Email marketing is still one of the most effective, and one of the most ignored, marketing tactics. With social media, texting, and every new technology, business owners have let their email lists take a back seat. But email marketing for restaurants can be incredibly effective because you are staying ahead of the audiences that have already shown interest in your restaurant.

According to OptinMonster:

  • More than 90 percent of adults in the United States use email, with 99 percent of them checking their email every day
  • The return on investment (ROI) for email marketing is 28.5 percent higher than it is for direct mail
  • Email marketing has, on average, a 38x ROI. Meaning, for every dollar you spend, you should see $38 in return

So how do you set up an email marketing strategy for your restaurant? Here are our favorite strategies for email marketing for restaurants:

Restaurant Promotions

Probably the most obvious way to attract returning customers is by sending out promotions. Whether it’s a birthday treat, a 2 for 1 deal, or a percentage off during a certain time frame, promotions are a great way to keep your restaurant top-of-mind.

New Restaurant Menu

A new menu is another great way to remind your former guests that you are still relevant and worth visiting. Highlight your new items, and don’t forget to include plenty of photos.

You can also send out any themed menu nights you may have coming up.


Personalization doesn’t mean you have to tell your guests about your deepest, darkest thoughts. What it means is you should be showing your guests that your restaurant is run by real, local people.

You can include photos or videos of you cooking, creating menu items, or just sharing what you have coming up.

You can also create a series introducing your audience to your staff members and owners.

Highlighting Your Restaurant’s Customers

Showing your regulars, a child celebrating their birthday, or someone giving you a good review are all great ways to show real people enjoying what you do.

Another great tip would be if you have any eating contests or other special dishes — showing a customer competing, or just eating that dish, would be a great way to show how you are different than your competitors.

Special Events

Sharing special events with your customers, like holidays or not-so-real holidays (like National Hot Dog Day) are great ways to remind your audiences what you do and how you are the best at it.

Remind your guests of sports events, national TV events, or just to let them know you will be closed for certain holidays.

All of these are great ways to stay top-of-mind for your guests, while reminding them you are there when they need you.

Email marketing does not have to be difficult. Collecting email addresses through your website, special promotions, or in-restaurant will be the first step, but once you begin — you can begin staying in communication with those guests on a regular basis.