This is a guestpost from our friends at TextMagic


Mobile marketing is one of the most effective ways for restaurants to reach potential customers. 81% of customers regularly use their phone to decide where to eat. SMS marketing offers many ways to upgrade your restaurant for both your guests and your business. Texting can streamline the delivery and booking process, keep your tables full and give extra perks to your loyal customers.


5 SMS marketing ideas for your restaurant:

1. Promote Deliveries

Reduced foot traffic and guest capacity has led many restaurants to offer delivery for the first time. SMS marketing can help let your customers know they can now order delivery and where to find you online.

Furthermore, effective use of SMS marketing contributes to a smooth delivery experience. Integrate texting with your ordering system to send automated messages to customers and drivers to organize deliveries.

Some restaurants even offer the ability to order via SMS, for example Dominos customers can make repeat orders by sending an emoji to their business text number.

2. Discounts and Extras

Encouraging your repeat customers to subscribe to SMS marketing gives you the opportunity to show your appreciation and give them the VIP treatment. Giving exclusive discounts only to your text subscribers along with early access to event books makes customers feel valued.

A customer loyalty program increases your repeat guests, which has a major impact on your bottom line. Increasing your retention rate by just 5% can result in a sales increase of up to 95%.

London-based Indian restaurant Beit HaMadras uses SMS to distribute discounts to their loyal customers, ensuring their discounts are used by the person they are sent to instead of shared online via email.

Members-only events to trial menu changes or celebrate holidays provide a valuable benefit to your business as well as making your customers feel special. Your text subscribers are usually your most loyal guests, making them the ideal focus group to test changes to your restaurant.

3. Announce Upcoming Events

SMS marketing is a great way to let your text subscribers know about upcoming events, offers and special menus you are running. Giving your SMS subscribers the opportunity to book events earlier rewards customer loyalty and gives guests more reasons to sign up. US restaurant chain Olive Garden uses SMS to enable early booking of popular holiday events like Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day before the rush.

Besides promoting events and offers, you can also use SMS to share news about your restaurant. For example, announcing new items on your menu, introducing a new chef or revealing a new partnership with a local food or drinks producer. For example, Atlanta-based delivery restaurant Let’s Eat! uses SMS to announce their daily specials, ensuring customers don’t miss the chance to try out new dishes.

4. SMS Reservations

Using SMS marketing for reservations offers a number of benefits, particularly for restaurants which have had to reduce guest capacity due to the pandemic.

Besides making it easier for customers to book a table without waiting for someone to pick up in a busy period, texting can also be used to send out available booking times. This can reduce the frustration of trying to book a table at a popular restaurant with limited capacity.

It also enables you to cut down on vacant tables due to missed or cancelled bookings, as you can text your subscribers with the available time at a last-minute discount. No shows are estimated to account for up to 20% of all restaurant bookings. With reduced foot traffic due to the pandemic, the chances of walk-in customers arriving at the right time to take the table are much lower.

5. Thank You Messages

A thoughtful thank you message can put a nice finishing touch on your guests’ evening, making sure they feel appreciated and welcome to return soon. Going out to eat is not as simple and convenient as it used to be, making it more important than ever to show your gratitude to your regular customers.

Thank you messages showing your appreciation for their visit can also help remind guests to leave a positive review online.

Restaurant SMS Marketing Template Examples

Not sure what to say? These templates will give you some inspiration to create SMS messages that fit your restaurant’s personality. Personalised messages are much more effective than standard templates, so remember to customize them before you send!

Delivery Promotion Text

Hi [customer name],

Not going out? We’re now offering online delivery orders at [link]! Reply MENU to this text to check out this week’s specials.

Discount Offer Text

Hi [customer name],

We’re open for business again! To celebrate, we’d like to offer you a 30% discount on a meal for two, just show this text to your server when you visit to redeem it. This offer is valid for 14 days.

Event Invitation Text

Hi [customer name],

We’re hosting a wine-tasting evening on [date and time], if you would like to join us please book at [link] or reply INFO to this text to find out more about the event.

Table Reservation Text

Hi [customer name],

We’ve booked your table for [time and date], we look forward to seeing you! If you would like to rearrange your booking, please reply TIMES to this text to check our booking availability. To cancel your table, text CANCEL.

Thank You Text

Hi [customer name],

Thank you for dining with us, we hope you come back soon! We’d love to hear feedback on your experience; you can leave us a review at [link] or reply to this text with a rating from 1 to 10.


SMS marketing offers many benefits to restaurants, enabling more organized and convenient booking and delivery orders. It also provides opportunities to upgrade your customer experience by staying in touch and offering exclusive deals to subscribers.

Darren Foong

Posted by Darren Foong

Darren works on Growth at Candybar. He spends too much time reading fiction, performing improv, and doing things that don't scale. One day he hopes to be quite interesting.