Restaurant Short Code Mobile Marketing


mobile marketing

mobile marketing

Restaurant Mobile Marketing has a new tool Short Code. This a new tool is a very effective tool for restaurant marketing. Whats is a short code? How can restaurant use short code and why is it relevant? Mango Kurry shows by utilising concepts of Permission marketing, quality service and customer interaction cycle restaurants can integrate shot codes as a part of restaurant marketing arsenal.

What is Short Code

A short code  is a 5-6 digits code which is assigned to a text. Eg SMS Sizzler to 55677.

Why is Restaurant Short Code Relevant?

There is a lot of noise about social media and engagement. Well customer engagement need not be only online.  It can and must be offline and nearer to home.  Short code marketing allows the customers to opt-in and engage with your brand  to get information, get offers, give feedback, take surveys etc.

Mobile marketing can be put int two categories PUSH marketing or PULL marketing. PUSH  Marketing refers to sms blast where you send an sms to your existing customer base. Its kind of intrudes in their space.  PULL marketing refers to how you pull the customer to interact with you.  This is less invasive and allows for more meaningful interaction by your customers.

How Restaurant Short Code SMS to be used?

Need to add two more concepts to understand how a restaurant short code marketing  can be used effectively.

Permission Based Marketing

The word coined by Seth Godin refers to marketers taking permission from the consumers before advancing to next step in the purchase process.Its applicable to short code as the customer gives explicit permission to send promotional message . Recommed reading Seth Godi n blog or visitng wikipedia to understand the concept better.

Customer Interaction Cycle

A customer interaction life cycle can be divided into 5 stages

1.       Pre Arrival

2.       Arrival

3.       Occupancy

4.       Departure

5.       Post Departure

The paradigm that needs to be kept in mind how can I use restaurant short code marketing before the customer comes, when he has occupied the restaurant and when he left the restaurant.

Building Sales

Sales are b uilt in the foll ways

1.       Find a new customer

2.       Sell to an existing customer

a.       By increasing his frequency of visit

b.      By increasing his average spend

c.       By introducing a new service

How can restaurant short code marketing be used to build sales by focusing both on new customer acquisition and servicing existing customers.  Its is easier and cheaper to sell more to an existing customer than to acquire a new one.

Quality service

The paradigm suggests that service can be improved where the customers can help themselves for the information they want. The customers are co-creators of the experience. In a sense short code allow customers to help themselves to the information required. Getting directions using short code. Making reservation in a restaurant via short code instead of calling them. Customers wants to give feedback and how can you provide another channel for them to communicate.

How can short code be used

1.       Subscribe : Restaurant can use short code to update their database for newsletter and sms based promotions.  This process can be incentivized by giving a small offer. If you  recognise that you can sell more to an existing customer then this is a small price to pay.

2.       Get Feedback: Short code can act as your listening posts and are one more tool for your customers to give you feedback about your product and service. This would allow good and bad news to travel faster within an organisation. A clever web designer can allows the posts to be updated to your website. A seamless integration can be a powerful tool to save time and build a real reputation.

3.       QR Codes: QR codes can be a part of auto responder which can communicate address, link to your Facebook like page, contact details, directions. An effective tool to spread information.

4.       Give direction: Customers want to spread the directions to their guests or want directions to the restaurant. Short Codes can be used to give this information.

5.       Reservation: Customers can make reservation via short code sms. This will act as another channel of distribution for customers.

6.       Up-sell in the restaurant: a customer is seated at the restaurant and is about to order the regular fare and then he see a short code which say “ sms XYZ to 55677 and get a special offer for a 3 course dinner. People  like to win and as such the offer would shift the customer to higher spend. The short code is your added staff selling for you.

7.       Special day offers: Its possible to plan special offers or slow nights like Monday, Tuesday and allow guests to access them. Each day offer something in the form of coupon

8.       Special events: Do you have an offer for Christmas, new years or special food event. Allow customer top get access to this information.

9.       Offer by time of day : A special offer for people who dine early or late.

10.   Offer by customer segment: do you have groups, would like to make a package for them, or whats for someone on a date night or how about something for corporate or gang of girls. Please note that special offers are special and does not mean discount. Don’t try to be cheap. Somebody will always beat you to it.

11.   Promote your marketing programs: Your existing programs which I think should be standard feature in any restaurant like birthday or anniversary program can be communicated on this.  Can you get your guests to opt to birthday program.


The short-code program can have 3 04 4 sub code. Eg SMS Sizzler (1) 55677

1.       Reservation

2.       Location

3.       Tonight

4.       Specials

5.       Feedback


Short code add a lot of muscle to other marketing tool with sms, email, social media, 4 wall marketing .  Short Codes must be used along with other marketing tools. Short code are in a sense a lead generation too for sales, customer feedback for quality, promotion communication tools for marketing, database capturing for database and news letter marketing, information dissemination tool for customer service.

Table to indicate usage of restaurant short code


Pre Arrival Arrival Occupancy Departure Post Departure
Reservation Subscribe Feedback
Specials Contests
Tonight Up-sell
Directions QR Codes


Overall Impact

A typical flow building relation by taking customer permission

1.       Opt ins

2.       Information

3.       Rewards

4.       Promotion messages

5.       Repeat visits

6.       Increase sales

Restaurant Marketing program must have sms short code tool as part of their marketing kit. This is a cost effective tool for your restaurant to Deploy

Please do give your feedback.

Mango Kurry can help you with your restaurant marketing program by using practical and proven tactics to build and support your sales. Mango Kurry is a Kitchen and Restaurant Consultant based in Mumbai India.

About the author 

Sartaj S Bedi

With 20-year restaurant industry expertise, offering insights and expertise in strategy, operations, and quality. He employs a holistic approach to guide clients towards strategic success.

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