SMS Marketing For Restaurants Complete Guide

Posted by Priya September 3, 2021 Restaurant Marketing

Restaurant SMS Marketing

Today people rely on mobile phones for everything. Customers look for convenience in ordering and enjoying their favorite food. Online food ordering software helps the restaurant in boosting sales. SMS marketing assists restaurants to attract and retain new customers. When a customer opt-in to receive the restaurant marketing email to know about restaurant updates.

Restaurants make use of SMS marketing for giving coupons or discount notifications. Thus SMS influences the customer to turn towards your restaurant brand. The majority of restaurants choose SMS marketing as it is an effective and inexpensive approach to reach customers. Let us look into how SMS marketing can support your restaurant business.

Why Restaurants Need To Use SMS Marketing

Limited Time Offer. 

Restaurants often make use of text coupons to encourage the customer’s plan for a visit. The majority of the restaurant offers are valid for a short period. It creates an urgency among customers. In this way, customers may look for an opportunity to redeem the coupons quickly.

Introducing A New Item. 

Yet another significant way to advertise your restaurant through text is introducing new menu items. You can even showcase the upcoming special menus based on the seasons. Now the customers may have each scoop of an innovative and delicious dish of their interest. Customers often choose the restaurants that offer food as their taste buds prefer. 

Announcing Entertainment Updates.

Restaurants utilize text marketing to give notifications about special restaurant events. Text messages inform live entertainment on a special day to the customers. On seeing the messages to customers express interest to participate in the events. Entertainment events highlight restaurants for the customer looking for the best dinner place.  

Feedback and Surveys. 

SMS marketing is a two-way communication platform to gather feedback or conduct polls. Integrate polls and feedback surveys with restaurant apps and websites. Feedback encourages your customers to return to your restaurant as they feel like a part of the team. Restaurants utilize the survey results for restaurant promotion in digital media marketing.

Conduct polls for the customer like “What would you like to have a sandwich or chicken lollipop?  Request the customer to text back as  SS or CL to get a free bite.

Polls help the customers understand the customer demands. Deep market research through surveys that makes a connection with your brand.

Rewards Programs

Restaurant text clubs are the right channel for restaurant loyalty program promotion. Treat customers as VIPs, which helps in fostering loyalty.  For instance, restaurants can text messages as “Book your seats for September VIP event. Taste the wine on 9th September @ 6.00 pm. Book your seat by responding with your name with the ‘#’ tag. Customers get to know about the discounts and offer through messages. They might think they are the first person to grab the offer.

How To Use Ytock For SMS Marketing

Online food ordering software allows restaurant owners to configure SMS settings. Ytock provides an easy way to connect with the target customers through SMS. Restaurants can send SMS about the offers, discounts, and new menus to the customer directly using the platform. SMS settings set up the Twilio SID, token, from parameters.

SMS Settings

  • OTP – Your restaurant platform uses OTP to protect the data and credentials. It minimizes the risk of fraudulent logins and stolen data. Enable or disable the OTP verification status by selecting the radio button.
  • Twilio SID – The 34-bit number used in sending TwiML messages to customers using the TwiML app.
  • Twilio Token – Recognizes the identity of the client and gives access to its API features
  • Twilio from – The Twilio phone number used to send messages to the customer will start with+, followed by a country code and press submit.

SMS Marketing Tips

Messages Sent Spontaneously

Effective and fun advertising is achievable through spontaneous marketing. SMS marketing influences the customer to add themselves to the restaurant’s SMS list.  You will also get new visitors during unexpected quiet periods.  Some of the spontaneous ideas are offering smoothies at half price or get two snacks at the rate of one. Resolve slow restaurant sales issues through text marketing.

Messages Sent Spontaneously

Effective and fun advertising is achievable through spontaneous marketing. SMS marketing influences the customer to add themselves to the restaurant’s SMS list.  You will also get new visitors during unexpected quiet periods.  Some of the spontaneous ideas are offering smoothies at half price or get two snacks at the rate of one. Resolve slow restaurant sales issues through text marketing.

Coupon Codes

Short discount codes work well with the text. Restaurants can create personalized coupon codes with initials using SMS marketing. You can send a unique code to each subscriber using a text marketing service. Design the code creatively by combining letters/numbers. Coupon codes stimulate the interest of the customer and sign up to avail the treats.

A Special Birthday Treat Promotions And Polls

Send a personalized SMS greeting when restaurants have a customer’s birthday and anniversary dates. Greet the customers on a special day by offering discount meals, free coupons, and meals. Many of the restaurants send birthday greeting messages in the morning. So that the birthday girl/boy plans for dinner in the restaurant. This might brighten up the whole day of their special occasion. In certain cases, restaurants may not have customer birthday dates.  Request the customers to respond with the birthday dates to receive yearly surprises.

Event Announcements

SMS is a popular way to create awareness among new customers.  Restaurants can send coupons to announce discounts and offers through SMS. Once a week coupons for festive seasons or regular meals send to customers. Ensure that the coupons send to SMS subscribed customers. Engage your customers with a privileged mode of providing exclusive coupon-only deals. You can also make use of coupons during slow business times. So that the customers receive an incentive on every visit boosting the sales. SMS marketing is effective for game nights, music performances, and art shows.

Manage Cart Abandonment

Often few customers change their minds during the mid-order processing. Customers who abandon the cart will return to complete the order only on a few chances. SMS marketing helps restaurants to encourage the customers to finish the order. Text messages remind the customers to proceed with the orders stopped in the middle.

Promote Referral Programs

SMS campaigns help in bringing more referrals to your restaurant. Let us check out few examples of restaurant promotional text messages.

  • Looking for the best party place? Here is your restaurant to have fun. Tag a friend and have a champagne drink.
  • Hi [customer name], planning for dinner tonight? Refer a friend to [restaurant name] and get a free dessert now!
  • Celebrate Friendship day by sending the coupon to your lovable friend. Get a 30% discount for French fries with a coupon code FRIEND 40.

Host a Fun Competition

Organize contests such that it is exciting and offered only to the SMS subscribers.  Trigger up the competitive spirit of the subscribers. Generally, restaurant owners design contests with complex ideas. Restaurants often conduct contests for a long period to match the trend.  Giveaway the redeemable code for winners or a free meal. For instance, Get free Pizza by forwarding the messages to 10 people. Say French Fries! First, 10 members can win large French Fries.

Email Sign-Ups

Restaurants get confused about how to get the sign-ups? SMS marketing helps you get the email address of the customer. You can pop up a message as such “Get the updated offers by sharing your email or share your email to get a discounted meal on next visit”. Restaurants can offer discounts for only the email list subscribers. You can exclude the customers who have not signed up for your newsletter. 

Loyalty Programs

 Restaurants will accumulate a list of loyal customers throughout the restaurant’s development phases. This could be either because they like the food or ambiance, or it is on the way to their home. Otherwise, it becomes a hangout place for them along with their friends. Even in slow business times, recognizing, acknowledging customers making the restaurants more dependable. To influence customers to return, the restaurant develops a loyalty program. It focuses on discounts and offers through text messages. 

Create a loyalty program for such returning customers by texting them. Offer them special discounted rates or VIP passes to events or tastings. Customers always appreciate discounts or free items, and it makes word-of-mouth advertising effective.

Check out the Loyalty program idea and tips to boost restaurant sales. 

For example, to get repeat business, restaurants can conduct an SMS marketing campaign by sending offers. The offers can be like get a 6-inch sandwich free by purchasing two drinks. The offers have shown a 9% increase in redemption rate, which is higher than the 1% redemption rate.

Tell Customers About Exclusive Menus

Restaurants can promote their old and new menu choices using text message marketing. For Instance, “Grab your Chicken 65 – Wednesday special!. Click the link”. A restaurant can remind customers when it will offer a particular special. If it knows that particular item is very popular among patrons. With SMS marketing, restaurants can introduce new menu items or change menus based on seasons. If the business is slow, you can also offer free appetizers or discounts on specials.

Customers frequently welcome the food message when sending it at perfect timing. You’ve probably seen commercials on television. Messages are mostly scheduled an hour before mealtime to attract viewers.

Blog: Restaurant Menu Pricing Strategies to boost your restaurant sales

Customer Feedback

SMS marketing is not only used for advertising but also used for conducting surveys. Restaurants can know about customers’ interests. and make changes in food, service, and ambiance. Restaurants can retain regular customers by encouraging them to provide feedback.

Market Your Website

Today every one of us has a smartphone. You can add the website URL to the SMS generating the web traffic. SMS can integrate hyperlinks easily and can follow quickly.

You can also add other URL pages other than the main pages to the SMS send to the customers. Restaurants can inform about the campaigns and their links using SMS. Conducting campaigns supports the restaurant promotion. Taking advantage of the recipient’s curiosity, encourage them to click through the given link. Optimize your website for mobile devices!

Restaurant Industry SMS Best Practices

Use It Only When You Need To Inform Importantly

Text messages are common these days. But if you bombard your customers with them, it will make customers put off. People do not like receiving more notifications from brands than from their friends. Messages sent with a longer time gap must make use of email instead. 

Get Permission Before Texting Customers

Avoid sending promotional messages to the customers who have not opted-in. Pay attention to the phrases in the messages sent to the customers. In certain cases, restaurants are suggesting that customers will receive special offers. By doing so, restaurants are pushed into a corner. You will not be able to post other kinds of information such as menus or news.

Be Concise

Restrict your promotional text message to 160 characters, don’t exceed. Currently, the latest mobiles support lengthier messages. But customers never like to read stories in SMS for brand promotion. Your messages will convert more effectively if you keep them short and sweet.

Be Personalized

You can make a customer feel special even if you do bulk SMS marketing. The simple act of addressing customers is to use their first names.

Offer The Option To Opt-out

Whenever you place a CTA, it is essential to insert the opt-out with the instruction set up. When you send the first text message from the restaurant containing opt-in you have to insert an opt-out link for improved customer experience. 

Final Thoughts

Restaurants can identify the customers through simple and affordable SMS marketing. Collect the customer mobile numbers to make restaurant promotions. SMS serves as the right place for creating brand awareness. Excite customers with discounts, offers to turn them into loyal and regular customers. Thus customers will line up to your restaurant all the way with SMS marketing.

Author Bio


Priya is a passionate writer and enjoys writing articles about software, technology, and marketing. Through her informative blogs, she regularly discovers new tips and tricks that drive sales for restaurants.

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