12 Restaurant Email Marketing Ideas and Trends
There is a large number of restaurants and cafes in your town. All over the country and the world, people have many places to choose from. Then how are guests supposed to know about new options your restaurant offers or about a renewed menu? Exactly, due to comprehensive restaurant email marketing. Use our sophisticated email templates for restaurants.
Benefits of email marketing for Restaurants
- Only 15% of the marketing budget, spent on email newsletters, provide ROI that is 28% higher than digital marketing, says Optinmonster;
- Every dollar, spent on email marketing, brings back at least $38;
- According to Gourmet Marketing, 70% of guests would love to receive coupons from restaurants. Moreover, they are ready to use these coupons.
Email newsletters should be captivating and be motivating to dine at your place.
As a person who knows a lot about food, who is aware of all new restaurants and cafes in town and in the country, and what is really important, as the person who conducted a thorough survey on this topic, I can share some new-wave ideas to make your newsletters persuading.
Ideas and trends for restaurant email marketing
Certainly, there are many reasons to reach the guests out. But the first is one of the most favorite reasons among recipients.
1. Loyalty programs
a) coupons for newcomers;
Yes, we all know that email communication starts with a welcome email. Then why not offer a coupon in your first email?
Prior to customer’s subscription, it’s reasonable to mention it in the subscription form.
b) lifetime discount cards.
Lifetime discount card is known as a loyalty card in the UK, a reward card in Canada and a discount card in the USA.
Only a few restaurants provide its loyal customers with regular discounts. Others just overlook this great opportunity to win guests for life. 5-20% discount will endear a high amount of new visitors.
My favorite restaurant gave me a 5% discount card. With every dollar (or more) spent, the discount grew. And now, 3 years later, it reached 20%. No wonder, I try to celebrate all family holidays there.
Also, when my friends and I meet for a cup of coffee, we certainly go to this place. What I love about this place most – you do not necessarily need to go to that specific place. The restaurant chain comprises 11 restaurants in town.
2. Notifying customers of the renewed menu
a) new dishes;
When you visit a new restaurant, the waiters will certainly admit that there are some new dishes on the menu. But what if you usually order the same things in your favorite restaurant and prefer not to even look at the lunch menu?
How would you know then there are some new things worth trying? Restaurant email will be of a great use here. You may either add a big photo of the dish, including the ingredients it contains, or send a video of the chef cooking it.
b) totally new menu.
Sometimes, you may want to totally change the entire menu. Or at least to notify your guests about new dishes of the day.
Due to this restaurant newsletter, guests know what to expect from your kitchen. This also gives them an opportunity to choose a specific day to visit your place.
3. Sharing recipes
There are minimum four ways to do it.
a) the first one is sharing recipes of new dishes;
Or a list of recipes curated for a particular person.
Certainly, prior to doing that, you need to ask the guests to set the preferences.
b) recipes dedicated to holidays and special events;
We all know that Thanksgiving is a family holiday. People travel across the country to see their parents, relatives and old friends. Certainly, most of them prefer to host the family reunion at home, not a public place. And they will definitely cook the turkey as the main dish of the holiday.
Why not share a recipe with your loyal guests?
c) video recipes;
If you have no time for hosting webinars, send video recipes. Mere mentioning all the ingredients that are necessary for the dish are never enough – ask the chef to cook it and reveal all his or her secrets concerning this particular dish.
d) hosting a webinar.
It may become mainstream in the nearest future. Prior to the event, send webinar invitation to all your subscribers. Enumerate ingredients attendees will need. Ask them to cook with the chef, and enable attendees to ask questions online.
Certainly, you may run a stream on Instagram or Youtube. Yet, this will not be appropriate for luxury restaurants.
Sharing recipes is one more perfect way to promote your restaurant: when eating roasted, crisp-skinned turkey, the people will share this recipe with their friends. And will let them know who taught them to cook that delicious bird.
This kind of gesture is supposed to win you new customers. Besides, it also builds loyalty. Just speaking of your restaurant will remind subscribers of their delicious Thanksgiving dinner, and they will visit your place as soon as they get the chance.
No worries! Your customers will never cook as good as the chef. They would still need to visit your restaurant for special events ?
4. Private Chef option
This option will be highly demanded by those who got inspired and astonished by the webinars your chef previously hosted.
5. Informing about sales
We all cherish the cozy atmosphere we have at home and our privacy. Finally, after a long working day, we want to relax and wear our favorite jeans we are not allowed to wear to the office.
Yet, due to our way of life, we do not really have time for cooking. Ordering pizza again? Oh no… Normal food delivery is what we need. So good to use this opportunity especially when a restaurant nearby offers 10% off.
Provide your most loyal clients with free delivery. They will love it.
Don’t forget to inform about that.
6. Sticking to healthy food trends
a) nature-safe tableware;
Currently, healthy eating is becoming the mainstream. Every day more and more people decide to keep to it. Why not use it as a marketing idea for restaurants?
If you deliver food, then deliver it in eco trays. First of all, it is our duty to help nature and to keep it clean. Second of all, like-minded people when choosing between your restaurant and the other one with plastic bags, are likely to select yours.
b) vegetarian/vegan food.
Typically, you only may order a garden salad or fresh juice if you are vegan. But this is totally wrong. Restaurants are supposed to be available for everybody who wants to have delicious meals out. Yet now, most restaurants offer meat and fish as the main course. Vegans do not have a rich choice.
Investigating materials for this post, I noticed one interesting thing: all the top restaurants, presented in the Best Forbes Restaurants list, not only have vegan’s menu. They also offer gluten-free food for the allergic people. Yep, they also want to enjoy life.
7. Congratulating customers on special events
a) public holidays;
On holidays like Christmas and New Year, we normally send out greeting cards to our restaurant emails’ recipients. We may even shot a video with CEO, Chef and all staff congratulating our customers on these special days.
You may also invite customers to celebrate this day with you. Provide them with agenda and full price.
b) special holidays;
Not only promote you a beer and new dishes that way, but also remind customers to get prepared for special events and purchase presents.
In case, they forgot to do it, they are welcome to use your ideas. For example, they may treat fathers with beer and shrimps or steaks on Father’s day.
c) professional holidays.
This example is my favorite – it reminds us who we owe our freedom to.
You may go far beyond the National Armed Forces Day. And celebrate defenders on the Independence Day.
Don’t be afraid of using big words in emails.
Firstly, you celebrate those who serve. Secondly, you let your customers know how much you cherish military, police, and firefighters. Thirdly, this is a good way to engage your customers. Let them know that $0,10 of every dollar they spend in your restaurant through July, will be donated to those who organize fests for single soldiers, for example.
Steve Lucas in his book “Engage to win” said that engaging customers is the best way to win loyal ones.
How can we run any business, if we do not know what our customers think about us? Especially business, where we provide customer service.
This is the most common kind of surveys. Easy to implement, and it is totally web-safe. You only need to insert two images “yes” and “no” and add two separate links to them. And your email service provider will give you a detailed report on how many times every link has been clicked on.
b) long surveys.
If your questionnaire has more than 2 questions, and it might take them longer than a minute, you should warn them about it.
How can you implement it with Stripo?
- Insert a banner image, put some text over it. Then place “additional image” over the banner and add a link to the entire banner. Web-safe option;
- We already posted an article on how to insert and embed surveys. Now, with the growth of the use of interactive elements in emails, you may also want to implement that one in your emails, too, to keep up with the times.
9. Embedding interactive elements
a) implementing real-time marketing;
Opening a new restaurant? Or organizing a fabulous New Year Party? Then your customers would love to see which tables are available yet. Give them an opportunity to see, select and order tables they would love to take for an event.
You can easily implement this idea by using NiftyImages tool.
b) image carousels.
Get creative! Use modern technical features to enliven your emails! Insert interactive elements to promote your rich choice of new dishes in a new manner.
Certainly, a signature is an integral element for all email marketing newsletters.
Yet, emails like order confirmation or sales end with a standard footer. But emails, where you invite guests to join you at the opening party or any other important for your event, are supposed to have a face. It may be the CEO’s face or the Chef’s one.
11. Adding a map
In most cases, we prefer to visit restaurants, no matter if that is a fast food restaurant, a casual one or an upscale restaurant. This means we may need an address in order not to get lost. Especially, if we are talking about a new place we have never been to.
Do you know what they omitted in this footer? Right, working hours and a map.
If you do not want to specify your address in the footer, or if you run hundreds of offline stores, add the "Store Finder" button like McDonald's did.
12. Personal acquaintance
It’s not another email marketing idea. But I have heard a few stories about how personal acquaintance helped restaurant win loyal customers.
Here’s a true one: a little boy, when he was about 10, went to KFC with his mom. And all of a sudden they met Colonel Sanders. He greeted the boy and shook his hand. For quite a long time, like a few decades, that person would not go to McDonald’s, he would go to KFC only, though he did not hope to meet the Colonel again. He just felt more welcome there than at any other place.
CEO doesn’t have to be there every day and greet every customer personally. But he or she may be there for special holidays.
Email marketing for your restaurant is a critical channel for communicating with subscribers. May you implement our ideas, and may it help you turn every newcomer into a loyal customer. In order to save you a high amount of precious time, we have designed restaurant email templates for you.
May all your email marketing campaigns be successful and profitable!
If you wanna share your own ideas or have any questions about how to implement some of them with Stripo, please contact us on Facebook.