October 16, 2023
Lauren Platero

SMS Marketing for Restaurants: All About Text Marketing

Are you searching for ways to draw more customers to your restaurant business? Try implementing SMS marketing for restaurants. You’ll quickly find that SMS campaigns specific to eateries are a bit different from other businesses.

Does your menu types include food trends, creating a sense of product differentiation? Create text campaigns. Or, perhaps your restaurant offers 24 7 food delivery. That’s certainly something to include in late night SMS alerts. As you can see, SMS marketing for restaurants can be a creative and well-branded endeavor.

In this blog post, we’re going to discuss everything you need to know about SMS marketing for restaurants. We’ll even go over the risks you may face by not implementing text marketing efforts. Then, the post will outline how SMS marketing differs from restaurant email marketing efforts. So, without further ado, let’s get started!

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What Is SMS Marketing for Restaurants?

SMS marketing for restaurants is the processing of sending text messages to customers to support promotional efforts. The way it works is a business owner signs up for an SMS marketing platform. From there, they can build a restaurant email list and design text marketing campaigns.

For restaurants, SMS marketing can take on a number of different forms. For instance, some may be about Friday night specials, while others may contain a link to sign-up for the customer rewards program. Regardless of what the content entails, the number one goal is to entice people to stop by the restaurant or place an order online.

The Purpose of SMS Marketing for Restaurants

The purpose of SMS marketing for restaurants is to entice customers to dine at your restaurant. Or, it’s to increase online ordering sales. Either way, boosting the restaurant profit margin is the primary goal of any restaurant marketing strategy. It's also a great way to stay in the forefront of your customer's minds.

One thing that makes SMS marketing for restaurants a bit different, is its ability to speak so directly to customers. After all, who doesn’t have their phone glued to them during this day and age? People of all ages are constantly checking their phone, which makes restaurant SMS marketing ideas absolutely endless. Plus, they’re simple and efficient to create.

Advantages of SMS Marketing for Restaurants

SMS marketing for restaurants comprises many benefits for the business. In fact, it can coincide with a great deal of restaurant success. The whole point of restaurant marketing strategies are to speak directly to customers. What’s a better way to do that than to send them occasional texts?

After implementing SMS marketing for restaurants, expect to see the following advantages in real time:

  • Direct lines of communication with current and potential customers.
  • The ability to schedule multiple SMS campaigns far in advance.
  • Zero need for extravagant and elaborate SMS campaign designs. 
  • Regular clientele who visits your business on a frequent basis. 
  • Steady week-over-week and month-over-month order volumes. 

These are just a handful of the advantages you’ll notice in your business after implementing SMS marketing campaigns. After a while, you’ll see that it’s one of the most lucrative and effective marketing strategies. Then, you can prioritize it more than expensive and detailed efforts. 

Revolution Ordering’s seamless integrations allow restaurants and other hospitality brands to host successful marketing efforts, including SMS marketing for restaurants! Schedule a demo with an industry expert today to learn more about it. 

Disadvantages of Not Implementing SMS Marketing for Restaurants

If you’re not reaping the benefits of SMS marketing for restaurants, you’re seriously missing out! Eateries can capture sales by reminding customers of their dishes and deals via text messages. Plus, it takes a minimal amount of time to set them up. Furthermore, they’re able to rise above local competition with low-effort ideas. 

It’s common to not know what you’re missing out on if you’re new to something. So, just keep in mind that by not implementing SMS marketing for restaurants, you could face the following disadvantages:

  •  An inability to directly communicate with your ideal customer profile
  • Increased labor expenses due to a marketing professional or team. 
  • Spending time on marketing techniques that don’t deliver great results.
  • An inability to control marketing efforts within realms like ads and social media.
  • Overspending on elaborate and high-effort marketing campaigns.

If you’re already facing any of these issues, you can combat them with SMS marketing plans. Better yet, try replacing one or more of your ineffective marketing strategies with SMS efforts. You may be surprised at how quickly you notice results.

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SMS Marketing vs Email Marketing for Restaurants 

Fellow restaurant industry and business professionals often talk about the power of an email marketing strategy. Like SMS marketing for restaurants, it’s a simple and effective way to promote your food service brand. So, why is there even a debate between email and SMS marketing? Well, there are a few reasons.

For one, restaurant email marketing can cost a bit more money. This is primary due to the amount of multimedia assets that can go into an email template. Meanwhile, SMS alerts are much more plain and straightforward. With this in mind, building SMS campaigns takes much less time and creativity. Therefore, they’re much easier to sustain over time.  

Last, but certainly not least, SMS marketing has an extremely high success rate. We’re talking about open rates of around 98 percent and conversion rates of about 45 percent! Despite how successful email marketing efforts can be, there’s nothing like sending a quick text message. 

Examples of SMS Marketing for Restaurants

If you’re in need of some SMS restaurant marketing samples, we’re here to help! Use the following ideas for inspiration when building your SMS marketing cadences:

  • “Our newest menu items are finally here!”
  • “Need catering services for your upcoming event?”
  • “Get your free appetizer or dessert before the weekend’s over!”
  • “Order in the next three hours and get FREE delivery!”
  • “Get double the points on all orders between now and Friday.”

Depending on what your restaurant offers its customers, the number of ideas for SMS alerts may be endless. So, carefully consider what you currently have to offer and what initiatives you can create. Then, it’s time to make them known via text messages. 

Frequently Asked Questions About SMS Marketing for Restaurants

Still unsure whether SMS campaigns should be a part of your marketing strategy? If so, we gathered a bit more information surrounding the topic. See below for some of the most frequently asked questions and answers about SMS marketing for restaurants.

Is SMS Marketing Allowed?

Yes, SMS marketing is allowed and completely legal as long as you get consent from the subscribers. If you don’t, you could face fines and other penalties for sending unsolicited messages.

How Much Does SMS Marketing Cost Per SMS?

It costs anywhere between $0.01 to $0.05 per SMS alert. These rates are for generic text messages. So, keep in mind that more characters, a selection of emojis, and the use of multimedia elements may cost more.

How Successful Is SMS Marketing?

SMS marketing is extremely successful, with a conversion rate of about 45%. If you’re not blown away by that figure, it’s worth noting that SMS alerts have an open rate of about 98%. Considering the costs of products and services compared to what it takes to send SMS alerts, it’s safe to say that they’re worth the investment.

Is SMS Marketing For Restaurants Worth It?

Yes, SMS marketing for restaurants is worth the investment. It’s one of the easiest and quickest ways to put promotional campaigns right in front of your ideal customer base. As a result, it boasts a shockingly high success rate.

What Types of Businesses Use SMS Marketing?

All types of businesses use SMS marketing to scale their brand. That's because they're so versatile. Restaurants, fashion retailers, pet supply companies, and so many more send out frequent SMS alerts to their subscriber list. In doing so, they’re able to maintain exposure and maximize profits simultaneously.

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Now, Let’s Implement SMS Marketing for Restaurants and Success

Now that you have all the information you need about SMS marketing for your restaurant, it’s time to put it into action. Add sign-up forms to your website and social media accounts. Don’t forget to leverage your current email list too when gaining phone numbers. Then, after you have a substantial amount of subscribers, begin sending alerts about your best-selling dishes and subscriber-only discounts. Soon after, you’ll likely experience steady increases in growth.