencers, friends and family alike.

Globally, TikTok boasts over 1 billion active users a month. To put that in context, there are only 4.8 billion internet users in the world, so 20.8% of all worldwide internet users are on TikTok. And if that’s not enough, check out these stats:

  • 40% of Millennial users say that the platform helps them discover new things
  • 44% of Gen X users say that the platform helps them discover new things
  • 88% of Gen Z users are inspired by the platform to search for Food and Beverage content
  • 71% of all users search for Fast Food Content on TikTok Source

Pretty impressive right? But it’s not just consumers who are benefiting from this booming social media platform. Like other social platforms, businesses can create their own channels on TikTok, which can help increase brand awareness, drive sales and even improve staff engagement. Restaurants and business owners often choose to showcase content like behind-the-scenes footage from the kitchen, special menu items, discounts, or partnerships with influencers. Due to the popularity of the medium, Australian businesses are experiencing record-breaking sales and life-changing success, often from just one 60-second video. The influence of the TikTok platform is undeniably powerful, so much so that the future of marketing for the Australian food and beverage industry may rest in the hands of social media influencers who leverage that power.

So, how does it work - and how does it drive sales? TikTok is largely dedicated to short-form videos, which typically range from 15 to 60 seconds, however recent years have seen the introduction of 3 and 10 minute videos. The platform is best known for its highly effective algorithm, which leverages machine learning to analyse user behaviour and suggest hyper-targeted content.

TikTok’s influence on sales traces back to the viral nature of its trends. Propagated by sharing, hashtags, and using “trending sounds” and templates, these videos spread like wildfire and drive consumer interest in specific products or services.

TikTok Success Stories

Brooki Bakehouse (QLD) – Craving Customers to Bakery Bliss

Owned and operated by Brooke Saward: a baker, travel blogger and dessert connoisseur who opened her own bakery in Brisbane and grew it to international success through TikTok. She did this with her famous NYC Cookie. She sells over 1000 cookies (at $7 a pop) a day, selling out every day.

In addition to offering delectable brownies, cupcakes, and cakes, her bakery has gained widespread acclaim for its standout product—cookies, drawing visitors from across Australia. The overwhelming popularity is evident as the line frequently extends beyond the entrance, wrapping around the corner.

Due to her international success, she now has found a way to ship her cookies nationally as well as internationally, to social media users who aren't local but want a piece of the Brooki Bakehouse. She built this all by sharing her day-to-day operations of running the bakery. The videos are simple, and from day to day they are often very similar, but consumers love to see the story of Brooki and the processes that go into operating a bakery. The keys to her success are likability, consistent posting, a decent product and an aesthetically pleasing bakery. 

Click hereto checkout Brookie's page.

Chebbo’s Burgers (NSW) – Backyard Burger Boy makes it Big

Ali Chebbani founded Chebbo’s Burgers, a food truck serving American-style smash burgers, in 2019 while studying an Accounting Degree. When the Covid-19 lockdowns hit, Chebbani’s DIY Burger Kit delivery service was born and he took to TikTok to promote it, to raging success. Committing to posting one video a day to the platform, Chebbo amassed over 1 million followers with his Burger of the Day series and once the lockdowns lifted, his food-truck became a massive success.

During his first weekend of trading, the Roselands food truck sold out of almost 500 burgers. With continued success, Chebbo’s Burgers introduced their flagship brick-and-mortar venue in Marrickville.

So popular is Ali’s personal brand, that he now sells Chebbo’s merch and his own signature burger patty smasher from his website. The secret to Chebbo’s TikTok success? Consistent posts, an engaging and honest personality and a great product. 

Click here to visit Chebbo's page.

These case studies show just how simple it can be to generate interest in your products and services by adding TikTok and social media marketing into your marketing mix. Do you have a standout burger on your menu? Get on TikTok and shout about it. Make interesting content about it and encourage your customers to do the same. If money allows, hiring a social media agency could be all it takes to elevate your presence on TikTok to the next level.

How can you use TikTok to drive sales?

Get on Trend!

Have you heard of cloud bread? Butter Boards? Dalgona Coffee? Pancake Cereal? These are all food trends that were made popular by TikTok. Influencers and businesses across the app have created their own take on these trends and in doing so, capitalised on the potential virality of the content.

Keeping your finger on the pulse of trending TikTok content can help you stay ahead of the algorithmic curve and get your products front and center, within the reach of all the hungry media consumers out there.

But it’s not just about looking for food trends. TikTok trends span many genres, and some of the most popular ones aren’t about food or products at all. Getting creative and utilising these trending memes and topics to make your brand stand out in new and memorable ways.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Recreate a trending or popular food item on your business’ TikTok channel and introduce it as a new product or “secret menu” item.
  • Got a stand-out product of your own that no one has ever seen before? Hi-jack trending topics by making content about this product and invite viewers to come and try it or replicate it. This gives you clout as the original creator of that trending recipe and encourages foodies and users to your business.
  • Introduce a new trend to the app! Our resident Chef Liam has a recipe that we think could make a great trend. The Squaffle! An Angel Bay Veggie Patty made crispy and caramelized by cooking it in a Waffle Iron. You could use this recipe, or tweak it to make it your own and make a new trending series called “Will it Squaffle?”, following on from popular TikToker Hercules Noble Food’s series “Will it Sourdough” trend. Check it outhere.
Build Community!

Create content, build community. Social media is all about ... well, being social. It gives you a platform to showcase what your brand and business is about and it gives you an opportunity to attract potential customer. Viewers want to see your unique personality, brand and product. They want to buy from a real person, not a faceless entity.

The trick the building a community is to refrain from being salesy or promoting products in an obvious way. You want your customers to feel a part of your brand story and be interested in what you have to say, because it's something different every day. You can build your community by showing to the people within the business and how they make the products. Or the consumers and how they enjoy the products you serve. This indirect marketing doesn't give off salesy vibes and helps you build a community that is engaged and interested in what you have to say and offer.

Work with influencers

Influencers make the TikTok world go around. Anyone with an audience (no matter the size) can have great influence over the behaviours of those users if their community is engaged and interested in what they have to say. And brands and businesses leverage this to influence prospective purchasers of their products.

You don’t have to go very far into the TikTok algorithm to stumble across the multitude of influencers trying Mcdonald's burgers. You'll notice that they are almost always trying new things on the menu as can be seen here where @angeeats tries the McDonalds Cheesy Beef Burger. This is just one of the ways in which businesses are working with influencers to sell their new products into market.

It's a great strategy as the influencers who are most likely to partner with them will have audiences that have a high propensity to try the product. This approach allows the brand to target highly niche audiences with high likelihood of purchasing.

The trick to working with influencers is to have skin in the game. Have a view on how your brand should be perceived and find influencers that are aligned with your brand ethos. With TikTok, it's not always about followers. The algorithm will favour quality content that hits the mark, regardless of if someone has 2 or 200k followers so finding the right fit is important.

Finding local influencers in your area will help attract visitors within your area. Here are a handful of trending popular influencers in Australia at the moment:

  • Tedsthetics (387.5k followers) funny influencer that gives brutal reviews about products.
  • Melbourne:
    Nathsway(134.5k followers) Local Melbourne-based influencer who does travel destinations and food collabs.
  • Anguseats (156.4k followers) everyday bloke food influencer who tries burgers.
  • Sydney:
    Bites with lily (2.4m) Sydney-based food influencer.
  • Sydneyfoodbrothers (4300 followers) Syndey-based brothers exploring the streets of Sydney for food.
  • Perth:
    Dude Food (101.5K followers) Perth-based podcaster who reviews local restaurants in a very Aussie-bloke way.
  • Perthisok (68.7K followers, most watched video hit almost 1 million views) Perth-based foodies providing reviews on new and interesting hotspots.
  • Adelaide:
    Freaky Feeds (83K followers) – Adelaide-based foodie influencer.
  • Marcus Costanzo (264K Followers)– Adelaide-based creative who specialises in premium media services for hospitality and events businesses. Appeared in season 13 of MKR in 2023. Tiktok features food reviews, ASMR cooking with Marcus’ own recipes. 
Keeping up with Trends

Here’s a quick TikTok on 2024 food trend predictions so you can plan your content and stay ahead of the curve!

  • Slaying Social is a fantastic resource that demystifies social media platforms (including TikTok). They track current trends on each platform and release regular updates and articles (like this one on current food trend hacks) to keep your finger on the pulse.
  • Envato Elements is another wonderful social media education resource. They provide templates for videos, graphic templates, sound effects and more, as well as this extremely handy and very current trend list. It’s updated multiple times a week, so you can be sure if it’s trending on TikTok, it’s on this list.
  • TikTok creator wavewyld has dedicated her entire channel to showing viewers how to stay on trend and in users’ For You Pages.
  • This is a great article compiling recipes from some of TikTok’s most viral food trends that you can adapt to fit your business.

Back to NEws