3 Ways a Vegan Restaurant Can Utilize SMS Communication

The vegan dining segment in the United States has been enjoying a boom since the 90s, and it is safe to say that it is on the verge of going mainstream. According to a November 2023 assessment published by Vegan News, the directors of the Plant Based Foods Association believe that the variety of vegan menu items at American restaurants will increase by 400% over the next two years.


With the market value of the plant-based dining market continuing to rise, vegan restaurant operators are using various strategies to increase their marketing reach, and many of them are using the trusty Short Message Service (SMS) protocol of mobile communications in these three ways:


1- Reservation Management


With two-way SMS booking solutions, vegan restaurants can integrate SMS communication into their existing reservation systems. Customers can text a dedicated number with their desired date, time, and the number of seats; this was pioneered by small health food cafes in the early 2000s, but the operation back then was largely manual. These days, automated SMS booking systems can check availability and send a confirmation message within minutes.


SMS bots and virtual assistants can be configured to work with SMS platforms for more fluid interaction with customers. This is a more advanced strategy that makes the reservation process feel like a live chat session.


2- Special Offers, Promotions, and New Dishes


SMS coupons have been a staple of mobile marketing for over two decades; their effectiveness lies in the immediacy and convenience they can deliver, particularly for local brick-and-mortar businesses such as vegan restaurants. Customers can easily keep SMS coupons on their phones and redeem them during their visit.


One strategy that works for many local restaurants is to make SMS deals available to customers who opt in. Offering discounts or special menu items available only to SMS subscribers creates a sense of exclusivity and incentivizes signups. This strategy can be expanded to announce new dishes to SMS subscribers before they are added to the menu; some restaurants refer to it as a “sneak-peek” strategy.


3- Driving Engagement and Fostering Loyalty


SMS marketing platforms include analytics tools to track the success of campaigns and generate actionable insights. This data helps to refine the messaging and target specific demographics for future promotions; plus, it presents an opportunity to engage with those good customers who respond well to SMS communications.


Beyond promoting special offers, SMS marketing allows vegan restaurants to foster more meaningful connections with their customers, thus creating opportunities for repeat business. Birthday SMS coupons tend to be effective, especially when they include gifts such as free snacks, desserts, or treats. Loyal customers who have been on the SMS list for a year can get anniversary messages, for example: “Thanks for being a valued customer! It’s been a year since your first visit. Enjoy 10% off your next order to celebrate. Text ‘THANKS10’ to redeem.”


In the end, vegan restaurants that do not integrate SMS into their marketing toolbox are missing out on what some of their competitors are taking advantage of. From reservation management to promoting special offers and building customer loyalty, SMS is a good tool for vegan restaurants to sharpen their competitive edge.

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