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How Are Restaurants Using Text Message Marketing?



In this Tatango article, we take a look at how restaurants can utilize the power of text message marketing and opt-in incentives to find new customers.

The main marketing goal for restaurants is to attract consumers who make food and drink purchases at their businesses. However, the question is: What kind of successful marketing tactics are they using to entice those consumers?

One popular and powerful method that many restaurants use is text message marketing. Have you heard about it, and are you interested to use this evergreen mobile marketing method for your own restaurant brand?

Here is some food for thought on how to do it correctly and successfully.

If you want a complete breakdown of Restaurant SMS Marketing, please check out our comprehensive master post on the subject!


Always Ask for Permission to Send Text Messages

Before you start any SMS marketing campaign, it is important to learn more about a United States federal law called the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).

The TCPA federal law stats that businesses need to have a customer’s permission before they are allowed to send that person any promotional text messages.


How Consumers Can Subscribe to Your SMS Campaign

Luckily, getting someone’s permission is an easy process. All a consumer has to do in order to subscribe to a brand’s text message marketing campaign is text a keyword to an SMS short code (phone number).

An example of such a keyword could be, for example, “JOIN”. The keyword can also be a phrase. A short code, to which a consumer sends the keyword, consists of five to six digits.

If you decide to lease a dedicated short code, then you can choose your own phone number. So what will happen is that potential customer text the SMS keyword “JOIN” to, for example, 56789, and by doing so, they agree to receive marketing text messages from your restaurant.


Growing Your SMS Subscriber List

Once you’ve set up the SMS campaign, it is time to grow your subscriber list, and preferably as fast as possible.

In our previous blog post, we talked about how you can grow an SMS subscriber list really fast with the help of opt-in incentives.

Such an opt-in incentive for your restaurant could be something like: “Save 10% off on your next meal today when you join our SMS coupon alerts program. Text “JOIN” to 56789.”

By offering an opt-in incentive, you can grow your SMS subscriber list 520% faster. What’s more with a 99% open rate for text message marketing, almost all of your subscribers will open the messages that you send to them.

This makes it easy to see how powerful text message marketing is for your restaurant’s marketing efforts, and how important it is to get a large list of consumer phone numbers to which you can send messages.

Keep working on growing your list and sending out promotional messages, and you will see an increase in the number of visitors to your restaurant.


The Types of Text Messages You Can Send to Consumers

Wondering what kind of text messages you should send to the subscribers on your list? Keep in mind that you currently can send two types of messages. The first one is the standard SMS message, and the second one is the more advanced MMS message.

Standard SMS messages can have 160 characters, links, and clickable phone numbers. MMS messages can have up to 500 characters, and they can also have a subject line and media content (GIFs, images, videos).

Whether or not a plain text message or an MMS message is better for your text message marketing campaign depends on the kind of promotional messages you like to send. In the end, what matters is that you encourage consumers to come to your restaurant to make purchases.


Our Favorite Restaurant SMS Marketing Messages

Boston Market

Boston Market SMS Marketing Example for Restaurants


Cold Stone Creamery

Cold Stone Creamery SMS Marketing Example for Restaurants


Jack In The Box

Jack in the Box SMS Marketing Example for Restaurants


Jamba Juice

Jamba Juice SMS Marketing Example for Restaurants


Olive Garden

Olive Garden SMS Marketing Example for Restaurants


Papa John’s

Papa Johns SMS Marketing Example for Restaurants


Papa Murphy’s

Papa Murphys SMS Marketing Example for Restaurants


Round Table Pizza

Round Table Pizza SMS Marketing Example for Restaurants



Sonic SMS Marketing Example for Restaurants



Subway SMS Marketing Example for Restaurants


Get in Contact with Tatango to Start Your SMS Marketing Campaign

That concludes our text message marketing advice article for restaurants. In the last 12+ years, we have been helping many restaurants with their SMS marketing campaigns, so don’t hesitate to contact us if you are in need of some extra advice.

Also, if you’re looking for restaurant opt-incentive ideas, then make sure you check out Textpanda.com to see how other brands do it.

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