I bet your customers are hungry right now. Text them about it.
Using SMS for your restaurant can drive up sales and customer satisfaction in many different ways that you might not consider.
But don’t just send text messages to your customers from your personal cell (that’s kind of weird). Our editors have pooled their experience and curated the best SMS software for restaurants to help you find a service for a more streamlined, easy process.
Our Favorite SMS Software for Restaurants
- Lunchbox: Best full-service specifically for restaurants
- UltraSMSScript: Best for cost-effective, self-hosted messaging
- SimpleTexting: Best mobile app
- SlickText: Best for personalized customer engagement
- Mobile Text Alerts: Most integrations
- Text Magic: Best for large restaurants
- Textedly: Best for versatile communication and promotions
- SendHub: Best for streamlined delivery and event updates
- EZ Texting: Best for small restaurants
- ClickSend: Best for integrated digital marketing campaigns
- Trumpia: Best for advanced automated workflows
Best for Small Businesses
Best for Medium to Enterprise
Table of Contents
- Our Favorite SMS Software for Restaurants
- 11 Best SMS Software for Restaurants
- 1. Lunchbox
- 2. UltraSMSScript
- 3. SimpleTexting
- 4. SlickText
- 5. Mobile Text Alerts
- 6. Text Magic
- 7. Textedly
- 8. SendHub
- 9. EZ Texting
- 10. ClickSend
- 11. Trumpia
- Other Uses for SMS Marketing
- What Is Text Messaging for Restaurants?
- What Are the Benefits of SMS for Restaurants?
- How Does Texting for Restaurants Work?
- Uses Cases of SMS in Restaurants
- How to Choose the Right SMS Software for Restaurants
11 Best SMS Software for Restaurants
We did extensive research, so you don't have to. Here are our top picks:
Best full-service specifically for restaurants – 4.5/5 Rating
Full-stack food tech company Lunchbox offers everything from ordering solutions to loyalty programs to marketing, and yes, that includes SMS.
Since they are dedicated to providing services only to restaurants, they’re able to get your restaurant’s brand to be cohesive across all channels, making your SMS marketing strategy all the more targeted and effective.
This also allows for two-way communication between the restaurant and its customers, which is especially helpful when customers may be ordering online and have special requests or questions.
SMS marketing also makes it easier to gain valuable customer feedback, which you can then use to improve every aspect of your restaurant.
- Full-Service for Restaurants
- Cohesive Branding Across Channels
- Two-Way Communication
- Customer Feedback Collection
- Targeted SMS Marketing
- Restaurant-Specific, Less Versatile
- Potentially Higher Cost
- Requires Integration with Existing Systems
UltraSMSScript has been operating since 2012 and is an enterprise-level, self-hosted messaging service for businesses across all industries.
Unlike other service providers who charge monthly fees, UltraSMSScript offers a one-time fee. They don't require any ongoing commitments from their clients. Because they link directly to the SMS gateway, you only pay the price of sending messages.
UltraSMS Script is a bit different than most other SMS services listed here, but it is a one-time-fee SMS marketing software for restaurants that can help them manage SMS communications to their customers, vendors, and employees at a low cost.
- Read my UltraSMSScript Review.
- Self-Hosted Messaging
- One-Time Fee
- Direct Link to SMS Gateway
- Low-Cost Message Sending
- Requires More Hands-On Management
- One-Time Fee vs. Ongoing Support
- Self-Hosting Technical Requirements
Best mobile app – 4.4/5 Rating
SimpleTexting’s SMS marketing service offers exactly what its name implies – simple, intuitive, and accessible text messaging features.
SimpleTexting’s intuitive app allows restaurants to easily facilitate two-way conversations with customers, create drip campaigns, and automate updates right from their mobile phones.
Have regulars? SimpleTexting offers a special feature where restaurants can create unique customer profiles and move these customers into different specific groups. Managing customer data and sending personalized texts has never been easier.
It also offers integrations with Mailchimp, so if you already have an e-mail campaign, you can easily transfer over contacts to SimpleTexting.
Your business can also track clicks and engagements for each SMS, see how many people unsubscribed, and check out detailed breakdowns for each marketing campaign.
Their mobile application allows eCommerce site owners to manage SMS campaigns conveniently from their phones if they don’t have access to a computer.
- Read my SimpleTexting Review.
- Intuitive Mobile App
- Two-Way Conversations
- Drip Campaigns Automation
- Customer Profile Management
- Mailchimp Integration
- Limited Advanced Features in Basic Plan
- Requires Setup for Integrations
- Potential Learning Curve for Drip Campaigns
Best for personalized customer engagement – 4.4/5 Rating
One of the most daunting tasks keeping restaurants from starting their SMS program is the initial setup process.
To make this step easier, SlickText offers a 1-on-1 account set up to help to guide restaurant owners through the process of uploading their contacts and creating their first SMS campaign. They can use their extensive knowledge of what works for their previous clients to educate new customers on best practices.
To make things even easier, SlickText provides a library of SMS templates for restaurant owners.
Besides providing plenty of integrations with its clients' CRM and calendar systems, ClickText also offers a fully functional REST API for crafting and developing the right solution customized to fit your business needs.
- Personalized Customer Engagement
- 1-on-1 Account Setup Assistance
- Library of SMS Templates
- CRM and Calendar Integrations
- REST API for Customization
- Initial Setup Required
- Limited Free Messages
- Advanced Features May Require Tech Knowledge
Most integrations – 4.3/5 Rating
Over ten years ago, Mobile Text Alerts started its company and has since evolved its practices and perfect SMS marketing.
Some of the features restaurants will love include easy two-way conversations with customers via text messaging with automated responses for customer interactions at any time and day.
MobileTextAlerts has a user-friendly dashboard that can be accessed through its mobile app, which makes it easy to stay in touch with customers regardless of where the restaurant owner and employees are.
We love MobileTextAlerts because of their easy integration into so many different platforms. You can seamlessly integrate them into Zoom, WordPress, Gmail, and more.
- Read my Mobile Text Alerts Review.
- Extensive Integrations
- User-Friendly Dashboard
- Automated Responses
- Mobile App Accessibility
- Easy Two-Way Conversations
- Interface May Feel Overwhelming
- Learning Curve for Integrations
- Requires Constant Internet Connectivity
Best for large restaurants – 4.3/5 Rating
With a variety of options and features designed specifically to meet the needs of larger enterprises, TextMagic is our top choice for large restaurants wanting SMS services.
Aside from offering a wide range of traditional SMS systems, text magic offers single sign-on (SSO) features for enterprise clients. Any member of your staff can use secure identity provider (IDP) credentials to access your platform securely and send messages without having to reenter their details each time they want to send a message.
One way for enterprises (or any type of business) to keep track of their SMS campaigns with TextMagic is through advanced analytics and reporting tools. These include log files and role-based access controls, among others.
- Read my Text Magic Review.
- Ideal for Large Restaurants
- Single Sign-On Features
- Advanced Analytics and Reporting
- Role-Based Access Controls
- Secure IDP Credentials
- Higher Cost for Larger Scale
- Complexity in Advanced Features
- Requires Technical Proficiency
Best for versatile communication and promotions – 4.3/5 Rating
Another great option with great features for restaurants is Textedly.
Textedly provides a free, no credit card required 14-day trial so restaurants can test out its service before making any sort of longer-term financial commitment.
Textedly’s services include reservation confirmation and “table ready” alerts, weekly specials, exclusive coupons, and even B2B communication for product and order fulfillment.
- Read my Textedly Review.
- 14-Day Free Trial
- Reservation Confirmations
- Weekly Specials and Coupons
- B2B Communication for Orders
- Pre-Made SMS Templates
- Limited Trial Duration
- Post-Trial Commitment
- Limited Messages in Free Trial
Best for streamlined delivery and event updates – 4.2/5 Rating
Delivery services are so widely used today that it’s almost essential to offer them as a restaurant.
Whether you deliver through a third-party service like Uber Eats or have your own delivery service, SendHub offers automated solutions to keep customers in the loop about their orders.
Restaurant owners can also automate things like discounts, deals, happy hours, and collaborations with other restaurants.
SendHub also offers the option to send customers updates about any special events. Many restaurants today either have a food truck that they take to special events or operate solely out of a truck, and SMS is a great way to keep customers updated on where your food truck is today.
- Streamlined Delivery Updates
- Automated Discount and Event Alerts
- Special Event Updates
- Easy Integration with Booking Software
- Reservation Confirmation Texts
- Limited Customization in Templates
- Learning Curve for Automation
- Requires Setup for Integrations
Best for small restaurants – 4.1/5 Rating
With plenty of integrations and reasonably priced packages, EZ Texting is our pick for smaller mom-and-pop restaurants wanting to dip their toes into the wonderful world of text messaging.
With a starting price of $19 per month (yeah, THAT cheap) with the option to purchase more messages as you go, we think EZ Texting is great for smaller businesses with tight budgets who don't necessarily need thousands and thousands of text messages per month.
Aside from affordability, EZ Texting is… well… EZ to use.
For example, they offer pre-made templates for every step of the customer journey, including signing up, picking a plan, and sending out messages. You can even generate a QR code, upload images or videos to your messages, and create shortcodes for users to opt-in easily.
- Read my EZ Texting Review.
- Affordable for Small Restaurants
- Easy to Use
- Flexible Pricing
- Pre-Made Templates
- QR Code and Media Options
- Limited Features in Basic Plan
- Extra Cost for More Messages
- Basic Plan May Not Suit Growing Needs
Best for integrated digital marketing campaigns – 4.1/5 Rating
ClickSend is an easy-to-use text messaging service designed specifically for restaurants of any size.
Restaurants can use a cloud-based app to manage various digital marketing campaigns, including email, SMS, Facebook, and WhatsApp messages, all in one place.
Restaurants using ClickSend have the option to send customers confirmation texts regarding reservations to eliminate no-shows and increase profit, as well as integrate their booking software with ClickSend to automate those reminders.
You can also alert your customers of any specials or new menu items you may have to increase customer retention.
- Read my ClickSend Review.
- Integrated Digital Marketing
- Cloud-Based App
- Multi-Channel Campaign Management
- Reservation and Special Alerts
- Customer Retention Tools
- Learning Curve for Cloud-Based System
- May Require Technical Setup
- Limited Customization Options
Best for advanced automated workflows – 4.0/5 Rating
Trumpia is a mobile messaging service provider with a proven track record of success when dealing with restaurant SMS messages
If you already have a business phone number, you can use Trumpia’s easy landline texting option. This gives users the power to text via their already existing landline.
Trumpia offers services beyond SMS, allowing users to create customized workflows tailored to create streamlined communication between employees. Your servers will never miss another shift (well, in theory.)
Some of Trumpia’s notable clients in the food service industry include Jamba Juice, Dairy Queen, and IHOP.
- Advanced Automated Workflows
- Landline Texting Option
- Customized Communication
- Streamlined Employee Communication
- Notable Industry Clients
- Learning Curve for Automation
- Setup for Landline Texting
- May Require Technical Knowledge
Other Uses for SMS Marketing
What Is Text Messaging for Restaurants?
Text messaging for restaurants is an easy, effective way to keep in contact with customers and employees.
There are many SMS software services out there that have streamlined services for restaurants of all sizes, making it easier to communicate through text notifications about special events, reservation confirmations, and weekly deals.
These services will create a new number for you, so you aren’t just texting customers from your personal phone, and some let you integrate other CRM and booking systems so that you can automate communications.
What Are the Benefits of SMS for Restaurants?
Keep Employees up to Date
SMS is a great way to communicate with your whole team.
Things like scheduling, recruiting, communication with prospective future employees, and general administrative tasks are so much easier with SMS software.
Booking Requests and Reservation Reminders
Reservations can quickly become challenging to manage, but they’re also a great way to ensure customer satisfaction and the best possible customer service.
Don’t get caught losing track of reservations.
By using SMS software, you can enable customers to book through text and send them reservation confirmation texts to eliminate no-shows and seat tables faster.
Communicate Easily With Customers
Using many of these SMS software options, you can utilize two-way communication.
If you offer online ordering or delivery options, customers may have questions or special requests that they want to communicate to you.
Let customers get the responses they need quickly by using SMS communication.
How Does Texting for Restaurants Work?
Texting for restaurants makes communication between restaurant owners, employees, and customers easy. Notably, it’s an extremely successful digital marketing tool to drive up customer satisfaction
All that a restaurant has to do is set up an account with an SMS software company and add their list of contacts, integrating their SMS service with other accounts like Mailchimp or Gmail.
Check out our list of SMS templates to use for your restaurant >>
The restaurant can then automate things like texts about weekly specials, integrate with reservation software, and give updates on any special events.
Within the company, you can also communicate between employees and send schedule reminders.
Restaurants can also set up two-way messaging to increase customer satisfaction by answering any questions customers might have about their orders in real time.
Uses Cases of SMS in Restaurants
Jack in the Box
Geo-targeting SMS efforts allow Jack in the Box to send more personalized and topical messages about deals, offering special promotions to places where large events are happening (like the Superbowl, for instance.)
“We’ve overlaid our delivery service provider (DSP) coverage zones against our text messaging subscriber sign-ups. By doing so, we’re able to send highly targeted offers and communications.” – Shannon Murphy, Sr. CRM Manager, Jack in the Box
Baked By Melissa
As a small business that sells small cupcakes, Baked By Melissa has learned its customers’ habits. In this case, the customers are last-minute shoppers.
To take advantage of this, the company sends special discount codes and shipping deadline reminders by SMS to customers around holidays. This creates a sense of urgency for customers around their busiest times of the year, driving up profits and customer satisfaction.
How to Choose the Right SMS Software for Restaurants
If your restaurant is looking to set up SMS software, the first thing you need to do is consider your budget. How much are you willing to spend monthly, or would you rather use a one-time fee, downloadable self-hosted platform?
Then, consider functionality. How many employees do you need to communicate with? Do you want two-way communication available to customers? Do you need to offer customers a way to schedule reservations? How about booking confirmations and special event updates?
How comprehensive your SMS software is should also play into your choice. Many SMS companies for restaurants also offer services like analytics, loyalty programs, and ways to track customer interaction and satisfaction.
After considering everything, do a comparative analysis of the many SMS software options available on the market and decide what is right for your restaurant.
What is the best SMS software for small restaurants?
EZ Texting is the best SMS software for small restaurants.
What is the best SMS software for large restaurants?
TextMagic is the best SMS software for large restaurants.
How can I use SMS for my restaurant?
You can use SMS for sending promotional materials, alerts about sales, and general updates to your business to customers. You can also use SMS to communicate between employees.
Is SMS marketing legal for restaurants?
Yes, SMS marketing is legal for restaurants as long as customers decide to opt-in.