Why Restaurants Should Use Mobile Messaging

Take a moment to think about how you use your mobile phone and how you go about searching or exploring on it. Due to it’s immediacy and size, we generally search with purpose with an achievement or goal in mind, versus simply browsing. Research shows we are looking locally with intent; for example searching cinema times, shop addresses, hairdressers contact details or dining options. If you are looking to make dining decisions on your mobile these decisions tend to be based on the following:

  • Locality. Where is the restaurant in relation to where I am now
  • Familiarity. Do I know how reputable they are either based upon previous experience, recommendation or visible reviews
  • Value. Is there a special offer, do I know they will be serving what I want at a price I can afford, or aspire to.

Restaurant table waiting for customers to be seated

Opt in messaging addresses the first two criteria of locality and familiarity. It makes sense that the people who opt in to receive messages from you are both local, or at least within their travel range, and that they are familiar with you. They want to hear when you have a special on, an event, or a new menu for example.

Value can be addressed via the content and messages you send out. You know your audience and you will have a good idea of what will bring them to your restaurant.

Opt in messaging works across different demographics too. Older consumers will be more selective over which brands they choose to sign up to receiving messages. From a millennial perspective, we have a whole new generation of consumers who are never separated from their smart phones. They are savvy consumers who are not only looking to receive personalized information delivered to their phones, they expect to be rewarded for loyalty and custom. They are also avid ‘sharer’s of information, passing along deals and ‘great finds’ to their friends.

We have just concluded some rather comprehensive research for our Mobile Customer Experience Report in the UK, the results of which we are due to publish and make available during Marketing Week Live 2013. What we can tell you now is that of all the sectors, consumers trust restaurants, bars and clubs the most to send them text messages.