Email Marketing for Restaurants

Email Marketing for Restaurants


Email marketing continues to bring the highest return on investment (ROI) of 3800%.

That’s more than any other form of marketing for now. But, you can rely on it only when you have the right strategies in place.

As a restaurant owner or a marketer, you need to stand out from the crowd, which will eventually enable you to attract your dream customers.

Email marketing lets you do exactly that.

If you want to know how to leverage email marketing for restaurants, this article is all you’ll have to read.

Let’s dig into the details of email marketing for restaurants.

Email Marketing for Restaurants: Why it Matters?

Email marketing is effective because it’s more intimate and personal than any other form of marketing. It’s disruptive and gets your message across to your prospects no matter where they are or what they are doing.

Who doesn’t check their mobile phone for any new emails?

However, you don’t send emails to anyone. You build an email list of people that are interested in your business.

This improves your open rates, click-through rates, and eventually, sales.

For restaurant owners, email marketing can be a goldmine. Most businesses don’t leverage this form of marketing.

You can easily get ahead of them. Plus, once you get your customers to sign up for your email list, you can sell them again and again, making them your lifelong customers.

And, a major reason why email marketing brings such a high ROI is that it doesn’t cost much. An email service provider is all you need if you write your emails yourself.

Compare that with the results you can get with effective email marketing and you’ll see why it’s such an impactful strategy.

Email Marketing for Restaurants: How to Do It?

Grow Your Email List

Growing an email list is like a marathon. While it takes time to have access to the inboxes of the right people, it’s worth the wait.

Arguably the best way to grow an email list is through opt-in forms on blog posts. Place a sign-up form at the top right corner, as a pop-up, and at the end of your blog posts.

These are the spots that can get you the most subscribers.

You’d need a blog/website for that. You can create one easily using WordPress.


After creating your blog, write about topics that resonate with your target audience and ask them to sign up for your emails if they want to keep in touch.

For instance, you can write about the health benefits of a certain food that you offer. Talking about recipes and the latest food trends is also a good strategy to get traction.

Another effective way to build an email list is by running paid ads. Facebook ads platform allows detailed targeting, which will help you get sign-ups from people from the right people.

Moreover, a lead magnet is something that can substantially increase your email list. A lead magnet is anything attractive that your prospects would want.

It could be:

  • A popular recipe that they can’t find anywhere else
  • An eBook about how to keep healthy while enjoying their food
  • Discounts on your food products

It should be something that they would want to give their email address for.

Find the Right Software (Email Service Provider)

To nurture your email list, you’d need effective software that automates your emails and sends them out at the right time.

There are a lot of options out there. The right one would depend on your requirements.

If you have a small budget and would like to test with a free service, try MailChimp or Sendinblue.

You can not only set your email campaigns with them, but you’ll also be able to track your results.

Utilize Retargeting

Retargeting is getting in front of someone that showed interest in your business. It’s just marketing, but to those prospects that didn’t convert in their first interaction with your business.

How does retargeting work?

Paid ads retargeting targets website visitors that leave without taking profitable action. Studies show an average of an over-70% cart abandonment rate. That’s a lot of potential customers that you would miss if you don’t use retargeting.

Let’s take an example.

If you want to place ads in front of Facebook/Instagram users, follow the procedure below.

Creating retargeting ads on Facebook involves a few simple steps. You’d just have to create an audience and paste the Facebook pixel code at the back end of your website (or use a WordPress plugin).

Go to Facebook Business Manager and create “Custom Audience”.


Choose “Website” as a custom audience source.


Name the pixel.


Edit your pixel.


You can find the Facebook Pixel code by going to “Business Manager” > “Events Manager” > “Data Sources”.

Paste the pixel code on your website. You can either ask your developer to paste this code into your website or use a plugin to do it yourself.

Facebook will now show your ad to the people that landed on your website without signing up for your email newsletter.

You can substantially increase your email sign-ups through retargeting.

Personalize Your Emails

Personalization is possible when you know your subscribers. Using their first name can help you connect on a personal level with them.

Suggest them the foods based on their previous visit to your restaurant. Even better, offer a discount on the dish they had when they first visited your restaurant.

Use Email Segmentation

It’s important to understand that not every customer is the same. Each would have different needs and wants.

Email segmentation is the ideal way to market your restaurant business to people at a different stage of their journey.

For instance, people that have already tasted your food will need a different approach. Moreover, you can offer special discounts to those who just signed up for your newsletter.

Email segmentation will help you increase your open rates, and eventually, more responses to your offers.

Tools like MailChimp and Sendinblue are popular and reliable email marketing tools that offer effective email segmentation.


Nurture Loyal Customers

By offering occasional discounts, promotions, and offers, you can stay top-of-mind of your customers.

This can not only make them your repeat customers but will also make them recommend your business to their peers.

When you cater to the needs and desires of your customers, they’ll want to keep dining in your restaurant.

So, keep in touch with your customers by sending them emails about your specials offers and any events.

Send Out Weekly or Monthly Promotions

Another strategy would be to send out monthly or weekly promotions to your email list. Many of your subscribers would love to get a discount or an offer once in a while.

This would give you a chance to have them taste your delicious food, keeping them coming back.

Here is a promotional email example by Uno Pizzeria and Grill.


Use Welcome Email the Right Way

Set up a welcome email for every email newsletter subscriber. On average, the open rate of welcome emails is 50%, which is by far the highest among other newsletter emails.

Leverage this open rate to put forward your best food that gets their attention and makes them click-through to your website.

Understand that welcome emails are only to greet the new email subscribers. So, don’t go overboard with promotions.

Just try to make them feel happy about signing up for your newsletter, with a light promotion at the end.

Here is an example of a welcome email by Backyard Burgers.


Schedule Birthday Emails

People tend to go out to dinner parties on their birthdays. You can use this in your favor by offering them a package deal.

The right way to go about it would be to collect email addresses when they are signing up for your email newsletter.

But, don’t ask for their full birthday, just the date and month will do. Some people get uncomfortable when you ask too much. You don’t want to lose your subscriptions over it.

You can set up an automated email wishing them happy birthday right when the clock ticks 12 and offer them something exciting for the dinner.

Here is a birthday email example from California Tortilla.


Final Thoughts

Email marketing’s high ROI is clear evidence that it works. It doesn’t demand a lot of your marketing budget either. However, you’ll need to be patient and implement the right strategies as a restaurant owner.

Restaurant email marketing can not only bring you new customers, but it lets you keep the existing ones for the long term.

Plus, once you have your email list, you won’t have to rely on any marketing platform to grow your business.

So, implement the strategies discussed in this article and make restaurant email marketing move your business in the right direction.

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