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The Complete Guide to Square Text Message Marketing for Restaurants

The Complete Guide to Square Text Message Marketing for Restaurants

TLDR

Looking to boost customer loyalty and sales for your restaurant? With Square Loyalty, you can easily set up a rewards program and leverage Square’s integrated text messaging to connect with customers in a more personal way. This guide will provide restaurant owners with actionable strategies to effectively use Square text messages and emails to drive repeat business. You’ll learn best practices for creating targeted campaigns, tips for writing compelling messages, and real examples from major chains like Shake Shack and Sweetgreen that are seeing success. Whether you’re just starting with Square or want to get more from your existing account, this comprehensive resource will help you maximize Square Loyalty and text marketing to grow your customer base and bottom line.

The Benefits of Using Square Loyalty and Text Messages for Restaurants

Reach Customers Directly

Square Loyalty and text message marketing allow restaurants to reach customers directly on their mobile devices. By collecting customer phone numbers at checkout or sign-up and integrating the data with Square’s POS system, restaurants can send promotional messages and rewards via SMS text. This direct line of communication boosts engagement and loyalty.

Automated and Personalized

Square Loyalty automatically tracks customer purchases and spending to trigger personalized rewards and messaging. The program uses purchase data and customer preferences to send tailored offers and rewards. Restaurants can choose to send texts for birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays, or to re-engage lapsed customers. The automated system frees up staff time while providing a personalized experience.

Drive Repeat Visits

Text message marketing, especially when combined with a loyalty program, is proven to drive repeat visits. By offering rewards, discounts, and exclusive promotions via text, restaurants give customers an incentive to come back again and again. A study by Swrve found that text message marketing had the highest conversion rates of any channel, with 47% of consumers purchasing after receiving a promotion via text.

Major Chains Use Text Marketing

Many major restaurant chains, like Starbucks, Dominos, and Red Robin, have implemented text message marketing and loyalty programs to boost customer retention and spending. These large brands have found success with the strategy, suggesting it can work for restaurants of any size.

By leveraging Square Loyalty and text message marketing, restaurants can reach customers directly, automate and personalize communications, drive repeat visits, and emulate the success of major chains. The benefits of this winning combination are clear for any restaurant looking to build loyalty and increase sales.

How Major Restaurant Chains Leverage Text Message Marketing

Targeted Promotions

Major restaurant chains like Boston Market, Chili's, and Subway frequently use SMS and email marketing to send personalized offers and promotions to their customers. By segmenting their customer database, these restaurants can send customized birthday and anniversary specials, coupons, and discounts directly to customers. For example, Subway's text message program sends subscribers weekly coupons and promotions for six-inch subs, chips, and a drink.

Build Customer Loyalty

SMS and email marketing are effective ways for restaurants to strengthen customer loyalty and engagement. Papa Murphy's sends a "Murphy's Rewards" text message each month with an exclusive offer for loyalty program members. Sonic Drive-In's "Sonic Circle" emails provide members with personalized weekly specials, news about new menu items, and exclusive "Circle Coins" that can be redeemed for free menu items. Round Table Pizza's loyalty program sends members texts about earning and redeeming points for free pizza.

Drive Sales and Traffic

For restaurants, SMS and email marketing translate directly into increased sales and traffic. A study by Gartner found that SMS marketing has an average open rate of 98% and Digital Marketing Magazine cited that 75% of customers like to receive a text message promotion. Chili's "Chili's Rewards" program has over 9 million members who receive frequent texts and emails about mouthwatering food, drinks, specials, and point offers to motivate them to dine in. There's no doubt that these targeted marketing tactics are highly effective for driving sales and boosting traffic.

Setting Up Square Loyalty and Text Messages for Your Restaurant

To leverage Square’s Loyalty and text message marketing tools for your restaurant, you must first enable these features in your Square Dashboard. Under the “Customers” menu, select “Loyalty” to set up your loyalty program. Here, you can create a loyalty point system, enabling customers to earn points for dollars spent. You can also create loyalty tiers and rewards to incentivize your most loyal guests.

Integrating Loyalty with Your POS

Square Loyalty seamlessly integrates with your Point of Sale (POS) system, automatically tracking customer sales and awarding points. This eliminates the need for customers to present a loyalty card, as Square identifies them by their phone number. When customers pay, their loyalty account is automatically pulled up on your POS screen so you can confirm they received the correct points.

Sending Text Message Campaigns

In addition to the loyalty program, Square offers a text message marketing service to connect with your customers. You can send mass texts to your entire customer list or target specific groups. To start, log in to your Square Dashboard and select “Text marketing” under the “Customers” menu. Here, you compose your message, choose recipients, and schedule your campaign. You might send a text for your weekly specials, inviting people in for 20% off their meal or a free appetizer.

By enabling Square Loyalty and text message marketing, you open new channels to engage your customers, increase repeat business, and build stronger relationships. With the right loyalty rewards and messaging, you can turn one-time visitors into lifelong regulars. Square’s intuitive tools make running effective marketing campaigns simple so you can focus on what really matters: serving your guests.

Creating an Effective Text Message Marketing Strategy for Restaurants

Restaurants can leverage text message marketing to strengthen customer relationships and boost business. To implement an effective strategy, identify your objectives and target audience. For most restaurants, the goals are increasing sales, building loyalty, and improving customer satisfaction. Your target audience should be existing customers who have opted in to receive messages.

Define Your Message Content

With your goals and audience in mind, determine the types of content you want to send. Coupons, special offers, and event announcements are common options that drive sales and engagement. You might also share menu updates, behind-the-scenes photos, or spotlight staff. Focus on value and relevance for your customers.

Pro Tip: The Per Diem app which integrates with Square POS allows restaurants to create coupons in the app.

Choose Your Messaging Frequency

Striking the right balance with messaging frequency is important. Sending too many texts can annoy customers, while too few may fail to achieve your goals. For most restaurants, 2-4 messages per month are effective. Consider your audience, time of year, and current promotions when deciding how often to send texts. You want to be present in customers’ minds without being intrusive.

Drive Engagement and Build Your List

Encourage customers to opt into your text message program. Have staff promote the option in person, include signage in your restaurant, and add links on your website and social media profiles. You might offer an incentive for signing up like a free appetizer or discount. Make opting in easy by allowing customers to simply text a keyword to a short code.

Evaluate and Optimize

Monitor the performance of your text message marketing program regularly. Track metrics like the number of new subscribers, redemption rates for offers, and sales attributed to sends. Make changes to improve your results like adjusting content, incentives, or frequency. Solicit customer feedback through surveys to better tailor your messages. With ongoing evaluation and optimization, you can achieve the maximum benefit from text message marketing.

Restaurants nationwide, including major chains like Chipotle, Starbucks, and Panera Bread, have found success with targeted text message marketing. By following best practices, crafting a strategic approach, and focusing on value for customers, your restaurant can also leverage this powerful tool to boost your business.

FAQs About Square Text Message Marketing for Restaurants

How much does Square Text Message Marketing cost?

Square Text Message Marketing charges are based on the number of messages sent. Plans start at $15/month for up to 500 messages. Volume discounts are available for higher usage. There are no long-term contracts and you can cancel at any time. Many restaurants find text messaging provides an excellent return on investment through increased customer engagement and spending.

Can I automatically text customers when their order is ready for pickup?

Yes, Square for Restaurants allows you to automatically text customers when their order is ready. Customers appreciate the convenience and efficiency. This feature reduces wait times and improves the overall experience. Popular chains like Chipotle, Panera, and Firehouse Subs use order status updates to improve customer satisfaction. The Per Diem app, a white-label ordering app from Square, lets you automatically send order status updates through the app.

How can I use text messaging to promote my restaurant?

Square Text Message Marketing helps restaurants connect with customers for promotions like:

  • Limited-time offers: Text customers about your latest special or limited-time menu items.
  • Loyalty rewards: Remind your loyalty program members about point balances and redemption offers.
  • Event invitations: Invite your best customers to special tasting menus, release parties, or other exclusive events.
  • Satisfaction surveys: Send a quick survey via text to measure customer experience and make improvements.
  • Holiday wishes: Send season’s greetings and well wishes to build goodwill.

Restaurants should use text messaging strategically by targeting messages to different customer segments. Start by sending just 1-2 messages per month and analyze open and response rates to optimize your messaging over time. With an average open rate of over 95%, text messaging is one of the most effective ways to reach and engage your customers.

Final Thoughts

By implementing a sound text message marketing strategy through Square Loyalty, your restaurant can foster meaningful connections and boost engagement with customers. Focus on crafting targeted campaigns, personalizing messaging, and tracking data to refine your approach over time. Major chains like Starbucks and Chipotle have found success with Square - now it's your turn. Carefully utilize text outreach to share exclusive deals, highlight new menu items, send birthday wishes, and more. With a thoughtful approach, text messaging can become an invaluable part of your restaurant's marketing toolbox. Give your customers an easy way to opt in, monitor responses, and continue optimizing efforts. Soon you'll be reaping the rewards of enhanced customer loyalty.

The Complete Guide to Square Text Message Marketing for Restaurants

The Complete Guide to Square Text Message Marketing for Restaurants
by
Soma Amir
by
Doron Segal
by
Tomer Molovinsky
by
Olivia Terenzio
by
Jessica Buckley
by
Ashley Rodriguez
August 10, 2023

TLDR

Looking to boost customer loyalty and sales for your restaurant? With Square Loyalty, you can easily set up a rewards program and leverage Square’s integrated text messaging to connect with customers in a more personal way. This guide will provide restaurant owners with actionable strategies to effectively use Square text messages and emails to drive repeat business. You’ll learn best practices for creating targeted campaigns, tips for writing compelling messages, and real examples from major chains like Shake Shack and Sweetgreen that are seeing success. Whether you’re just starting with Square or want to get more from your existing account, this comprehensive resource will help you maximize Square Loyalty and text marketing to grow your customer base and bottom line.

The Benefits of Using Square Loyalty and Text Messages for Restaurants

Reach Customers Directly

Square Loyalty and text message marketing allow restaurants to reach customers directly on their mobile devices. By collecting customer phone numbers at checkout or sign-up and integrating the data with Square’s POS system, restaurants can send promotional messages and rewards via SMS text. This direct line of communication boosts engagement and loyalty.

Automated and Personalized

Square Loyalty automatically tracks customer purchases and spending to trigger personalized rewards and messaging. The program uses purchase data and customer preferences to send tailored offers and rewards. Restaurants can choose to send texts for birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays, or to re-engage lapsed customers. The automated system frees up staff time while providing a personalized experience.

Drive Repeat Visits

Text message marketing, especially when combined with a loyalty program, is proven to drive repeat visits. By offering rewards, discounts, and exclusive promotions via text, restaurants give customers an incentive to come back again and again. A study by Swrve found that text message marketing had the highest conversion rates of any channel, with 47% of consumers purchasing after receiving a promotion via text.

Major Chains Use Text Marketing

Many major restaurant chains, like Starbucks, Dominos, and Red Robin, have implemented text message marketing and loyalty programs to boost customer retention and spending. These large brands have found success with the strategy, suggesting it can work for restaurants of any size.

By leveraging Square Loyalty and text message marketing, restaurants can reach customers directly, automate and personalize communications, drive repeat visits, and emulate the success of major chains. The benefits of this winning combination are clear for any restaurant looking to build loyalty and increase sales.

How Major Restaurant Chains Leverage Text Message Marketing

Targeted Promotions

Major restaurant chains like Boston Market, Chili's, and Subway frequently use SMS and email marketing to send personalized offers and promotions to their customers. By segmenting their customer database, these restaurants can send customized birthday and anniversary specials, coupons, and discounts directly to customers. For example, Subway's text message program sends subscribers weekly coupons and promotions for six-inch subs, chips, and a drink.

Build Customer Loyalty

SMS and email marketing are effective ways for restaurants to strengthen customer loyalty and engagement. Papa Murphy's sends a "Murphy's Rewards" text message each month with an exclusive offer for loyalty program members. Sonic Drive-In's "Sonic Circle" emails provide members with personalized weekly specials, news about new menu items, and exclusive "Circle Coins" that can be redeemed for free menu items. Round Table Pizza's loyalty program sends members texts about earning and redeeming points for free pizza.

Drive Sales and Traffic

For restaurants, SMS and email marketing translate directly into increased sales and traffic. A study by Gartner found that SMS marketing has an average open rate of 98% and Digital Marketing Magazine cited that 75% of customers like to receive a text message promotion. Chili's "Chili's Rewards" program has over 9 million members who receive frequent texts and emails about mouthwatering food, drinks, specials, and point offers to motivate them to dine in. There's no doubt that these targeted marketing tactics are highly effective for driving sales and boosting traffic.

Setting Up Square Loyalty and Text Messages for Your Restaurant

To leverage Square’s Loyalty and text message marketing tools for your restaurant, you must first enable these features in your Square Dashboard. Under the “Customers” menu, select “Loyalty” to set up your loyalty program. Here, you can create a loyalty point system, enabling customers to earn points for dollars spent. You can also create loyalty tiers and rewards to incentivize your most loyal guests.

Integrating Loyalty with Your POS

Square Loyalty seamlessly integrates with your Point of Sale (POS) system, automatically tracking customer sales and awarding points. This eliminates the need for customers to present a loyalty card, as Square identifies them by their phone number. When customers pay, their loyalty account is automatically pulled up on your POS screen so you can confirm they received the correct points.

Sending Text Message Campaigns

In addition to the loyalty program, Square offers a text message marketing service to connect with your customers. You can send mass texts to your entire customer list or target specific groups. To start, log in to your Square Dashboard and select “Text marketing” under the “Customers” menu. Here, you compose your message, choose recipients, and schedule your campaign. You might send a text for your weekly specials, inviting people in for 20% off their meal or a free appetizer.

By enabling Square Loyalty and text message marketing, you open new channels to engage your customers, increase repeat business, and build stronger relationships. With the right loyalty rewards and messaging, you can turn one-time visitors into lifelong regulars. Square’s intuitive tools make running effective marketing campaigns simple so you can focus on what really matters: serving your guests.

Creating an Effective Text Message Marketing Strategy for Restaurants

Restaurants can leverage text message marketing to strengthen customer relationships and boost business. To implement an effective strategy, identify your objectives and target audience. For most restaurants, the goals are increasing sales, building loyalty, and improving customer satisfaction. Your target audience should be existing customers who have opted in to receive messages.

Define Your Message Content

With your goals and audience in mind, determine the types of content you want to send. Coupons, special offers, and event announcements are common options that drive sales and engagement. You might also share menu updates, behind-the-scenes photos, or spotlight staff. Focus on value and relevance for your customers.

Pro Tip: The Per Diem app which integrates with Square POS allows restaurants to create coupons in the app.

Choose Your Messaging Frequency

Striking the right balance with messaging frequency is important. Sending too many texts can annoy customers, while too few may fail to achieve your goals. For most restaurants, 2-4 messages per month are effective. Consider your audience, time of year, and current promotions when deciding how often to send texts. You want to be present in customers’ minds without being intrusive.

Drive Engagement and Build Your List

Encourage customers to opt into your text message program. Have staff promote the option in person, include signage in your restaurant, and add links on your website and social media profiles. You might offer an incentive for signing up like a free appetizer or discount. Make opting in easy by allowing customers to simply text a keyword to a short code.

Evaluate and Optimize

Monitor the performance of your text message marketing program regularly. Track metrics like the number of new subscribers, redemption rates for offers, and sales attributed to sends. Make changes to improve your results like adjusting content, incentives, or frequency. Solicit customer feedback through surveys to better tailor your messages. With ongoing evaluation and optimization, you can achieve the maximum benefit from text message marketing.

Restaurants nationwide, including major chains like Chipotle, Starbucks, and Panera Bread, have found success with targeted text message marketing. By following best practices, crafting a strategic approach, and focusing on value for customers, your restaurant can also leverage this powerful tool to boost your business.

FAQs About Square Text Message Marketing for Restaurants

How much does Square Text Message Marketing cost?

Square Text Message Marketing charges are based on the number of messages sent. Plans start at $15/month for up to 500 messages. Volume discounts are available for higher usage. There are no long-term contracts and you can cancel at any time. Many restaurants find text messaging provides an excellent return on investment through increased customer engagement and spending.

Can I automatically text customers when their order is ready for pickup?

Yes, Square for Restaurants allows you to automatically text customers when their order is ready. Customers appreciate the convenience and efficiency. This feature reduces wait times and improves the overall experience. Popular chains like Chipotle, Panera, and Firehouse Subs use order status updates to improve customer satisfaction. The Per Diem app, a white-label ordering app from Square, lets you automatically send order status updates through the app.

How can I use text messaging to promote my restaurant?

Square Text Message Marketing helps restaurants connect with customers for promotions like:

  • Limited-time offers: Text customers about your latest special or limited-time menu items.
  • Loyalty rewards: Remind your loyalty program members about point balances and redemption offers.
  • Event invitations: Invite your best customers to special tasting menus, release parties, or other exclusive events.
  • Satisfaction surveys: Send a quick survey via text to measure customer experience and make improvements.
  • Holiday wishes: Send season’s greetings and well wishes to build goodwill.

Restaurants should use text messaging strategically by targeting messages to different customer segments. Start by sending just 1-2 messages per month and analyze open and response rates to optimize your messaging over time. With an average open rate of over 95%, text messaging is one of the most effective ways to reach and engage your customers.

Final Thoughts

By implementing a sound text message marketing strategy through Square Loyalty, your restaurant can foster meaningful connections and boost engagement with customers. Focus on crafting targeted campaigns, personalizing messaging, and tracking data to refine your approach over time. Major chains like Starbucks and Chipotle have found success with Square - now it's your turn. Carefully utilize text outreach to share exclusive deals, highlight new menu items, send birthday wishes, and more. With a thoughtful approach, text messaging can become an invaluable part of your restaurant's marketing toolbox. Give your customers an easy way to opt in, monitor responses, and continue optimizing efforts. Soon you'll be reaping the rewards of enhanced customer loyalty.

Soma Amir

About the author

Doron Segal

About the author

Hey I'm Doron, the co-founder & CTO of Per Diem — a mobile app platform for restaurants. I'm also a dad and a husband. I love to travel and meet new people.I love creating things, and see people using the stuff I built.Prior to Per Diem I worked at Saildrone, OpenTable, Apple, Beats Music, Siemens.

Tomer Molovinsky

About the author

A second time founder with a passion for building products at the intersection of hospitality and technology. I've had the pleasure of launching reservation systems, mobile payment solutions, and loyalty programs at OpenTable and Resy, and witnessed how operators were losing a direct connection with their customers online. We built Per Diem to strengthen the relationships that businesses have with those customers, and to ensure that local businesses can thrive in today's economy.

Olivia Terenzio

About the author

Jessica Buckley

About the author

Ashley Rodriguez

About the author

Ashley is a freelance writer and podcast producer based in Madison, Wisconsin. She hosts a podcast called Boss Barista and writes an accompanying newsletter with full transcripts of each episode and articles about coffee and restaurant work. You can check out her work here (ashleyrodriguez.work/).

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