Restaurants Email Marketing: Tips and Strategies to Attract Customers

With the existence of different global brands and food chains, it’s getting more difficult for small businesses and restaurants to compete and have loyal customers.

Where doing street and media advertising is not cheap, here email marketing is effective but also affordable for small businesses.

Being an owner or manager of a restaurant, you need to get the medium that can help in completing and setting your brands. Here is how email marketing can help you and your restaurants.


Why is Restaurants Email Marketing Important?

Running a restaurant is not easy, especially when the food industry is so competitive.

You need to stand out to achieve recognition and have your customers so they dine in your restaurant.

There are different campaigns you can run, including

  • Attracting new customers to try the restaurant for the first time
  • Showing appreciation for the existing customer
  • Keep your customer coming back to your restaurant.

Also, email marketing is a powerful medium as :

  • It has more reach, and in 2019, the reach will exceed 293 billion emails on a daily basis.
  • According to DMA, you are producing $44 for every dollar you are spending. And comparing this to Facebook, where you get $4 – $5 on each dollar, this is 10x more effective.
  • The open rate in the restaurant industry you get an average of 20.26%. 
  • As for restaurants, email marketing is important.  Most of the marketing tactics help in delivering the audience back to the website because it shows up in local searchers where the fan pages on Facebook don’t.
  • One of the best ways to make sure your website or Facebook is to send email offers; here are the pointers you should know.
  • Half of the restaurants don’t own the website, and those who do are not keeping it relevant and current.
  • Many restaurants depend on Facebook when it comes to digital presence.
  • Very limited restaurants have online engagement and dedicated strategies along with Facebook for their customers.
  • With engagement on Facebook is getting difficult since it has an organic reach, and restaurants might lose the connection with their loyal audience.

Apart from this, restaurants have different reasons, it includes

To Build The Strong Relationship

It’s difficult to build loyalty, especially in the food industry where different brands are coming with new tastes, experiences, and affordability,

However, even though it’s hard, people stay loyal to their taste, and if you build the relationship successfully, you might earn loyal customers for your restaurant.

And for that, you need email marketing, as sending the restaurant newsletter helps in maintaining a strong relationship with the customers.

For the customer, sending them discounts and offering coupons can motivate them to visit the restaurant.

You can send them a thank you email once they visit and it can help In boosting the brand value.

As for existing customers, you can update them about new menus, prices, and specials in restaurants.

To Promote Your Restaurant Deals

Email marketing should be in your congestion because it will help you in building relationships on positivity as it delivers free information.

You can use this for sending free gifts too.

Apart from this, you can use this for sending new promotional emails regarding your restaurants.

Some of the ideas you can consider are :

  • Providing them the coupons, deals, and discounts
  • Sharing the exclusive recipes
  • Offering tips on preparing a quick meal
  • Telling about your restaurant and the history related to it
  • Celebrating the Milestones
  • Introducing the team and showing what’s going on behind the curtain
  • Sharing the chef specials and menu theme
  • Highlighting the new menu and sharing menu updates

To Invite The Subscribers To Special Parties And Events

Most restaurants host parties and special events on different occasions.

When you are hosting the event, you can send the invitation via email, and here email marketing will help.

Invite the customers as well as subscribers to the event, and it will help in getting mo

What Benefits Do Your Restaurants Get From Email Marketing?

Before you jump to understand how you can create the email marketing campaign for yourself, it’s important to understand what benefit you are getting from this.

Here are some of the benefits you get if you exceed the email marketing for your restaurant.

It Will Keep You Remembered

One of the problems is that customers might forget who you are in a few days. Half of the battle you do in restaurant marketing is to make sure people remember you.

Since there are a lot of options they get, it might be the new restaurant, old ones that recently started to sell something new or maybe your customers find some restaurant that is more affordable.

It’s important that the customer remember you, including what you offer and this can help by doing email marketing.

Boosting The Sales And Profit

Direct communication with the customer can help you in boosting sales and profit.

Since you promote your restaurant, food, and services along with email marketing, it brings more customers to visit and dine with their family, friends, or even alone.

Recovered The Lost Conversions

There are chances that a lot of people order their food online, but it wasn’t completed. They might have canceled the order or didn’t complete it due to any reason, but emails can help you in recovering it.

Promoting The Up And Cross-Sell

Restaurants do the upsell all the time, so you get the opportunity to do it online as well.

You can use the information about the subscribers to design the services and cater to their preferences to offer what they are looking for.

Start Your Own Restaurant Email Marketing Campaign

Restaurant email marketing requires planning a strategy that targets the audience and lets them know about your place.

You might have a sophisticated menu, a professional team, a nice dinner, and the best chefs, but if the people are not aware of what you offer, it doesn’t have any point.

That’s why you need email marketing; it works as the main customer communication channel.

But to design your own campaign, you are going to need a step-by-step guide.

Step 1: Define the Audience You Are Targeting

The first step is to understand your potential client; the more you know, the better you have an understanding of how to reach them and the deals to offer.

To find out what customers you are targeting, you need to do research and surveys, but it should not be based on personal feelings as well as a hypothesis.

So, you should have a list of questions that can define the segmentation, and you know if you have a diverse group or not.

  • Know about the customer type, are they tourists, random passersby, teenagers, or seniors?
  • What family status do they have, as they can be a single, big family with their kids or couples?
  • Find out about the food they have in a preference, such as complex lunches, quick snacks, modern trends, healthy options, and classy beverages.
  • What is the background of your customer? Are they working or students? They can be students in college, passing drivers, or office workers.
  • Where do your customers mostly locate? Are they from the neighborhood, country, district, or city?
  • How often do your customers dine in your restaurant or order food?
  • Know about the average check of your customers.

Based on the business, when you start to get the data, it will take time to fill in all the information. But it’s important to do more resources so you can know about the customers.

So when you get the data, it will help in offering better services too.

Step 2: Define The Restaurant’s Goals

It’s important that you have measurable and set goals; you need to be clear on them before you go forward.

Here are the pointers to remember :

  • The purpose of your email channel, and particularly each campaign, can be for retaining customers, generating leads, notifying recent news, etc.
  • Setting the budget for your campaign.
  • Knowing about the profit, you are expected to generate from the email campaign and the period.
  • The number of customers you need to attract to generate the set of profit.
  • The brand positioning you are looking for.
  • Type of communication pattern you want to stick with.
  • If there are more platforms that are supporting the email efforts, what are those?
  • Such metrics, including customer loyalty and brand recognition, are not simple when it comes to scaling.
  • But you should have all the goals related to finance clear and straightforward.
  • This will help in analyzing your strategy and adjusting the whole process if it’s required.

Step 3: Grow Your Email List

Well, to launch the email marketing campaign, you need to have the list ready, and for this, you need a certain base ready.

If you have started a new restaurant, you should consider a website subscription form as the first method.

  • To create the subscription form, here are some of the pointers to remember.
  • The subscription form needs to be simple, clear, and have important fields.
  • Make sure it has the name, email address, and fields in it.
  • Avoid adding too much information, as it might scare people.
  • Add only those questions that people feel comfortable sharing.
  • You can ask about more after you have their trust/

But if you want to add more, make sure it’s optional, and they can skip it but come back next time to fill it.

When it comes to placing and designing the subscription form, it should be somewhere it can be seen easily.

So the options are vast, but you can consider the following:

  • Putting directly to your main page and below your logo
  • Use the separate tab
  • Small form in the middle or bottom of your main page
  • Use the pop-up
  • Landing page

Not just that, in order to get the email address of the customers, you can consider different methods too, which includes

  • Ask to subscribe to the loyalty program
  • When they are making the reservation
  • In exchange for the password of the Wi-Fi
  • Use the subscription via Instagram and Facebook
  • Using the questionnaires, feedback forms, etc., can be online and offline.
  • App registration

Step 4: Segment The Contact Base

For email marketing, it’s important that you do the proper segmentation, especially when it’s for the restaurant.

Even though you have basic information like name, age, and sex, you can still start the segmentation to get the idea of better personalization.

The more information and quality I’ll grow, the more opportunities I get to build the customer profile.

And with this, your campaign will be more targeted as well as successful.

You can add more conditions, and it will help in getting more relevant offers to the customers.

 Here are some of the extra data that can help you in segmentation, these include:

  • Location
  • Profession
  • Average check
  • Preferred language
  • Online and offline customer
  • Family status
  • Visit frequency
  • Loyalty program membership
  • Eating habits
  • Highly used incentives

Step 5: Design Easy To Recognize Emails

Well, to build the email template that helps in making your emails easy to recognize and restaurant, you don’t have to be an expert.

There are drag-and-drop builders, and with this, you can help in doing the branding fast.

Here you can choose the email example and edit depending on how you want to represent the emails.

You should follow a design that can look family and promote brand recognition.

You can add the elements like GIFs, images overly, etc., but you might need to learn the coding. 

Apart from this, you need to customize the email; here is what you need.

Consistent Your Branding

Ensure that your emails have the same fonts, colors, photography as well as other designs to match the brand.

Keep the Layout Simple And Logical

The content needs to flow in a smooth, logical, and simple way. That’s why you need to put the best content on top.

Also, make sure that you avoid overwhelming the readers, so the aim should be not more than three content blocks in the email.

Adding Quality Images

Add photos of your restaurants, food, recipes, etc. to make it attractive but keep the quality high. Don’t make it blurry or pixelated

Optimize It For Mobile

More than 81% are using mobile for accessing emails and to ensure that email template works well with different devices including mobile and desktop.

Step 6:  Create quality content for the Email

Content is going to be the key component in doing your digital marketing for the restaurants. However, if you are just starting, it can be overwhelming to write emails, but here are the six important six elements.

The Subject line

The subject line is the first thing that your audience will be going to read.

  • Also, it should be catchy and original, and it should be effective for restaurant email marketing.
  • It should be clear, crisp, and announce information.
  • Stick with 30 characters otherwise, mobile users might not be able to see it.
  • Also, avoid misleading information.

If you want to consider what can be an ideal way to write the subject line, here is the list to consider.

  • The veggie menu is here
  • Here is our dish of the month
  • Waffles, bacon, and eggs
  • We made dinner a simple but tasty

Preheader Text

The preheader text is the one that directly follows the subject line and provides a little more context about the email to the subscribers.

It should be around 40 to 130 characters long.


The next is the headlines, it will help you in providing what the context means. Keep it short and simple, so your audience feels encouraged to read further.

The Body

Use your email body to inform as well as educate regarding your email, it can be about the new menu you have added or the special opening of a new franchise of your restaurant.

Keep it concise, and don’t go too much with the text.

Add The Call To Actions

A CTA button is the prompt that can help you in telling what readers need to do after reading the email.

It gives the specified action; for example, if you are added new recipes or offer food, you can use CTA like Order Now and learn more

By clicking on this,  it will lead the subscribers to the next step.

The Footer

Next is the footer; here, you need to add your contact information at the end of all of the emails.

This helps in telling the user about you and how they reach you.

You can set up the footer, which automatically adds the information, which will save time.

Step 7:  Add The Recent Design Solution To Emails

Email might look like a stagnant channel that constructs the changing social media, but there are new trends that you need to look for and also add to the email to make it more interesting.

It includes


Well, AMP technology was the main news in 2019, and it was the solution that enabled taking action straight from the email body without downloading pages.

This means the subscribers can take action without exiting the email.

It was included:

  • Filling the feedback fork
  • RSVP to the event
  • Leaving a comment
  • Making an order
  • Booking

For restaurant marketing, it offers a wide range of possibilities. Not just that, it has its own benefits too.

  • The users can make the booking, reservation, delivery, etc., directly from the inbox.
  • It makes things easier for the users and makes it convenient.
  • You can simply send the email with a new promo code and a new menu for their first users.
  • The subscribers can use it right away without visiting the website.
  • So the whole thing needs minimum actions with convenience and a much faster process.
  • Not just that, it gives some chance to get lost in between going from email to website.

As for January 2020, it was also supported for mobiles too which makes it easier for them too.


Gamification has been making its way into emails, this solution also means adding something similar to game-like elements in order to catch as well retain the attention of your subscriber.

It boosts the increasing average time of reading, promotes orders and entertainment too.

Also, it has different forms, and you can use them depending on your imagination.

The widespread option is to hide your promotion code behind those puzzles and find the right option in several versions.

Some of the ideas that you can try are :

  • I spy game
  • Restaurant history in quiz
  • Ingredients of new meal in quiz
  • Puzzle
  • Maze
  • Build the promo code
  • Wheel of fortune
  • Build your burger, pizza, sushi set, milkshake, etc.
  • Reveal your gift by scratching a plate


Personalization is considered one of the huge trends in the digital world.

And it has multilingual campaigns and new representation, and there is no secret that people prefer to have information in their native language.

You can apply this to email; it can help in resonating with recipients on a much better level.

Step 8: Automating The Campaigns

The next crucial thing is a campaign, and that’s why you should take advantage of workflows and email automation.

This workflow is also a series of surreal steps that happen before, another according to condition.

Every workflow can start with the customer action or triggers.

Any action can be a trigger; some of the basics that you can consider are :

  • Click on like
  • Subscription confirmation
  • Registration confirmation
  • Abandoned browse
  • Annual, Anniversary, and Birthday event
  • Abandoned cart
  • Review
  • Order or purchase
  • Personal profile update

Step 9: Track The Result Of the Campaign

Once you know about running the email campaign, you can see how effective the whole thing is and what changes you might need.

There are different metrics where you can focus while you run the email campaign on a regular basis.

It includes :

  • Click rate
  • Open rate
  • Bounce rate
  • Click to open the rate
  •  Spam rate
  • Unsubscribe rate

How To Build an Email List For Restaurant Email Marketing?

When you are planning to launch email marketing for your restaurant, the first thing you are going to need is an email list.

And  for that, you need to consider how you can build an authentic email list that includes an audience who is genuinely interested 

To build that, here are some of the ideal ways to consider.

You Can Create The Contact Form

Well, as a student, you need to have a reservation page to consider lead generation.

That’s why you need to have a constant positive relationship with the customers who are booking their tables via the website.

You should also thank them for the segregation and also invite them to special events or send a newsletter regarding the restaurant.

Display The Pop-Ups On Website

Even though pop-ups are annoying, especially when someone visits the website and it’s the first thing they see.

But pop-ups can also help you in boosting engagement when you know how to use them in the right way.

According to SumoMe, it has an average conversion rate of 9.28%.

You can generate the email address for your email campaign by using the popups on your restaurant, however, for that, here are some of the points that you should remember.

  • Make sure your popup matches the design of your website and brand.
  • Offer special discounts and promotional codes to your new subscribers; trigger the popup after 5 seconds or when the audience did the +40% scroll on your website.
  • Use the trigger for exit popups
  • Trigger the popular to display twice for the unique visitors on your website.
  • Keep the pop-ups user-friendly, attractive, and appealing.
  • Provide an X button so it can be easier to exit.
  • Add a pop-up at least once when visitors are exiting the website for a reminder.

Ask Your Customer To Join Email List

You can include the link of your website in printed minus, credit card receipt, and invite the customer directly to join the email list.

You can also help in making them learn about all the potential discounts and special offers that they might get in their email inboxes directly.

Or you can simply ask them to join by offering special discounts and offers.

You can add on your recipes and printed menus, also QR so they can directly scan to the landing page.

Promote The Offers For Emails

You can use this to get the email address in exchange for offering the discount and offer, especially to those who sign in.

You can keep this positive and friendly and add the benefits of adding in email.

You can make it appealing and engaging and make your visitor feel by giving it a VIP club vibe.

Create Your Referral Campaign

There are a lot of people who don’t like eating alone, and that’s why they come with company or people who are on their period to have fun.

So you can add the referral link in the newsletter in order to motivate them to share it with their colleagues, friends, and people they know.

Not just that, you can add gifts, so the customer feels encouraged to share with their network. Well, the gift can be anything, such as a coupon, discount, or free dessert.

Discount On First Order

You can get the attention of your audience by offering them a discount on their orders.

In exchange for an email address, they will get some percentage or additional food, such as a cold drink, free dessert, etc, in their first order when they place it or dine in a restaurant.

Such offers can depend on what you offer, so you can make it customized and with this, you can get the email address that helps in growing your email list.

What Are They Doing And Don’ts In Restaurant Email Marketing?

Strategy Is important, and when you are hoping for effective email marketing for the restaurant, here you need to understand what are the major do’s and don’ts that you should be following.

And it includes :

  • Don’t purchase an email list; there are a lot of reasons why it’s a bad idea, but it can lead you to a permanent block and a damaging reputation.
  • Don’t include the do not reply in your email address and it will make conversation one way.
  • To create value by adding information, discounts, and offers about your restaurant in your email.
  • Don’t use too many CTA as it will divert the attention and confuse subscribers.
  • Do focus on what your customer needs at every step of email marketing, and it will help in lead nurturing.
  • Don’t simply use your surname, but personalize it by adding information about them.
  • Do keep everything simple and easy to read.
  • Don’t go overboard with a lot of content, as people don’t read and pay attention that much.
  • Do get creative and make your email look shiny as well as highlight.
  • Do show off the restaurant you have and what makes it so unique.
  • Do use in-depth analytics and A/B testing to know what is working for you.
  • Don’t send it randomly; pick the day and time to send the email. The best is to send it on Tuesday as it’s considered ideal.

What Are The Email Examples For Restaurant To Add In Strategy?

Well, it’s important that you know how you can practice the strategies. There are different examples that help in visualizing what you can learn.

Here are some examples, along with ideas to know about.

Show Off The New Items And Season Fresh Items

Your menu can evolve as time passes; here, you might need to introduce new recipes and retire the old ones.

To keep it fresh, several restaurants also offer new items in their manuals according to the seasons.

Marketing email can help in spreading about it, and you can send the new and improved recipe list to your customer.

You can promote it with the help of email marketing, share about those new menus, and what can make your audience excited to order or dine.

Inform Them About Upcoming Events

Events are a great way that can help you in getting more people to your restaurant and you can show what else you are offering. 

You can use this for telling about the events, to make it exciting, add offers and gifts. 

With this, you can increase the number of people and visit restaurants. Also, it makes your brand familiar to more people and does the marketing. 

It’s an interesting way to get more people to know about what you offer, what they can expect to get, and understand their interests too. 

So send the invitations about the upcoming events that you are going to host; it can be online or offline. 

Send The Compelling Newsletter

Newsletters can help you in keeping on top, also, they can be helpful when you are introducing new offers, and they won’t make your customer feel like you are pushing hard to sell.

It also makes it more personal and helps in building better connections.

You can even personalize emails depending on how your customer signed up, email interactions, and purchase history.

Also, you can add different content to your newsletter, it includes

  • Add the community news and the involvement of yours or your restaurant in that.
  • Add a spotlight on the local suppliers with whom you become partners.
  • Add testimonials from the customers who liked your services, food, or restaurant.
  • Explain the unique aspect of a website or restaurant
  • Feature your staff members, their journey, and their stories.
  • Get more people involved by directing as well as sponsoring the contest and socializing.
  • Add the latest blog post or links.

However, making sure that you are keeping the newsletter on point along with short and visually attractive works best. Apart from this, you can make it easy to digest as well.

Offer Making  Reservation, Schedule Delivery, And Order Online

Well. The management of your restaurant needs to handle the orders online and push them directly to house staff.

When you combine this with notifying the customer via email, you might be able to boost the service level.

Also, the new subscribers and our customers will get information on how they can make reservations, order food, and schedule delivery online.

You can send the reminder email here to make sure your message is on point and clear and to explain the process.

Share Interesting Recipes And Professional Tips

It might seem like you are reducing the chances of getting customers by sharing recipes, as they will cook on their own, so why will they visit your restaurant?

However, it doesn’t work this way; people are not just dining out because of food.

Even though you share tips and recipes, It won’t decrease your profit.

You can send them interesting content in the newsletter, including

  • Trivia
  • Interesting facts and information about the common food
  • Fun facts about the community
  • Nutritional breakdown
  • Lifestyle Tips in a restaurant

The goal here is to engage the customers with your email content, and you can use this to get them to visit the restaurant.

Send The Promotions Along With Coupons And Discounts

You can also send promotions emails, and the goal here is to drive directly.

And you can make this more effective by putting time-sensitive deadlines so your subscribers can act quickly.

You can also choose to give them coupons in-store, online, or both.

Promotions are also best, especially if they are coming on some occasions, where discount strategies can differ depending on your business.

Promote Your Gift Card And Offers

The next you can consider here is sending the gift cards. In the United States, gift card sales increased to $160 billion in 2018.

And by the time of 2015, it was $30 billion, and it’s because of its popularity.

However sometimes, gift cards are also criticized as it is considered impersonal, but they are still the most requested gift.

According to the first data, around 80% of customers spend more than the value of gift cards, especially if it’s related to restaurants.

You can send the email regarding gift cards along with the transactional email that has

  • How can they use the gift card and the redemption process
  • How can they transfer their gift card to someone else
  • And a call to action to encourage your subscribers to redeem the card soon.

Reward The Loyalty And Guests

Loyalty programs are considered one of the special kinds when it comes to promotion.

They bring continuity as well as reward repeated behavior.

That’s why it gets more effective when you combine this strategy with your email marketing.

There are different types of loyalty programs too.

You can email them regarding how they can redeem the offer and the complete process to help them understand the benefit.

Use For Offering Your Restaurant’s Special Promotions

Many promotions might not fit into the categories and sometimes, you have plans to do it randomly.

Such promotions can help you in getting more people to your restaurants.

And such promotions also need to do A/B testing, so you know the best format and message.

Your restaurant’s email marketing requires to have A/B  split testing, so you know the test variations of the different subject lines, layouts, subject lines, etc.

Send The Personalized Gifts On Birthday

You can capitalize on birthdays, anniversaries, as well as related events.

Such options have great triggered emails, here, the beauty is you only need to set it up once, and it will be personalized depending on your new subscriber.

Not just that, such events are also great for getting a bit more personal. And you can show them that you are thinking about them, and it’s their birthday which happens once a year.

So you can offer them discounts in person or in groups to encourage them. They can visit the result to enjoy and celebrate their important day.

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