Restaurant Marketing

Meet Guests Where They Are With SMS Marketing for Restaurants

Guests live on their mobile devices. In fact, Americans spend an average of 5.4 hours on their mobile phones daily. So, why not meet them there? SMS (text message) marketing for restaurants is continuing to grow as one of the most successful ways of connecting with guests.

Guests live on their mobile devices. In fact, Americans spend an average of 5.4 hours on their mobile phones daily. So, why not meet them there? SMS (text message) marketing for restaurants is continuing to grow as one of the most successful ways of connecting with guests—over 95% of SMS messages are opened and read

Data shows there is a significant number of the population that doesn’t find SMS marketing intrusive. In fact, 85% of customers prefer receiving text messages over a phone call or email. What’s more, 64% of consumers think companies who text value their time and say they would recommend the company to others.

Still not convinced SMS marketing is for you? Here’s five reasons to start using SMS marketing in your restaurant.

Better reach—stand out among the masses with SMS marketing for restaurants. 

How many emails do you get in your inbox everyday? Exactly. Guests are overwhelmed with emails from their favorite brands every hour. Your email messages may be getting lost among the masses—or worse, getting deleted in mass inbox cleanings.

Text message marketing lets you cut through the noise and connect with your guests more directly. Open rates of marketing text messages are higher than 90 percent and consistently more than 5x that of email open rates. Which makes sense, right? Text messages appear right there on the guests home screen with a message preview. Rather than hoping guests see you in the masses of email, a text message is a direct conversation starter—and guests are much more likely to join in!

Easy effort, high impact. SMS marketing for restaurants has a direct impact on slow times. 

Text message marketing is an easy way to directly impact those non-peak hours—entice guests to your door with incentives like coupons or limited-time offers. With 95 percent of SMS messages being opened within 3 minutes after receipt, you can target messaging for specific times knowing that the recipient is seeing it right when you intended. 

PopTip: Human beings naturally have a fear of missed opportunities—discounts or offers with an expiration tend to capture guests' attention and drive high probability of transaction.


Higher rate of success. Send messages at the right time.

Hungry guests are the easiest ones to get through your door. Send text messages with photos of your menu items around key mealtimes to help influence a dining decision. Enticing with food when your guests are already hungry and primed to think about what they want for a meal means you’re sure to see more success in driving a transaction.

SMS marketing for restaurants is inexpensive with a high ROI.

SMS marketing for restaurants is an inexpensive but effective tool for interacting with your guests. While SMS marketing technically costs more than email (each text message can cost between 5¢ and $1 to send), it has a higher probability of driving a purchase—spend a little to serve a lot.  

SMS marketing for restaurants works alongside your email strategy. 

Use SMS marketing to complement your existing email marketing strategy. Text messages are great for short-form content and quick touch-points with your guests (e.g., a simple reminder that Tuesdays are trivia nights), and work well alongside your longer-form, personalized email marketing (e.g., an email reminder to come back and try a dish that was added to a guest profile). 

This type of cross-channel marketing let’s you engage in direct and immediate conversation (text) while also building long-term relationships with personalization (email).  

Client Spotlight - Urth Caffé and SMS marketing for success 

Urth Caffé is a multi-location concept with cafés located across the globe. Since 1989, Urth Caffé has built its reputation as a pioneer of health-conscious coffee by roasting its own exclusively heirloom, organic coffees and offering hand-selected fine teas.

Popmenu has partnered with Urth Caffé’s nine U.S.-based locations—eight in Southern California and one in Las Vegas—since 2019. Over the past six months, Urth Caffé has averaged ~184,442 monthly sessions, with specific location webpages performing at ~80,000 views. Urth Caffé has also continued to grow its number of followers to over 3,500 contacts.

Urth Caffé knows the value those followers can bring to the restaurant—not just in transactions, but also in reviews. While Urth Caffé makes consistent use of Popmenu’s SMS marketing for restaurants, in November of last year, Urth ran a contest to incentivize reviews and guest engagement. They used SMS marketing to launch the contest and notify followers of the rules. 

The response was incredible, with Urth Caffé receiving 20 new reviews within 10 minutes. The contest yielded record pie sales for the annual promotion and 24% MoM increase in reviews.

Start your SMS marketing strategy with Popmenu 

We know the value of SMS marketing for restaurants—that’s why it’s included in every Popmenu subscription. Send texts to your guests on a weekly basis at no additional cost; share discounts, advertise specials, and even event invitations. What’s more, with Popmenu, you can incorporate visuals like menu photos and links to menu items and online ordering, into the text message—all the guest has to do is click to open. 

Popmenu’s platform and included SMS marketing feature puts your restaurant in the right place, at the right time.

Start using SMS marketing for restaurants.