Three o’clock on a Saturday afternoon, and still no word about the status of an order your kitchen manager put in on Wednesday for dozens of eight-ounce filet mignons. The prime cut of steak is supposed to be the centerpiece of a four-course dinner that has already sold out to the regular customers that subscribe to your email newsletter. After leaving another voice message on the purveyor’s answering machine, you wonder how you can pull off another successful Saturday night of service.
Doubt turns into certainty. Your kitchen manager has come up with a delectable alternative to the filet mignon four-course dinner. Now, all you have to do is let the guests that have reserved tables for the Saturday evening meal know about the change. Fortunately, text marketing for restaurants allows you to remain ahead of the communication curve.
It was an email that signed up loyal guests for the Saturday night culinary adventure, but it was SMS marketing that saved the day and kept your restaurant’s credibility intact.
SMS Messaging Explained
Restaurants operate on paper thin margins and one slip up, such as a Saturday main course surprise, can turn loyal patrons into discontented customers that take their business elsewhere. The incredibly competitive restaurant industry requires an outside-the-box type of marketing approach that utilizes the many benefits of SMS marketing software. Your customers leverage the most innovative advances in technology, and so should your restaurant.
Based on the Twitter model for digital communication, SMS messaging relies on the principle that shorter is sweeter. Known as short message service, SMS allows restaurants to use no more than 160 characters to get across important marketing messages. SMS marketing is an ideal platform for restaurants because of how the technology allows you to communicate with vendors, employees, and customers in real time.
You simply create a message under 160 characters and then, with a simple click of a button on your smartphone, send the message to a targeted group of people.
Benefits of SMS Marketing
Reaching out to specific groups of people in real time is just one benefit of using text message marketing for restaurants. SMS technology leverages convenience, speed, and incentives to give savvy restaurant operators a proverbial leg up on the competition.
Your customers love your restaurant because of its food, but they want to learn about saving money as well. This is where a highly effective texting platform comes into play. Helping your customers save money by accessing their cell phones is one benefit on a list of many why text message marketing is the way to go for your restaurant.
Here are a few other reasons restaurants should adopt SMS messaging:
- Increase foot traffic
- Offer discounts to attract guests
- Boost awareness for special events
- Increase sales
- Improve customer engagement
Getting Started with Text Message Marketing for Restaurants
Unlike many other types of digital marketing strategies, establishing a texting platform does not take much time or money. The highly affordable way to connect with employees, purveyors, and customers begins by choosing the right SMS marketing provider. Look for a company that offers a complete text marketing package for restaurants services, including global reach, real-time reporting, and a comprehensive customer support department.
Once you have the right provider, follow a few easy tips to get started using text message marketing for your restaurant.
Reserve an Easy to Remember Keyword
When your guests want to communicate with you through text messaging and take advantage of an offer or special service, they need to include a keyword. Not only do you want your keyword to be easy to remember, but it should also be unique enough to give your restaurant a competitive marketing advantage. If you have a vanity short code, you can even match your keywords to your short code. Using custom keywords also allows you to track which of your marketing campaigns are the most (or least) successful.
Initial Auto Responder
First impressions matter, especially for restaurants that have to wow guests to come back for more. One of the most effective way to make a great first impression is to devise a short, yet clear initial message that is called an auto responder. After you customers opt in to your text marketing subscriber list, they will receive an automatic response from your restaurant that confirms the subscription, as well as makes an offer that your customers cannot resist.
Why an Irresistible Offer Matters
Your customers have several dining options that are within a short distance from their home. By making an attractive offer that saves them money and delivers an unforgettable meal, you start the chain reaction called word of mouth advertising. If you want to grow your texting subscriber list, you have to make the initial offer. Such offers are the text message marketing cornerstone of promotional campaigns.
Text Marketing Ideas for Restaurants
In addition to making unforgettable offers, text marketing for restaurants also involves staying in touch with vendors, employees, and customers. Sometimes, little things matter the most for implementing powerful digital marketing programs. For a texting platform, the first priority should be staying in touch with your customers and subscribers.
"In with the new and out with the old" represents the underlying principle that allows restaurants to remain fresh and relevant. Menu changes are not about discarding failed recipes, but rather keeping your guests excited about your culinary expertise. Use SMS to announce menu changes and encourage customers to provide feedback about the new dishes. Or if you’re considering a menu change but aren’t quite sure, send out surveys to gauge interest in current and new dishes.
This is not about making reservations; there are plenty of platforms that provide a convenient way to make reservations online (though SMS can do that too). This is about confirming and communicating changes in reservations. Perhaps nothing frustrates customers more than walking into a restaurant and having the host explain a reserved table is not ready for seating. Likewise, nothing frustrates a restaurant more than reserving a table and having customers not show up. Use text message marketing to confirm, cancel, and communicate updates about seating arrangements.
A busy restaurant owner can’t listen to everyone’s feedback in real time; it’s physically impossible to be in all places at the same time. With text messaging, you do not have to hear feedback in real time. You can read it, as your customers leave your restaurant before starting their vehicles for the ride home. Real time feedback helps you tweak both service and culinary issues during the same meal.
Texting Services from Dash Notify
Launching a customized SMS marketing campaign for your restaurant requires the help of an experienced and highly rated digital marketing company. Our Dash Notify texting platform can easily meet your unique needs and expectations. We offer messaging for over 200 countries so that you can always reach your customers, whether you’re a global chain or a locally owned business. And with our real-time keyword reporting and 24/7 customer support, you’re sure to make an impact.