Getting people into your restaurant can be hard during the bustle and distractions of the holidays. With 13 out of the 20 most successful U.S. fast food chains using SMS to reach their customers, text messaging is a marketing tool that can really help increase traffic by offering value to guests.
Texting can remind your guests to return for future visits and can simplify the processes you have established. From enticing them with rewards to reducing waiting, you want to make the entire visit enjoyable and memorable for your guests.
Reduce Waiting Lines & Improve the Waiting Experience
When guests put in their name for a table during busy hours, use texting to alert them when the table is ready. The party can go do other nearby activities (like last minute holiday shopping) while they wait on their table, reducing the frustration that occurs when you have an overcrowded waiting area. It improves the dining experience with better communication.
Texting will also reduce the number of guests who leave or don’t even park when they see a big group of parties waiting on tables. Texting makes it easy to alert guests when their table is ready and remind them it will only be held for the next 10 or 15 minutes.
Not only can texting help reduce waiting, it can also help organize your incoming traffic. You can use automated texting to take and respond to reservations. Many of your guests don’t actually want to make calls on the phone and it is crucial to maximize your traffic during the holidays. The majority of people (78%) who would prefer businesses use text rather than call. Your guests can text in to get times, respond with the reservation time they want, and then get reminders the day of their reservation to avoid no-shows.
Increase Your Audience with a Loyalty Program
You can create a loyalty program through texting to help your visitors track their points and standing easily. Visitors can text in for a one-time coupon code of their next purchase and then earn rewards moving forward. This creates an easy opportunity to send your special events, holiday menus, coupons, and other content to your customers, bringing them in more frequently. Just be really careful you don’t overdo it. Phones are personal and you don’t want to make your visitors feel like they are invaded with unwanted message spam.
Get Return Visits & Valuable Feedback
Texting is a great way to find out more about your service and your guests, while encouraging loyalty. Ask your customers to complete a multi-question survey after their visit and then offer a small reward for doing so. You can piggyback this program on your rewards program, sending out an automated text each time a visit is logged and offering reward points to be added to their program. Small rewards, like a coupon off their next purchase or reward points, are great ways to incentivize their cooperation and encourage them to think about the next time they will return. They will feel valued when you listen to their feedback and this can help improve your traffic with loyal customers.
Texting can improve your restaurant's traffic by making your business more guest-oriented. Use texting strategies to improve your customer service and visitor experience. When you have a solid system in place, think about increasing your texting strategies to improve employee communication and automate your scheduling process.
To learn more about how text messages can bring in traffic to your restaurant, click here to check out the ultimate SMS marketing guide for restaurants!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Joel Lee is the SEO marketing specialist at Trumpia, which earned a reputation as the most complete SMS solution including user-friendly user interface and API for mobile engagement, Smart Targeting, advanced automation, enterprise, and cross-channel features for both mass texting and landline texting use cases.