Chef Marco Bruni opens Madrugada in the Meatpacking District of NYC

The opening of Chef Marco Bruni’s new restaurant Madrugada was being managed by a Manhattan-based event planning firm who is our client.  This is the third restaurant for Chef Marco Bruni, so in the weeks before the launch, the event planning firm collected mobile numbers from patrons of the other two popular restaurants.  They wanted to use group text messaging as a way to build momentum and excitement for the launch of Madrugada.

The firm felt that most restaurant goers were reluctant to give their mobile numbers. So they decided to offer a special discount of one free entrée on Monday night for each person that gave their mobile number.  They were very careful in using the mobile numbers and only sent group text messages that offered a discount or the announcement of a new item added to the menu with a short link to articles about Chef Marco Bruni, food reviews and the restaurant’s new website.

In order to increase customer engagement, they started a new campaign that offered, special nights of the week when patrons could try a new, one-of-a-kind tasting menu and offered a SMS code to make reservations by text. The results were spectacular.  The restaurant launched to a full house and reservations were backed up for six months after opening. Most of the text messages were sent during the hours between 5 and 7pm when business people were leaving work and thinking of a restaurant to meet-up.

The firm expanded the campaign to get the new patrons of Madrugada to opt-in to the program.  Patrons were offered mobile surveys to pick their favorite course and alerted in advance of a surprise Prix Fixe menu offered for a Sunday night.

The object was to collect mobile numbers on site at the restaurant club.  The campaign was promoted in a single elegant line written into the menu.  Waiters discreetly mentioned the SMS code along with each evening’s specials.

Overall, the event planning firm was able to get an opt-in rate of 20% of the restaurant patrons and able to get an opt-in list for future restaurant events and celebrity chef celebrations. –KK

* Chef Marco Bruni’s Madrugada is not its actual name to protect the agency’s confidential white label solution with!


Kalin Kassabov is the ProTexting co-Founder and CEO. ProTexting offers professional SMS and MMS Marketing Services for over 16 years.

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