Newsletters are an essential part of a restaurant marketing plan.
While many think email marketing is mostly reserved for digital businesses and those with non-perishable goods, large restaurant chains have been effectively promoting their brands through the channel for a long time.
Building a restaurant newsletter, however, is quite complicated as the process isn’t as clear-cut as with, for example, SaaS businesses. There is no important or relevant industry news for the consumer, and restaurants generally don’t build an employee-focused brand.
We decided to make things easier for you by finding all the best restaurant newsletter examples online and including our own knowledge in the mix to create something that would let you create the best emailing campaigns for your business.
What is a Restaurant Newsletter?
A restaurant newsletter is an email that engages your customers. It allows businesses to offer consumers relevant content that increases brand awareness and encourages repeat visits.
Mostly, restaurants focus on seasonal promotions, their food, ingredients, and any other relevant news or updates from the restaurant.
While most newsletters are sent by large chains of restaurants, there’s no reason why a smaller one couldn’t benefit from the practice as well.
Emailing is extremely cheap and efficient nowadays, with email marketing platforms offering solutions designed specifically for smaller businesses. You could even create totally automated email marketing campaigns with the right user-friendly platform. This would help you avoid the cost of hiring a software developer to create complicated automation for you.
Additionally, with templates and easily accessible email marketing examples, email campaigns don’t have to take enormous amounts of time or high levels of expertise. Making a test run for a small emailing campaign can be done relatively quickly for any type of restaurant, so there’s no reason not to try.
What Can You Do With a Restaurant Newsletter?
Restaurant newsletters are generally used to keep existing customers coming back. Few restaurants try to build some sort of branding akin to other digital businesses, which makes the production of newsletters somewhat easier.
Most restaurants will focus on promotions and discounts since they target consumers rather than businesses. These often provide a great way to attract old and new customers, as prices are often a significant reason for picking a restaurant or any other business.
Finally, if your restaurant hosts events, you could add them to the newsletter to attract significantly more people. Sending out reminders always works as some people simply forget even if they want to attend.
Restaurant Newsletter Best Practices
If you’re starting a new restaurant newsletter or want to get better results from your existing one, here are a few best practices to follow.
Write a Catchy Subject Line
Just like a first impression when meeting someone live is important, so are newsletter subject lines. They are the first (and, often, final) thing someone reads when they get an email. Open rates will suffer greatly if the subject line is generic or too vague. Recipients will often consider it spam and leave it be.
Personalize Your Messages
Categorize your recipients and try to do your best to create something that seems personal to them. People have a distaste for automated emails, so sending out something that seems like it could apply to anyone worldwide is likely to make them unsubscribe.
Additionally, if the emails seem automated, they may be deemed a scam. They may even be marked as spam, making it harder for your emails to end up in inboxes in the future.
Follow our guide to improving email deliverability for some tips to avoid the spam folder.
Avoid Bombarding Your Subscribers with Emails
Sending out tons of emails may seem enticing just to keep people reminded about your business. It, however, may only serve to annoy your customers, which only causes them to visit your restaurant less.
Again, if too many emails are sent, they may also be considered spam, which would cause issues further down the road.
Use Food Images to Attract Consumers
Images are an important part of newsletters, as many people simply skim through the content and only stop if they find something interesting. Images often give readers a reason to pause and absorb the written text better, so using them should be part of your strategy.
There is some caution, though, as putting in too many high-quality images can cause the newsletter to load slowly, which ruins the experience. If it takes too long, some people can just click out of it before reading any of the content.
Send Your Newsletters at Appropriate Times
Usually, the best time to send newsletters is during the weekend. Most people have more free time, so open rates increase significantly. However, you may experiment with other times as these are just rules of thumb.
Sending out emails at the best time manually won’t always be possible. So, you should automate your process with an email marketing solution.
Additionally, with such a tool, you can not only schedule your email and text message marketing campaigns but also send automated sequences that are triggered by timing or user activity.
Check out our guide to drip campaigns for more information on this.
5 Examples of Restaurant Newsletters
Here are five great examples of restaurant newsletters that you can try for your own business.
Starbucks is one of the restaurants that send a newsletter on nearly any occasion, and they do it well. Their main proposal is often a combination of foods they offer that blend well with the holiday.
Starbucks also promotes Valentine’s Day chocolates, which they’re calling “A gift from the heart.” The email features beautiful images and a clean copy with a meaningful seasonal message.
Finally, there’s a Call-to-Action at the end, signaling when people should come to the restaurant, making it more likely to attract visitors.
Resy is a website that lists all the best restaurants worldwide with localized results. They sent a top 10 list as a newsletter back when the pandemic started fizzling out to entice people to get back into restaurants.
It’s a unique approach to the process because the company can provide value through its services. Many restaurants were closed, and some were forgotten, so Resy swooped in to deliver something many people would enjoy.
However, they had to get value for themselves, so they did, in the end, create an offer for those who don’t live in San Francisco. Resy pitched users to opt into their newsletter to get customized suggestions for the best restaurants in their own area.
Chick-Fil-A created a game out of their newsletter, offering people to find the words that would indicate their newest offering. These types of interactive newsletters can make your campaigns a lot of fun.
With a carefully curated mailing list, they can have a fairly pronounced effect as people feel they have invested a lot of time into discovering the secret, so they might as well give it a try.
Additionally, Chick-Fil-A knew that not everyone would be going through the game to discover the secret, so at the bottom, they dropped something that would be valuable to those people as well.
Allplants is a vegan food delivery service that sends newsletters as a way to introduce new menu items. Additionally, they often also include any updates to the existing menu.
Sending simple updates, however, wouldn’t be as enticing for their subscribers, so they added an offer that allows them to get a taste of the new item. Without the free offer, emails like these may seem spammy.
To truly drill down on the value they provide through emails, they add nutritional information about their food as a way to promote healthier choices. It’s essentially audience segmentation, as there’s definitely overlap with being vegan and looking for healthy food choices.
Dunkin’ sent out a promotional email during Mother’s Day that made it easy to send out an e-gift card. While it’s not some incredible value, Dunkin’ makes it easier for some recipients to think of a Mother’s Day present.
Their entire value revolves around making the difficult part of holidays and celebrations, presents, a lot easier. Sometimes extremely simple newsletters can be quite effective at getting attention. This option likely won’t cause a lot of people to choose Dunkin’ over any other destination, but it’s a decent attempt if you’re tight on time.
How to Create a Restaurant Newsletter
As you may have seen, creating a restaurant newsletter can be quite easy. They range from highly complicated combinations of food items and holidays to simple gift card templates. All of them can work as long as the newsletter is well-written and sent out at the right time.
Plan Your Newsletter Strategy
Before even engaging in any writing, there are a few questions to be answered. Knowing the goal of your newsletter is essential as that will define every other step. In general, newsletters can be separated into several categories:
Each of them can be chosen arbitrarily; however, it’s often best to think about your target audience. If you run a fine dining restaurant, your patrons will likely be less interested in silly entertainment or small discounts. On the other hand, fast-food restaurants will benefit greatly from such newsletters.
Finally, decide how often you’ll be sending out the newsletters. For promotional ones, you can do that as often as you have a discount. Entertainment and informational ones will have to be more carefully curated.
Choose a Template for Your Restaurant Newsletter
Start by finding a template that suits your brand. Again, that will highly depend on the type of restaurant you run. Fine dining restaurants will want more tame templates with darker colors and a more official approach. Fast-food restaurants might need to pick something more flashy.
Additionally, you should always pick an email marketing solution provider with a large library of templates, features, and images. Automation makes your life significantly easier, even when it’s sending emails. With a good provider, you’ll also be able to track data better, which means you can optimize newsletters further down the road.
Add Content to Your Newsletter Template
Finally, good content is an essential part of every newsletter. It should be noted that that includes everything from subject lines to images. There are a few rules of thumb to follow when you’re writing a newsletter:
- Write a catchy subject line.
- Add a preheader that’s enticing
- Fill in with a couple of compelling images.
- Ensure great value and writing within the newsletter.
Pick the Right Email Marketing Provider
Don’t send out newsletters manually. Find email marketing providers that offer a wide range of features that help you automate the entire production of the process. Ensure that you’re not overpaying for the solution.
For example, Wishpond offers a user-friendly template-based email editor. This is connected with an all-in-one marketing solution – including automation abilities, a lead management database, and lead generation tools to grow your email list. All wrapped up in one easy platform.
Create Your Restaurant Newsletter Today
Now you can start building amazing restaurant newsletters. As you can see, both large and small brands consistently use marketing methods to attract newcomers and maintain existing customers.
With email marketing solutions being so cheap nowadays, there’s no good reason to avoid making newsletters. Simply pick a good provider, use the article as your guide, and you’ll be good to go!
Frequently Asked Questions
What should be included in a restaurant newsletter?
Always include either a promotion, some entertainment, or important information. Then add a catchy subject line, a few images (mostly of food), and a call to action. These are the essential parts of a restaurant newsletter.
What makes a restaurant newsletter stand out?
For fast food chains, entertainment in the form of minigames or huge discounts will make emails stand out. For fine dining, use a carefully crafted design with an informational focus.
What should you not put in a restaurant newsletter?
Avoid adding irrelevant information to your target audience. Focus on giving them something valuable – a discount, important information, or some entertainment. Additionally, avoid adding too many links or images.___
Skirmantas Venckus is a writer by day and reader by night. He is the growth hacker at Sender.net – the email marketing provider that is focused on user-friendliness, affordability, and utility.