Restaurant Guide: Text Message Marketing for Restaurants

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We are a global nation of technology addicts who can’t get enough of our phones. With a current worldwide population of 7.9 billion people and 5.2 billion unique mobile users, mobile phones are used by more than two-thirds of the world’s population.

Despite this, many restaurant owners are still unaware of the enhanced engagement and penetration that only SMS marketing campaigns can provide.

Text message marketing for restaurants is something that should not be disregarded. 

Text messaging can help restaurants, cafés, bars, and caterers interact with workers, increase loyalty with existing customers, and much more – all with convenience and cost. 

However, sending these test messages is more complicated than simply pulling out your phone and typing a brief message in the hopes of making a sale. Communication must be succinct and persuasive.

Here is our guide on text message marketing for restaurants and everything you need to know about it.

Benefits of Using Text Message Marketing for Restaurants

Consumers spend 3 hours on their phones, and check them 58 times every day, according to RescueTime. 

Many restaurant owners are still unaware of the penetration and increased engagement that only SMS marketing campaigns can deliver despite a cut-through rate of 98 percent.

Here are some of the benefits that SMS marketing campaigns can offer restaurant businesses.

Low-Cost Marketing with High Return on Investment 

Influencer Marketing

If you can’t afford to spend a lot of money on marketing, running an SMS marketing campaign is perfect for you. 

Restaurant SMS marketing is less expensive than most other forms of promotion, such as printed flyers and advertisements.

It also has the potential to offer you a greater return on investment if you formulate the perfect text with the right deal and send it to the right people at the right time. 

Take, for example, Papa John’s Pizza, which had a $14 return on a $1 SMS campaign. 

Greater Customer Reach With Ease

Text message marketing has the ability to reach a greater number of individuals than other kinds of advertising.

People just need a phone to receive an SMS, not even a smartphone, and certainly not one with an internet connection. This makes expanding the reach of your marketing activities much simpler. 

When comparing email and social media marketing, your target audience will require internet connection, email or social media accounts, smartphone or computer access, and so on.

SMS marketing is more successful than other kinds of marketing for cafés and restaurants. An SMS will be read by 98 percent of its recipients while only 20% will open an email.  SMS messages can be further verified by using a one-time password (OTP) sent to the customer’s phone number. SMS for verification helps prevent fraud and ensure the messages are sent to the intended recipient.

Versatility and Flexibility 

The flexibility of text message marketing is one of its most appealing features. 

Choose what you want to communicate when creating an SMS marketing campaign: introducing a specific menu item, announcing restaurant news, or promoting a discount or promo code. 

You may even use text messages to develop a simple event-based marketing campaign. Allowing text messaging marketing to be both flexible and versatile in what it offers. 

Results of a Text Message Marketing Campaign can be Instant 

The results are accessible right away.

Up to 90% of marketing text messages are read within the first three minutes of being sent. As a result, you have great chances of persuading a recipient to place an order.

Furthermore, text messages enable you to deliver limited-time discounts such as flash bargains that are only valid for a day or a few hours. This enables immediate sales.

The restaurant sector is a fast-paced industry. When people’s stomachs grumble, they don’t give much thought to what they’re buying. Getting a hold of them at the right moment often results in a significant increase in sales.

Improve Customer Loyalty 

For most businesses, SMS direct marketing is a viable method, but it’s especially successful for restaurants. 

With the aid of restaurant mobile marketing, customer relationships may be strengthened over time.

When you create appealing messages with special offers on a regular basis and deliver them in an SMS marketing campaign, your target audience will be enticed to return to your restaurant in order to avail of your offering. 

One-time customers are more likely to become returning customers if you create a customer loyalty strategy with hot bargains, especially if the deals are exclusive to your restaurant SMS marketing list.

Tips for Making the Most of Text Message Marketing for Restaurants

Creating an effective text message marketing campaign that is able to generate buzz around your brand, entice customers to order from your restaurant, be engaging, and create a loyal customer base can be challenging. 

The perfect text message campaign needs to incorporate multiple elements to be able to have the right impact and be successful. 

Here are some of the tips we have learned that can ensure your text message marketing is successful. 

Tip #1: Include Effective Calls to Action

If your customers aren’t instructed exactly what to do, there’s a good chance they won’t do it. A clear call to action for your customers should be included in your SMS. 

So, if you want to develop a successful SMS campaign, be sure to include calls to action that direct the recipient to the next step.

Short and to-the-point calls to action are most effective. “Reply X to X” is one of the most prevalent SMS calls to action. 

This and all other calls to action versions assist recipients in progressing to the next stage in the purchasing process.

For example, if the aim of your SMS is to promote your restaurant app make sure you provide a working download link, include a link to your feedback page if you’re asking for it, or add a link to your website if you want more traffic there. 

Alternatively, you may also invite guests to bring the specific text to your restaurant, building a more active interaction with your brand.

Tip #2: Texts Should be Concise and to The Point 

Text messaging was created to make communication quick and easy. Customers will soon lose interest if you send out communications that go on and on about promotions.

Users will stop reading long messages and opt-out of getting them in the future if you continue to send them. 

Depending on your communication goal, you’ll need to employ specific keywords, but don’t go into too much detail.

Furthermore, because SMS messaging has a character restriction of 160 characters, it’s best to attract their attention, express your marketing message, and conclude with a call to action in 160 characters or even less.

Tip #3: Don’t Overdo the Texts 

You need to ensure that you do not go overboard with your SMS marketing. 

Establish your text message marketing strategy by simply sending messages when they’re needed and restricting the number of texts you send to a particular enough number of customers.

Remember, text messages are something your customers cannot easily ignore, at least not like other forms of advertisements such as billboards or online ads. 

If customers receive an excessive number of messages from your company, they will unsubscribe or get annoyed, both of which defeat the purpose of the marketing campaign. 

Tip #4: Add Value to Your Customer’s Experience 

happy customers at a restaurant

Every communication you send should provide value to your recipients. This might be in the form of a discount voucher, an event promotion, or prizes, among other things. However, sending out repeated communications with no evident value can upset your clients, and they may opt-out of receiving messages altogether. 

Above all, make sure that anything you say through marketing text messages is relevant and provides value to the consumer’s experience with your restaurant. 

Tip #5: Perfect Your Text Message Timing 

When you send out a text message to your customers in hopes of engaging them or getting them to come to or order from your restaurant you want to time the message just right. 

Customers will have a poor impression of your restaurant if they receive texts at a time when they are likely to be disturbed.

Nothing is more irritating than being startled up in the middle of the night by a random text message. 

Stick to business hours and mealtimes as a general guideline. Experiment a little to determine the best time to send SMS depending on the rate of response you receive.

You may also customize your SMS campaigns by choosing when to send them. 

For example, you can send an SMS marketing campaign to promote discounts based on a local event or the weather for customers in a certain place. 20% off a warm, comforting serving of soup seems ideal while it’s snowing outside, don’t you think?

Ideas for Text Message Marketing for Restaurants 

As a restaurant owner, you may capitalize on the text messaging craze by using it to your advantage. It can help you increase earnings and engage with your consumers.

Here are some text messaging marketing campaign ideas to get you started.

Create Hype for a Restaurant Launch or New Menu 

Text message marketing may help you promote new branches, menu items, or even the opening of a new restaurant. First, make a text message announcement before anyone enters the restaurant.

Send out frequent notifications about your restaurant’s launch to drum up interest among potential consumers. People should be eager to try out your restaurant as soon as it opens doors.

Promote a new menu or item to get consumers excited to try what your restaurant has to offer.

Discount Codes or Promotions 

Speech bubbles on a blackboard

Texts are perfect for discount codes. Offer great deals or promo codes in your texts to drive up sales for your restaurant. 

Get creative and your customers will be glad that they signed up for your text messages. 

With the nature of text messaging having an immediate impact, you can even promote a flash deal, for example, a free drink with every purchase in the next hour. 

The increased sales during this time will justify the deals and discounts you are offering. 

Improve Your Restaurant Website’s Traffic 

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The website of a restaurant and its text marketing services are inextricably linked. Both allow you to engage with customers who may or may not use social media platforms and may not see your social marketing activities.

To increase web traffic, include a URL in your content.

Use the recipient’s curiosity to entice them to visit your website by using a web-text campaign. Don’t limit your text message campaign to simply advertising your website’s main page. 

If you choose to go down this route ensure your website is mobile-friendly. 

Incentivize Restaurant Reviews 

Almost every business you can think of has a review on the internet. Because reviews are such an important part of the food industry’s culture and identity, they must also be an important component of your restaurant marketing strategy. 

Reviews are a method for consumers to share their eating experiences and assist others to make decisions about where to eat. 

It’s more difficult than you may imagine persuading people to submit reviews. You want positive feedback from consumers who like and support your restaurant. 

You can incentivize customers to write you reviews by offering a discount or free item when they show you proof of the review.

Hold Competitions 

Get your customers excited about competing! Send a redeemable code to the winners of a competition. This is a really basic and straightforward method of generating interest in your restaurant.

The competition can be as simple as awarding a prize to the first five SMS recipients to place an order. The resulting positive feedback and publicity will make the prizes worthwhile.

Is Text Message Marketing for Restaurants Still Relevant? 

With new technologies being introduced on a daily basis, it’s reasonable to ask if SMS marketing is still a viable choice for your restaurant.

Much to the surprise of many individuals, SMS marketing is still relevant for restaurants. 

For starters, SMS eliminates the need for customers to download an app to their phone, which is typically seen as a nuisance by those who are less tech-savvy.

Secondly, the majority of people still interact using SMS. Every day, 6 billion text communication takes place in the United States alone. According to the same report, 75% of customers prefer to get offers via text texts. SMS has a greater click-through rate (CTR) than any other medium, at 9.18 per cent.

Hence, it can be said that brands who use SMS marketing are heading in the right direction with regard to their restaurant marketing. They’ve discovered that marketing doesn’t have to be difficult to be effective.

How Blink can Help You with Text Message Marketing for Your Restaurant 

Blink offers back-end access to your own branded mobile application and website. With Blink, you can streamline the way you offer your brand to your customers through one unified ordering system. 

Blink can help with your text message marketing campaigns with their in-built marketing tools. These marketing tools allow you to offer your customers promotions and improve customer engagement with SMS marketing. 

Apart from giving you the means to run your text message marketing for restaurants campaign, Blink also provides you with the information to be able to plan effective campaigns. 

With Blink, you own all your customer data and have access to business analytics. This sets Blink apart from third-party aggregators who do not offer you this information. 

With the help of this data, you can determine buying trends and other relevant information to be able to come up with the perfect campaign and advertise at the right time and to the right demographic. 

With additional features such as the dynamic dashboard, you can also gain insight into how your text message campaign fared with your customers. 

FAQ’s – Text Messaging for Restaurants in 2022


1. How SMS can be used in restaurant marketing?

You are constantly spending money on advertising on Facebook, TV, and radio stations but your business is still struggling.Imagine growing your business faster than you ever thought possible. Imagine buying messages for a fraction of the cost compared to other platforms and finally seeing your profits rise. What would happen if I started using text message marketing? We’ve got the answer waiting for you here at Blink. Text message marketing lets you get notifications in real time that inform you when to take action- whether it’s confirming reservations or sharing new menu items. It’s an incredible opportunity to engage your customers wherever they may be – on their phone. Learn more now!

2. How do you write a good promotion text?

  • Send the text promotion at a relevant time
  • Customize your promotion and make it sound likes really exclusive!
  • Make your offer enticing but at the same time it shouldn’t be spammy!

3. How do I setup text messaging for my business?

This quick tutorial shows you how to setup text messaging for your restaurant business to your customers directly from the Blink Merchant Portal.

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