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[The Definitive Guide] How to Create a Restaurant Newsletter

[The Definitive Guide] How to Create a Restaurant Newsletter



June 25, 2024

June 25, 2024

create restaurant email newsletter
create restaurant email newsletter

Creating a newsletter for your restaurant can help you engage your guests and increase loyalty and sales. It’s also an opportunity to create a community around your brand and deliver better dining experiences.

Research shows that 60% of consumers subscribe to email newsletters to get promotional messages. In other words, customers want to learn more about what you have to offer.

Email marketing remains one of the most effective and least expensive types of marketing for businesses around the world.

Today, restaurants need to have an online presence. And they do so by being present on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.

But what about creating personalization for your guests? That’s where email marketing campaigns and newsletters come in.

They offer an opportunity to segment guests and reach them with personalized, targeted campaigns. That’s content that matters to them.

Sharing a post on Instagram means a generic post for all or most of your followers. On the other hand, using a segmentation in email marketing means you can send an email or newsletter to a select group. 

Want to create a restaurant newsletter? Then keep reading because our guide covers it all.

Benefits of email marketing for restaurants

Benefits of email marketing for restaurants

Email marketing can help F&B concepts in many ways.

You can use email marketing to communicate your reservation, cancellation, and no-show policies. You can also use it for special announcements and dishes.

Here are a few of those ways restaurants and F&B concepts can use email:

  • Make general announcements

  • Unveil special menus and dishes

  • Confirm bookings

  • Send reservation reminders

  • Send automated guest surveys

  • Unveil special offers

  • Create email campaigns

  • Personalize experiences

  • Reduce no-shows

Email marketing metrics to keep an eye on

Email marketing metrics to keep an eye on

When creating email campaigns and newsletters for your restaurant, you should track several email metrics.

While there are many email marketing metrics, their complexity differs based on the type of business you’re running.

For restaurants, these are the top 3 metrics you need to track:

-        Email open rate: This is the percentage of subscribers who opened your email. You can review your open rate for each email to see if your email subject lines are enticing guests to open your emails.

-        Click-through rate (CTR): This is the percentage of people who clicked any links in your email or newsletter. If you’re running an email campaign, it’s best to have one call-to-action (CTA). If it’s a newsletter, you can have multiple links and CTAs.

-        Unsubscribe rate: This is the number of people who have unsubscribed from your mailing list.

email newsletter metrics

To see how your email marketing efforts are doing, track the metrics that drive sales and loyalty. These are

-        Number of bookings: This is the number of people who made a booking after opening your restaurant’s email newsletter or campaign.

-        Sales/revenues generated: This is an estimate of the revenues generated from the bookings that came through your newsletter or campaign.

-        Guest surveys completed: This is the number of post-dine-in guest surveys completed.

If you’re using Servme, you can automate when guests receive surveys via email or SMS. Automated guest surveys help you ensure great and consistent guest experiences across your venues.

How to create a restaurant email newsletter

How to create a restaurant email newsletter

Now, let’s create your restaurant’s newsletter. This step-by-step quick guide will get you started quickly.

Step 1: Determine your goals

Start by defining your goals for creating a restaurant newsletter. You can have multiple goals for your newsletter.

Goals can include: Awareness like informing guests about locations, making announcements, boosting sales by increasing footfall and getting more online reservations,…etc.

Step 2: Create an email list 

Next, create an email list. To this, you can start by creating a signup box on your website. If you don’t have a website, create a simple landing page or form. You can use software like Mailerlite or Zoho to create the forms.

Regularly, share the link to your signup form and inform people about the benefits of signing up.

Make sure you don’t buy email lists from people online. This is a shady tactic that will land your newsletter in the spam or junk folder and result in a high unsubscribe rate.

Step 3: Choose an email marketing platform 

Your restaurant’s marketing tools include your email marketing platform. The platform you choose should be easy to use with available templates.

You can use email marketing software providers like HubSpot, Mailchimp, among others.

If you’re using Servme’s restaurant reservation software, you’ll find a CRM and restaurant marketing features including email and SMS marketing.

Servme’s email marketing platform comes with F&B-specific templates for email campaigns and newsletters.

Step 4: Design your email newsletter template 

The best way to create a newsletter is to create design and use it as a template. You can move things around in the template.

For example, create a banner design. This is what we use for Servme.

Then add a brief introduction. And then define sections like Restaurant Announcements, New Dishes, Special Offers,…etc.

Make sure you add a footer with your WhatsApp or local number and social media handles.

Step 5: Start writing your first newsletter 

Practice makes perfect. But the first step is to write your first newsletter.

Use the design template above and fill in the sections you’ve identified. If you don’t have a special announcement, then remove that section. Don’t leave it blank.

Add images to your dishes (if relevant) or to seating areas in your restaurant,…etc.

Images help break the copy and tempt readers. With food, that’s easy to do. You don’t have to take fancy images. Just use a good mobile camera and edit the images using software like Canva.

Add calls-to-action where relevant. These can be in the form of buttons or links.

Keep the buttons for the important CTAs like making an online booking. 

Step 6: Craft a catchy subject line 

Before you hit send, make sure you fill out the necessary information. This includes writing a catchy email subject line and adding a sender's name.

In the sender’s name, you can use one of the following ideas:

  1. [Name] from [Restaurant name]

Example: Rafy from One Orchid

  1. [Name of your restaurant] Newsletter

Example: One Orchid Newsletter

  1. The [Name of your restaurant] + newsletter frequency

Example: The One Orchid Monthly/Weekly

  1. Your name (this could be the name of the restaurant owner, manager, or marketing manager. However, if one of those people leaves, you’ll have to change the sender’s name)

  2. A name for your restaurant newsletter

Example: The Foodie House/House Foods/ABC’s

Note: It might be a hassle to think of a name for your newsletter. So, you may postpone this option till your newsletter gets some traction and subscribers. 

Step 7: Segment your readers 

Guest segmentation is important for various restaurant email marketing campaigns.

You can send your newsletter to everyone. But if you manage multiple venues, especially in several regions or countries, it’s a good idea to segment guests based on their location.

For example, if you have a venue in the UAE, another in Saudi Arabia, and one in the United States, sending a newsletter to everyone will not get the results you want.

In this case, it’s best to have a newsletter for each country. That way, when you add a link to the new digital menu, readers in the UAE know they can visit your UAE venue and try out that menu.

Meanwhile, your US-based guests won’t get that email. When they visit their nearest venue, there won’t be any confusion as to available menus and items.

Step 8: Schedule, send, repeat

Once you’ve written the content, give it a final review, choose the segment or segments, and schedule the newsletter. Select the date and time for the newsletter to go out.

It’s best to maintain a timeline when sending newsletters so guests can expect them. You can share this information in your ‘Welcome Email’ or in the first newsletter you send.

It could be the first Friday of each month or the first day of the month. It could also be the 15th of each month.

Use restaurant marketing automation to automate sending the email newsletters and other campaigns easily.

Create and manage your F&B’s email marketing with Servme

Create and manage your F&B’s email marketing with Servme

Email marketing tools should be part of your restaurant tech stack. You can use any email tool.

But if you’re using Servme, you get many systems bundled into one. Though Servme is a reservation, seating, and table management software, it comes with marketing features for F&B concepts.

Servme’s restaurant marketing software includes:

  • Booking channel integrations: These include social media integrations like Facebook and Instagram, Reserve with Google, as well as Tripadvisor, and Zomato.

  • Email marketing features: You can create an email newsletter, create and manage email campaigns, and automate confirmation and cancellation emails to your guests.

  • SMS marketing features: You can create and manage your restaurant’s SMS marketing campaigns from your Servme dashboard.

  • Dynamic Marketing Lists: This is a new Servme feature, where restaurants can create static and dynamic marketing lists. Dynamic lists are regularly updated based on changing or updated information in guests’ CRM profiles. On the other hand, static lists can only be updated manually.

This feature complements the auto-tagging feature used in guest segmentation.

For example, if you have an auto-tag for high spenders, who spend over AED 2,000 per month, any new guests who reach or pass this threshold are auto-tagged ‘high spenders.’

But besides auto-tags, dynamic lists automatically update with new guest information, ensuring your campaigns stay relevant and up-to-date, while static lists offer a fixed guest selection for specific, one-time campaigns.

In addition, Servme’s marketing software comes with restaurant email newsletter templates, which you can customize to your needs.

These are F&B-specific templates you can use to create your newsletter or any of your email campaigns.

Further reading: Increase reservations using Facebook & Instagram via Servme

As a restaurant that’s looking to build your email list, here are several ways you can do so:

  • Have an email signup form on your website.

  • Regularly share that you have a newsletter and include a link to get people to sign up.

  • Include a message in your emails to let people know that if they’ve been forwarded this email, they can sign up to your newsletter.

  • You can use Servme’s reservation widget to collect guest emails when they make an online reservation.

  • Get your hosts to inform guests about your newsletter, the perks of subscribing, and guests can join via a link or by having the host/hostess add it to their profile. 

Further reading: Learn How to Make the Most of SerVme’s Restaurant Table Management Software

Frequently Asked Questions about Restaurant Email Newsletters

Q: Should restaurants have an email list? 

A: Email marketing is good for restaurants because it can help them build loyalty and retention and increase their sales. Email builds a connection with guests. It’s also an opportunity to get customer feedback.

Whether it’s after guests visit your restaurant or if you want to know how people feel about your new menu items or something else.

You can create a survey and ask guests to vote on which new dishes, beverages, or desserts you can add to your menu.

Q: How often should I send a newsletter? 

A: There is no specific answer. However, it’s best to send newsletters on a regular basis. You can start with a quarterly newsletter and then move up to monthly.

It’s important you don’t email your guests too often that they stop opening your emails.

Note that you may be sending guests other emails besides your restaurant’s newsletter. These can include marketing campaign emails, confirmation emails, cancellation emails, and others.

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Posted by:

Nada Sobhi