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16 Creative Restaurant Promotion Ideas to Send Via SMS

person taking a picture of their food

The only thing harder than running a successful restaurant is making sure that you are maintaining a loyal customer base while also consistently bringing in new customers. SMS marketing can be a powerful tool to help you do just that. 

SMS messages have a much higher open rate than email, so it is a more effective way to communicate with your customers and let them know about new menu items and promotions you’re offering.

16 Restaurant Promotion Ideas (+ Free Templates)

There are many opportunities to promote your restaurant in different contexts. You can promote the restaurant itself and advertise specific menu items, and you can also incorporate external sources like local events and charities into your marketing strategy that will ultimately be beneficial for everyone involved. 

Below we will go over a few beneficial opportunities and break down each into a few subsections.

Remember that a customer must agree to receive messages from your company in order for you to remain compliant with the TCPA, and to send opt-out messages occasionally. 

Leverage Local Events and National Holidays


Mother's Day promotion ideas for restaurants often look the same. Stand out by doing something different, like creating a special menu or encouraging customers to tag their mothers on social media to win a gift card.

  • Celebrate Mother’s Day at [restaurant name] and try out our special “Mom’s Menu”! Call [phone number] to make a reservation today!
  • Mother’s Day is around the corner! Tag your favorite mom in the comments of our [Facebook/Instagram/Twitter] post [link to post] and one winner will be randomly selected to win a $25 gift card to [restaurant name]!

Local Sporting Events

If your restaurant is located close to a sporting arena or has local high schools or colleges, you can take advantage of a big game or cross-town rivalry and offer discounts for customers who show their tickets.

  • Ready for the big game? Come on down to [restaurant name] and enjoy 10% off any appetizer when you show your game ticket!
  • We at [restaurant name] support our [local school team name]! Anyone wearing [team name] gear on game day will get a free medium drink with the purchase of an appetizer!


You can give back to the community by helping a family in need, a local school, or fundraising for a well-known charity. This will give your restaurant some good PR, while also generating positive relationships with the community and giving to a good cause.

  • In support of [charity cause], [restaurant name] is donating 20% of all purchases on [day of week, calendar date] to [charity name]! Come and enjoy some great food for a great cause!
  • We here at [restaurant name] are proud to support [local school name]! We will be donating 20% of all proceeds on [day of week, calendar date] to benefit their arts program!  

Showcase Specific Menu Items

Highlight New Menu Items

If you are launching a new menu item and want to get the word out about it, an SMS blast can let your customers know that you’re updating your menu and keeping up with seasonal produce.

  • [restaurant name] is introducing our seasonal menu items! Here for a limited time only, hurry before they’re gone!
  • New menu item alert! [restaurant name] is introducing [menu item]! Come try it today!

Give Unpopular Items a Boost

You can decrease your food waste and increase your sales on unpopular items by promoting them and also pairing them with your best-sellers at a discount.

  • For a limited time, you can get 20% off any [worst seller] when you order a [best seller] at [restaurant name]
  • [restaurant name] is now offering a mix and match menu! Choose a combo of an appetizer, entree and dessert off our special menu for only $25! 

Run Specials During Slow Times

You can increase sales during the slowest times of the day by offering discounts or special promotions to encourage customers to come in. Early bird specials or late-night happy hours are commonly used promotions. 

  • Come and enjoy late-night happy hour at [restaurant name] and check out our new late-night menu! From 8 pm to 10 pm, Mon-Thurs.
  • The early bird gets the worm! [restaurant name] is offering 15% off any breakfast item before 7 am for a limited time only!

Reward Loyal Customers

Punch Cards

A great way of increasing repeat customers is to offer punch cards, where every time a customer makes a purchase, they get a hole punch or a stamp on their card, and after a certain number of purchases, they are rewarded with a free item.

  • [restaurant name] is introducing our loyalty punch card program! With the purchase of 9 entrees, get the 10th entree for free!

Tiered Discounts

A tiered discount means that you offer a bigger discount for each larger purchase. For example, $5 off purchase of $50, $10 off purchase of $100, etc. This is a great way to get more orders because the more they order, the more they save!

  • [restaurant name] wants you to bring your friends over! For a limited time, we are offering 5% off 1 entree, 10% off 2 entrees, and 15% off 3 entrees! The more the merrier!

Bonus Items

Give your customers a free treat when they make a purchase, such as a small dessert when they order an entree. This can also be used to increase sales on less popular items, as the customer is incentivized to order it to get the freebie.

  • For a limited time only, [restaurant name] is offering a free dessert when you order one of our select entrees! 
  • You can get a free pretzel with the purchase of any drink during our regular happy hour! Come down to [restaurant name] and check out our awesome drink menu today!

Send Your Restaurant Promo Texts With Texting Base

Running a restaurant can be chaotic and stressful, but marketing it doesn’t have to be. SMS marketing is a cost-effective, easy way to get the word out about your food and attract new customers. You can use one of the mother's day promotion ideas for restaurants above and set up an automated message and Texting Base will do the rest for you.

Find out just how much SMS marketing can do for your restaurant by starting your free trial of Texting Base today!