Top 12 Trending Restaurant Email Marketing Ideas That You Don’t Want to Miss

October 21, 2022
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According to Emarsys, over 80% of small to medium-sized enterprises use email as their major marketing channel for getting customers. The average restaurant email open rate is 20%, outdoing the retail sector. And as reported by the Data & Marketing Association, more than 65% of customers have made an online purchase because of an email marketing message.

The secret to success in restaurant email marketing campaigns is providing value. Read here for the best email marketing ideas that will help you with that. Included are also some of the email campaigns in the restaurant industry and what makes them so great that you want to copy them. 

Why are email marketing campaigns important for a restaurant?

U.S Consumers' preferred brand communication channel

With email marketing, you send emails to customers for product or service promotions. But more than this, this marketing campaign is beneficial in multiple ways:

Give your customers what they want; according to Adestra’s study, people prefer receiving promotional content and offers through email. 

Help forge meaningful customer relationships.

Keep your restaurant top of mind.

Pretty simple to set up, test, and distribute.

Boost traffic on slow days.

Help with a direct increase in sales thanks to direct communication with your customers.

Recover the revenue with the site visit or abandoned cart follow-up emails.

Help you up-sell and cross-sell through sending relevant emails that meet customer preferences.

Drive customer retention as email marketing is over 55% more effective than any other restaurant marketing strategy.

Be cost-effective and give the restaurant owner control of when and how they communicate with the customers.

How to get people in your restaurant email marketing: Ideas with examples

1. Send a welcome email

Sending welcome emails is an easy way to confirm to customers that they are your email subscribers now, introduce yourself to them, and attract customers to come back as soon as possible. It will be great if this welcome email also includes an exclusive offer as your way of thanking them for their patronage. Else, take the email as an opportunity to promote your upcoming events.

Some best restaurant email marketing examples in this regard:

Bruegger’s Bagel

This first example has an upbeat vibe, feels personal (e.g., “insider”), includes a yummy-looking photo, and prevents the perks of joining the restaurant email list.

Not Your Average Joe’s

This restaurant email has a bold headline and a clear CTA (call to action)


An easy-to-follow design


When simplicity means elegance


Attention-grabbing food images

2. Celebrate customer's birthday

Sending birthday emails is another restaurant email marketing campaign that is surely successful. Ideally, included in this congratulatory email is a pleasantly surprising gift, say giving free dessert when they dine in your restaurant on their birthday or offering a discount code for use at checkout when they order online.

Some examples customers love:

Bonefish Grill

Marketing emails like this make customers feel special, offer more than one option for the gift, have a clear CTA, leverage powerful words, and include social media handles.

ASK Italian

The email sends the half-birthday wish-cum-freebie, which is an element of surprise (not many. Also, it has an appealing visual and shows flexibility (the discount code applies to any of their restaurants nationwide)

3. Take personalization one step further

Aside from adding the guest’s name and sending the ‘happy birthday email to them, you may create personalized promotions. For example, with One2’s loyalty and rewards program, creating promotions for loyal customers based on diner behaviors like orders placed and spend cannot be easier. Contact us for unparalleled support on this.

4. Promote special events and parties at your restaurant

For events and parties you have (e.g., Halloween celebration with a masquerade party), you may invite customers to join through your restaurant newsletter or email campaign. Should you be serving unique menu items such as Halloween ghost cookies, add that information near the representative photo in the email. And when creating a promotional email, the key takeaway is to ensure the customers know precisely what you want them to do.

Some restaurant email marketing examples in this regard:

The Knife

It looks festive, is transparent about the price, gives a brief of what you can expect at the party, has a memorable tagline, and adds contact information for reservations.


Pictures are worth a thousand words.


The power of a personal invitation


As the email inboxes of everyone are too full today, keeping the messaging simple can ensure your guests read your email. Also, this is a great example of an attention-grabbing email template that helps upselling ("invites you and a friend to be our guests").


Get to the point.

5. Capitalize on holidays

Holidays like Christmas and Mother's Day are great excuses to connect with your restaurant customers and provide them with gift card offers or other deals. One of the advantages of sending gift cards is that it helps with positive word-of-mouth marketing. People do not tend to be silent about a gift they get during the holiday. 

For instance, this email marketing strategy for loyal customers gives them a chance to send their mother an e-gift card along with some tasty goodies!


It made its own food holiday to leverage, offered a new topping easily added to many pasta options, had a clear CTA, and made a good connection with December as the season of giving.

The restaurant email marketing design is eye-catching and excellent at directing customers to the CTA. 

6. Promote online ordering

You are recommended to promote your business operation’s new features via email campaigns. For example, One2’s ordering system offers the ability to grow your 1st-party online orders. And this is a good opportunity to share relevant offers tied to off-premise ordering with the dine-in customers in your loyalty program to show your gratitude for their patronage.

(Image: Tortelli Pasta Bar)

This restaurant email delivers a concise and compelling message, highlights the deal, and adds the restaurant website URL for ordering. It also has good juxtaposition.

7. Spotlight new menu items

Whether you create some new menus or revamp an old dish, let repeat customers and new customers be in the loop about it with One2 Menu and marketing emails. For example, as far as email marketing goes, you may highlight one new menu item by going in-depth, from the ingredients to the story behind it. This helps improve your restaurant's branding and customer engagement. 

(Image: Gusto)

This restaurant email design is simple and elegant. The story is like a cozy winter one. And the restaurant name-drips locations that it was inspired by for its new menu items, delivering a sense of authenticity. The email also includes a link for more details about the new meal, and a clear landing page CTA.

8. Know the power of promotions

Appetizing offers are highly likely to attract customers and increase your revenue. You can underline the deal's urgency in the subject line by leveraging terms such as "Limited-time off" and "Hurry up".

(Image: Pizza Express)

In this restaurant email, the name of every offer is catchy, and the design is colorful and attractive. There are 2 CTA as well. Besides, the timeless slogan bolsters the restaurant branding.

A good example of email-only offer promotion. The simple back image of this opt in form conveys a positive vibe that reinforces the perks that the customers will get once they become email subscribers.

It is sent to loyal guests as a prompt for customer engagement with the restaurant in a new way.  

9. Show stellar reviews

One of the best restaurant email marketing strategies, this involves showing customers stellar feedback that the satisfied guests have left. Pick some from your website, Yelp, or TripAdvisor, and encourage customers to leave your restaurant a review, too.

Else, you can send a heartfelt message like the one below that expresses how crucial feedback is to your business and how appreciated you are if they would leave you one.

(Image: Jack’s Backyard BBQ)

It has the owner's photo for a more personal touch, a visible review button, and relevant information such as restaurant address, phone number, and opening hours.

10. Share recipes & cooking tips

On the one hand, this email strategy may not help increase your sales immediately. But on the other hand, by sharing your expertise with guests, they will feel less distant from the brand. 

(Image: LeBasil)

This restaurant email highlights that the recipes are easy. It also provides a bit of everything and includes easy high quality images and expressive food descriptions.

11. Highlight blog articles

Sharing your articles in the restaurant newsletters would be great as well. These can be interviews with your staff, stories about how you opened the restaurant or news related to your brand.

(Image: Babbo)

The restaurant email reads like a newspaper and addresses multiple topics. It also adds various CTAs for different customers’ needs. Better yet, the “Forward to a friend” link helps boost the email’s chances of being shared in other marketing channels.

12. Send loyalty program updates

One2’s loyalty program helps your restaurant and ghost kitchen increases customer retention naturally and smoothly. So, make sure you use it to your best advantage.

The large image presents fine detail and induces hunger. Besides, targeted offers, readable text, and on-brand colors impress recipients.

Related questions 

1. How can I build an email database for my email marketing campaigns?

Create a contact form.

Show an attractive popup on your website that features an opt in.

Create email-only offers.

Ask guests to join your email list

Include subscription buttons in your restaurant's social media accounts.

Offer free internet in exchange for an email address.

Promote your restaurant newsletter on printed materials.

Develop a referral program.

Use the One2 platform.

Offer downloadable cheat sheets that customers can get on their email.

2. What subject line should I try? 

Some restaurant email subject lines that work:

Happy Birthday, [First Name]! The dessert is on us!

Unwrap Our Halloween Gift for You! The offer ends in 1 hour.

Late Night Cravings? We Have Effortless 24/7 Instant Delivery!

Hey, we miss you. Here’s 25% off Your Next Order.

Last Chance to Taste Our Exclusive Sushi!

Get Priority Access to Our Brand-New Dish. Claim It Now!

Hurry Up – 2 for 1 Burger Offer Ending Soon!

Bored? Play a Game to Get a Gift Card.

3. How can I do restaurant email marketing with MailChimp?

Step 1: Build your email marketing list with the One2 ordering system that integrates with MailChimp, an effective email marketing service. One2 collects customer data and automatically syncs them to MailChimp for contact management practices.

Step 2: Choose ‘Create Campaign’ in your MailChimp account.

Step 3: Design your restaurant email using available templates.

Step 4: Send a test email to yourself.

Step 5: Send the email out.

4. Email marketing benchmarks?

  • Email open rate: 23.3%
  • Clickthrough rate: 2.94%
  • And unsubscribe rate: 0.28%

5. Restaurant email marketing tips?

Tuesdays and Thursdays are the recommended days to send out emails for your restaurant. Saturdays and Sundays are a no-no. 

When possible, use percentages or numbers in the subject lines.

Create personalized promotions through segmentation.

Capitalize on Facebook Custom Audiences (with email list) to attract new customers.

Avoid sending an email blast to your whole list. 

Keep to about 2 email campaigns monthly. More than 4 is too much and may make you end up in the spam folder.

6. What is better – social media or email?

Social media is great for brand building. 

Meanwhile, you may want to create emails for marketing campaigns that target to drive conversions.

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