Today’s Happy Hour Special: Paying By Text Message
Restaurants have been making a comeback while a global pandemic still clutches owners, staff, and customers. Now is a critical time for restaurants to embrace the contactless, digital tools that earn revenue. Luckily, those tools already exist, enabling restaurant owners to save money, expedite contactless set-up and payments, and even fulfill customer orders directly (no outside delivery app necessary) on platforms that stay in-line with the restaurant’s brand image.
Recent industry studies have reported that 63 percent of restaurant consumers prefer to order delivery directly from restaurants, mostly due to the excessive customer fees associated with third party ordering apps. (Source: Sense360) Owners can take advantage of tools that exist at no cost to the restaurant while enabling them to bring in dollars without turning tables. Restaurants can even deliver a simple text message to accept customer payments instead of taking credit cards over the phone while others wait on hold. The digital solutions mean a kitchen becomes the source of revenue – with less hostess, server, busser, or other overhead costs.
Customers benefit from the delicious options just as much as restaurant owners. Throughout the customer’s dining journey, there are a number of places where a restaurant can leverage contactless messaging to strengthen customer relationships and modernize operations. A selection of those benefits include:
- Going contactless: A survey from Mastercard found that 82 percent of consumers view contactless as a cleaner way to do transactions. Staying clean and safe is a requirement by today’s customer, and that becomes especially true when it comes to dining. The beauty of paying by text means the only thing a customer touches is the phone already in their hands. There are no shared pens necessary.
- Fast and secure payment: Customers are able to pay quickly and business owners receive the funds rapidly. Direct payments via text message ensure an added level of security that keep personal information safe and take the risk out of restaurant owners’ hands when it comes to stored information.
- Customer service: Restaurants are able to send a short “How was your food?” text message survey to make sure items arrived correctly or address any issues immediately. On the other side, the customer can quickly text for updates about their delivery status or if the order happens to be incorrect. It’s a connected way to ensure the customer remains happy.
- Loyalty: Making it easier for someone to pay, receive their meal, and address any concerns means a loyal, happy customer who is sure to order again. Loyal customers are the bread and butter of a restaurant’s livelihood and gathering the most information possible ensures you have their loyalty for life.
- Special deals: Restaurants learn so much from a customer’s order. The ability to text message means they can let someone know when their favorite appetizer is two-for-one or when new happy hour offerings come up. It’s an easy way to share a seasonal menu or share a special offer.
It’s not just the customer who walks away happy (and full). Business owners have to keep the lights on and the ovens hot, which SMS solutions can assist with. Some of the ways they help include:
- Takeout revenue: Restaurateurs don’t want to leave money on the table, and when it comes to getting food to-go consumers spend 50 percent more on average when they place orders online for takeout. Sit-down restaurant customers who order food for takeout spend $43 more per month than those who dine on-site. (Source: PYMNTS) The numbers clearly demonstrate that restaurant owners have revenue at their fingertips when they embrace tools that let their customers order and pay on their phone.
- Marketing and operations: Marketing efforts can be greatly enhanced thanks to the convenience of reaching diners in their hands. Restaurant owners can realize increases in their profit margins thanks to the streamlined dining experience that comes from paying by text message. The ability to text with patrons directly means sending promo codes and inviting them to join mobile loyalty programs, which result in more orders or increased order sizes. Text campaigns open a door to the kitchen for hungry customers that may not know what they want for dinner just yet.
- Reservations and reminders: Make the option to reserve a table by text message to free up time on the phone for staff and line-ups for waits. Customers can ask any questions about safety protocols or menu options right away. Afterwards, sending a quick reminder by text is a simple way to ensure punctuality or revise the schedule as is needed. It all leads to maximized use of tables and minimized wait times for everyone.
Paying by text and other text message options are simple solutions for restaurant owners to adopt. They enable optimized revenue while giving the customers exactly what they want. It’s the perfect modernization the industry is hungry for.