We’ve partnered with one of the world’s speediest, simplest, and safest messaging services to help restaurants handle guest reservations. Find out how restaurants can send instant guest reminders both through WhatsApp and SMS.
Our restaurant communications team is always looking for new ways to enhance relationships between restaurants and their customers. Learn more.
Facts About WhatsApp
Once you’ve digested our article on the reasons why restaurant customers love SMS today, you’ll probably want to know why WhatsApp is a requirement. There is one thing to point out here.
WhatsApp has a global outreach with various levels of preference among users. Some countries, for example, have a higher user base than others.
For instance, WhatsApp is a formidable favourite among many European, including Italy, one place that has a higher WhatsApp user base than people using SMS. In a sense, restaurants must keep in mind that for many people WhatsApp has almost replaced SMS as their primary form of text communication.
Other countries, however, have plenty of SMS users. Some big countries like the US still prefer to use SMS as a standard way to chat, communicate, and do business. Even so, WhatsApp remains popular: a giant 75 million of 330 million people are using WhatsApp in the US. That’s almost a quarter! The country can safely boast that it has a higher user rate than many of its neighbours.
By using WhatsApp, restaurants open up their capability to digitally communicate with more smartphone users. Using both free SMS and WhatsApp messages allows restaurants to appeal to customer preferences.
Today, more businesses and news corporations like the BBC trust WhatsApp. They are now using it for vital services, to get in touch with consumers. This is a good sign for the hospitality industry: that WhatsApp is safe, clear, and personable.
Developing WhatsApp guest text messaging features and functionality, we’ve analysed the rate of WhatsApp users on a per-country basis. Get in touch to find out more about why Carbonara App chose to integrate WhatsApp.
Is WhatsApp an Alternative to SMS?
Yes, but because Carbonara App provides restaurants with both SMS and WhatsApp guest messaging features, restaurants have the best of both worlds to communicate with their guests.
This is how WhatsApp is different:
- Primarily, WhatsApp is a smartphone app. So text messages travel over the internet to reach customers. On the other hand, SMS is a text messaging service that travels over network phone lines.
- WhatsApp allows users to send mixed media — imagery, videos, emojis. Otherwise, SMS relies on mixed messaging service (MMS) to do the same. Although irrelevant from a hospitality standpoint, this is mainly why many people use WhatsApp.
- Unique among text messaging services, WhatsApp provides end-to-end encryption for users. In simple terms, this is a way to keep messages away from prying eyes. Although between restaurants, deciding between SMS and WhatsApp is harmless because most guest messages don’t contain sensitive information.
How Can WhatsApp Help My Restaurant?
The app is very useful for businesses and restaurants. WhatsApp’s notification features are ideal for restaurant guest communication, working best for venues that want to share quick updates and simple information with their customers. Therefore, it is a benefit for restaurants: they now have a speedier, internet-based way to communicate with guests.
Benefits of Restaurant WhatsApp Integration
- Better Communication. Read receipts are a privilege of all instant messaging users. Now restaurants can verify customer phone numbers, as indicated by the two ticks that appear at the bottom of every WhatsApp message bubble. Otherwise if it is a wrong number, restaurants can easily request an alteration from the customer beforehand.
- Better Internationally. Tourists, who are more likely to use mobile data over networks when abroad, can communicate with restaurants via WhatsApp.
- Better Hotspots. Let’s say your restaurant provides free Wi-Fi. Then guests using WhatsApp can send and receive messages in the general vicinity of your business, easing the text message communication process.
WhatsApp is a great companion to SMS messaging techniques. One thing to keep in mind though is that WhatsApp requires an online connection to work. Restaurants send pre-set confirmations, follow-up messages, and reminders when both the venue and customer are using data. This is why SMS messages provide a fallback for restaurants.
Carbonara App — Texts Using Both
Phone users are sending billions of SMS messages every day. Likewise, WhatsApp is no longer an up-and-coming phone app: it has a user base of about 2 billion people across the world. So why not reap the benefits of both SMS and restaurant WhatsApp guest reminders?
Carbonara App gives restaurants access to both. Restaurants can customise their outgoing SMS messages to cater to their customer needs. Like so, restaurants can give their outgoing messages the personal touch.
But if guests prefer to use WhatsApp, restaurants still have the added ability to suit their needs as well.
Messages via WhatsApp are a fail-safe solution. In the off-chance that customers fail to receive a WhatsApp notification (e.g., their phone may be offline), an SMS message already sends itself on its way. Think of it as a back-up. Therefore, restaurants have nothing to lose with WhatsApp integration.
Don’t forget to try out Carbonara App’s web accessibility features. We have designed a quick and easy solution for restaurants to process online reservations. Find out more about Carbonara App’s restaurant reservation system and its features.