From Likes to Loyalty: Using Text Marketing to Turn Social Media Followers into Regulars

A women in a beanie smiling at a restaurant cash register.


In today’s digital world, a solid social media presence is a must-have for any restaurant. You curate eye-catching photos, craft engaging captions, and run fun contests, all to build a community and attract new customers. But let’s be honest, sometimes it feels like those “likes” and comments don’t quite translate to full tables and bustling business. You might wonder, “Is all this social media effort really driving sales?”

A vibrant social media presence is fantastic, but the key to restaurant success is converting those “likes” into loyal customers. This is where text marketing steps in, fostering a direct connection that drives engagement and repeat business. 

At Olive + Leo, our platform was designed to help restaurants integrate text marketing and other digital marketing tools, such as social media, to cultivate customer loyalty and increase revenue. Here’s what we’ve learned about using text marketing to turn social media followers into loyal customers.

Transforming Social Media Followers → Text Subscribers → Loyal Customers

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to leverage text marketing to transform your social media followers into loyal regulars:

1. Create a customer loyalty program to capture phone numbers.

The foundation of a successful text marketing strategy lies in building a subscriber list. The best way to accomplish this is by developing a customer loyalty program that incentivizes repeat business. Encourage customers to join the program by providing their phone numbers during their visit, texting a code word, or signing up through an online form. This provides a valuable exchange: exclusive perks in exchange for a direct communication channel.

2. Build a text marketing program for your restaurant.

Once you have a list of subscribers, it’s time to craft engaging and personalized text messages. There are numerous user-friendly platforms available, including Olive + Leo (of course!), that allow you to create targeted campaigns, schedule automated messages, and track key performance indicators.

3. Promote your loyalty program on social media.

Leverage your existing social media channels to promote your new loyalty program and the benefits of joining. Create eye-catching visuals to advertise the perks of joining. Announce the launch with a fun contest or giveaway or highlight the ease of signing up. You could also run contests or giveaways on social media where the entry involves opting into your text list.

4. Continue to cross-promote text marketing on social media.

Keep promoting your text marketing program after the initial launch. Regularly incorporate calls to action (CTAs) in your social media posts, encouraging followers to subscribe. Share user-generated content from loyal customers who have benefited from the program, showcasing the value proposition and fostering trust. You can also consider running targeted social media ads with special offers or incentives for those who opt into your text marketing program.

5. Offer exclusive deals and promotions via text.

Reward your text subscribers with exclusive deals and promotions that aren’t available anywhere else. This creates a sense of value and urgency, enticing them to visit your restaurant and redeem the offer. Think limited-time discounts on popular menu items, flash sales on specific days of the week, or special offers for celebrating a customer’s birthday.

6. Provide value beyond discounts.

Text marketing can be a powerful tool for enhancing customer engagement and building a base of loyal customers. But to be effective, you’ll want to go beyond just offering discounts and promotions. Send valuable content such as recipe tips inspired by your chefs, behind-the-scenes glimpses of your kitchen operations, or sneak peeks at upcoming menu items. The Olive + Leo platform offers a variety of text marketing campaign ideas, including interactive polls, surveys to gather feedback and preferences, and fun contests to keep your audience engaged.

7. Track and analyze performance metrics.

The actionable and insightful amount of data you receive from text marketing campaigns is one of the most beneficial aspects of using text marketing. As you build your database of customers, be sure to monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) such as subscriber growth, open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates. Track these metrics over time to identify trends and see what resonates with your audience. Use these insights to adjust your strategies and maximize the effectiveness of your text marketing campaigns.

Best Practices for Cultivating Loyalty Through Text Marketing

Remember, successful text marketing for restaurants hinges on a few fundamental principles:

  • Keep it personal: Use customer first names in your messages and tailor offers based on past purchases or engagement history.
  • Focus on value: While discounts are attractive, highlight the other benefits of your loyalty program, such as exclusive content, early access to new menu items, or VIP perks.
  • Maintain frequency balance: Text marketing is much more effective because it connects directly to customers. 98% of text messages are opened compared to a much lower email open rate. However, don’t bombard your audience.
  • Make them feel like an insider: People love feeling like VIPs. Your text marketing program can offer exclusive peeks, promotions, or behind-the-scenes content that makes your loyal customers feel like valued members of a special club.

Olive + Leo: Cultivating Loyalty and Driving Results

By implementing these strategies, you can transform your social media followers into a loyal customer base. Text marketing fosters a direct connection with your audience, nurtures relationships, drives repeat business, and ultimately increases your restaurant’s revenue. 

Ready to unlock the power of text marketing and social media integration? 

Olive + Leo’s platform offers a comprehensive suite of tools designed to help restaurants cultivate customer loyalty and achieve their marketing goals. Explore our customizable packages to discover how Olive + Leo can help you leverage the power of text marketing and social media to cultivate lasting customer loyalty and increase revenue for your restaurant. Don’t let those “likes” and comments remain virtual; turn them into loyal customers who keep coming back for more

Small Budget, Big Results: Affordable Text Marketing Ideas for Any Restaurant

A rustic coffee shop without any customers in sight.

Running a local restaurant can feel like a constant juggling act. You pour your heart and soul into creating delicious food and a welcoming atmosphere. But between staffing, ingredients, and keeping the lights on, flashy advertising campaigns often feel out of reach. The reality is that even with limited time and budget resources, effective marketing is crucial for attracting new customers and keeping your loyal ones coming back for more.

That’s where text marketing comes in. At Olive + Leo, we’ve seen firsthand the power of text marketing for restaurants. Here are just a few statistics that speak to its effectiveness: 

Olive + Leo’s customer loyalty platform for restaurants seamlessly integrates text marketing with other digital tools to help you cultivate customer engagement and drive revenue. Our platform allows you to send automated text messages to your restaurant’s customers based on a variety of information and actions. In this post, we’ll share some of our most effective text marketing campaigns designed specifically for the hospitality industry, all with a budget-conscious approach in mind.

Affordable and Effective Text Marketing Ideas for Restaurants

1. Welcome Wagon

Let’s face it—signing up for a loyalty program can feel a bit…meh. Spice things up by sending a text that confirms enrollment and throws in a special offer to sweeten the deal. This will capture the attention of your customers and encourage a return visit soon.

Pro Tip: Don’t overwhelm them right after they sign up. Wait an hour or two after their visit to send the offer, when they’ve had some time to think about their delicious meal and great experience.

2. Birthday Cheers!  

Birthdays are a time for celebration, and restaurants can be a big part of those special days. You can show your customers you care by sending a text offer valid for a designated period around their birthday.

Pro Tip: People often have plans on their actual birthdays. Make the offer valid for a flexible timeframe so they have more options to redeem it.

3. “We Miss You” Offers

Customer loyalty programs are a two-way street. This is where the Olive + Leo platform truly shines. With Olive + Leo’s loyalty program check-ins and text marketing integration, you can automatically send personalized offers to customers who haven’t visited in a while. Think enticing discounts or a free drink based on what’s popular on your menu.

Pro Tip: Tailor your “we miss you” timing strategically. Coffee shops with frequent visitors might send an offer after 30 days, while a high-end restaurant could wait 60 days before reaching out.

4. Unique Food Holidays and Timely Events

Holidays and special events present a golden opportunity to drive revenue with targeted text message promotions. For example, ice cream shops can send irresistible deals on National Ice Cream Day, while sports bars can remind customers about special deals and watch parties during big games.

Pro Tip: Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. What kind of offer would make them choose your establishment over the competition while helping you maintain your profit margins?

5. New Menu Items and Restaurant Events

New menu items and special events deserve to be celebrated! With an average open rate of 98%, text marketing lets you get the word out quickly and effectively. You could send a text message announcing your new menu additions or upcoming events, complete with a captivating description and a call to action to make a reservation or pre-order.

Pro Tip: Don’t bombard your customers with constant texts about new menu items. Information overload can lead to message fatigue and ignored texts.

Increase Customer Loyalty and Sales with Text Marketing

Text marketing is a powerful tool that can be leveraged by any restaurant, regardless of budget. It lets you connect directly with your customers, drive sales, and build lasting loyalty. Olive + Leo’s platform offers user-friendly text marketing tools alongside other digital marketing solutions designed specifically for the hospitality industry. 

Explore our platform and customizable packages to learn how Olive + Leo can help you elevate and enhance your restaurant marketing.

The ROI Revolution: How Text Marketing Delivers Measurable Results for Restaurants

women typing on a keyboard

In the increasingly competitive world of restaurants, marketing is crucial to attract new customers and keep existing ones coming back more often. But let’s be honest: measuring the return on investment (ROI) of certain marketing tactics can be frustrating. Traditional advertising is an important brand awareness tactic, but how do you know who saw that billboard and who actually walked through your doors? Social media can be a great way to connect with your audience, but how can you isolate the impact of a single post?

This is where text marketing emerges as a game-changer for restaurants. At Olive + Leo, we’re big believers in a multi-channel approach to marketing. Social media, email, and traditional advertising all have a role to play in a comprehensive hospitality marketing strategy. However, our platform prioritizes text marketing because it offers a unique combination of direct communication, proven effectiveness, and—most importantly—easily measurable ROI.

The ROI of Text Marketing for Restaurants

Let’s face facts: in the restaurant business, results matter. Here are some statistics that showcase the power of text marketing:

  • Open Rates 

    Text messages boast an average open rate of over 98%, compared to a measly 2-5% for emails. This means your text message is more likely to be seen—a crucial first step in earning attention and driving action.

  • Click-Through Rates 

    People don’t just open text messages; they engage with them! Text messages have an average click-through rate of 36%.

  • Increased Order Values 

    Customers who receive text message promotions spend an average of 17% more per order.

  • Boosts in Repeat Customers 

    Restaurants that use text marketing see a 20-30% increase in repeat business.

  • Cost-Effective 

    Text marketing is one of the most affordable marketing channels available.

  • Personalization Power 

    Text messages allow for personalized communication, creating deeper connections and driving repeat business.

  • Two-Way Communication 

    Text marketing enables two-way communication, fostering a more interactive and engaging experience.

Tracking Campaigns (an Inside Look at the Olive + Leo Platform)

We understand that seeing is believing. That’s why the Olive + Leo platform provides clear and insightful data on your text marketing campaigns. Here are just a few metrics you can track to measure your ROI:

  • New Subscribers by Channel 

    With our campaign dashboard, you can see exactly how many people are joining your loyalty program through text message sign-ups. Analyzing this data can help you understand which tactics are most effective for increasing sign-ups and where to focus your marketing efforts.

  • Redemption Rates of Campaigns 

    Our platform makes it easy to compare campaigns with special offers to campaigns without special offers. Data from this A/B testing can reveal which promotions resonate most with your customers and drive sales.

  • Automated Campaign Effectiveness 

    In addition to one-time text blasts, Olive + Leo provides a variety of automated text campaigns to help you cultivate customer loyalty. For example, you can track the redemption rates of automated rewards sent out for check-ins or birthday offers. With that information, you can refine your automated campaigns and maximize their impact.

Stop Guessing and Start Texting

Text marketing for restaurants isn’t just about sending out a random discount; it’s about building a direct, measurable connection with your customers. With Olive + Leo, you can track your campaigns, understand what works, and see the real ROI of your text marketing efforts in real-time.

If you’re looking for a proven way to engage customers, increase loyalty, and measure results, we invite you to explore our platform. Let Olive + Leo help you take your restaurant marketing to the next level.

How to Turn Your Restaurant Staff into Social Media Managers

friends cheersing their drinks at a restaurant

In the age of Instagrammable everything, a robust social media presence is no longer a luxury for restaurants—it’s a necessity. With 72% of consumers using social media platforms like Facebook to make restaurant or retail decisions, standing out in the digital crowd has become crucial for attracting new customers and building loyalty. 

However, creating a successful social media presence can be daunting, especially for independent businesses with limited resources. Hiring a dedicated marketing team might seem like a dream, and outsourcing to agencies can feel disconnected from your brand’s unique voice. How can you bridge the gap and create engaging social media content without breaking the bank?

The answer lies within your own four walls: your amazing staff. By empowering your staff to become #HashtagHeroes, you can cultivate a vibrant social media presence that resonates with your target audience, fosters customer engagement, and drives sales—all without breaking the bank.

The Secret Sauce: Empowering Your Restaurant Staff to Manage Social Media

For many local restaurants, coffee shops, and bars, your staff can become a secret weapon for social media success. They’re the heart and soul of your business, interacting with customers daily and experiencing the energy firsthand. Imagine harnessing their passion and knowledge to create authentic, engaging content that resonates with your audience.

At Olive + Leo, we’ve seen countless restaurants thrive on social media thanks to the magic of empowered staff. In this article, we’ll explore some best practices that Olive + Leo users and other restaurant managers can use to turn their staff into social media stars.

How can you unlock this hidden potential? Let’s delve into some practical strategies.

1. Content Captains

Designate a content captain for each shift, someone who can be the point person for capturing and posting content. Look for people who are naturally enthusiastic about your brand and comfortable with social media. This individual could be a host or someone with a bit more capacity to manage social media responsibilities while still fulfilling their primary role. 

2. Employee Training Workshops

You don’t want to leave your team in the dark. Consider offering basic social media training workshops to equip them with essential skills like photography basics, storytelling techniques, and best practices for interacting with customers online. Be sure to provide them with clear guidelines on brand voice, content types, and what content to avoid, ensuring alignment with your overall strategy.

4. Micro-Moments and Macro-Impact

Encourage staff to share authentic glimpses into their daily lives. This could be a chef plating a dish with artistic flair, a bartender shaking up a signature cocktail, or a waiter capturing a heartwarming customer interaction. When shared on social media, these micro-moments weave a powerful narrative about your restaurant’s culture and personality.

5. Incentivize Employee Engagement

Offer rewards or incentives for employees who actively contribute to the restaurant’s social media efforts. This could include gift cards, bonuses, or recognition at staff meetings. By engaging and rewarding your staff, you can create excitement about contributing in a major way to the success of your business. 

Social Content Ideas to Ignite Your Feed

Now, let’s fuel your staff’s creativity with some social media content ideas.

1. Behind-the-Scenes Peek

Take your followers on a journey through your kitchen! Showcase the artistry of your chefs, the unique ingredients you use, or the preparation process of your signature dishes.

2. Customer Love

Share positive reviews, testimonials, and photos of happy diners enjoying their meals. This social proof builds trust and encourages potential customers to try your restaurant.

4. Seasonal Specials

Highlight seasonal ingredients, limited-time offers, and special events through eye-catching visuals and engaging captions. This keeps your content fresh and relevant, enticing customers to try something new.

5. Interactive Polls and Quizzes

Engage your audience with interactive polls or quizzes related to food preferences, upcoming events, or menu ideas. Encourage followers to participate and share their opinions.

6. User-Generated Content

Encourage customers to share their photos and experiences at your restaurant by creating a branded hashtag and reposting their content on your own social media channels. This is a powerful way to turn customers into content marketing ideas and create a sense of community among your followers.

Build a Thriving Social Media Presence with Your Team

Remember, with the right approach and a little team spirit, you can turn your restaurant into a social media sensation. All it takes are a few #HashtagHeroes!

Interested in learning more about how Olive + Leo can help? 

Olive + Leo understands the challenges that restaurant owners face in navigating the world of social media marketing. That’s why we’ve integrated social strategy into our digital marketing platform, providing monthly strategy and content recommendations to help restaurants eliminate the guesswork of what to post and when.

Explore our platform and discover affordable solutions designed to equip restaurants, coffee shops, and bars with the tools they need to unleash customer loyalty and thrive in the digital age.

Turning First-Timers into Forever Fans: How Text Marketing Fuels Customer Loyalty

someone using a card reader to pay at a restaurant

The restaurant industry is fiercely competitive when it comes to capturing customer attention and retaining loyalty. New eateries seem to pop up overnight and cultivating loyal customers can feel like an uphill battle. You’ve poured your heart and soul into building your business, fostering a welcoming atmosphere, and crafting a delicious menu. But the fear of losing patrons to a new competitor across the street is a constant thought in the back of your mind.

At Olive + Leo, we understand this struggle. We’ve also seen how text marketing can become the secret weapon your restaurant needs to thrive in today’s competitive landscape. Think of it as hand-held hospitality—a way to extend the warm experience you provide in-house to foster a genuine connection with customers.  

In this post, we’ll explore how text marketing fuels customer loyalty, transforming casual diners into your most passionate advocates.

Benefits of Text Marketing for Cultivating Customer Loyalty

Customers crave convenience and personalized interaction. Text marketing delivers both in spades, making it an ideal platform to build lasting relationships with your patrons. Here’s how:

1. Customers Want to Engage Through Text

Studies show that a whopping 91% of customers express a desire to receive text messages from businesses. Text messaging is a familiar, convenient channel that allows customers to interact with your business on their own terms and at a time that works best for them. 

2. Direct Communication and Personalization

The beauty of text marketing lies in its ability to deliver targeted messages directly to your customers’ pockets and purses. Forget the noise of cluttered social media feeds or the potential for emails to get lost in spam folders. With text messages, you have a direct line of communication, allowing you to personalize your outreach with special offers, birthday wishes, or exclusive deals based on their preferences.

3. Instant Gratification

Modern diners crave immediate satisfaction. Text messages deliver just that. Some studies show that over 50% of consumers make a purchase after receiving a marketing text. Imagine a busy lunch break—a customer receives a text with a special discount on a quick lunch combo they love. With a few taps, they can order it for pick-up, saving time and effort. This convenience enhances the customer experience and fosters loyalty towards your restaurant.

4. Integration with Loyalty Programs

Platforms like Olive + Leo seamlessly integrate text marketing with your loyalty program. This allows you to reward customers for their continued patronage and fosters a sense of value for their commitment. In the next section, we’ll highlight specific ways to integrate text marketing into your customer loyalty program.

Loyalty Program Ideas for Restaurants Powered by Text Marketing

Olive + Leo provides the tools to design a loyalty program that perfectly complements your restaurant’s unique offerings. Here are a few inspiring ideas to get you started:

1. Points-Based Loyalty Program

With the Olive + Leo platform, customers earn points for every visit. These can be redeemed for discounts, free meals, or other rewards.

A common way our merchants incorporate text marketing is by sending customers text notifications with their current points balance, reminders when they are close to earning a reward, and alerts when they have enough points to redeem. For example, you could set up an automated text that says, “Congratulations! You’ve earned enough points for a free appetizer. Show this text to redeem!”

2. Birthday Rewards Program

One simple way to cultivate customer loyalty is to treat customers to a special reward or discount during their birthday month as a token of appreciation.

With the Olive + Leo platform, restaurants can collect birthdays during sign-up or through opt-in and send personalized birthday wishes with special offers via text message at the beginning of the birthday month. For example, send customers a message that says, “Happy Birthday! Enjoy a complimentary dessert with your meal this month. Just show this text when you dine with us.”

3. VIP Treatment for Your Loyalty Program

The Olive + Leo platform also allows you to offer exclusive perks like priority reservations, limited-edition menu items, or complimentary upgrades to customers who sign up for your loyalty program. You can send personalized offers and invitations to VIP-only events via text message or remind loyalty club members of their benefits and encourage them to visit.

4. Feedback and Reward Program

With Olive + Leo’s two-way text communication tool, you can encourage customer feedback on their dining experience by offering rewards for completing surveys or leaving reviews. For example, you could send post-visit text messages inviting customers to participate in a feedback survey with a link provided. This is a powerful way to make customers feel valued. You can take it a step further by offering a reward for completion and texting a thank you with redemption details.

Stop Chasing, Start Connecting

Building a loyal customer base is the cornerstone of any successful restaurant. Text marketing offers a powerful tool for connecting with patrons on a personal level, fostering trust and loyalty.  

Olive + Leo empowers you to leverage the magic of text marketing with customizable packages designed to meet your specific needs. Explore our platform today and discover how text marketing can transform your “first-timers” into your most dedicated “forever fans.”

7 Text Marketing Campaigns to Drive Customers To Your Restaurant

a well manicured hand texting

In the fiercely competitive world of restaurants, coffee shops, and bars, standing out from the crowd can feel like a desperate juggling act. You’re constantly innovating menus, crafting enticing ambiance, and fighting for attention in a digital landscape overflowing with options. But what if there was a secret weapon that could cut through the noise, directly connect with customers, and drive them straight through your doors? Enter the mighty power of text marketing.

Did you know?

  • 98% of text messages are opened within minutes, compared to just 20% of email opens.
  • Customers who receive text messages from restaurants spend 67% more than those who don’t.
  • Text marketing boasts a conversion rate of 20%, compared to just 2% for email marketing.

Text marketing is a game-changer for the hospitality industry, offering a direct line to your customers’ hands and wallets—a line that bypasses the clutter of email inboxes and social media feeds. But let’s be honest; coming up with fresh, compelling text campaigns can feel like orders are stacking up on your KDS or order terminal.

How do you create text messages that stand out and don’t just get ignored?

That’s where we come in! We at Olive + Leo know the power of creative campaigns that resonate with your audience, and we’re excited to share a few of our favorite text marketing ideas to ignite your creativity and send customers flocking through your doors.

1. Flash Happy Hour Deals: Surprise and delight with limited-time offers.

Why it works: Scarcity fuels desire! This unexpected treat entices customers to seize the moment and enjoy a discounted happy hour.

Example: “Flash Happy Hour Alert! Get 50% off all cocktails from 4-6 PM tonight only! Show this text at the bar to redeem. Cheers!”

2. Mystery Flavor Challenge: Spark intrigue and engagement, especially for coffee shops.

Why it works: Curiosity is a powerful marketing tool. This interactive campaign encourages customers to guess the secret ingredient and enjoy the fun.

Text Example: Guess the secret ingredient in our new latte for a chance to win a week’s worth of FREE coffee! ☕️ Hint: It’s not what you think. Text “FLAVOR” if you think you know. (Photo image: Picture of latte with question mark)

3. Exclusive Tasting Events: Create a VIP experience and generate buzz.

Why it works: Exclusivity is alluring! This invitation to a special event makes customers feel valued and entices them to try new offerings.

Text Example: “Exclusive Wine Tasting Event this Friday at 7 PM! Limited spots are available. Reserve now and enjoy a complimentary appetizer on us!”

4. VIP Perks for Regulars: Show appreciation and foster loyalty.

Why it works: Everyone loves feeling special! Recognizing your regulars with exclusive discounts reinforces their value and encourages repeat visits.

Text Example: “You’re a VIP! Enjoy 20% off your next meal as a thank you for being a loyal customer. Show this text to redeem. Valid until [expiry date].”

5. Personalized Birthday Surprise: Make them feel special with a birthday treat.

Why it works: Personalization goes a long way! This gesture of appreciation strengthens customer loyalty and encourages them to celebrate with you.

Text Example: “Happy Birthday, [Name]! Enjoy a FREE [Signature dish/drink] on us to celebrate! Just show this text at checkout. Text “BIRTHDAY” to confirm. (Photo image: the free dish or drink).”

6. The “Secret Bar Speakeasy Experience”: Intrigue and exclusivity for adventurous customers.

Why it works: Mystery and exclusivity are irresistible! This campaign creates a unique experience that attracts curious customers and drives foot traffic to your bar.

Text Example: ” Password needed! Want to unlock a hidden speakeasy menu with exclusive cocktails at our bar? Mention “Bob’s Your Uncle” to the hostess to get access! #SecretBar” (Animated GIF: a vintage keyhole and key)

7. Hidden Gem Hunt: Encourage exploration and local engagement.

Why it works: This interactive campaign combines surprise and local discovery, fostering community connection and foot traffic.

Text Example: ” Explore your city! Find the hidden gem at [landmark] and scan the QR code for a surprise discount! #CityAdventure” (Photo image: a landmark with a blurred QR code)

Ready to Unleash the Power of Text Marketing?

Remember, the key to success lies in understanding your audience and tailoring your message accordingly. Don’t be afraid to experiment, track your results, and personalize your campaigns to truly resonate with your audience. With Olive+Leo’s user-friendly platform at your fingertips, creating and executing these campaigns is easier than ever.

Explore our platform and packages to see how Olive+ Leo can help you create your own text marketing campaigns.

Is Your Restaurant Loyalty Program Working? We See These Issues All the Time (and How to Fix Them)

sitting at a table, taking a bite

For restaurants, coffee shops, and bars, loyal customers are the golden ticket to success. They’re the ones who keep coming back for more, spreading the word, and fueling your business’s growth. But let’s face it: amidst the whirlwind of daily operations, customer loyalty can sometimes fall victim to the “out of sight, out of mind” trap.

At Olive + Leo, we understand the challenges. That’s why we built a platform specifically designed to help local businesses cultivate customer loyalty with ease. With our streamlined text marketing, social media tools, and email marketing features, building a robust loyalty program is within reach, even for the busiest restaurant owner. 

Our team of marketing experts has gleaned years of experience working alongside restaurants and hospitality brands. In this post, we’ll shine a light on common pitfalls and offer actionable solutions to identify the cracks that might be silently leaking away your loyal patrons.

  • Limited Communication Channels: Blasting generic emails or relying solely on social media misses a significant portion of your audience. In today’s increasingly noisy world, it’s essential to diversify your communication with text marketing, social media, email, and in-person interactions to reach customers where they are.
  • Diminished Engagement: When restaurants launch their loyalty program, they often focus on sign-ups rather than maintaining consistent engagement with loyalty program members. This can lead to decreased interest over time. Remember, loyalty is a two-way street! Signing up customers is just the first step. The next phase is regularly offering exclusive deals, personalized rewards, and targeted promotions to keep customers engaged.
  • Rewards That Lose Their Shine: Points and discounts are great, but only if they’re fresh and exciting. Predictable rewards lose their appeal over time. Offer a variety of redemption options, including unique experiences, merchandise, or exclusive access to new menu items.

Another idea is to make redemption easy and flexible. Allow customers to use their rewards through multiple channels and offer diverse options to cater to different preferences.

  • Lack of Insights into Actionable Data: One of the challenges of traditional loyalty programs like punch cards or POS check-ins is that these methods don’t collect data. You need to track key metrics like program engagement and ROI to keep you in the loop about what’s working and what’s not. With customer loyalty tools like the Olive+ Leo platform, you can experiment and measure different offers, messaging, and program elements to identify what resonates best with your customers.
  • Ignoring Feedback: Your customers are your best source of information. Don’t ignore their voices! As you look for ways to cultivate customer loyalty, actively seek feedback on their experiences. Obtaining customer feedback could mean sending surveys and polls through text messages or having casual conversations in person with customers.

Self-Assessment: Diagnosing Your Restaurant’s Loyalty Program Health

Here are a few questions to help you evaluate the following areas to diagnose gaps in your customer loyalty strategy:

  • Engagement and Awareness: How many actively participate? Do new customers understand the program and its benefits? How often do you communicate, and is it personalized?  Are there more effective ways to increase engagement after a new customer signs up?
  • Rewards and Value: Are rewards relevant and appealing? Do they align with preferences and spending habits? Do you offer diverse redemption options, and is the process user-friendly?
  • Feedback and Integration: Is your program integrated with other marketing efforts? Does it align with your overall brand and goals? Do you gather feedback and analyze data to identify areas for improvement?

Olive + Leo: Your Partner in Customer Loyalty

We understand that navigating loyalty programs can be overwhelming. That’s why Olive + Leo is here to help. Our platform is intentionally built with hospitality businesses in mind, providing you with the tools to:

  • Build a robust loyalty database and capture customer information for targeted marketing.
  • Launch engaging text marketing campaigns and send personalized offers, updates, and reminders directly to customers’ phones.
  • Craft strategic social media posts to share promotions, events, and customer testimonials to keep your audience engaged.
  • Manage email marketing campaigns to send targeted emails with exclusive offers and personalized content.

Don’t let loyalty slip through the cracks. Explore our platform, find a package that fits your needs, and start building a loyal customer base that fuels your business success!

A Step-by-Step Guide to Text Marketing for Busy Restaurant Managers

a busy modern cafe

As a restaurant owner or manager, you’re no stranger to the hustle and bustle of the industry. Every day brings new challenges and opportunities, and marketing often takes a backseat amidst the chaos. You know the importance of engaging customers, especially in today’s digital landscape, but the thought of learning a new tech platform or hiring someone else feels overwhelming. 

At Olive + Leo, we understand that busy restaurant managers like yourself wear countless hats. Your plate is already so full managing your team and creating exceptional experiences. That’s why we built a streamlined text marketing and digital engagement platform specifically for busy restaurant owners and managers. Our intuitive platform makes it easy to set up and manage your text marketing campaigns and digital customer loyalty program, even amidst the daily hustle.

Text Marketing Guide for Restaurant Managers

Ready to unlock the power of customer loyalty through text marketing without the tech headaches? Here’s a simple step-by-step guide to get started. (You can also use the Olive + Leo platform to make it even easier.) 

Step 1: Build Your Subscriber List

The foundation of successful text marketing lies in building a subscriber list of customers who opt-in to receive your messages. Here are a few simple best practices: 

  • Empower your staff: Train your team to ask every customer to opt-in when they arrive at the host station or place an order.
  • Sweeten the deal: Offer incentives like discounts or exclusive offers to encourage sign-ups.
  • Spread the word online: Run social media contests or eye-catching graphics promoting your text program.
  • Make it easy: Include opt-in forms on your website, receipts, and in-store signage.

We’ve made it easy for restaurants to build their database with Olive + Leo by providing a sign-in kiosk that’s integrated with our platform. Many of our customers have experienced tremendous success adding hundreds of customers to their loyalty program by placing the kiosk at the check-in station or point-of-sale location.

Step 2: Craft Messages That Make Mouths Water (and Phones Buzz)

As you build your subscriber list, it’s time to craft messages that captivate and drive action. Think about the types of messages and offers that customers might want to receive. Here are a few ideas to help you craft text campaigns that inspire customers to act:

  • Highlight exclusive offers: Promote limited-time deals, flash sales, or loyalty rewards.
  • Create urgency: Use phrases like “limited-time offer” or “ends today” to encourage immediate action.
  • Tell them what to do: Include clear calls to action like “Book a table now!” or “Click here to redeem.”
  • Incorporate creative ideas: At Olive + Leo, we encourage our users to find innovative ways to stand out. Our recent article lists a few of our favorite text marketing campaign ideas for restaurants that go beyond simple offering discounts

Step 3: Unleash the Power of Personalization (Olive + Leo Makes it Easy)

Remember, generic messages are like serving the same dish to everyone, even the picky eaters. Personalization is the secret sauce of successful text marketing. With Olive + Leo, you can:

  • Celebrate special occasions: Send birthday greetings or anniversary offers to make customers feel valued.
  • Send trigger-based texts: Automatically send messages based on engagement, such as “We miss you!” offers if a customer hasn’t checked in over the past 30 days.
  • Use “Thanks for your order!” follow-ups: Show appreciation and encourage repeat business with a personalized thank you.

Step 4: Automate Your Text Marketing (and Free Up Your Time!)

Manually crafting numerous campaigns throughout the week is a recipe for burnout. This is where Olive + Leo shines! With our platform, you can:

  • Schedule campaigns in advance: Plan promotions weeks ahead and set them to auto-launch – no more scrambling at the last minute.
  • Create targeted groups: Send different messages to specific customer segments for maximum impact.
  • Track results like a pro: Determine which messages speak to your audience the most and measure the success of your campaigns.
  • Analyze and adapt: See which messages resonate most with your audience and adjust your strategy accordingly.

Don’t Let a Lack of Time or Technical Chops Hold You Back

Remember, engaging customers takes intentionality but doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. With the right tools and a little effort, you can leverage the power of text marketing to:

  • Boost sales: Drive traffic, promote special offers, and increase order value.
  • Build loyalty: Reward repeat customers, celebrate special occasions, and create a sense of community.
  • Gather valuable feedback: Get direct insights from your customers to improve your offerings.

Ready to unlock the potential of text marketing and take your restaurant to the next level? Explore the Olive + Leo packages to see how our platform can help you effortlessly engage customers and unleash loyalty.