How Texting Helped Mendocino Farms Launch Online Ordering

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When this beloved fast-casual chain decided to launch online ordering, they used text messages to gather email addresses from interested customers.

People are in love with Mendocino Farms. Founded in 2003, this fast-casual chain has swept over the West Coast with its chef-driven sandwiches. Take a bite of one and you’ll quickly taste why. Roasted chicken breast, Applewood smoked bacon, Havarti cheese, arugula, red onions, herb aioli…hungry yet? Oh, and they have salads too. Ones you’ll actually be excited to eat.

There’s just one thing that Mendocino Farms was missing—online ordering. Customers asked for it, and the team at Mendocino listened. This year, they launched the ability to order online across all their locations. Before the big launch, they knew they wanted to send out an email announcing the news to customers. That just left one question: how could they easily gather the emails of interested customers at all 27 locations? Because every customer has their cellphone with them and sending a text only takes a second, SimpleTexting was the answer.

“We started thinking about ways to capture guest interest and their associated email address. That’s when we started looking for texting platforms,” explains Erin Corcoran, Mendocino Farms’ Director of Technology.

Collecting Emails Using Text Messages

SimpleTexting’s data collection feature allowed Erin’s team to collect customer info via SMS. Here’s how it works: first, customers text in a short word or phrase—also known as a keyword—to 555888. Once they text in this keyword, they’re automatically sent a message asking for their email. After they reply, the info is safely stored in SimpleTexting. Finally, it can be exported to any email marketing platform or synced automatically using one of our integrations.

Today 11:15 AM
Mendo1
To find out when we launch online ordering for our California Plaza location, please reply to this text with your email address.
amanda.65@gmail.com

Creating Keywords for Every Location

Not every location launched online ordering at the same time. This meant that Erin and her team needed to have email addresses separated by location. They did this by creating a unique keyword for all 27.

“We searched a lot before landing on SimpleTexting. A lot of the platforms make you pay extra for each keyword. SimpleTexting has been easy for us, and easy for our guests,” says Erin.

Every SimpleTexting account comes with unlimited keywords. But this wasn’t the only feature that helped Erin with the decision to move forward with SimpleTexting:

“We appreciated the ability to make it conversational, where guests are asked to reply back with their email and then that information is stored. That’s what set SimpleTexting apart for us,” says Erin.

The user-friendly experience was another deciding factor. As she explains, “From the time we signed up to the time we had it implemented was about 24 hours.”

Of course, creating keywords was just the first step. The next was to advertise them. The team at Mendocino Farms placed the keywords across different in-store collateral. This included business cards near the cash registers as well as large signs near the online ordering shelving.

Now Online, Next Across the U.S.

The word about Mendocino’s amazing food is out, and they have no plans of slowing down. At the time of this article, online ordering is launched across 25 of the 27 open locations. And soon they’ll even be opening their first restaurant outside of California. If you’re in Houston, get excited. Your sandwich game is about to be stepped up.

Curious about using text messages at your restaurant? Sign up for a 14-day free trial and see how easy it is to collect customer info and get in touch with your audience.

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