Despite major blowbacks from the beginning of COVID-19, those in the hospitality industry — hotels and restaurants — are now reported by the Wall Street Journal to be “among the country’s fastest-growing employers.” This is a stark contrast to when bars and restaurants were forced to shut down or only offer take out services. Some bars were mandated to include food if alcohol was ordered. Restaurant management had to lay off the workforce since they didn’t need as much wait staff. Hotels also had to close down and customers were skeptical of returning right away. And if a restaurant or bar were inside of a hotel, it’s as if two strikes were against it for a bounce back.

Hotels and restaurants adhered to a new way of ensuring sanitation and safety procedures. This included laying off the workforce and embracing online ordering with technology. Tech companies scaled and hired more staff to meet the increased technology demand. Now, the tides have turned as tech companies overcompensated the relied continuation of technology. The Wall Street Journal notes that “pre-pandemic consumer habits, rising interest rates and fears of an economic downturn have prompted some companies to recalibrate their head counts.” That’s tech companies scaling back now while the hospitality industry is primed to rebuild. 

This change in hiring means a robust effort by those in the restaurant and food services industry. Kroger is even looking to ask former employees back to meet the newest demand. In February, the hospitality industry placed 105,000 new workers — “bars and restaurants accounted for the bulk of those gains, adding 69,900 workers last month. Hotels saw payrolls grow by 14,400, while amusement, gambling and recreation businesses brought on 12,900 new workers.” 

How can you meet the needs of consumers and workers flocking to the hospitality industry? Text message marketing for restaurants and hotels allows you to recruit and place candidates faster as well as communicate with your customers more effectively. With a 98% read rate and 48.5% average response rate, restaurant and hotel text messaging will get candidates, employees, and customers engaging with you so you can get back to the vibrant hospitality wave before the pandemic.

SMS Restaurant Benefits

The restaurant industry has different factors impacting the results of hiring and consumerism. The first is understanding the type of food and beverage offered — a full service restaurant, a bar only, fast food, a buffet, snack and non-alcoholic bars, food trucks, and caterers. All had different regulations during the pandemic and recovery has been different, too.

The restaurant industry also has fluctuation in hiring due to part-time and seasonal employees especially with high school and college students looking for jobs at different times and locations. Students, for example, may work out-of-state while in college and then go back home to work at another restaurant in the summer. Because of this shift and the differences in economic recovery by state, the hiring rebound is different for each state. 

According to the National Restaurant Association, “As of December 2022, eating and drinking place employment in 17 states surpassed their comparable pre-pandemic readings in December 2019. This group was led by Nevada (+10%), Texas (+9%) and Utah (+7%).”

SMS marketing for restaurants lets you create specific campaigns if you are a national restaurant chain that may have different locations in states. You can set up SMS campaigns by region or state to hire for specific roles that may be in a hotter market. The same is true if you are in a state that has higher in-person seating and patron visits since the pandemic — you can schedule SMS promotional offers to bring customers back in and take advantage of the reasons to celebrate in person in restaurants.

“Sales at food services and drinking places in January increased by 7.2% compared to December and 25.2% versus the year prior.” US Census Data

The best ways to use text message marketing for restaurants include:

Use keywords to subscribe candidates and customers into your text message campaigns.

Offer promo codes to customers.

Send job requirements to candidates.

Schedule interviews and reminders for candidates.

Confirm diner reservations.

Schedule last minute shifts for servers.

Alert diners when tables are ready.

SMS restaurant text messages easily let you communicate with both staff and customers during this time of high demand in dining. 

Even though customers are ready to come back into the restaurant, the workers may not be there. The National Restaurant Association also found that “62% of restaurants admit to being understaffed and 87% percent of operators say they’ll likely hire additional employees during the next 6 to 12 months if qualified applicants are available.” 

Text message marketing for restaurants can help you stay connected to potential staff so that when the busy seasons come around, you already know of people who will want to come back to work for you.

Business Insider gathered some of the big brands in the restaurant industry that are hiring:

In late January, Chipotle said it wants to hire 15,000 workers. The company also plans to double in size in the coming years.

Starbucks has about 1,500 jobs available in the US including baristas and shift supervisors.

McDonald's lists more than 50,000 jobs available in the US including crew members, assistant managers, maintenance workers, and guest experience leads.

Olive Garden lists more than 7,300 job openings, with a particular need for bartenders.

Shake Shack has 464 restaurant jobs open across the US.

SMS marketing for restaurants can create campaigns for enterprise restaurants to effectively recruit and place candidates across the country in a variety of roles.

SMS Hotel Benefits

Seeing hotel payrolls grow by ~14,000 is a step in the positive direction considering it was hardest hit during the pandemic. The American Hotel & Lodging Association “estimates that the pandemic reverted 10 years of job growth in the US hotel industry, as over 670,000 hotel industry jobs and almost 4 million hospitality jobs were lost in 2020.” 

How do you come back from a decade of deficit? A hotel text messaging system lets you quickly rebuild your relationships with customers and employees. Many consumers were reminded of how many hotel brands they visited when the pandemic hit because all of the hotel chains sent out emails with messages about either shutting down or changing visit requirements and regulations. The email unsubscribe may have been hit hard. Use hotel text messaging to build back not only revenue and jobs but also customer satisfaction.

The best ways to use hotel text messaging include:

Send promotional codes.

Send feedback surveys.

Use keywords to opt in customers and candidates to specific campaigns.

Book hotel stays.

Confirm and remind customers about reservations.

Send rich media for check in requirements, maps, parking information.

Offer concierge services during stay.

The US Travel Association “estimates about 2 million open roles remain unfilled in leisure and hospitality.” A hotel text messaging system can help you fill those open roles. Our data shows that 85% of candidates respond after the first text message and 70% of candidates respond within two hours.

Business Insider lists the following open roles at large hotel brands:

Marriott International has more than 4,000 full-time job openings currently listed in the US, from housekeepers and cooks to front desk workers.

Hilton lists roughly 1,600 jobs available in the US. Jobs span from a senior events manager in New York City to housekeepers and pastry cooks nationwide.

InterContinental Hotels Group has 555 jobs available ranging from room attendants for suites to bell persons and a Banquet Sous Chef in Boston.

Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts has more than 700 full-time jobs including baristas, banquet chefs, and overnight bell and manager roles.

Hyatt Hotels has 193 open roles including housekeepers, front desk agents, and sales administrative assistants.

“87% of hotels are short-staffed, with housekeeping being a top need.”  American Hotels & Lodging Association study

With so many hotels looking for housekeeping roles, SMS hotel campaigns are the best way to target candidates and the messaging to recruit for these specific roles. A role such as housekeeping could easily see candidates pick another industry to work in or even start their own cleaning company after they were laid off from hospitality.  Housekeepers may not be on their computer during the day since they are mobile — they will be on their phones, though. And an SMS hotel notification can elicit a quicker response than requiring a candidate to send a long email and sifting through spam. 

Brand recognition and trust will matter in recruiting for these hotel roles. Hotel text messaging builds trust by creating personal and engaging conversations while also giving the ability to send job roles as they come up. Brand recognition and loyalty will also bring customers back to your hotel as they are becoming more ready to travel.

TextUs SMS Marketing for Restaurants and Hotels

Our features make restaurant and hotel text messaging a breeze! Some of the most useful features include: 

Schedule text messages: Your travelers may be coming from all over the country and world! That means they may want to receive a message when you are not working. You can schedule your message when it’s convenient for both you and your contacts! 

Different apps: TextUs has a web app, mobile app, and Chrome Extension so no matter how you need to use it, it’s accessible to you and works in real-time! Whether you are at the front desk and working on a computer or on your feet cleaning room-to-room, you can stay connected with your team and customer requests. 

Shared inboxes: Don’t waste time wondering if a colleague has already talked to a candidate or customer! See the exact message conversation history without having to guess, bother your colleague, or look disjointed by repeating something to a customer or candidate. No matter which shift you work on, you will feel like you didn’t miss a thing, and your customers and candidates will notice the seamless experience. 

Campaign analytics: Discover which messages really work with each of your audiences so you can continue to do more of what will keep your restaurants and hotels booked! 

Keywords: Easily opt-in customers and candidates to receive text messages from you. Stay compliant with SMS regulations by managing opt-outs. Schedule automated responses to frequently asked questions to give quick replies to answer contact’s questions. 

We are a feature rich company supporting high functionality, but we also execute at a high level and are relational. Part of the hospitality industry is providing quality customer service — and we do the same. Our users love us: G2 rates us as a leading conversational texting platform for mid-market and enterprise companies. This means we can help your restaurant or hotel communicate with your contacts so that you can continue to provide them with exceptional service while they visit you and while you communicate with them.

Sample text message marketing for restaurants and hotels

Why wait to start texting customers and candidates at your hotel or restaurant?! Copy these sample text messages and edit to fit your specific needs, roles, and promotions! 

Farrah: Respond with “JOBS” to sign up for text messages about open positions with HotelsInc.

Bob: It’s March Madness! Come in during games for half off apps and drinks. (insert GIF of march madness and food celebration)

Theresa: We have a last minute bartender shift on Friday night. Text back if interested. Thanks, Marie!

Justin: Thank you for booking your anniversary celebration at Skyline Restaurant on 4/12 at 7pm. (insert ics with details)

Grace: Your table for part of 3 is now available. Please see the hostess - thank you!

Luke: Kauai deals are here! Use promo code “ISLAND” when booking for 25% off your package.

Isabella: Thank you for staying at the Inn in College Park. Please respond how would you rate your experience 1 being the worst and 5 being the best?

Anthony: Text “DEALS” to subscribe to our travel text messaging communication for promos and best rates.

Miley: Here is a map of our property for where you can check in and park. We are looking forward to serving you! (insert image with relevant details)

Brendan: Welcome to Island Resort! Text this number for any concierge needs you have while staying including excursions, recommendations, or room needs. Enjoy your stay!

If you are looking for more templates, take a look at our vacation rentals text message examples, which is full of ways to communicate with customers from booking to before, during, and after their stay. 

Ready for the full restaurant and hotel text messaging experience? Contact us today!