We’ve all been there– made a reservation at a restaurant with the honest intent of showing up and somehow never make it. Though we may think it’s “no biggie” this actually happens quite often in the restaurant industry. In fact studies show that an average of 20% of all dinner parties never quite make it to their reservation causing the industry to miss out on billions of dollars… Literally, almost 20 BILLION.
The Problem …
Joel Best of the Sydney Morning Herald stated, “…we don’t make any profit for the night. We only have 60-65 seats, so if 10-12 people don’t show up, the profit gets thrown out the window.” So, how have restaurants combatted this unfortunate financial issue? A 2016 survey showed that 42% of restaurants have started taking pre-paid deposits and or card information to ensure some sort of profit in the unfortunate case of a “no-show.” Though this does ensure a small profit sometimes it DOES backfire. Upon asking a customer for a deposit or card information they can tend to feel a bit cornered and start to wonder when/ how they will get their deposit back, or start to second guess their plans if they fall through. Often times this can lead to the customer going and making a reservation at a competing chain resulting in making no profit at all.
So, what’s the best way in going about solving this issue..?
SMS Messaging to the RESCUE!
SMS bulk/ mass messaging is the IDEAL way to go about solving this issue for 2 reasons …
- Attending: Through using SMS texting you are able to not only REMIND the customer of the reservation, but you can also give them an option to “CONFIRM” or “DENY.” But, be careful!– sometimes, if a customer does NOT REPLY within a certain amount of time the table for your party will be canceled!
- Change of plans: What’s a great feature of using SMS texting is that if the customer does “confirm” they also (usually) have the option to update the time and number of guests in the party in case there are any changes to their original reservation. This ensures that the restaurant will be able to accommodate the party as well as be prepared for any last minute changes there might be.
Just think, people are essentially glued to their phones … so why not take the opportunity to capitalize on this mainstream form of communication!?! In fact, research shows that this revolutionary form of communication within the restaurant industry has already benefited both small mom n’ pop and large chains alike! This has helped to not only make a profit, but also to form a more personal relationship with the customers. So, in the end, regardless of whether or not that customer confirms their reservation they still feel as though their time as well as yours is valued– EVERYONE WINS! This is just one of the few ways that SMS messaging is beginning to impact marketing!