Text Marketing for Restaurants

Making it in the food industry certainly isn't easy. Give your restaurant a boost by texting your customers. It drives traffic and offer redemption like no other.

text marketing and sms marketing for restaurants

The concept of text marketing is easy to grasp. People join your mobile rewards club to receive high value offers. Because we all read text messages, this solution is crazy effective. Here's how it works...

How Text Marketing Works

The Keyword

It all starts with a keyword. A keyword is a word, phrase, or acronym that represents your business. When people want exclusive offers, they text this unique keyword to a short code. A short code is a 5 or 6 digit phone number that's used for sms marketing.

For example, let's say you own a burger joint in LA. You set up the keyword LABURGERS. Patrons walk in, and see a jumbo sign above the bar that reads "Become a mobile VIP and get one free appetizer! Text LABURGERS to 31996." Customers who want exclusive deals take out their phone, and text LABURGERS to 31996. This is how they join your list, or opt in. One new opt in equals one new subscriber.

The Auto Reply

After joining your list, they'll receive an automated message back confirming their subscription. This message is called an auto reply. In this text, you'll reward new subscribers for signing up. An auto reply for LABURGERS might be:


Thanks for joining the LA Burgers VIP text list! Show this text for 1 free appetizer with the purchase of a burger. Stay tuned for more great deals!

The Offer

Let's say you've gathered 150 opt ins. Great news! What's next? Text these new subscribers, and include an irresistible offer. This will boost brand awareness, customer engagement and store traffic. As your list grows, your SMS marketing efforts become more powerful. Think about what one text to 5,000 people with a tasty offer would do for your restaurant! Remember, texting is a form of permission based marketing. This means you can only market to subscribers after they've opted in to receive messages. Pre-existing relationships do not qualify as consent.

If you're reading this and nodding your head, that's a good sign. If the basic concept is still a bit overwhelming, that's ok too! Here's an example...

Example Scenario

Luigi owns a local pizzeria. It's been in the family for 75+ years. His restaurant means the world to him. Unfortunately, business has been so-so lately. He keeps his head above water, but wants more. He wants to close up shop everyday, ecstatic about his daily totals.

Every day, thousands of potential customers breeze past his door. Short of dragging them in, he doesn't know what else to do. He's paid hundreds for radio spots. He's active on Facebook. He hired a high school kid to wear a cardboard sign, but these old school methods just aren't cutting it.

Here's a thought. What if Luigi texted his customers? Nowadays, people live on their phones. There couldn't be a better way to communicate with patrons. That night, he heads over to SlickText.com, and signs up for a free plan. He selects his unique keyword: LUIGI.

The next day, he starts promoting his list. He posts flyers, announces on Facebook, and personally invites each customer to join. Interested patrons text LUIGI to 31996, and in return, get one free cheesy slice. It's a win win for everyone.

His list begins to grow, and each week he sees 100+ new subscribers sign up.

On Wednesdays, Luigi hops into his Slick Text dashboard, and sends out a super sweet deal! It's that easy. Because Luigi started out on the free plan, he can grow at his own pace. Every week, his specials get opened by hundreds of ready to dine customers.

How Will SMS Grow Your Business?

Let's start off with these three common truths.

  • People love food.
  • People love saving money.
  • Everyone reads their text messages.

What happens when you mix these 3 truths together? You get an effective marketing method that cuts through the noise with high value offers. Restaurant owners get more business. Bellies are full, and everyone walks away happy.

Text marketing is doing wonders for our customers. Restaurant owners who follow our guidelines are seeing:

  • Increased foot traffic
  • Increased offer redemption
  • Boosts in brand awareness
  • Heightened customer engagement

What do these benefits have in common? Every single one increases revenue.

Why Choose SMS?

Out of all other marketing solutions, what makes texting perfect for restaurants?

  • Everyone can receive text messages.
  • Over 90% of all texts are read within the first five minutes of delivery.
  • The average American looks at their cell phone 150+ times a day.
  • 70% of Americans say they would like to receive mobile offers from their favorite businesses.
  • It's affordable. At just pennies per text, it's cost effective.

These benefits just scratch the surface. Our platform also offers unparalleled customer support, user friendly features, and educational tools that empower you to succeed.

How to Get Started

1. Reserve Your Keyword

Make sure it's unique to your business. If you own Bob's Bacon Burger Paradise, reserve the keyword BOBS, BACON, or BURGERS. Keep it simple. You want joining your list to be a total breeze. New subscribers should be able to opt in within a matter of seconds.

2. Set Your Auto Reply

This message sends to subscribers after they first opt in. Always include a confirmation of subscription and valuable offer. This is important, as people love instant gratification.

3. Grow Your List

Provide a valuable opt in incentive. Make your offer so awesome, customers can't say no. Then, promote like crazy. Here's some easy ways to grow your list.

  • Post a text to join graphic on Facebook.
  • Send out an email with opt in instructions.
  • Put up in store flyers.
  • Insert a sign-up widget on your website.
  • Verbally engage with customers, and ask them to sign up.

4. Send Out Irresistible Offers

This is gonna take a bit of brainstorming on your part. Sit down with employees, and make a list of what you think customers want.

If your messages offer little to no value, people will unsubscribe. That sucks for you, as it defeats the whole purpose of SMS marketing. The more people on your list, the more impact your messages have on revenue.

Sample Text Marketing Ideas for Restaurants

Entree Specials

Business slow? Don't send your wait staff home. Instead, fire out an evening entree special. Diners stop in, servers make more money, everybody wins.

Tonight Only! Stop in and show this text for a $10 Bottomless Bowl of Spaghetti and Meatballs! Show this text to claim the deal!

Automated Birthday Text Rewards

We love birthday rewards for restaurants, as they easily increase diner loyalty and daily food traffic. Get creative with your birthday treat.

Happy birthday Sarah! Stop in to Candy's Cones, and show this text for a large vanilla twist, on us!

Text to Win Contests

Want to grow your text marketing list quickly? Run a text to win contest promoting an irresistible grand prize. It engages current subscribers and draws new opt ins.

Want to win a VDay dinner for two, personally prepared by our sous chef? Reply LOVE to enter, winner announced 2/10.

Mobile Coupons

Set your customers up with a great incentive to have dinner in your restaurant tonight!

Dinner plans tonight? Show this text to your server and enjoy a FREE sampler platter with the purchase of an entree. Good only for tonight!

MMS marketing for restaurants

"Bring a Pal" Specials

No one likes to eat alone. Have them bring a friend!

Stop by Jack's Grill tomorrow night with 2 friends and you'll all enjoy a free dessert on the house!

Reservation Reminders

Remind your customers that they're dining with you.

Hey Hannah, this is just a reminder about your dinner reservations at Jack's Grill for 2 tonight at 8 PM. We look forward to seeing ya!

Staff Communications

Text message marketing will help to keep your employees from missing this important meetings.

Team, don't forget we have a mandatory meeting at the restaurant before we open at 3 PM. See you all there.

Helpful Text Messaging Resources For Restaurants:

Want to dig in some more? That's awesome! Here are our very best resources for you. Consume these and consider yourself halfway to becoming a text marketing expert!

Final Thoughts

What do you think? Does text marketing sound like the coolest thing since sliced bread? Well maybe it runs a close second. Either way, we'd love to see your restaurant grow with our service. You could be a few texts away from a full house!

Don't put off your business growth. Hop on the texting bandwagon and sign up for your free plan today.

P.S. Not ready to sign up? Give us a call at 1.800.688.6290 or shoot us an email. We'll walk you through the entire process, and give you personalized recommendations.

Get started with SMS for your restaurant today!

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