Your Guide to Restaurant Email Subject Lines for Better Conversions

Your Guide to Restaurant Email Subject Lines for Better Conversions



November 23, 2023

November 23, 2023

Did you know that 64% of readers decide whether or not to open an email based on its subject line? Or that 69% of email recipients will report an email as spam based on the subject line? If you’re not carefully crafting your restaurant’s email subject line, then keep reading!

Often, restaurants and F&B operators don’t give their subject line much attention. But restaurant email subject lines are the first thing your guests and readers see. It’s what gets them to open your email or send it to their spam folder.

So, whether you’re planning to create a monthly newsletter, or email marketing campaigns, your email subject line is critical.

In this article, we’ll be focusing on email subject lines for restaurants and F&B operators. We’ll highlight some important industry statistics and show you some examples of restaurant email subject lines. 

Why is email marketing important for your restaurant?

Besides having one of the highest return on investment (ROI) rates, email marketing helps restaurants in many ways.

Email marketing is affordable 

Investing in email marketing doesn’t have to be expensive. Especially, if you’re using advanced restaurant CRM software like SerVme, where you get an entire email platform in your table management software.

Email marketing increases loyalty and retention 

One of the main reasons businesses build email lists is to create long-term relationships with their customers. Restaurants are no different.

Email marketing helps you increase retention and repeat business. Data shows that a 5% increase in loyal customers means 25% to 95% more revenues.

Easy to set up and automate 

It’s easy to hop on an email marketing platform, design your newsletter or email campaign, and start sending out emails.

Using email software, including SerVme’s restaurant marketing automation features, you can automate your entire email marketing strategy.

Lots of opportunities for personalization 

One of the major perks of email marketing is being able to create personalized digital experiences for your new and current guests.

If you’re using SerVme’s restaurant CRM, combine auto-tagging and guest profiles to create segmented and hyper-personalized experiences for your guests.

You can build and own your email list 

One of the biggest problems with social media and third-party platforms is businesses don’t own their customers’ data. 

If Twitter, or any other platform, decides to shut down, you’ll lose all your data and connections to your guests. Similarly, if your account gets suspended in a so-called routine check or if the platform changes its algorithm, you’re stuck and at a loss.

Email, however, is different. You own your email list and can use it in many ways to increase engagement and revenues. 

Email marketing offers opportunities to create digital guest experiences, increase retention, get reviews, and more. 

Why subject lines matter

As mentioned, the email subject line gets a reader to open an email. If your subject line isn’t catchy, chances are it’ll remain unopened, end up in spam or trash, or both.

Creating a catchy email subject line for your restaurant doesn’t mean you have to offer something free. Or overthink the headline.

Email subject lines can do one or more of the following:

  • Be informative

  • Be enticing

  • Be educational

  • Be emotional

  • All of the above

Research by HubSpot found that “the most effective email subject lines engage curiosity, include promotional offers, and are personalized to each recipient’s interests.”

Think we’re overreacting about email subject lines? Don’t take our word for it. Here’s what the stats have to say about readers and emails.

  • 33% of readers open emails because of “catchy subject lines.” (HubSpot)

  • Your subject line determines whether readers open your email or send it to spam. 47% of readers open emails based on the subject line, while 69% report emails as spam after reading the subject line. (Zippia)

  • Adding numbers to your subject line means readers are 17% more likely to open your email. (OptinMonster)

  • Adding one or more emojis in the subject line increases open rates by 13.65%. (Mailmodo)

  • Adding urgency to your subject line increases your open rate by an average 22%. (Zippia)

One of the major benefits of email marketing is personalization. This means segmenting your email list to send customers highly-targeted emails.

For example, with email personalization and segmentation, your vegan guests won’t be getting your new seasonal meat dishes. And they’ll be more than content to not receive this announcement that doesn’t entice them at all.

But that’s not all. Data shows that

  • Readers are 26% more likely to open an email with a personalized subject line. (Paubox)

  • Readers are 50% more likely to open an email if the subject line is a question. (Hubsell)

  • The “most effective strategies for email marketing” are segmenting your email list (78%), personalizing your emails (72%), using email automation (71%). (HubSpot)

Email subject lines: Best practices

To get readers to open your restaurant’s emails, whether it’s a newsletter or campaign, here are a few tips to get you started.

  • Your email subject line shouldn’t exceed 70 characters including spaces.

  • Remember that 81% of readers are checking and reading their email via mobile devices. So, take into consideration that mobile email subject lines shouldn’t exceed 30 characters (including spaces).

  • Keep your restaurant email subject line short. Because your word count affects your open rate. The longer your subject line, the more likely it’ll be cut off, and the less likely readers will open it.

Data shows that subject lines with 6 to 10 words have the highest open rate of 21%. Meanwhile, subject lines with 21+ words have the lowest open rate of 9%.

Your restaurant’s email subject line should reflect the content of your email. However, data shows that there are some words that can increase open rates compared to others.

Knowing these words may help you create your restaurant’s email marketing strategy. That said, you shouldn’t use these words just to increase your open rate. Readers will feel like you’re trying to dupe them, will unsubscribe, and report you as spam.

Research by Zippia shows

  • Email subject lines with the word ‘video’ have a higher open rate of 7% to 13%

  • Readers are 10% more likely to open emails with the word ‘free’ in the subject line.

  • Subject lines with the word ‘newsletter’ are 18.7% less likely to be opened.

In addition to creating catchy subject lines, here are a few more tips to keep readers’ attention when reading your emails.

  • Use short, punchy sentences

  • Keep your paragraphs short

  • Be conversational

  • Make sure buttons and/or links are clear

  • Keep your email subject line till the end (after you write your email or newsletter)

  • Create 3 to 5 subject lines before you make a final decision

  • A/B test subject lines to see which gets a better open rate

Types of emails you can send as a restaurant

There are many types of email campaigns and ideas you can send as a restaurant owner or marketing manager. Here are a few ideas:

  • General monthly newsletter: This can include several sections like news, events, updated closing times…etc.

  • Monthly events newsletter: This is for restaurants and concepts that regularly hold special events. The email usually includes links to upcoming events where guests can book a table or make reservations.

  • Special events: Many restaurants, especially hotel F&B concepts, have weekly and monthly events that often require in-advance booking.

  • Special announcements: These can include announcements like opening a new branch, revamping a current venue, a new partnership, new or secret menus,…etc.

  • Birthday email campaigns to increase retention and footfall.

  • Guest surveys and ratings or review emails: These are emails asking guests to rate their most recent experience.

  • Sales email campaigns to increase reservations and footfall.

  • Confirmed reservation emails.

  • Canceled reservation emails.

Examples of clickable restaurant email subject lines

Using the above types of emails you’re likely to send as a restaurant, here are a few ideas or use cases for each type of email.

Email subject lines for upcoming events 

  • Have you booked your table for [event name]?

  • Discover [Restaurant Name]’s upcoming special events

  • Mark your calendar for [event name]!

  • Don’t miss out on [event name] book your table now!

  • Limited-time [Valentine’s Day] offer just for you <3

  • Just a few tables left for [event name]

  • Countdown to [event name]. Book your table today!

Email subject lines for guest-related events (birthdays) 

  • Happy birthday [guest name]! Grab your special birthday offer (add birthday cake emoji)

  • Happy birthday! Here’s your special birthday [deal/offer]

  • We’ve got a special surprise for your birthday (look inside)

  • It’s your birthday! Dessert is on us (add dessert emojis)

Email subject lines for special offers

  • Get 15% off your next visit! Grab your discount now!

  • Get 50% off all beverages on weekdays! Learn more here

  • Leave a review & get 10% off your next visit!

  • Are you going to miss out on this limited-time offer?

  • Special discount inside!

Restaurant email subject lines for guest surveys 

  • Your opinion matters! Tell us about your last experience

  • Help us make unforgettable dining experiences (3-minute survey inside)

If you’re conducting a long survey, you may want to add an incentive in the subject line.

  • Answer our 3-minute survey & get a free drink

  • Help us improve your experience. Answer a quick survey & win!

Email subject lines for new menu items 

  • The [menu item/seasonal menu] has arrived! Check it out

  • Try [menu item] now at [restaurant name]

Re-engagement restaurant email subject lines 

Re-engagement emails are for guests who haven’t been to your restaurant or venues in 3 or more months. One of the top ways to entice them back is with a special, limited-time offer.

  • We’ve missed you! Drinks on us on our next visit

  • Special [offer] on [guest’s favorite menu item]. Grab it now!

  • 15% off your next check at [restaurant name]! 

Restaurant newsletter email subject lines

With newsletters, it’s important to decide when you’ll be sending your newsletter. Unlike other types of email campaigns and occasions, newsletters require some form of consistency.

The design should relatively be the same for your newsletters, along with the same sender, and relatively informative subject line.

There are a few things to take into consideration when sending a newsletter to your guests.

  • Is it a weekly or monthly newsletter?

  • Will you send it on the first day of the month or the first Friday of the month?

  • Are you sending it to your entire mailing list? Or those in a specific location or country?

  • What do you want to include in your newsletter?

Unlike email marketing campaigns, newsletters can house several calls-to-action and updates.


We recommend creating at least 3 to 5 email subject lines before choosing one. But this doesn’t mean you have to overthink your subject lines. 

In fact, we recommend keeping the subject line to the end. Kind of like how we write headlines for our blog posts. This takes away the pressure of making an important decision and gives you ideas about what to include in your subject line.

We highly recommend you A/B test your subject lines to see which of them get better results. This can help you create better restaurant email subject lines faster.   

Now that you’re familiar with how to create enticing email subject lines for your email campaigns and newsletters, it’s time to put it to the test.

Create your first email campaign with SerVme.

SerVme offers table management software and restaurant CRM software, helping restaurants and F&B concepts manage various operations, including their email and SMS marketing campaigns. 

Not a SerVme user? Get in touch to learn more about how SerVme helps you grow your restaurant business.

Posted by :

Mohammed Rafy