3 Types of Texts to Engage Your Restaurant's Visitors

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Your restaurant doesn’t just compete with other restaurants, you’re also in competition with grocery stores and meal kits that keep your customers staying in to eat.

But your best value as a restaurant is that you save people’s time while providing quality meals that frozen food and meal kits can’t compete with.

To remind people of this, you need to:

  • Communicate with customers on a regular basis
  • Convince locals that your restaurant offers the best dining experience
  • And grab people’s attention with delicious dishes and delivery options

But how can you get the word out about your new deals and dishes when your customers don’t check their emails or voicemail?

Texting is the best way to keep a direct line of communication with your customers, because:

  • Texts have an open rate of 98%
  • A 95% chance of being read within three minutes
  • And an average response time of 90 seconds

That’s why more than 64% of digital marketers consider texting an effective marketing technique.

So, what exactly should you send your restaurant's customers? And how do you make sure the message grabs their attention?

Let’s look at three different types of texts that’ll engage your restaurant's visitors.

3 Types of Texts That’ll Bring More Business to Your Restaurant

1. Announce special deals and discounts on meals.

As the number of people who prefer to eat at home increases, you need to keep your delivery services at the forefront of your customers’ minds to compete with grocery stores.

PC: U.S. Department of Agriculture 

You can do this by promoting deals and discounts for customers who try your takeout.

Luckily, 75% of people prefer to receive offers via texts, like this:

“20% percent off delivery this weekend for $20 and more at [the name of your restaurant]! More info: www.myrestaurant.com”

This particular text reminds your customers that you do delivery while also raising awareness for your upcoming dealswhich drives revenue two-fold.

Here are a few more examples of a message tailored to specific deals:

“SUPER DEAL THIS FRIDAY! Get 50% off all drinks when you spend $40 or more at [the name of your restaurant]. More info: www.myrestaurant.com”

“Hangry? Come join us tonight and take advantage of our special offer: 2 for 1 on all meals. Text us to book.”

You can also send tailored texts to customers based on what they've bought in the past. This works well if you have member rewards or give customers the option to exchange their phone number for updates at checkout. With that information you can send them texts, like:

“Hi Andy! You bought a large Margherita recently, so we thought we’d offer you the same order with 10% off. Sounds good? www.myrestaurant.com.”

Note how short and concise each example is. All your deals and specials should be introduced in a way that is clear and to-the-point.

2. Remind customers to celebrate birthdays and other special occasions with your food.

People love celebrating special occasions with a great meal. Whether it’s providing catering or offering an event space, your restaurant can become a yearly go-to for your customers if you remind them of your availability and deals.

Simply request information like birthday and dining preferences during customer registration for orders and deals on your website. Then you can send texts that make your customers feel special while also reminding them about your availability for upcoming events. 

For example, 16% of people go out for dinner on their birthday, so a reminder that you're the restaurant that's thinking of them on their special day will go a long way.

PC: Credit Loan

You can also have these messages triggered or scheduled in advance so you don't have to think about manually sending them to everyone on your list.

Here are some examples:

“Happy Birthday Michael! Come to [restaurant] and get a free dessert of your choice! www.myrestaurant.com”

“Who’s the birthday girl? :) Get 40% off your order today at [restaurant] www.myrestaurant.com”

“Happy Birthday Vanessa! Our present for you? 30% off the whole bill. Text us to book.”

It’s always good to let your customers know that you’re thinking about them and are ready to help them celebrate any special occasion in their lives. Other occasions you can announce deals for include:

  • The 4th of July
  • Thanksgiving
  • New Year’s
  • Christmas

Why holidays? Because you can offer catering and event space deals that most people are looking for that time of year. Here are some examples:

“Celebrate the 4th with our specialty Firecracker drinks and a 15% discount off all entrees! www.myrestaurant.com”

“Looking for the perfect place to host your Holiday office party? Text us to book today!”

“Let us do the work for you this Thanksgiving, and get 20% off our normal catering prices! www.myrestaurant.com”

3. Keep your customers’ mouths watering with delivery and wait time notifications.

Texting is the perfect way to give customers delivery and wait time updates. Everyone always has their smartphone in their hand (in fact, the average American spends about 4 hours a day on their phone) so you know they’ll see your message immediately.


Here are some examples of delivery updates your restaurant can try:

“Thanks for ordering from [restaurant]. Your order #321 will be ready in about 20 minutes www.myrestaurant.com”

“We’ve started preparing your order: 1 Marinara and 1 Margherita pizza, 2 Coca Colas. Should be ready in 30 minutes www.myrestaurant.com”

Considering 69% of customers use their smartphone to order takeout or delivery, it’s no wonder that delivery sales are projected to rise up to $365 billion by 2020. But for customers who do still decide to dine in, they’ll appreciate a projected wait time text just as much.

“Thanks for choosing to dine with [your restaurant]! We’ll message you when your table is ready in about 30 minutes.”

“Your table for two is now ready. Can’t make it? Text: CANCEL”

Next Step: Build Your Own Restaurant SMS Subscriber List

With its speed and accessibility, texting can offer huge opportunities for restaurants. Start building an SMS subscriber list to get more business and improve your communication with your clientele.

You can begin building your list by including a sign-up form on your website and offering news and dining specials in exchange for a phone number.

Related: How to Build a Powerful SMS Subscriber List