We’ve heard your feedback loud and clear — texting is an important way for you to communicate with your diners. So as you evaluate your choices around texting, we want to help you text responsibly.
Only your legal counsel can advise you on legal requirements (like the Telephone Consumer Protection Act), but it’s come to our attention that not all restaurants may have kept up with the changes in texting rules and best practices in the United States. Here is some context and tips to help you address these issues.
Transactional Text Tips
For transactional texts, prior consent from the diner is required. For in-house reservations or waitlist requests, to text with good hospitality, your host can ask for the diner’s number and have the diner agree to receive text updates and reminders about the reservation or waitlist request. Note that reservation text updates and reminders are only available in GuestCenter.
Marketing Text Tips
For marketing texts, about things like menu specials, you need prior written consent from the diner. Texting capabilities within OpenTable products are in no way intended to be used for marketing texts.
What’s the Difference?
An example of a transactional text is: “Your reservation for 2 is booked at Restaurant Nova on August 8 at 7PM. Reply 1 to confirm or 9 to cancel.” An example of a marketing text is: “We have $1 oysters during happy hour.” If you combine the two texts into a single message that reminds the diner of their reservation and tells them about your oyster special, that might be argued to qualify as a marketing text – one you should shy away from sending.