Heavy snowfall on 2/14 brought Houston back to the era of no electricity. With no water, no electricity, and no internet access, a text message, “We are open today,” was like the first light of the new year to solve an immediate need.

Before anyone could get over the tragic crash in Fort Worth last week, Houston was covered by snow; the temperature dropped below freeze point. On the night of February 14, just as everyone was excitedly looking forward to building snowmen the next day, the first wave of power outages had begun.

For the next few days, Houston was in a back-and-forth of power and water outages and internet outages. We helplessly watched our phones go dead and the room temperature dropped, and we waited for the lights to come back on. Many people go to the car or use gas to stay warm to withstand the cold, but accidents occur frequently. In such a situation, many families are unable to cook nor order for delivery, and even Uber shows NO CARS AVAILABLE. In the cold and hunger, we were all eager to have a hot meal as usual. Luckily, there were restaurants have stayed open!

“We are Open Today,” Lights up the Day

Google Trends

Under the safe condition, some of KwickPOS’ clients in Houston decided to open; after all, food is essential. Google Trends shows how people are anxious and scared about the food shortage.
Google Trends suggests the search interest for the keyword “restaurant open today,” in mid-February this year peaked, which is four times more than the same period last year.

The related terms are also under “Breakout,” which is mainly due to the surge in search volume.

Restaurant Text Marketing

Restaurant owners are more than ever aware of the cold and hunger that everyone is experiencing these days and what a hot meal means to the customers. But, how can the residents know about the re-opening? Especially with the power outage, many people don’t have internet access. The best way is to use text marketing for the mass notification; therefore, KwickPOS helped our clients sending the message, “We are open today!” Just when our clients worried about how their customers can get the food without delivery service, orders started flushing in. From which many were large orders, and some restaurants sold out all the food or had to close late. Below is a list of an overview of each restaurant’s daily sales up to the morning of 2/18. Due to geographic location and road conditions, the date of sending the text varies for each restaurant.

Shanghai Bistro
In terms of daily sales for the entire February so far, the restaurant’s sales were by far the highest on the 17th after sending the text, nearly 25% higher relative to Friday the 12th.

Golden China
Golden China is in a similar position to Shanghai Bistro, with daily sales now at least doubled after sending the message on the 17th so far.

Hot Wok Cypress
The restaurant sent the text on 16th that the sales were disastrous due to road conditions. However, the daily sales on 17th saw a sharp spike, successfully making up for the previous day.

Hot Wok Spring
On the 15th, after sending out the message on the coldest day, the daily sales became the highest so far that month, at least 60% higher. Though on the 16th, the sales were lower due to the road conditions, it was still on par with the average days.

T. Jin Asian Fusion
After sending out the message on the 16th, the daily sales were already the highest compared to the 1st to the 14th. The next day, the sales increased 50% due to the improved road conditions.

Jade Ly Asian Bistro
After sending out the SMS on the 17th, Jade Ly Asian Bistro took the highest sales in February.

Although the power outage has been only a few days, it has been such an excruciating time for us. KwickPOS is glad to help the restaurants and their customers in this difficult time. As restaurants are opening their doors, if you have not yet used the text feature, we will give you 500 free messages. It can help you with the re-opening or for immediate needs, especially to notify customers of temporary changes in business hours or place phone orders when the internet is down.

The disaster has caused a lot of damage to many restaurants, many of which are still without power, water, or internet access. KwickPOS would like to thank those restaurants that are open during the hazardous weather condition for continuing to serve food to residents, and we hope that those that are not open will be open soon. We are here to help in any way we can, so please feel free to call us at 888 355-6996. kwickPOS is here to help you start a new chapter in 2021!

 

 

Want to know more about restaurant text marketing? Just click the following links!

Text marketing case study

Text marketing feature introduction and performance analysis

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