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WhatsApp For Restaurants: A Complete Guide (2024)

June 27, 2024 5 min
Author
Senior Content Manager at Eat App
Reviewed by
Co-founder and CEO of Eat App

Are you ready to tap into the potential of WhatsApp for your restaurant? This guide is here to help you get started with ease. I’ll walk you through how to begin and share strategies that can boost your sales and achieve fantastic results.

WhatsApp is the world’s most popular messaging app, with over a billion users globally and more than 100 million in India alone. It’s a powerful platform to promote your restaurant.

In this post, I'll show you how to use WhatsApp effectively to not only attract more customers to your restaurant, but also keep them coming back happy and satisfied.

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Coming soon: New Eat App Feature

Introducing Automated WhatsApp Messages! Effortlessly send confirmations, waitlist updates, cancellations, and post-dining surveys directly to your guests' WhatsApp. Simply set it up in Eat App and manage your templates. 

Why use WhatsApp for your restaurant?

Using WhatsApp can significantly improve customer experience and satisfaction. Quick, personalized communication is at your fingertips with features like real-time order tracking, automated messages, and feedback collection. These tools ensure smooth interactions and higher customer satisfaction.

And, of course, WhatsApp creators, Brian Acton, and Jan Koum, aimed to provide an alternative to what is labeled as "pricey SMS services".

WhatsApp for restaurants

WhatsApp for your business

WhatsApp Business helps create brand awareness, engage with target customers, and drive sales. With 2 million users worldwide, WhatsApp Business marketing is a fantastic way to communicate more efficiently with your customers and support your business growth by gathering and utilizing customer data.

WhatsApp facts and key statistics 

Web and content writer, Mansoor Iqbal, highlights WhatsApp's power with these key facts.

In short, WhatsApp has been:

  • Downloaded over 5 billion times on Android and iOS.
  • Contributed nearly 1% to Meta's revenue in 2023.
  • Most popular messaging app in over 100 countries (SimilarWeb).
  • Generated nearly $1 billion in 2022, mostly from WhatsApp Business.

It's really one of those powerful messaging tools you need in your marketing toolbox. 

Types of WhatsApp marketing messages

A) Broadcast messages:

Broadcast messages let you send a message to multiple people in your subscriber list with one click. Recipients see the message in their chat with you and can reply to start a one-on-one conversation with your brand.

Digital Marketer Sinegugu Ngwenya shares valuable insights on LinkedIn, noting, “Brands can use the platform to promote, test, and trial products/services using this feature.”

Examples include:

  • Site-wide offers
  • New product launches
  • Tips or valuable content for your audience
  • Technical updates

B) Automated messages:

Automated WhatsApp messages are sent based on specific events or actions taken in the WhatsApp chat or on websites. These messages efficiently manage customer inquiries by providing timely responses and ensuring no message is missed.

Restaurants around the world like Belgian Beer Cafe, Ginger Moon, and Sunset Lounge by Lifestyle have all already adopted the approach to make it easier for their guest to communicate with them directly. 

Restaurants using WhatsApp for support

So, what steps can you take to guarantee your guests get these automated messages? 

Take your restaurant communication a step further

There's a way to integrate WhatsApp with your Eat App restaurant management system, ensuring every message reaches your guests. 

Auto-WhatsApp messages with Eat App

Eat App's Automated WhatsApp Messages feature allows you to send confirmations, waitlist updates, cancellations, post-dining surveys, and more directly to your customers' WhatsApp.

Want to know more about our WhatsApp feature?

Request a demo today

Benefits of adding WhatsApp automated messages

  • Interactive Messages: Let your customers open links, confirm, cancel, or reply with a click of a button.

  • Rich Media: Show your customers what your venue, event, seating options, or packages look like with images.

  • Cost Effective: Much cheaper than traditional SMS.

  • Guaranteed Delivery: Delivery on WhatsApp is higher, and if someone has read your message, you’ll know.

WhatsApp activation options

  • Option 1 - Send Messages via Eat App’s Account: Customers can easily check out using Eat App’s default WhatsApp messaging option. This quick and straightforward setup lets you start sending messages right away with our ready-to-use templates.

  • Option 2 - Send Messages via Your Account: Register your phone number under your business account and connect with Eat App. This way, you have full control over the branding of messages and customizability.

Sign up for Eat App and set up your templates. Plans start at $0.

Expert Tip: Integrate WhatsApp with Eat App

"WhatsApp integration with Eat App allows you to automatically send reservation messages to your customers and manage communication with them, tracking the history of your conversations directly against the reservation," says Joe Boston, restaurant expert and VP of product.

This integration saves you time by alleviating any back-and-forth cross-referencing. Setting up is simple and can be done with just one click, so you can start immediately.

Joe also highlights that "you can send marketing messages and follow-up messages after dining to increase your chances of collecting 5-star ratings. To cover all bases, Eat App allows sending SMS, Email, and WhatsApp messages all at once or choosing the preferred channels and customizing how each message looks."

This setup takes minutes and ensures you get the right service.

Ready to get started and improve your messaging game?

Start for free

WhatsApp ideas for a restaurant

WhatsApp is widely used, making it an excellent platform for promoting your restaurant. Here are some ideas:

  • Send your menu on WhatsApp

  • Promote your loyalty program

  • Share offers and coupons

  • Ask customers to review on WhatsApp

  • Send customized messages or recommendations based on customer preferences

Let's take a better look below. 

Advertise your menu on WhatsApp

Promote your menu on WhatsApp by using QR codes that direct customers to a specific menu link. This allows customers to easily check the WhatsApp food menu online and place orders, providing a seamless and convenient ordering experience.

Promote customer loyalty programs

Promote loyalty programs on WhatsApp to engage existing customers. Effective WhatsApp marketing campaigns can capture customer attention and drive conversions, increasing your customer base and generating more sales.

Restaurant Loyalty Program

Share offers and discount coupons

Create custom coupons and discounts for customers and promote them through WhatsApp marketing campaigns. The WhatsApp Business API can send broadcast messages and manage customer segmentation, helping retail and restaurant businesses engage customers with automated messages and clear calls to action (CTAs).

Our Product Designer, Deon Cardoza advises, "Always ensure your content is respectful and considerate of all your customers. Keep the information brief to quickly capture your customers' attention and excite them about your event."

Ask your customers for feedback on WhatsApp

Collecting customer feedback digitally on WhatsApp helps improve satisfaction by gathering valuable data. Showing you care about their experience strengthens your bond with customers and benefits your business.

Feedback template for SMS or WhatsApp

Hi [Customer Name],

I noticed you visited our restaurant yesterday, and I’d love to hear your feedback! Please rate us on WhatsApp by clicking the link below: [Feedback URL]

Your feedback will help us improve and improve your dining experience. Thanks!

WhatsApp marketing benefits

WhatsApp was meant for personal use but its popularity, ease of use and customer responsiveness make it a great marketing tool.

Promotions and ads: WhatsApp is perfect for promoting and advertising your business. You can share brochures, offers and discounts, menu updates and combos. Keep your customers informed and engaged through WhatsApp updates.

Food ordering: Using WhatsApp as a food ordering system can streamline the process, offering convenience to customers and quick communication with restaurants. Automated messages and CRM system integration can further improve the experience.

Marketing surveys: Inform your customers about new dishes, discounts, and offers through WhatsApp. Conduct marketing surveys by sharing menus and brochures, capturing attention with videos and pictures of your dishes and drinks.

Team building: WhatsApp allows great communication among your team. They can share new ideas, thoughts, problems, and team-building activities and build a strong team environment through easy and effective communication.

Better communication with guests: Two-way messaging on WhatsApp allows for real-time interaction between your restaurant and guests. Customers can ask questions, make special requests, and receive instant responses, improving their overall experience and fostering loyalty.

Two-way WhatsApp messaging

Takeaways

WhatsApp marketing is an excellent tool for restaurants globally, offering benefits like instant responses and quick communication. Start WhatsApp marketing for your restaurant now to send automated campaigns, convert more, retain more, engage more, and sell more.

Contents

Author

Senior Content Manager at Eat App

Elana Kroon used to work in restaurants before becoming a journalist and expert restaurant industry content creator at Eat App.

Reviewed by

Nezar Kadhem

Nezar Kadhem

Co-founder and CEO of Eat App

He is a regular speaker and panelist at industry events, contributing on topics such as digital transformation in the hospitality industry, revenue channel optimization and dine-in experience.

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