Restaurants belong to one of the toughest industries out there. The cutthroat competition leads to the failure of a lot of establishments. In fact, the restaurant industry has some of the highest failure rate. Making sure your restaurant survives beyond the first year is a huge challenge. Trying to make it successful on top of that is even more difficult of a task.
While there are many marketing channels that can be utilized to create brand recognition and awareness, SMS marketing for restaurants is one that can be recommended without fault. One of the priorities of every restaurant is to convert one-time customers into repeat customers. And that is done through developing customer loyalty.
Therefore, a marketing strategy focused on that aspect should be developed. Text message marketing for restaurants is, in fact, one of the better ways to further your customer loyalty-building efforts. Its accessibility allows for restaurants to reach far more customers, at only the fraction of a cost and in a more efficient manner, than other marketing channels.
SMS text marketing for restaurants, especially ones smaller in scale, should be a mandatory practice. Marketing constitutes an important part of any business endeavor but sometimes a full-blown marketing campaign can be costly. Hence why trying to do it in budget is a good idea and SMS marketing is just the tool for that.
Benefits of SMS Marketing for Restaurants
There are a lot of benefits that come with SMS marketing. Implementing this kind of marketing is almost fool-proof, in that either you get the full benefits of SMS or you get marginal benefits (or none at all) without taking a hit financially in the process.
That said, here are some of the key benefits of SMS marketing for restaurants:
According to research, the vast majority of mobile device owners use the SMS every day (check SMS statistics here), and on average people receive 30-40 text messages. This means that the text messaging channel is perfect for exposure because customers use their phones a lot. Your text message could very well end up as being one of those 40 daily text messages and you are almost guaranteed to have your message read.
High Open Rate
Text messages have the highest open rate of any channel of communication. With an astounding 98% open rate, it is guaranteed people are going to see your text message. The next closest in terms of open rate is an email that fluctuates between the 20-30% range. This means that if you want to assure your restaurant’s communication with customers does not go to waste, just send SMS messages.
Barring some technical issues with your bulk SMS provider, SMS messages ought to and, in most cases, are delivered in an instant. More than that, on average 90% of text messages are read within three minutes of being received. On the contrary, emails can be delivered instantly as well but do not nearly get the same response rate as SMS messages.
If you are on a budget, SMS marketing is the go-to tool for you. It is incredibly cheap and has some of the most competitive and affordable pricing on the market. Considering how effective SMS marketing is, the margin of return you are going to get on your investment is very high, so it is well worth its price. Moreover, unlike most businesses, restaurants do not need full-on marketing campaigns (most cannot even afford it without crippling the business financially). All it takes at times is a little push to get over the hump during dry spells. It is no surprise why SMS marketing is widely used among top restaurant franchises.
Part of the reason why SMS is so popular in marketing has to do with its ability to reach everyone across the world. The limitless reach it offers can help you send text messages to just about anyone regardless of their physical location. And because the striking majority of the population has mobile phones, they can be accessed anytime. Of course, within this context, sending text messages to people all over the world would make no sense, unless your restaurant is a global franchise. That is why you have to have a specific target demographic—ideally location-based (learn more here). This will help you attract the right customers to your restaurant as well as avoid spamming people with irrelevant content.
Text Message Marketing Samples for Restaurants
Restaurants can use SMS marketing for various purposes. Here are some ways you can use it (with default templates).
- Rewarding Customers with Coupons
“Hey [customer name], thanks for dining with us at [restaurant name]. We can’t wait to see you again. Take 10% off of your next order using this coupon. [coupon]”
- Limited-Time Offers
“Quick! The hot light is on! Come in and get a fresh donut and we’ll give you a free cup of coffee. Offer only valid for the next few hours.”
- Notifying Customers About Upcoming Events
“Will we see you at tonight’s open mic? Swing by [restaurant’s name] for delicious food and stay for the awesome music—today from 6-10 PM.”
- Customer Reservation
“Hi [customer name], your table for 4 is now ready. We’ll hold it for the next 5 minutes.”
- Customer Surveys
“We appreciate your visit to [restaurant’s name]. Please take your time to rate our quality of service and food following this link.”