SMS Marketing for Restaurants

Drive traffic with localized mobile offers, increase online orders and engagement with mobile sign-ups.

Text message marketing for restaurants is an effective strategy for engaging customers, boosting sales, and building loyalty with past and current diners.

Here is how the Food News Safety restaurant news journal talks about the changes in the restaurant industry: “technology has proven an indispensable resource for restaurants. From QR code-based menus to app-based reservations and ordering, technology has sustained the industry. These tools can continue to help restaurants grow.” As the Food News Safety article one more time confirms, the restaurants’ industry evolves and relies more on technology.

This is where QR codes, mobile apps, and text message marketing come into play. As a business owner of a restaurant, a bar, or a food truck you may have the following questions:

  • What is text marketing?

  • How can you collect your customer’s name and number?

  • How can SMS marketing help restaurant promotion?

  • How much marketing efforts should be put into SMS marketing for restaurants?

  • What are smart SMS marketing strategies that restaurant owners can use to their advantage?

  • How can you grow your email and SMS lists with your website and increase sales?

  • How can text marketing help improve customer communication?

Learn how to write impactful text messages to your customers and SMS recipients and three SMS restaurant marketing strategies that you can implement right now to move the needle that will impact the bottom line.

Lastly, we share some additional ideas as to how you can use text messaging to improve customer satisfaction.

How to write a successful restaurant promotion messages

We highly recommend the following three tips to help you write high converting texts for your SMS marketing campaign:

Tip #1: Keep your texts concise

Keep your text message as brief as possible. Keep in mind you only have 160 characters in a single SMS message. You get 1600 characters when you include an image or GIF in your message.

Tip #2: Write clear texts

Write straight-to-the-point messages. Don’t confuse your subscriber base with cryptic messages because they will opt-out.

Tip #3: Customize your SMS marketing texts

Add a personal touch to your message by including your subscriber’s name. Send messages based on their location and personal interests. This creates exclusivity and makes the subscriber feel that the message is specifically for them.

Now that you know how to write high converting SMS campaign messages, let’s go over mobile marketing campaign ideas.

Three SMS restaurant marketing strategies you can implement today

Increase online orders and customer engagement with text marketing sign-ups

Get creative with how you can invite new or repeat customers to opt-in to your SMS list. The end goal is to get your customer’s phone numbers so you can communicate by texting them.

Using a keyword is a simple way to get customers to opt-in. One example to get customers to sign up for your SMS marketing can be setting up a keyword like “Menu” for your dedicated virtual phone number. Your customers will automatically receive an MMS picture of your menu. You can always use a different keyword such as dessert, happy hour, drink, or lunch. Send them the menu for each keyword. You can also text them special discounts for each keyword opt-in to entice them to place an order.

Another restaurant text marketing example is to offer a deal of the day special for lunch or dinner. Send them an SMS offer by texting it to them and it will increase your customer loyalty. The likelihood of a customer returning to your restaurant will significantly increase and provide repeat business for your restaurant.

Use geo-segmentation to reach audiences who live near your restaurant

Have multiple restaurants in your city or nationwide? Not a problem, you can text your customers near those locations with geo-segmentation. This personalized SMS marketing approach along with customer data can locate your customers based on the address or zip code they provide no matter where they are.

People are often more engaged in marketing campaigns when they receive relevant content. It is recommended to create a location segment so you can send an SMS message to people only in a specific area. This makes it easy to fine-tune your communication with offers specific to the customer’s location and boost sales in this restaurant location.

Reward hungry customers with exclusive SMS offers they can redeem in person to drive repeat visits and increase restaurant traffic

Send new SMS list subscribers a text message with an exclusive offer or discount that they can redeem only in person.

For example, you can invite customers to come to dine in your restaurant or make an in-person reservation. If they do one of those actions, they can get an exclusive offer such as a free drink, dessert, or chips and salsa, with a meal purchase that increases sales.

Two ways to improve customer satisfaction with text messaging

Send reservation reminder texts

People get busy and plans often change. Send text message reminders to make sure your customers don’t forget about their reservations. Your business needs to have your customer’s phone numbers to make sure these reservations are being kept so the business has money coming in.

With two-way texting you can do the following:

  • Receive to-go orders

  • Coordinate with any delivery drivers as needed

  • Easily take reservation requests

  • Send reservation reminders to ensure customers show up

This will also help improve customer engagement and help you gather more customer data.

Get customer feedback with surveys via text

Customer feedback is crucial for the success of your restaurant business. Get customer feedback quickly with texting.

Conduct simple surveys using Typeform or Survey Monkey (they are free tools) to gather customer data such as location and time they visited; plus information about customer’s experience in your restaurant, thoughts about the menu, or whatever is important for you to know.

Asking for customer feedback is a great way to deal with issues before they end up on review websites such as Yelp or Google.

All you have to do to get customer feedback is:

  • Create a survey or poll in one of the survey tools mentioned in the previous paragraph.

  • Write a brief message with an attention-grabbing image and add a link to the survey.

  • Send your text messages to your customer base.

You can entice people to do the survey by offering them a free gift or discount that they can redeem in-store, which is effective SMS marketing for restaurants.

Appointible is here to help your restaurant succeed with restaurant text marketing

At Appointible, we offer restaurants a quick and effective way to drive traffic with localized mobile offers with text messaging and offer an SMS marketing tool for restaurants which is a win-win situation for your business.

Text marketing is one of the fastest-growing marketing channels with a high ROI. It can increase your brand awareness and help your business get better reviews on online review sites. Skip the flyers and use text messages instead!

Grow your SMS list and email list simultaneously with a website pop-up to help you collect your customer’s name, number, and email address. Invite people to join your text marketing list with your social media accounts too. Remember people are willing to give their personal information in exchange for something valuable.

We are here to lend our texting expertise to small business owners in the restaurant industry. If you are interested in growing your business with texting, sign up for our all-in-one SMS messaging service.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions? We have answers! Here are some common responses that may be helpful.

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