August 4, 2023
Lauren Platero

Restaurant Email Marketing: 10 Reasons Why It's Necessary

A restaurant email marketing strategy is one of the most effective and cost-effective ideas an eatery can put into practice. It’s a foolproof way to stay top-of-mind, in a branding and engaging manner. There are numerous restaurant marketing strategies. However, we can't stress enough just how crucial a restaurant email list can be. 

This post will begin by explaining several creative and game-changing restaurant email marketing ideas. It’ll be followed by ten reasons why every business owner should implement such campaigns. Then, we’ll go over why text marketing may not be as effective. 

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Restaurant Email Marketing Ideas

You can express your creativity and food service industry knowledge in a number of ways via email. If you haven’t implemented a restaurant email marketing strategy yet, we highly recommend you do so. Unsure of where to start? No worries. Check out the following list for six ideas to begin implementing now:

  1. Discounts and coupons 
  2. New dish and drink promotions 
  3. Restaurant loyalty program sign-up forms 
  4. Friendly reminders about thematic events 
  5. Opportunities to leave customer reviews 
  6. Event management services

10 Reasons Why Email Marketing for Restaurants Is Necessary 

If you’ve ever wondered why you should implement a restaurant email marketing strategy, we have ten answers for you! Read on to learn about all of its advantages.

1. Restaurant Email Marketing Is Direct 

Ever heard that emails are the most direct form of communication aside from physical mail? That’s quite a powerful concept when you’re trying to sell a product or service. The business has complete control over the message, visuals, and the time it’s sent. With this in mind, it’s a step above something like social media promotions, which can be controlled by the platforms. 

2. Restaurant Email Marketing Can Be Customized

Businesses have complete control over what they put in their email cadences. With this in mind, they can be custom in every aspect. From the color scheme to the tone of voice, there are countless ways to make each restaurant email campaign unique. 

One of the best parts about this is that it'll establish an association with customers. Being recognized for thematic factors is essential to maintaining brand exposure. You might not see this pay off right away, but definitely will over time. 

3. Restaurant Email Marketing Can Be Automated 

Marketing automation software is a key component of email marketing tools. The ability to schedule campaigns in advance is ideal, as it reduces manual labor. In turn, it lessens the time you'll spend on restaurant marketing strategies

Scheduling features support the concept of doing more with less. While the restaurant manager and wait staff are busy with primary duties, emails will be on autopilot.

4. Restaurant Email Marketing Data Is Traceable 

Some of the best customer data metrics will stem from your restaurant email marketing strategy. After all, email addresses and phone numbers are the only ways to contact your customers directly. And don't forget about email-centric metrics, too. 

Open rates, click-through rates (CTR), and link visits are all important details. These metrics let you know how your campaigns are performing. Then, you'll know exactly how to adjust them.

5. Restaurant Email Marketing Campaigns Can Be Segmented 

The message you want to send to some customers may not be the same as what you want to say to others. Luckily, businesses can break up their email list into segments. In doing so, you’re able to craft specific verbiage for the right audience. 

For restaurants, an example of segmentation might be loyalty members vs. first-time customers. Loyalty members may receive reminders to redeem their perks, whereas a first-time customer might get a survey prompt. It all depends on your audiences and what you want to say to each of them. 

6. Restaurant Email Marketing Gives the Opportunity to Upsell 

Though you might be writing an email to sell one thing, you can use this as an opportunity to promote something else. For example, let’s say you’re sending an email to discuss your appetizer list. Combine your messaging with pointers about your most popular cocktails

Or, if you’re crafting a promotional cadence about your catering options, also include information about event management services. If they go hand in hand, why not promote multiple things at once? It cuts time and showcases several selling points at once.

7. Restaurant Email Marketing Maintains Brand Awareness

If your emails keep popping up in your customers’ inboxes, you’ll likely stay at the forefront of their minds. If you operate in a city where there are a ton of eateries, maintaining exposure is essential. Think about the number of times customers must ask their friends and family, “where do you want to eat?” Ensure that when they do, your restaurant is a top pick, just from the frequency in which you remind them. 

Just ensure that you’re not sending out emails too much. After a while, your campaigns may come across as annoying–especially if there’s too much of the same thing. For example, too many coupons might not seem valuable if they’re sent out weekly.

8. Restaurant Email Marketing Is Cost-Effective

We get it, the thought of implementing a new marketing strategy might make you fear your restaurant budget. Fortunately, you can set up email marketing campaigns that can be 100 percent free! That’s right–you can pursue one of the most effective promotional ideas known to man and never touch your restaurant marketing budget

Many email marketing programs offer free versions, at least until you reach a certain number of subscribers. Then, you can create visuals in a free software package, such as Canva. All of your drafts can be stored in the company’s Google Drive.

Frequently clean up your email list to maintain your free account. This practice consists of removing inactive people, or those who never open your emails. But if it comes time that you surpass the free number of subscribers allowed and they’re all active, you’ll likely be able to invest in a paid subscription.

9. Restaurant Email Marketing Can Boost Rewards Program Members

Between enticing subject lines about your customer rewards program and aesthetically pleasing visuals, you can easily get more sign-ups. Add a brief “Sign-Up” button to emails that are short and sweet. This way, nothing else will distract the readers. 

If you’re going to include images of anything, let be of what the customers can redeem for points. Whether it be entree food or a sweet treat off the dessert menu, show your audience what their spending habits will earn them over time.

10. Restaurant Email Marketing Is Owned By the Business 

Sure, other marketing realms can be easy, effective, and cost-efficient. Social media and video marketing are prime examples of these ideas. However, there’s a major con with using third-party platforms. And that is if anything happens to the platform itself, you could potentially lose contact with your audience.

If you constantly build an email list and keep all the contact information in a spreadsheet, that data belongs to you. But if you invest time and money into growing Facebook and Instagram pages, one of them glitching or shutting down completely will leave you at square one.

Even if something should happen to the email marketing platform you’re currently using, you'll be okay. As long as you have a list of all your contacts, you can simply upload them to another software. Your customers probably won't notice a difference, either!

SMS Marketing vs. Email Marketing: Why Email Might Be Better

Email marketing leaves more room for creativity than SMS marketing tactics. Though restaurant SMS marketing campaigns are good for quick updates and reminders, they don’t pack as much of a punch. Email cadences can contain colors, varying fonts, photos, GIFs, and more. On the flip side, if you look at SMS restaurant marketing samples of any food service brand, you’ll notice that it’s just text and links. Though they’re ideal in some situations, they should be supplementary to email flows.

Frequently Asked Questions About Restaurant Email Marketing 

Want to learn more about email marketing for restaurants? Check out the FAQ section below for additional information!

Does Email Marketing Work for Restaurants?

Yes, email marketing can do wonders for restaurants. By promoting dishes, discounts, and loyalty programs, restaurants can use this strategy to increase cash flow and their customer base. Plus, it won't affect your budget too much.

How Often Should a Restaurant Send Emails?

Restaurants should send emails about once or twice a month. You want to remind people of your establishment without bombarding their inbox.

Should Restaurants Have An Email List?

Yes, all restaurants should have an email list. It’s an effective way to get in touch with all your customers. Plus, it’s very cost-effective. 

Do People Pay for Email Lists?

Yes, some people spend money on email lists. However, we strongly discourage it. Not only can it result in low-quality leads, but a lot of your emails can be marked as spam. If this happens, it completely defeats the purpose. 

Is Email Marketing Still Worth It?

Yes, email marketing is absolutely worth it. Not only is it simple to set up, but it can generate massive results for all kinds of businesses. 

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And… Sent!

When email marketing strategies are done right, they have the potential to draw massive crowds to restaurants. Over time, this will lead to massive profits. If email campaigns are not part of your current marketing strategy, take this as a reminder to add them. Once you experience busier shifts and higher cart values, you’ll be pleased with the results!