As a customer it’s great to have so much choice when deciding where to dine out, but when you’re running a restaurant, with more and more competition out there, you need to stay on top of your game to make sure you get your market share of customers – if not more!
If you’re in the hospitality trade you probably work long, unsociable hours and barely have enough time to sit down; let alone come up with new ideas to market yourself. Putting together a marketing campaign may be the last thing on your mind, but let me tell you how using SMS can save you time, money and fill your empty tables in hours.
Fill Empty Tables
Although you may have a busy restaurant a lot of the time, everyone has quiet days. Perhaps it’s a Monday night in the middle of winter, there’s not many people wandering around looking for places to eat. You need to give them a reason to come out:
“Hello Hannah! Free bottle of wine for every table of two this week at The Riverview Restaurant, call 01234 567890 to book a table.”
Save Time & Money
At just 4p a message, putting together an SMS campaign is extremely cost-effective. You only pay for the messages sent and unlike costly flyers and adverts; it takes just a few minutes to send out a message to your entire database. If the only chance you get to look at your marketing is after a long nights service, don’t worry, you can schedule the message to go out at a more appropriate time.
Grow Opt-in List
Advertise your keyword on menus, posters and bathroom mirrors (the list is endless) to allow customers to opt-in to your mailing list, providing you with lots of new contacts and letting your customers do the hard work:
“Text RESTAURANT to 82228 for news, promotions and updates.”
Reward Regular Customers
Try sending a reward message to previous customers to thank them for their custom and entice them back to your establishment. This will not only increase bookings but will also please customers; encouraging positive reviews spreading through word of mouth.
“Hi Hannah, we hope you enjoyed your visit to The Riverview, we’d love to see you again soon. Enjoy free starters on your next visit when showing this text. Call 01234 567890 to book a table”
Lots of restaurants now take bookings online, giving the customer more flexibility to book a table at their convenience. Why not take it one step further and let them text their reservation in? What could be more convenient than sending a quick text – you can even set up an auto reply to get straight back to them.
“Thank you for your reservation, we look forward to seeing you at The Riverview Restaurant.”
This is by no means a definitive list of how to use SMS for your business; but hopefully it will get your creative ideas flowing!