Restaurants everywhere are always looking for ways to fill their tables on those quieter nights – previous diners are always a good group of people to target, but how do you reach them? Unsurprisingly, text is the answer.
You might not have the numbers of people you’ve served in the past, but that doesn’t mean SMS isn’t for you. If you leave review cards at the table after a meal, you’ve already got a key opportunity to gather the data you need. Short codes and keywords are another great way to collect the contact details of people who are interested in your restaurant, they’re quick and easy and you don’t have to decipher your diners’ handwriting after a few glasses of the house red!
Once you’ve got a reliable opt-in database built up, there’s plenty of ways that you can engage with them and encourage some repeat business. Lemongrass Thai restaurant found that the phone started to ring with bookings straight after sending out a promotional text message, filling up their quieter nights. Likewise, Shelly’s Restaurant made £400 worth of bookings within five hours of their bulk SMS send, making profit 14 times greater than their initial investment.
Promotional offers work best when:
- They are targeted
- They have a clear call to action
- There is a deadline
Your customers will respond much better if the offer is relevant to them, and if they know they only have a limited time to act upon it. Clear calls to action make sure they know exactly what to do – provide a phone number if you want them to call and book, a website address if you want them to go online, or other clear instructions as relevant. Make sure you don’t give too many options, as this can cause confusion and reduce your response rate. Le Café Anglais did this so well, they had a response rate of 29%!