October 20, 2023
Lauren Platero

Text Marketing for Restaurants: 10 Tips You Need to Know

Text marketing for restaurants is an effective and inexpensive tactic amongst popular restaurant marketing strategies. Not only is SMS marketing for restaurants a proven way to maximize revenue, but consumers tend to prefer it, too. In this blog, we’ll go in depth about ten groundbreaking tips to help improve your SMS restaurant marketing strategy. 

See below: 

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What Is Text Marketing for Restaurants?

Text marketing for restaurants refers to the process of sending promotional SMS campaigns. It’s that simple! Restaurant SMS marketing is simply gathering phone numbers, crafting tailored campaigns, and scheduling each of them. Its advantages are often part of the SMS marketing vs email marketing discussion. But that’s for good reasons! 

Now, let’s go over tips to succeed during the process.

10 Tips You Need to Know Before Implementing Text Marketing for Restaurants

Interested in implementing text marketing for restaurants? Just be sure to leverage the following ten tips before launching your strategy! See below:

1. Obtain Consent From All Subscribers

If there’s one thing that you take from this blog, let it be this: it’s essential that you obtain consent from customers to send SMS alerts before implementing text marketing for restaurants. If not, your campaigns will be considered unsolicited messaging in the eye of the law. As a result, your restaurant business can face legal consequences. Simply add a checkbox to any page where customers can leave their phone number. If they click it, great! But if not, don’t add it to your subscriber list.

2. Keep SMS Alerts Cohesive With the Email Marketing Strategy

It’s very likely that many of your SMS subscribers are also part of your restaurant email list. In the event that this is the case for your business, keep the two lines of communication cohesive. You don’t necessarily need to create a text alert to pair with each restaurant email campaign. However, keeping the tone, wording, and promotional calendar in sync is key. Plus, that'll give your eatery an extra touch of professionalism from a branding and visibility standpoint.

3. Send Texts At the Perfect Times

There are definitely ideal times, or at least timeframes, to conduct text marketing for restaurants. For instance, you wouldn’t send alerts about dinner deals first thing in the morning. Or, it wouldn’t exactly make sense to start promoting weekend drink specials as early as Monday. Instead, you would promote these sorts of things when it’s closer to when people are planning their dinner or weekend plans. These are just a couple of examples. But, you can probably imagine which texts will work for different time periods.

4. Don’t Be Too Repetitive 

Too much of the same thing can get pretty old, pretty quickly. When drafting SMS alerts, ensure that you’re not repeating concepts, wording, or links. Mixing up the alerts that you want to send is key. A great way to make sure that SMS alerts are diverse is by centering different messages around holidays. That way, there is little to no chance of one being similar to the next.

5. Carefully Analyze Data Analytics

After a few months or so of executing a new marketing strategy, it’s time to analyze restaurant data analytics. Do you notice any boosts in traffic since implementing text marketing for restaurants? Are there any direct ties to sales trends? These are the kind of questions you need to ask. It’s also why setting goals and KPIs beforehand is so important. Collecting consumer data is easy. But interpreting how it connects to promotions? That can be a challenge.

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6. Get Creative With Text Campaign Ideas

Don’t be afraid to mix things up when drafting text alerts. There are so many ideas beyond standard promotions. For instance, you can send messages late at night if you offer 24 7 food delivery. Or, you can throw in some humor when the holiday season is upon us. It’s these kinds of campaigns that people remember, further driving results from promotional efforts.

7. Choose a Budget-Friendly SMS Marketing Platform

When you launch new marketing strategies, it can be easy to overspend. This is especially true with text marketing for restaurants, as many platforms charge you per SMS alert. With this in mind, it’s imperative that you choose a text marketing platform that suits your restaurant marketing budget. The whole point of such efforts is to maximize profits. The last thing you need is to steer away from the restaurant budget in any way.

8. Consider What Local Competitors Are Doing Via SMS

To further understand marketing and even food trends, check out what local restaurants are sending their customers via SMS alerts. When operating within a niche market, it’s vital to keep up with various forms of outreach. As a result, product differentiation ideas may spark. But more importantly, you'll know how to create competitive advantages.

9. Leverage SMS Segmentation Features

Email and SMS campaign builders allow marketers to segment their messaging. What this means is that you have your original subscriber list. Then, you go ahead and add specific people to sub-lists. In doing so, text marketing for restaurants can cater to different needs or interests. For example, one segment might receive notifications about restaurant loyalty program perks. Meanwhile, another group might be asked for customer reviews after hosting an event. 

10. Be Patient

You know what they say, all good things come to those who wait! And to no surprise, that applies to great marketing results, too. Once you begin text marketing for restaurants, you probably won’t experience surges in orders overnight. However, over time, these alerts will boost brand exposure. Increased visibility is essential to both customer retention, too. So, give it several months before expecting to see noticeable results.

Frequently Asked Questions About Text Marketing for Restaurants

Text marketing for restaurants is a fairly newer tactic used by eateries all over the country. Some experts might even argue that it can overshadow restaurant email marketing strategies. This shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, as texts are such a direct form of communication. If you’d like to research the topic a bit further, we have some extra details for you. See the FAQ section below for more.

How Do You Do Text Marketing for Restaurants?

To conduct text marketing efforts, follow these steps:

  • Legally gather a list of phone numbers from your customers.
  • Select a text marketing platform to host such campaigns. 
  • Delegate text marketing tasks to an employee or new hire. 
  • Come up with realistic goals and KPIs for your business. 
  • Craft catchy messages that’ll help reach these goals and KPIs. 
  • Make the task easier by scheduling text alerts far in advance.

Does Text Marketing for Restaurants Work?

Yes, text marketing for restaurants works extremely well. In fact, it might even be one of the most effective marketing tactics you can use. This is mainly because of how everyone seems to have their phone on them these days. Therefore, you can feel confident that your campaigns will see high open rates.

How Can You Make Money With Text Marketing?

You can make money with text marketing by promoting the most lucrative aspects of your business via SMS. After all, that’s the whole point of marketing efforts! But if you want to make money sooner than later, send alerts about time-sensitive promotions. This way, customers will feel a sense of urgency to make a purchase.

What Is the Success Rate of Text Marketing?

The success rate of text marketing for restaurants is often an open rate of nearly 99 percent. According to one report, 80.5 percent of consumers said that they view new text message notifications within five minutes of receiving them. For eateries, many promotions are time-sensitive. So, this statistic makes for very successful outcomes.

What Is a Weakness of Text Marketing?

One of the biggest weaknesses of text marketing is how limited the alerts need to be. Unlike email marketing, SMS alerts are kept short and to the point. Plus, there aren’t many multimedia elements that can go into text alerts, such as pictures and GIFs.

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Text Marketing for Restaurants: It’s Just a Few Clicks Away

If you already offer customers online ordering services, it might be easier than you think to retrieve phone numbers. Then, all you have to do is craft alerts that speak to your customer base. It’s simpler than many other marketing techniques, and often delivers exceptional results. It's just a bit of typing and a "send" button away!