Restaurant Email Marketing: 21 Strategies and Examples

Restaurant email marketing tips and examples to improve guest satisfaction and increase revenue.

Restaurant Marketing Hero

Scroll to explore

The Value of a Great Restaurant Email Marketing Strategy

Discover how to create an effective restaurant email marketing strategy that conserves your valuable time, significantly boosts your revenue, and positions you firmly ahead of the competition.

Understanding your guests’ preferences and interests is key to crafting email campaigns that captivate their attention, drive open rates, and foster meaningful engagement.

This cost-effective approach is your ticket to transforming casual diners and first-time visitors into devoted, long-standing repeat customers.

Here are several tips and examples about executing an effective restaurant email marketing strategy using email marketing tools tailored to the dynamic and highly competitive restaurant industry.

restaurant email marketing for improved revenue

Quick Links:


Why should restaurants leverage email marketing?

First, it is the most cost-effective channel for reaching your restaurant customers with content, offers, and promotions.

In addition, the ROI from sending emails is an effective restaurant email marketing campaign can bring back more returns than any other digital marketing channel.

Consider these statistics:

  • A study published on WebpageFX says the ROI, in general, is $44 for every $1 spent. Compare that to Facebook, which returns $4-$5 for every dollar spent. It’s about 10x more effective.
  • The ROI of email marketing is 28.5% better than for direct mail.
  • According to an Ebook from Gourmet Marketing, 70% of customers want restaurants to send them coupons and are prepared to use them.

With an effective strategy, you can compete with those huge brands, keeping your seats full and your bottom line healthy!

Likewise, it can increase guest spending and loyalty and help improve restaurant reputation management and branding.

If email marketing isn’t part of your promotional toolkit yet, or if your existing email campaigns aren’t delivering the desired return on investment, we’ve compiled a series of strategies and insights to elevate the effectiveness of your restaurant’s email marketing efforts.

But remember, before executing any type of marketing campaign, one thing is essential – knowing your guests.

1. Collecting Guest Data for Email Marketing Effective for Restaurants

Many restaurant owners and operators send emails to their customer database based on a hunch or personal opinion of what will perform well.

Undoubtedly, doing this can be detrimental to the ROI of your campaigns.

Collecting guest data is a must so that you can build email lists and personalize the messaging and timing of your restaurant email marketing. But where can you get accurate and reliable data about your actual customer base?

Traditionally, guest data collection has been very expensive to obtain from 3rd-party companies.

In addition, the data you did obtain was a snapshot in time, and you have to pay for more current data.

For most small businesses, the expense outweighed the benefits.

Using Current Technology to Know Your Restaurant Guests

Knowing who your guests are and how they behave at your restaurant – or when ordering online or making a reservation – can allow you to build your email messages that will interest them, resulting in improved brand recognition and more return visits.

A restaurant customer data platform or restaurant CRM like Bloom Intelligence can provide detailed guest insights at a fraction of the cost third-party companies charge. The data is aggregated from guests:

  • logging into your WiFi
  • making an online order
  • making an online reservation to book a table
  • engaging with your website or social media
  • paying through your POS system
  • leaving an online rating
  • and more.

In addition, the data is updated in real-time. You will always know how your guests’ behavior is evolving.

For guests visiting your location, even if they do not log into your WiFi, you can collect valuable data, such as:

  • Customer foot traffic.
  • First-time visitors.
  • First-time visitor return rate.
  • Overall customer return rate.
  • Customer dwell times and dwell times by the hour.
  • Popular visit days and times, and more.

This data alone can give you insight into where your restaurant email marketing strategy should be aimed.

Likewise, after launching the campaign, you can monitor guest behavior patterns in real time, enabling you to assess the impact and effectiveness directly.

Passively Create Customer Profiles for Restaurant Email Marketing

Whenever a guest logs into your guest WiFi or makes an order or reservation online, Bloom creates a customer profile for that guest. In addition, they are added to your customer list.

Therefore, you can quickly build a very large list of customer profiles.

Bloom integrates with all major email marketing providers, such as Mailchimp, Constant Contact, and Emma. Bloom also has restaurant email marketing tools built into its platform.

With a large customer list, you can easily gain the campaign data necessary to optimize your campaigns over time.

In addition, using a technique called progressive profiling, you can build very rich, detailed customer profiles, including other data such as:

  • Age and birthday
  • Gender
  • Phone number
  • Postal code/average income
  • All previous and current behavior data

You will also see whether or not the guest returns to your location and/or redeems any offer after engaging with your restaurant’s email marketing message.

The most valuable use of a robust customer list is to create customer segments or guest lists and send targeted, personalized emails to each segment.

Restaurant Email Marketing Strategy with Customer Profiles

2. Segmentation and Personalization for Better Restaurant Email Marketing

A 40-year-old father of three receives an email from a restaurant that aims to attract the 20-something hipster crowd.

What will he do with that email? Chances are, it’s getting deleted.

Likewise, the odds are that future emails from that restaurant will be ignored, deleted without being opened, and maybe even marked as spam.

Of course, those are all outcomes you want to avoid with your restaurant email marketing campaigns.

Customer segmentation can help prevent those bad outcomes and increase the odds of creating good ones.

For instance, the Direct Marketing Association estimates that segmentation accounts for about 77 percent of all ROI from email marketing campaigns.

Gathering information from your guests is the first step. However, for most restaurants, this will involve hiring a company that specializes in gathering data from customers and providing analytics services to brick-and-mortar companies.

However, with Bloom Intelligence, it can be done at pennies on the dollar in comparison.

For example, you can segment guests in many ways. Some suggestions include:

  • Geographic location
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Past purchases
  • Buying frequency

Most importantly, the key is gathering and analyzing the right information and sending guests personalized messages to speak directly to them.

As a result, it avoids sending the wrong message to the wrong people and increases the odds of sending the right message to the right people.

That’s a smart step in building a loyal restaurant customer base for your restaurant.

A customer data platform unified with email marketing tools makes it very easy to segment your customer base into these various groups and send targeted messages to each of them.

In time, you will see tangible ROI from regular communication with your email subscribers and each campaign you execute. More on that is below.

customer segmentation for better restaurant email marketing

3. Creating Targeted Emails for Your Restaurant Email Marketing Strategy

Now that you have created a customer database with an email list of various guest segments, you can begin crafting the perfect emails!

This is where your creativity and restaurant branding can shine.

Let’s look at the most crucial elements of effective restaurant email marketing strategies.

Email Subject Lines

No matter how powerfully written your email is, it will be of no use if the reader doesn’t open it.

You could be offering free meals for life, but the email will have been sent in vain if your subject line doesn’t compel the recipient to open, read, and react.

Many marketers create their email subject line as an afterthought, but in several ways, the subject line is much more important than the email itself.

Email subject lines are the first—and sometimes last—impression you make on a potential reader, and they are the biggest factor in email open rates.

  • Open rate by the number of words in the subject line: 6-10 words (21%), 0-5 words (16%), 11-15 words (14%), 16-20 words (12%) (Business2Community)
  • Emails containing personalization in the subject line are 22% more likely to be opened (Business2Community) and
  • Email is 40% better at converting people (in comparison to Facebook and Twitter) (The Annuta Group)
  • 61% of subscribers/customers would like to receive promotional emails every week, and 38% – more frequently. (Marketing Sherpa)

So, when crafting your email subject line, make sure to put careful thought into what you will use to compel the recipient to open the email.

The Email Body Content

Crafting the best email for restaurant marketingMany restaurateurs will attempt to be warm and friendly while portraying their brand identity with their email copy.

While this is perfectly fine, it tends to make emails rather wordy.

Not many people are willing to read through a bunch of conversational fluff to get to the main point of the email.

Once you’ve drafted your email, go back through it and edit out all the filler words and phrases. And apart from an initial greeting, skip the small talk.

Likewise, if you have a grouping of details that need to be shared, use bullet points.

If you need to provide more information or details, include a link to the website page or other references.

In addition, make sure that your email content is responsive to mobile devices, meaning that it will open on a mobile device with a larger font and smaller image file sizes.

A study by Adestra revealed that emails displayed incorrectly on mobile will likely be deleted within three seconds.

Next, instead of using text links to outside sources, use buttons instead. They are easier to spot and provide a much better experience for mobile device users.

Finally, make sure that you use the best images you have. An image is one of the primary attention-grabbing elements in an email.

Optimize Email Images

To capture and engage your email recipients, make sure to include interesting imagery that:

  • will capture their attention.
  • is relevant to the content.
  • will not slow down loading time.

Correctly optimizing your emails is paramount in gaining the attention and engagement of your subscribers.

First, choose images that relate to the email message. For instance, do not use an image of your wait staff when sending an email about a new menu item.

Instead, use an image of the item itself or an image of customers enjoying it.

Whatever image you choose, make sure it is not blurry or pixelated. Use the sharpest images optimized for file size and visual clarity.

With the right subject line, a compelling message, and great imagery, your segmented email marketing campaigns can attract more loyal customers with every message.

4. Always Test Email Marketing for Restaurants!

Once you have created your campaign, it is important not to rest on your laurels.

After baseline data is captured, every message you send should be optimized and tested.

The best way to optimize and test your restaurant email marketing strategy is through A/B split testing or AB testing.

To clarify, AB testing involves taking an email message and creating a variation of the message with one major change made, such as:

  • Subject line change
  • Image change
  • Button color change
  • Messaging change

Then, you can send one message to half the recipients and the variation to the other half.

Or, after gathering enough baseline data, you can send the new variation to all campaign recipients.

Then, you measure the data to see which variation performed the best. At that point, you will accept the winner as the new campaign email and start the AB test process again.

Likewise, you can apply the information you gathered to other AB testing campaigns.

Remembering only to test one thing at a time is important.

For instance, if you made multiple changes and realized that the email with the change didn’t perform well, you will not know which change caused the decrease in performance.

Over time, your restaurant marketing emails will become more and more optimized, resulting in greater ROI.

crafting an email marketing plan

5. Measure and Monitor the Results of Your Email Campaigns

Of course, as a business professional, you will want to measure the ROI of each campaign you execute.

In the past, this was very difficult for offline, brick-and-mortar marketers.

Fortunately, using a customer data platform for your restaurant email marketing strategy allows you to measure accurate, tangible results.

For every campaign you launch, depending on the type of campaign, you will be able to see customer engagement:

  • Total emails sent
  • The average open rate of emails opened
  • Total email clicks
  • Coupon redemptions
  • Number of customers who returned
  • The value of customers who returned
  • Ratings and reviews given
  • Much more

With these kinds of statistics, it becomes easy to understand whether or not a specific campaign is bringing you the ROI required to extend the campaign’s life.

Or, you can quickly discover campaigns that are simply not performing.

Based on the results, you can optimize your restaurant email marketing strategy and gain a competitive edge in today’s highly competitive marketplace.

Restaurant Email Marketing Ideas and Examples

Considering the above information, look at various examples of effective email marketing campaigns. Below, you will find several possible restaurant email marketing examples with a restaurant customer data platform unified with a marketing automation platform.

6. The Happy Birthday Restaurant Email Examples


Birthday emails are perhaps the most popular email to send restaurant guests. What better way to engage a patron than to show them that you know their birthday is approaching and want them to experience it in your restaurant.

You should send the email a few days before their actual birthday. That way, they can easily include it in their plans for the day.

Most will offer an incentive for the guest, such as a free drink or dessert. The goal is to get them to visit with friends or family on a special occasion.

This can help increase guest loyalty.



7. The Loyalty Restaurant Email Marketing Example


With a WiFi marketing platform, creating and executing an effective customer loyalty program email flows becomes easy.

For instance, when a guest visits your restaurant five times, you can send them emails with a redeemable reward—20% off your next meal, a free appetizer, a free T-shirt, or anything else you want to offer.

Since the system can sense when individual guests visit your location, it will track their visit count.

Then it will automatically send the email with your reward when they reach the visit count of your choice.

The goal is to get them to return again and again. Plus, this is another way to engage your guests and keep your restaurant top-of-mind.


Restaurant Email Marketing Example 2 - Loyalty Program


8. The At-Risk Guest Restaurant Email Example


This campaign is probably the most powerful for your restaurant.

Bloom Intelligence uses artificial intelligence and machine-learning algorithms to determine when individual guests are at risk of not returning, also known as customer churn.

Then, when a guest is deemed to be at risk, the system automatically sends an email with an incentive or discount code to encourage the guest to return and re-establish repeat business.

As a result, Bloom’s users see up to 35%+ of their at-risk guests return. This is a huge boost for their revenue and CLV.

Plus, the system will track everything for you, letting you know if the guest returned and/or redeemed the incentive.

Here is a great case study of this restaurant’s email marketing example.


Restaurant Email Marketing Example 3 - At-risk Customers


9. The Special Occasion Restaurant Email Marketing Example


Holidays and special occasions are a great opportunity to engage with your customers via email.

Whether offering an incentive or not, sending an email for Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving, Veteran’s Day, or even National Chicken Wing Day can get guests to remember you when deciding on their plans.

Again, the email marketing solution will give you accurate reports of the ROI of every campaign, down to the guest walking back through your door.

Here is a great restaurant email marketing example from a Bloom user to drive repeat visits:


Restaurant Email Marketing Example 4 - Special Occasions


10. The First-Time Visitor Return Email


While it’s always exciting to realize you had a first-time visitor in your location, it’s even more gratifying when they return.

When a guest visits your restaurant and logs in for the first time, a customer profile is created for that patron.

You can configure the restaurant email software to automatically email first-time visitors after visiting your establishment.

By getting them to return for a second visit, you are helping them establish loyalty and a habit of visiting your restaurant.

The system tracks tangible ROI and first-time visitor return rates, which are easily seen in the graphic dashboard and reports.


Restaurant Email Example 5 - Second Visit


11. Guest Survey Restaurant Marketing Email


It is no secret that positive online ratings and reviews are a huge component of a successful restaurant business today.

With this restaurant email marketing campaign, you can help improve online ratings and even mitigate poor ratings.

After a guest visits your restaurant, the system waits a set period of time and then sends an email to collect feedback about their recent experience.

If the guest had a bad experience, you can follow up with an apology email and an incentive to get them back to give you another chance.

Over time, your online restaurant reputation will improve by collecting feedback to provide to restaurant management that will improve operations. Email marketing tools with surveys to collect feedback are important parts of your management tools.


Restaurant Ratings Email Example 6


12. Advanced Guest Ratings Email Marketing Example


Another great way to improve your restaurant’s reputation by improving ratings is to integrate directly with online review sites like Google, Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Facebook.

Using Bloom, you can send them emails shortly after they have dined at your establishment. This email contains buttons that will take the guest directly to the rating site where they can leave their rating and/or review. There is also a link they can click if they had a bad experience that will allow them to contact you directly so you can make things right and save them as a loyal guest. With Bloom Google and Facebook integrations, all ratings and reviews can be seen on the Bloom platform in one place. You can review and respond to them all in real-time. Here is an example of what this email marketing example looks like:

Restaurant Email Marketing Template for Review Request


13. Gift Cards Email Example

If you offer gift cards for your restaurant, let your guests know! Gift cards are a great way for restaurant owners to get new and current guests back through their doors. Whether it is a holiday, someone’s birthday, or a special occasion, gift cards are a popular way to encourage repeat business. Here’s a great example of a gift card email:


14. Take-Out and Delivery Email Example

The pandemic changed the way consumers choose to dine. Now more than ever, take-out and delivery orders are more popular than ever. If you offer a take-out or delivery service, ensure your guests are aware. Sending them an email to let them know will increase customer purchase frequency. Be sure to include a link to your online ordering platform and/or phone number when ordering. Also, if you have any restrictions on these orders or only offer delivery to a particular area, include that information. Here’s a simple email marketing example for delivery service:

Restaurant Marketing Email Example for Free Delivery


15. Online Ordering Email Example

Online ordering is also more popular than ever. Let your guests know they can order your items from their mobile phone or home/work computer. A simple email informing them or offering discounts for a first-time online order can bring a great return on investment!

Restaurant Marketing Email Example for Online Ordering


16. Mobile App Email Example

Are you launching a new mobile app for your restaurant?  Do you want more app downloads? Another great way to execute a restaurant email marketing campaign is to inform guests about your mobile app. Get more subscribers with a simple one-off email campaign!


17 – 21. Other Restaurant Email Marketing Examples

These are just some of the countless automated email marketing campaigns that can be created and executed using email marketing tools or a more comprehensive restaurant marketing software.

Other examples include:

  • Guest anniversary emails
  • Guest milestone emails
  • Any other “upon exit” email your team can brainstorm
  • Specials and new menu item emails
  • Upcoming events emails
  • Monthly newsletter

Every email can be sent immediately, scheduled, or based on specific behavior or demographic data.

Likewise, you can segment your guest list and email different guest personas, including which store they frequent.

Discover Bloom Intelligence Email Marketing Software

The above guide to email marketing for restaurants provides a step-by-step guide to launching and managing effective restaurant email marketing campaigns to increase your revenue.

Using an AI-powered restaurant marketing platform like Bloom Intelligence, you can realize the benefits of an automated system set to collect emails, build guest lists, and automate marketing to attract new customers and increase the frequency of existing guests. Bloom is powered by AI and real-time guest insights to enhance and optimize your email marketing.

So, if you’re looking for a low-cost, powerful way to create or improve your restaurant email marketing strategy, our best-in-class platform is your solution.

To see it all in action, call us at 727-877-8181, or click to schedule a free, no-obligation demo. Your answer is one click away!

Use Bloom For Your Restaurant Email Marketing Strategy


What our happy customers
are saying

“SaaS that covered so many bases for us instead of having to use multiple software products. Bloom Intelligence has simplified our responses to reviews, customer feedback, and more. I highly recommend Bloom Intelligence.”

Robert Sanderson

“Bloom Intelligence really is a step ahead in terms of marketing software and metrics. Their product is reliable, fast and innovative and has helped the company I work for really grow.”

John Marchetti

“Working with Bloom Intelligence has been amazing. They assist you every step of the way and work with you hand in hand to make sure you are optimizing your advertising potential. We are excited to use this tool to help learn more about our customers so that we can personally engage with them and understand our strengths/weaknesses.”

Ariel Ramirez

“In these challenging times, it has been a pleasure working with Bloom Intelligence to help facilitate our service offering to our clients. They were extremely responsive and provided support to mitigate risk and minimize revenue loss. Great partner!”

Stefan Kim

“We’re extremely pleased with the wealth of customer data that we’re able to gather, at a very attractive price.  In addition, we’re able to communicate our new product promotions by using  the landing page as a digital billboard.  A “no-brainer” for anyone working with limited Marketing $$.”

Bob Cross, Vice President of Operations

Restaurant Email Marketing FAQs

What is the best marketing strategy for restaurants?

Of all the restaurant marketing strategies, perhaps the most effective strategy is using a WiFi marketing and analytics platform. It allows you to collect customer contact information, segment your customer list, create targeted, personalized messaging, and remarket to them for maximum results.

What is restaurant remarketing?

Restaurant remarketing is a powerful way to connect with visitors to your website or customers who have logged into your WiFi. It allows you to send targeted advertising, and behavior-driven promotions to those people through online advertising or email marketing. It’s a key marketing concept that should be a primary focus of restaurant owners and marketers.

What is restaurant marketing segmentation?

Restaurant customer segmentation refers to the process of subdividing a customer base into specific groups based on similar demographics, psychographics, and/or various behavior data points. This information can guide restaurant marketing professionals when developing new marketing campaigns for each group or optimizing existing ones to personalize the customer experience online or at their physical locations.

How do you use smart coupons to market a restaurant?

The best and easiest way to implement and maintain a digital smart coupon program is to use a WiFi marketing and analytics platform like Bloom Intelligence. The platform allows you to easily create and send customers a unique, one-time-use code that they can redeem on their next visit. The coupon is stored on their mobile device.

The Power of Restaurant Email Marketing with Bloom

Optimize restaurant marketing in 2021

Optimize retail &
business operations

Track restaurant marketing in 2021

Track attribution of
customer campaigns

wifi marketing for new customers

Trigger marketing
campaigns based on
marketing presence

how wifi marketing helps

Measure the health
of corporate & franchisee

wifi marketing for coffee shops

Compare locations or
group of locations to
quickly identify opportunities
or threats

Are you ready to grow
your restaurant business with
email marketing?

If so, find out how Bloom’s restaurant marketing platform measures offline guest
behavior and builds guest loyalty.

It’s time to start leveraging your guest data to gain
a competitive edge. Then watch your profits grow.

Get a Free Demo