5 Ways to Grow Your Food Delivery and Pickup Services with Text Messaging

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Your restaurant or bar is looking to expand its carry out, curbside, and food delivery services—but that can be difficult when your staff doesn’t have a formal way to send order updates and statuses.

You need one platform where you can receive and respond to messages, so your ordering process stays streamlined and revenue keeps flowing.

Text Request offers that and more by giving you a professional tool to text with customers. Let’s look at five different ways (plus 15 text message templates!) you can use our platform to grow your food pickup and delivery services!

Why should restaurants and bars be texting for orders?

The increased demand for food delivery and pickup services has skyrocketed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Customers expect you to give them updates on their orders, so they don’t have to go inside your building, leave their house, or interact with more people than they have to.

Text messaging is the best way to manage that communication because:

a) 99% of texts are opened

b) And 95% are read within three minutes of being sent

It’s the number one way your customers prefer to communicate, and 89% of them would much rather receive a text from your staff than a phone call.

You just need the right texting platform to help you professionally manage your messages with tools like:

  • Contact Tags: labels your staff can attach to individual contacts to identify which ones have opted in for order status updates
  • Text Merge: a mass message with customizable fields that allow you to personalize each message with the customers’ names
  • Signature: a custom signature that appears at the end of any messages you send, just like with email, to reinforce your brand
  • Templates: “stock” or “saved” messages for generic messages like order confirmations
  • Mobile app: so delivery drivers can use our texting platform on the go
  • And more!

Here are five ways bar and restaurant owners can put those tools to use to grow your food service.

1. Send curbside pickup and delivery updates.

Customers expect text updates on the pickup and drop off times for their orders.

Text Request can help you organize those updates with contact tags. Contact tags are labels your staff can attach to individual contacts to keep up with things like, who was communicating with that customer or what stage of the delivery their order is in.

Here’s how the process works:

1. The customer places a delivery order and provides their cell phone number as part of the transaction process

2. The customer opts in for updates on their delivery

3. Your staff then tags the contact for “order updates”

4. The individual staff member who sends those updates can tag themselves as the one handling that communication

Below are some example templates your staff can use during curbside pickups and deliveries.

Template 1: “Hi [Name], your curbside order will be ready soon. Please text us when you've arrived and we'll bring it out to your vehicle.”

Template 2: “Hello [Name], your order has been prepped and is on the way to your home. Would you like to opt-in for order status updates?”

Template 3: “Hi [Name], Jamie will be at your apartment complex shortly and will send a picture of where he left your order. [Picture]

Your staff can take deliveries one step further by having your drivers include pictures of themselves and their drop off spot.

2. Share promotions and discounts.

Your restaurant has promotions and discounts you run to attract new customers, but how often are they actually seen?

Remember that 99% of texts are read, so SMS marketing is way more reliable than an email or social media post someone will most likely just scroll past.

All it takes is one quick mass message, which you can send using Text Merge.

A Text Merge message is a mass message with customizable fields that allow you to personalize each message with things like your individual customers’ names.

Using a customer’s name in your promotion can significantly increase their engagement and loyalty.

Template 4: “[Name], did you know that drinks are half off during our Trivia Night Thursdays? Come on down from 7-10pm for fun and flights!”

Template 5: “Hi [Name], get half off your next cocktail order when you use our new carry out option.”

Template 6: “Hi [Name], thanks for dining with [Restaurant]. Did you know we now offer curbside pickup?”

You can even include images and links in your message to direct customers to take action.

This is great if your business is making a pivot toward food delivery or needs to get the word out about your new curbside pickup.

“We recently pivoted to focus more on the food and beverage side of our business because of the coronavirus. There was absolutely no planning time for this switch, and we had to figure out a way to communicate it to people, fast. People know the Moxy as a bar and hotel, but Text Request is helping us get the word out about our food.” - Kasey Swindell, The Moxy Chattanooga Downtown

Related: 10 Text Message Templates for Marketing and Promotions

3. Send online order confirmations.

Customers want to know their order went through and their meal is officially on the way.

Text Request has a template feature that streamlines this process by saving you the time it takes to retype those messages.

All you have to do is select the saved confirmation template, and hit send!

An integration with your POS system could do this automatically, using our API.

Template 7: “Thanks for your order from [restaurant]. Your total is [$$$], and we're prepping it now!”

Template 8: “Hi [Name], we’ve received your order and are prepping it now.”

Template 9: “We’re about to prep your order of [food and drink] and send it to [address]. Does this look correct?”

This saves your staff time, plus sets the standard that your restaurant always gets back to its customers ASAP.

"Text Request allows teams at restaurants to be able to text from the same place, instead of having to use their personal cell phones. Their customers simply place an order and provide their cell phone number as part of the transaction process. Then they get the option to opt-in for updates on their delivery, and the restaurant can use our POS to send statuses and receipts through Text Request." - Wei Kong, Supermenu

4. Collect payments faster.

Customers want the option to pay automatically when they call in or text an order, so they don’t have to step inside or swipe their card on the curb.

Text Request allows your staff to text links, so customers know exactly where to go to make their online payments.

Template 10: “Thanks for placing your order! You can pay in person or online at: [link]”

Template 11: “Hi [Name], your order is on the way. You can pay our driver in person, or online at: [link]”

Template 12: “Thanks for texting [Restaurant]! You can place your order and pay online at: [link]”

Your restaurant will be able to create a great customer experience that brings people back to your place over and over instead of going somewhere else.

You can even create and include signatures to share in these messages. Signatures are a great way to reinforce your brand and set the expectation that your food services and online ordering are high-end.

Related: 15 Text Templates to Collect More Payments

5. Increase your online reviews.

Your business, local restaurant, or bar depend on reviews to draw in new customers.

The more positive ones you have, the higher you’ll rank in local search results and the more foot traffic you’ll draw in. So many people google search 'food near me' and then check out the reviews. More and better reviews gives you the best shot at winning that business.

That’s why texting review links once the customer has received their meal should be a typical part of your ordering process.

Template 13: “Thanks for getting take out with [Restaurant]! Tell us about your meal at: [link]”

Template 14: “Hi [Name], thanks for ordering delivery from [Restaurant]! How was the food when it got to your home? You can leave us a review at: [link]”

Template 15: “Thanks for choosing [Restaurant]! How was your curbside delivery experience? Tell us here: [link]”

Some businesses that use Text Request to send review links have increased their online reviews by 58%!

Related: 15 Text Templates for Requesting Customer Reviews

Increase your restaurants overall profits with a professional SMS solution!

There are so many ways your restaurant or bar can harness the power of text messaging. You just need the right texting platform to help you get started, and Text Request makes it easy by allowing you to text-enable your already existing business number.

Consumers rarely read emails or answer calls anymore, but with text you know you’ll get a real-time response. That’s huge, not only for your restaurant to have successful deliveries, but also for you to send marketing and promotions you know your customers will see.

Schedule a demo, and learn more about the wide array of features and goodies Text Request offers to help you grow your carry out, curbside, and food delivery services!