SMS marketing can help you improve communication between your restaurant and your customers; in fact, it’s one of the strategies that is becoming more and more powerful, especially considering the low cost of these and the immediacy in which it reaches the recipients.
Over 80% of consumers have searched for a restaurant from their mobile in the last six months. This leads us to have a clear idea: if we want to promote our gastronomic establishment, the best channel to do so is SMS.
In this post, we will go through everything you need to know to create the perfect bulk SMS campaign for your restaurant to make your customers aware of your promotions and build customer loyalty, with real examples from different restaurants.
Let’s get down to it!
📑 In this post you will find:
Benefits of using bulk text messaging for restaurants
In addition to the points we have analyzed above, the advantages of using text messages in your restaurant are:
- Its high opening rate (98%): This implies that the number of reservations and customers in your restaurant is higher than when using another communication channel.
- Better profitability: As we mentioned before, the cost of an SMS is 0.0400 €, thus increasing the ROI of our campaigns.
- Direct communication: They allow you to communicate offers and events that are going to happen in your restaurant soon in a matter of seconds.
- Provide more information: in its 160 characters, you can insert a URL and direct your users to your business’ website so they can delve into the menu or how to book a reservation.
- Personalized messages: whether by location, age, or tastes, you can address each customer in a direct and effective way.
On the other hand, you can also use SMS as a reminder of reservations, and this will help both you and the customer since you make it clear to them that the restaurant cares about them and does not want them to miss their reservation. It will also help you to organize the space and time in your establishment better because they’ll be able to let you know their cancellation in advance by responding to your SMS.
You can also use SMS to create notices of new opening hours (especially in the last year due to the pandemic) or new openings.
Regarding customer loyalty, you can also use mass messaging to send satisfaction surveys to those who have visited your restaurant, both to know their opinion about the food, as well as the service and experience. This will help you to enhance your strengths and improve what may have gone wrong.
As we have already mentioned, knowing what is going best and worst in our business never hurts; that is where our customers can help us. To do so, you can give them the opportunity to participate in a satisfaction survey via text messages. It is a simple but very effective strategy to show that their opinion is important to us.
We recommend that you make use of SMS to confirm your clients’ reservations (as in the example below), this way, you’ll help avoid uncertainty as to whether the reservation has been saved and, in case of wanting to modify or cancel it, they can do so through a simple message.
Of course, communicating your restaurant’s offers through SMS is more effective than email (the probability rate of your messages reaching spam is as high as 70%). However, we recommend that you do not abuse SMS for this type of communication, do it sporadically without the consumer getting “tired” of receiving this type of message.
In the case of new openings or schedules, it is best to use text messages to communicate them so that the user can see the information instantly and take it into account for future reservations.
What’s needed to start using mass text messaging for restaurants
When sending text messages with the intention of gaining reservations, there are specific points to keep in mind:
- Pick a good time: You can buy shoes anytime, but we have our pre-established eating schedules. Timing is key. It doesn’t do much good to send an update about your restaurant at 8 am. We recommend that your communications are around 12:00 or 19:00.
- Be clear: Send a brief message in which you make your objective clear. If you want to communicate that you get three for the price of two pizzas, get to the point straight away and start with “3×2 on our pizzas”. And so on. In addition to the fact that nobody is prepared to read such a long message, keep in mind that each SMS has a limit of 160 characters.
- Keep a neat database: Not all customers are the same. Some groups differ significantly because of age, location, or preferences. Our advice is to create a database (don’t buy it, make it yourself) with as much information as possible about each consumer so that you can send the right message to the right segment at the right time.
- Have good software at hand: You have enough on your plate running your restaurant without also having to deal with a complicated tool. With Instasent, you’ll be able to create your campaigns in a matter of minutes, without complications, and with effective results (we explain how to do it in 3 simple steps below).
How to do it with Instasent
With Instasent, you can prepare your SMS campaign in three easy and practical steps.
Log in to Instasent, and click on “Send SMS” in the MAIN panel. You will see that you have a few fields to fill in: the title (of your campaign), the country (the country you want to target), and the recipients (import them from your DB, paste them or upload the file where you have them stored, whatever you prefer).
Here you’ll only have to fill in two fields: the number or name of the person sending the campaign (it can be the name of your restaurant or a telephone number) and the body of the message, the good stuff (remember the character limit).
This last step is the campaign review part. Make sure you have all the data correctly, and if so, send it.
How to measure the results of your campaign
As we have said before, knowing our strengths and weaknesses never hurts. We can learn from everything, so when we carry out an SMS campaign, we will have to take two aspects into account:
1. The delivery rate: This is the number of SMS messages received out of all the ones you’ve sent. There is a possibility that, along the way, some of them may have deviated from their route. You will be able to know all this information in the panel as well as the cause, whether it was because you entered the recipient’s number wrongly or because the route was indirect.
2. The response rate: When you send SMS marketing, you always expect some action from the receiver: a click, a response, a call, a visit. In the dashboard, you’ll be able to see how much interaction there has been from your users. In other words, a conversion.
Instasent’s rates are adapted to the number of SMSes you want to send in each campaign, as well as to the budget you have. This way, with a simple and secure payment method, you only pay for what you need, without a setup or monthly fee.
With our price calculator, you can get an idea of what you will pay to avoid surprises.