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Marketing for Restaurants? What to Do and What not to Do

on July 11, 2018

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If you work in the restaurant business, you’ve probably fallen for the marketing myth that social media is where it’s at when it comes to connecting with your customers. But really there are so many methods of marketing for restaurants. 

Marketing for Restaurants

Marketing for Restaurants

There’s nothing wrong with social as one part of your overall strategy. But if you’ve bought into it hook-line-and-sinker, you may be neglecting your greatest marketing asset: email.

Why We Love Email Marketing for Restaurants

  • No worries about algorithm changes or flavor-of-the-week news feed tweaks.
  • You can interact with diners whenever you choose, and your email will end up directly in their inbox, without them having to wade through a news feed or search you out on social.
  • The email addresses are yours (By contrast, social networks are still the ones that own the data, no matter how many likes or followers you have).
  • For all their perks, social platforms impose character and content limits that email marketing does not.
  • There are technology and data available to tell you:
    • What type of emails diners prefer
    • Which ones they open and click on most
    • What day (and time) they are most likely to read and respond to your email

You can personalize your email content according to diner preferences. As you build your email list, you can segment it along the way so that certain groups within your larger content get their emails customized in additional ways.

Email promotion is more cost-effective than social media advertising, and many email marketing platforms (like MailChimp) have a free or low-cost version that you can integrate with your existing Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool for easy list segmenting and personalizing. It also offers lots of great metrics to better inform your reporting and analytics.

Email Marketing Ideas

So you know you need email marketing for your restaurant, but what type of content should you share? We have a few ideas:

  • Welcome/Thank You Email
  • Happy Hour Specials
  • Community Events (either near your restaurant or at which you’ll be or at which you’ll be serving food)
  • Introduce New Seasonal Menu Items
  • Welcome New Chef
  • Ask for Feedback/Ideas for Drinks and Dishes
  • Share Email-Only Discounts and Offers

We love helping restaurant professionals level-up the quality of their email marketing. If you’re not already maximizing its strengths, consider using it to deliver hospitality— right to your customers’ inbox.


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