sample text message marketing for restaurants

No matter what kind of restaurant you are running, there is one truth that is universally acknowledged in the food industry: if no one eats it, it might as well not exist. It’s a harsh reality that even restaurants staffed by the most talented chefs can fade into obscurity without the support of an effective marketing strategy.

With over 275 million smartphone users in the U.S. alone, it should come as no surprise that texting is quickly becoming the most valuable marketing tool you can have in your arsenal, especially in the fast-moving world of the food industry. If you’re new to SMS marketing or just not sure you’ve been doing it right, these text message marketing samples for restaurants and food trucks can help you find your groove and boost your business’s success. Order up!

Sample Text Message Marketing for Restaurants

SMS and MMS marketing offers an impressive array of options for those in the business of making (and selling) good food. Automated texts provide an easy way to promptly answer frequently asked questions or send reminders about upcoming reservations. User group segmentation can allow larger enterprises with multiple restaurants to craft tailor-made texts for customers based on their location or even based on their preferences. You can also allow customers to use text-to-pay to conveniently pay for online orders either for delivery or pickup.

Below are just a few samples of the text marketing messages your restaurant will be likely to use the most often. After that, we’ll dive into examples specifically for food trucks.

When someone…

Opts-in to your subscriber listThis is the perfect time to thank new subscribers for their interest—typically with a special deal or discount code. This is also a great opportunity to ask their name so you can use it for personalized messaging down the line.“Thanks so much for signing up! Reply with your first name to receive a special coupon exclusively for new subscribers. Bon appetit!”
Has recently visitedEveryone loves being appreciated. Thank them for stopping by—ideally, with an added incentive to come back again soon. This is also an excellent time to ask them to fill out an easy text survey.“Thanks for stopping by, Jordan! We hope you enjoyed your lunch. Fill out a quick survey to let us know how we did and get a free appetizer with your next meal!”
Is a frequent customerThis person deserves VIP treatment. Make them feel special with a personalized thank-you note and an exclusive deal.“We love how much you love our pizza, Alexa. 🙂 Here’s a special gift just for you—show this QR code during your next visit to get 20% off any entrée!”
Hasn’t visited the restaurant recentlyA gentle reminder here and there can go a long way. Be sure to send regular updates about new menu items, weekly specials, open tables, and more. For a more targeted approach, you can use data from previous orders to suggest the user treat themselves to their favorite standby.“It’s been a while, Chandler! This weekend, why not treat yourself to your favorite chicken sandwich? (Show your waiter this text and get 10% off your order!)”
Opts-outIt’s hard to say goodbye, but there will always be customers who want to opt-out. A survey might be asking too much, but consider asking just one or two follow-up questions about why they unsubscribed so you can take steps to avoid more users opting-out for the same reasons.“We are sorry to see you go, and you’ll receive no more messages from us.  If you’d like to share your feedback with us or complete a short survey, just reply YES to this message.”

(For even more inspiration, check out this post.)

While these examples can be easily copied over to a text message as-is, the best approach will be to take an extra moment to tailor them to your brand’s personality and voice. Trendy establishments with a youthful vibe, for example, may want to include a few emojis—and maybe even share a few homemade memes down the road. Upscale restaurants may choose to avoid slang in favor of a more polite and carefully curated approach.

Text Message Examples for Food Trucks

While all of the above texts will work for restaurants of just about any shape and size, there are some special considerations to take into account when using SMS marketing for a food truck.

To that end, we’ve come up with a few text message marketing samples below that specifically speak to some of these unique needs.

When you…

Change locationsIf you want customers to come back, it’s critical that they know where to find you. Social media updates are too easily lost in the crowd. Keep SMS subscribers up-to-date on your schedule and let them know ASAP whenever there’s a last-minute change so they can always find you.“Hey, fajita fam! We’re on the move again—this week Taco Trinity will be heading down to South Beach for a bit of fun in the sun. See you there!”
Change your lookPlanning a makeover for your truck (or getting a new one)? Get your customers in on the fun (and make it easy for them to find you again when you’re done) by sharing before and after pictures with an MMS message.“Heads up, BBQ fans—our truck’s got a fresh new look! Be sure to stop by this week to see it for yourself—the first 10 customers get a 10% discount. ;)”
Change your menuFood trucks tend to change menus more frequently than regular restaurants. Avoid disappointed returning customers by using SMS to keep subscribers notified of what you’ll be serving on any given day or week. If the menu info you want to send takes you over the character limit of a single text, try sending it as an image in an MMS text instead.“It’s new menu Monday! Here’s what we’ll be serving up this week (2/1-2/7)…”
Get a catering requestFood trucks are a fan favorite when it comes to private or local events. Set up automated text responses during busy hours to let querying customers know you’re listening and will get back to them as soon as you can. Since these texts may or may not come from current subscribers, be sure to “sign” your texts with your business name.“Thanks so much for reaching out! It’s a bit hectic here at the moment, but we’ll be sure to get back to you first thing tomorrow.
– Fancy Free Fricassee”

Of course, there’s more to SMS marketing than merely choosing the right words and hitting send. So what do you need to do to ensure that you not only get your message across but that you evoke the responses you’re looking for?

Using SMS Marketing in the Food Industry Effectively

Before launching right into a new text message marketing campaign for your restaurant or food truck, be sure to familiarize yourself (or your team) with basic SMS marketing best practices

Timing is especially critical for food vendors, so be sure to always be conscious of when your messages will be best received. For example, you don’t want to ask someone about their meal right after they’ve placed their order—they probably haven’t even eaten yet.

Utilizing pictures and video effectively can also play a significant role in whetting your customers’ appetites—a picture, after all, is worth a thousand words and they say a video is worth a thousand pictures. For maximum impact, use MMS messaging to embed your pictures and videos directly into your texts rather than linking out to them. Linking out is a surefire way to reduce engagement. 

And finally, be sure to sign up for a solid text marketing platform. The right platform will give you all of the features you need to create the marketing campaigns of your dreams—and do so with ease! Look for a platform that boasts a user-friendly interface and features like unlimited keywords and user groups, autoresponders, and text-to-pay options. This will make it simpler than ever to get the right messages to the right people and generate greater engagement with your brand than ever before. What are you waiting for?

Ready to put some of these sample text marketing messages for restaurants and food trucks to good use? NorthText offers an easy-to-use SMS marketing platform that will allow you to set up a successful campaign within minutes. To find out more, reach out to us online or by phone or text at (312) 869-9070.

Ready to put some of these sample text marketing messages for restaurants and food trucks to good use? NorthText offers an easy-to-use SMS marketing platform that will allow you to set up a successful campaign within minutes. To find out more, reach out to us online or by phone or text at (312) 869-9070