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The best time to send marketing text messages for restaurants and takeaways

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Timing is one of the most important factors when it comes to sending any form or marketing message, if not the most important.

Let’s say you were to send a marketing message to your customers at 4.30am. Will you not only get no responses, you will more than likely annoy some of these customers. You will be wasting your time and money, and you could potentially lose some of these customers.

When it comes to sending messages out about food, timing of your message really comes into its own. For example, there is nothing stopping someone buying a pair of shoes, then 20 minutes later receiving a message about a great offer on another pair of shoes and going onto purchasing the second pair.

But when it comes to food, this is not the case.

Receiving a message offering 50% off pizza is great in practice, but if the recipient gets the message 30 minutes after eating, then your message is wasted. Who wants to order food when they are full?

Text messaging is the perfect way to communicate with your customers, knowing that your message will be in their pockets within seconds. Restaurants and takeaways are already using SMS marketing in many ways. So ensuring your message is sent at the right time, is the difference between a great SMS campaign and a bad one.

Like the market research we did on the best time to send text messages for retailers, we thought that all you restaurant and takeaway businesses would like to know when the best time is for you to send your SMS campaigns out.

So we sat down and spent days looking through a whole pile of data, to find out the best times in the week, at the weekend, and some suggests on different times in the year are, you could send your SMS marketing messages out.

Best time to send SMS campaigns – Restaurant & Takeaways
The best time for restaurant and takeaways to send SMS campaigns out is between 5:00 pm and 6:00 pm. This is across all days of the week including Saturday and Sunday. There are over 3 times as many SMS campaigns going out between 5:00 pm and 6:00 pm than the next most popular time.

Best time to send food industry

Best times in the day to send SMS campaigns – Weekdays
3:00 pm – 6:00 pm – This is the perfect time to send messages to customers about booking a table, telling people about your menu, or ordering a takeaway from you. It is a couple of hours before people eat their evening meal, they are probably starting to get hungry, and it gives them enough time to message friends or loved ones about what they should do for the evening meal.

11:00 am – 1:00 pm – The lunch time rush is the second-best time in the week to send a marketing campaign out for the simple reason, it’s lunch time.

There is a special mention for the hour, 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm on a Friday. The rest of the week very few campaigns are sent out after 6:00 pm, but on Fridays the most popular time is between 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm.

Best time to send food industry weekdays

Best times in the day to send SMS campaigns – Weekends
Saturday, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm – The second most popular time on a Saturday is around lunchtime, but with a slight extension compared to the week. People tend to have a less strict eating time on the weekend, so the lunch period can vary. There may also be a fair few people having a lie in meaning all their eating times are pushed back.

Saturday, 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm – Just like in the week, the best time to send is prior to the evening meal, ensuring there is enough time for people to book a table and arrange their evening plans.

Sunday, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm – Same as the week and on Saturday, just prior to lunch is a great time to send marketing offers about food.

Sunday, 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm – Just like Saturdays we see a lot of messages going out over an extended lunch period. But the difference with Sundays, is it continues up until 2:00 pm. This is more than likely due to people having a few drinks the night before and wanting some comfort food when they wake up.

Sunday, 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm – The final time in the week to send your SMS marketing messages out is late Sunday afternoon. Very similar to all the other days, just before people eat.

Best days to send SMS marketing messages
Saturday – The most popular day in the week for takeaways and restaurants to send marketing messages out is on a Saturday. With 94% of messages on a Saturday being sent out between 11:00 am – 6:00 pm.

Friday – Friday is the second most popular day of the week for marketing messages to be sent. There are over twice as many messages going out on a Friday compared to any other day in the week (Mon-Fri).

Best time to send food industry Friday and Saturday

Remember that all the times and days above all suggestions based on our research. We always advice that it’s best to test the best days and times for yourself as these may differ from business to business.

SMS marketing for food infographic


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