Chamberlain’s Steak & Chop House in Dallas has garnered stellar reviews from publications like Gourmet and Zagat Guide. Here’s how it used SMS during the state’s lockdown.
Chamberlain’s Steak & Chop House is a powerhouse in the Dallas dining scene and the recipient of awards from the likes of Wine Spectator and Bon Appetit.
Chamberlain’s needed a way to communicate with customers during COVID-19 about takeout specials.
In the words of the restaurant’s CFO, Sheryl Kirchner, “Our restaurant’s survival would not have happened as well as it has without SimpleTexting.”
A Dallas culinary tradition since 1993, Chamberlain’s Steak & Chop House has received critical acclaim from local and national food enthusiasts alike.
Just last year, it was the winner of the 2019 Readers’ Choice Award for Favorite Steakhouse. No mean feat in the competitive world of Dallas steakhouses.
About a year ago, they started using SimpleTexting to manage a program aimed at local hotel concierges. Then COVID-19 hit.
As Texas began implementing stay-at-home and shelter-in-place orders in March, the team at Chamberlain’s knew they needed an effective way to reach customers.
Already familiar with the ins-and-outs of SimpleTexting, they decided to increase their monthly spend by 2,400%. It was a decision that paid off.
We spoke with Sheryl Kirchner, the restaurant’s CFO, about the role text messaging played in the restaurant’s survival.
Before COVID-19, Sheryl was sending around 100 messages a month to local hotel concierges. Last month she sent over 60,000. How did Chamberlain’s scale its text messaging efforts so quickly?
Firstly, the restaurant already collects customer phone numbers through the third-party booking site OpenTable. Sheryl was able to import these numbers into SimpleTexting easily. Recently she also added a QR code to the bottom of the restaurant’s menu that diners can scan to subscribe to receive future text promotions.
The next step was to create a custom SMS landing page that she could update with the latest specials. From there, all she needed to do was type up her message and hit send.
People then call the restaurant to place an order and receive their pickup time.
"It’s so easy to use. I go in, schedule the message, and then go about the rest of my business. It takes about two minutes."
Sheryl is also quick to compliment SimpleTexting’s support team.
“The support team is very responsive to questions I have, which makes a huge difference.”
Chamberlain’s has been doing email marketing for years. However, the click-through rates (CTRs) on its text messages are 720% higher than the average for emails from restaurants.
When asked about the impact of text marketing on Chamberlain’s, Sheryl explains that they’ve been overwhelmed by the number of incoming orders some days.
“We were sending out texts at 2 p.m., but we started sending them at 3 p.m. instead. That’s because there were less staff then and our phone would blow up immediately after we’d sent the promotion.”
With the opening of a new cigar lounge next door to the steakhouse, Sheryl plans to continue the restaurant’s investment in text messaging now that she knows what it can do.
"Our restaurant’s survival would not have happened as well as it has without SimpleTexting."
If you want to learn more about SMS marketing for restaurants, our restaurant SMS marketing industry guide is a good starting point. You can also sign up for a 14-day, risk-free trial. And, if you have questions about getting set up, email us at [email protected]
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