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How to text customers when their order or table is ready

Sending a text message when a customer's food or table is ready is just one way to run a restaurant more efficiently with text messaging.

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A decade ago, ordering food typically meant choosing between pizza and General Tso’s chicken, with both options likely to show up at your doorstep lukewarm. 

The rise in online food delivery through apps like UberEats and DoorDash has changed this. 

Now, whether you fancy a steaming bowl of phở or lobster mac and cheese, chances are you can have it delivered within the hour without having to look up from your phone.

Beyond the new abundance of options, the growth of food delivery apps means that customers have come to expect a level of convenience from their experiences with restaurants. 

While successful restaurants have always prided themselves on high-quality customer service, technology has changed consumers’ expectations. 


Why you should send “Your order is ready” texts

Let’s say a customer calls your restaurant and places a to-go order and your staff gives them a time frame for pickup. 

So much can go wrong from here. The customer may be late because they got sidetracked on their way out the door, meaning the food is cold by the time they arrive.

If the customer places an order during the lunch or dinner rush and their order isn’t quite ready, they may have to stand around and wait. This could cause frustration for the customer and for your staff who have to navigate around them and answer questions about pickup time.

A simple “your order is ready for pickup” text can help make to-go orders run much more smoothly. 

Similarly, if a customer wants to dine in and there are no seats available, your staff will need to track them down when a table is ready or use a clunky buzzer system.

Not only are buzzers routinely lost or stolen, but when wait times are long, your customers are stuck standing awkwardly in your doorway, afraid to go out of range. It’s the complete opposite of convenience, and no one enjoys it. Not you, and definitely not your customers.

You can make this process more convenient for your customers by sending them a “your table is ready” text message.

Most people walk around with a cell phone, so texts are the most efficient way to communicate with people while they’re on the go. Plus, you don’t have to worry about background noise or the range of a buzzer. 

Not only will your internal processes be smoother, but your customer satisfaction will also be higher.

How to send “Your order is ready” text messages

Sending order update text messages is as simple as creating a reusable template, entering the customer’s number, and sending the text from a phone or desktop.

Here’s how:

1. Create an SMS template

After signing up for an SMS platform (you can try ours free for 14 days), create a message template that you can instantly reuse when a customer’s order or table is ready.

With SimpleTexting, you can create template text messages. Navigate to your inbox and then follow the steps in this article to create a reusable template text.

Creating a custom inbox template

2. Enter the customer’s phone number

Next, ask the customer for their telephone number and let them know you’ll send them a text notification. 

3. Send the text message

To send the text that the customer’s order is ready, we recommend having an open tab on your computer that’s logged into your SMS service provider. That way, when the kitchen lets you know the order is ready, all you have to do is pull up the message template and click send. 

If you’re using SimpleTexting and your staff doesn’t have access to a computer, you can use our mobile app, which works on iOS and Android, as well as iPads.  

An example "order is ready" text message

You can use the same process on these devices to send texts letting customers know their table is ready.

“Order is ready” text message best practices

Your texts should achieve two basic goals:

  • Notify the customer that their order is ready for pickup (e.g., the order number, or items).
  • Let them know what needs to happen next (e.g. where to go to collect their order).

These elements are only the backbone of a great order update text, but you can add the cherry on top with details like:

  • A message thanking them for their business
  • A limited-time offer on their next purchase
  • An invitation to follow your restaurant on social media
  • A request to leave a review

These are easy-yet-effective ways to turn the humble, “your order is ready for pickup” text into a marketing tool. 

5 “Your order is ready for pickup” and “Your table is ready” templates

"your order is ready for pickup" text message template from a sushi restaurant

Need a little bit of inspiration for your text messages? Below are five “your order is ready” and “your table is ready” templates for you to use. 

  • “Hi! Your order from [restaurant name] is now ready for pickup. When you arrive, head to the pickup counter and give a staff member your name. If you enjoyed your order, please leave us a review to help us spread the word: [review site link]”
  • “Your order is ready for pickup! We’ll see you at the pickup counter. Show or mention this text next time you order for 10% off.”
  • “Hi [customer name], your curbside order is ready for pickup. We’ll see you soon!”
  • “Hi [customer name], your table for 5 is now ready. We’ll hold it for the next 5 minutes.”
  • “Your table is ready! Please come to the host stand to be seated.”

“Your order is ready” text messages are just the tip of the iceberg

Sending pickup order texts or table notifications are just a couple of ways you can use SMS to improve your customers’ experience. You can also send marketing messages like weekly specials and exclusive promotions via text. 

Here are some of the ways restaurants are using text message marketing:

Have questions about how to send order ready texts?

Our team of SMS marketing experts would love to help and are here seven days a week. Text or call us at (866) 450-4185, or use the chat icon at the bottom of your screen.

Drew Wilkinson
Drew Wilkinson

Drew Wilkinson is the Head of Marketing at SimpleTexting. Drew has more than a decade of experience managing successful integrated marketing programs to build brands, raise awareness, and generate demand.

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