Texting apps for restaurants are creating a competitive advantage for small restaurants and large franchise chains. Restaurateurs around the world understand how difficult it is to stand out among competing forces, especially today. 

What we’ve seen happen, here at SendHub, is that restaurants with a text app in place prior to the pandemic saw increasing usage as the began to send more text messages to both employees and customers. Many other businesses started texting in response to the pandemic and also see their usage continually growing as more and more of their audience members opt-in for updates, promos, orders, and delivery notifications.

If you’re someone who’s in charge of marketing for a restaurant, you probably already understand that it can be hard to spread the news effectively about daily specials, promotions, or delicious menu items. This was even true prior to the pandemic.

According to B2C SMS, open rates are somewhere in the range of 98%, compared with an average of 20% for emails. Of course, this will vary between companies, industries, and recipients, but by most accounts, SMS messages have a much higher chance of being read than emails do.

Text apps for restaurant marketing can be incredibly useful for the foodservice industry for a number of reasons. 

Read on for an overview of how SMS messaging can be particularly beneficial for marketing restaurants and other types of food and beverage-based businesses. 

Here are a few ways texting apps for restaurants help increase sales and decrease wait time. 

Images Stimulate the Senses 

Have you ever been caught off-guard by an image of a delicious burger or some type of your favorite food, right when you were in the middle of a hunger pang? You can create this feeling and inspire action with MMS messaging. 

Whether it’s sending images of happy families sharing appetizers, a frazzled parent who’s relaxing instead of cooking, or a group of 20-somethings eating wings before the big game, an image can go a long way to convey not only the food you offer but also the type of people who enjoy it.

Texting Apps for Restaurants Appeal with Quick Images

As we often remind ourselves here at SendHub, an image says 1000 words and they appeal to our emotions. Of course the value, in this case, is that our texting app for restaurants appeals to hangry customers looking for a quick, convenient, and safe bite to eat.

Texting is Direct Through Texting Apps For Restaurants 

People are bombarded by advertising every day, and as such, they have a tendency to “tune out” food ads just because there’s too many of them. But getting a personalized message on your phone about a local special from your favorite local chain or mom and pop shop is an entirely different matter. If you can manage to grab your customer’s attention and focus long enough to share some important information about a local deal, you’ll have a lot more success on the phone than via Facebook ads alone. By looking into texting apps for restaurants you’ll have the ability to send personal messages like these to your consumers:

“49ers? Patriots? We choose the wings. Come get our famous crispy wings as a side dish to Monday night football   ”

“Chocolate ooey gooey goodness! It’s brownie day, get a free family-sized brownie with your order every Tuesday at Chesters Burger Truck!”

Share Information About Delivery Options

Delivery is big these days, and it’s only getting more popular with websites like Just Eat and Uber Eats. Because it’s so easy, people are ordering out more and more — which means they’ll choose restaurants that are featured on these types of delivery sites. If you are focused on delivery and not on a website, you can catch people’s attention directly via text instead. Only business texting apps for restaurants like SendHub have the ability to do this, you’re regular cellphone wouldn’t be able to send constant messages about pickups and delivery all day. Check out this example below:

“Your order is about to be ready at Jackrabbit Pizza on 3452 Rose St, San Jose CA! Please use the link below to let us know when you’re here & we will meet you at our designated parking spots” 

Use Emojis 

A few years ago, Domino’s Pizza unveiled a new strategy that encouraged customers to use the pizza emoji to place a delivery order. To the extent that this may appeal to younger users, as well as save time, it’s the perfect example of a restaurant understanding how text is used and applying it to stand out from the crowd while generating business and buzz.

Get creative and show your restaurant’s personality with emojis. Read about these five ways emojis help marketers communicate with their audience.

Deliver, Scan Deals and Specials

Believe it or not, coupons still go a long way, and many restaurants are using mobile scanning to engage with their customers as well. Using SMS to offer deals and coupons — especially if it’s done in conjunction with delivery or other specialty offers — is a great way to remind customers that they can get great food fast. 

“Hey, Anna! Thanks for dining with us at Arigato Sushi! Enjoy a free appetizer or dessert on us next time with this coupon.”

“Happy Friday! Scan this coupon for 10% off any order during your next visit at Spikes Donuts”

Special Partnerships 

Since you may have special relationships with other businesses, why not use SMS to advertise special promotions or coupons, which serve a sort of cross-promotion for partner brands or even services? These texts could be framed in the context of services, renting out your space, or sample nights.

“DJ Jacks is coming out tonight to Temple Restaurant and Bar! Today’s theme is 90’s so get ready to hear some throwbacks & dance the night away!”

“It’s open mic night tonight from 8pm-midnight at Luigi’s Deep Dish! Order a pie and watch some talented individuals blow the night away! 

Events Can Be Shared Through Texting Apps For Restaurants

Text messaging is undoubtedly timely, which is why it’s an excellent method for getting people in for special events. Food trucks, for instance, can use SMS to notify clients about exactly where in the city they’re going to set up in the coming weekend.

“Big Al’s BBQ Truck will be parked today at 345 Sage St across Silver Creek High School from 11am-6pm. We accept cash, credit, or apple pay. Hope to see you soon! 

Happy Hour

Many bars feature some sort of “happy hour” as a way of getting customers in during a time that is notoriously slow (but you probably already know this). Even if you aren’t a restaurant that’s focused on alcohol, you can still promote “happy hour” as a food-based special time.

Using SMS texts to promote this time of day means that you might catch busy, tired parents (who are too tired to cook) on their way home from school or work, for instance. Reminding people of your happy hour through text is a next-level strategy from sidewalk marketing, which is where happy hour is typically directed.

“5 margaritas? Say no more. Come join us at happy hour every weekday from 2-5pm only at Riley’s Bar and Grill”

“Hi, Rahul! Get any sushi roll for half price when you join us for happy hour Monday-Thursday from 3pm-6pm at Seaside Sushi!”

Relaxation 

Sending out messages to clients with a tone of relaxation can go a long way, especially towards the end of the day. Whether it’s drink or food, many people are looking for a place to sit and relax after a long day at work. Choosing a message slant that includes a coupon for a specialty item, reminds them of “Friday” happy hour, or simply offer a calm environment which will remind them that they can be other places than “home” in a given evening, if only for a little while. 

“Happy Friday! Kickoff the weekend tonight with some beer, billiards, and of course our famous tableside guacamole at The Bistro”

“Hi, Toshia! Come join us at Vineyard Vines for Jazz Night and enjoy a complimentary cheese board when you purchase any bottle of wine.

Specialties

Whether your restaurant’s focus is desserts or drinks, using images or deals to advertise specialty items will pique people’s interest, especially if they’ve already frequented your establishment and know that the specialty is well worth it. And SMS can go even further when your “special treat” is truly unique in a given locale.

Have you ever wondered what percentage of your customer base is local? You can use mobile polling and other techniques to help you understand your customer base. And if you’re in a neighborhood that’s walkable or is popular with pedestrians for any reason, you may want to gain a better understanding of their needs in order to tailor your offerings in a more targeted way.

“It’s Birria Day! Every Wednesday come join us at Mas Taco Truck for our delectable Birria Tacos and Quesadillas. Get here fast before we sell out!”

What’s Next?

Have you ever tried text message marketing for your food or beverage service? Want to learn more about how SMS marketing through texting apps for restaurants helps your business find more loyal customers and boost their revenue? Boost business by signing up for a demo today.