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Musings on the Foodservice Industry

How to Use SMS to Boost Holiday Restaurant Business

The holiday season is one of the most active times of the year for most consumers. As they leave their homes to shop or complete other holiday errands, they often decide to eat at least one meal at a restaurant before returning home. To get your share of this holiday business, you need to engage in more effective and modern marketing efforts. Here are some of the ways you can boost your restaurant’s traffic with text messages during the holiday season:

  1. Stay top-of-mind with regular holiday texts.

When your customers are out looking for a place to eat, you want them to remember your restaurant first. Send heartwarming holiday-themed texts to your customers on a regular basis during this time of year to remind them of your restaurant and increase the chances of getting their business while they are out shopping. Time your messages to reach consumers when they are most likely to be out and about.

  1. Add customers to your database.

The more customers you have in your SMS database, the more effective your SMS marketing efforts will be. Fortunately, the holidays are the perfect time to add more customers to your SMS database. To encourage more consumers to sign up for texting, consider advertising text-based coupons available only to those consumers who opt into your SMS campaign by texting in your company’s keyword.

  1. Use SMS to improve the efficiency of reservations.

If your restaurant offers reservations, use SMS messaging to confirm new reservations or to remind customers of an existing reservation they have already made. You can also give consumers the option to cancel a reservation via text. This will reduce no-shows and ensure that you are able to make the most of the space in your restaurant throughout the season.

  1. Promote your holiday menu.

Many restaurants alter their menus during the holidays to provide consumers with more festive meal options. If you are offering a special menu during the holiday season, promote this menu via SMS. Include images of your holiday offerings with your text messages to increase interest among consumers and drive more traffic to your restaurant. Be sure to send your texts at strategic times of the day, such as shortly before lunch or dinner, so that your customers will be more likely to respond.

  1. Target promotions to meet the needs of different patrons.

Using past data and prior behavior, you can determine which of the customers in your database are most likely to be interested in a specific promotion or offer. Use this information to create customized marketing messages and target the right audience quickly. You should also consider offering customers extra loyalty program points or perks if they participate in your holiday promotions or dine at your restaurant on specific dates during the holidays. If you don’t already have a text-based loyalty program, make one now to strengthen your relationship with your most dedicated patrons.

Restaurants using SMS for marketing can dramatically boost their business during the holidays if they play their cards right. By following these tips, you can be sure that your business is as profitable as possible during the holidays. You can also use SMS to collect feedback about your restaurant’s performance during this time, which helps you build on your strengths and address any weaknesses you may have. To get started with SMS marketing, begin by investing in a reputable software program with all the features your restaurant needs to send customized holiday messages to patrons.

For more information on how your restaurants can boost business during the holidays, click here to check out the ultimate SMS marketing guide for restaurants!

Author Biography:

Ken Rhie is the CEO of 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. Mr. Rhie holds an MBA degree from Harvard Business School. He has over 30 years of experience in the software, internet, and mobile communications industries.

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