We often don’t think of restaurants when we think about digital businesses or SMS use cases. After all, there is nothing more physical than a plate of spicy wings or a juicy, mouth-watering hamburger with a side of fries. Surprisingly, businesses like restaurants can gain tremendously from effective SMS tools. Here are three ways restaurants can use SMS tools.
SMS Marketing vs Twitter to Drive Lunchtime Traffic
There’s a big difference between sending out an SMS and sending out a Tweet. Say your restaurant has 1,000 followers on Twitter, and you send out a Tweet offering a lunch time special. Typically, that tweet is going to be seen by 2% of your followers, so roughly 20 people saw that tweet, and if you can get 5% of those people to take action, your tweet will bring in 1 person to your restaurant.
Let’s change channels for a moment now. Same restaurant, but instead of 1,000 followers on Twitter, you have 1,000 mobile phone numbers. Your lunchtime special SMS will typically be opened by 82% of your recipients, meaning 820 people received your message. If 5% of those people take action, you’ll have 44 people coming in for the lunch special.
Now, it’s important to remember that tweets are free and SMS messages are low cost, but the return on investment (ROI) is both significant and immediate.
Lifecycle Celebration Promotional SMS Messages
If your restaurant has taken the time to build a customer database that includes anniversaries, birthdays, or other happy occasions, you can invite them through SMS to your establishment to celebrate. Your invitation can be a simple message asking if they’d like to reserve a table for their big day, or can include discount offers, free desserts, or even a glass of wine.
SMS Communications for a Better Experience
It’s never enjoyable to wait for a table at a restaurant. Patrons are forced to stand outside the door, waiting for their name to be called. Cold or inclement weather can drive people away, and long lines outside your door might stop other from even trying to get a table.
Utilizing SMS messages to communicate with your customers alleviates the blockade in front of your door. Patrons get on a list and are alerted via SMS when their table is ready. This gives them the option to do some shopping, walk around, or even sit in their car as they wait for their table to be ready. It improves their entire evening’s experience and shows your customers that you respect their time.
Reservation Confirmation SMS Messaging Service
After taking a reservation, stay in touch with your customers and send them information they’ll need before they arrive. This can include things like a link with directions to the restaurant or directions to the closest available parking lot.
For late-arriving customers, you can use two-way SMS communication features to check on their status and confirm whether or not you need to hold the table.
SMS Text Service for Ordering
If you’ve ever had customers tell your waitstaff that they received the wrong meal, SMS Text Service may be right for your establishment. Using digital menus, patrons can order the meal they want, and have their order delivered directly to the kitchen staff.
This is a win-win opportunity for everyone involved. First, your customers receive exactly what they requested, without risk that the waiter misunderstood them. Your kitchen staff receives a print out of each order, so they can easily understand what the customer ordered. Meanwhile, your waitstaff can focus on explaining the specials to customers, delivering meals to the tables, and ensuring that your diners are enjoying their visit to your restaurant.
As a leading business sms service provider, MessageWhiz can create customized business SMS solutions for your restaurant (see our page for Restaurant SMS marketing solutions) or any other type of business. Contact us today and let the power of SMS marketing create efficiencies in your business.