Retrieve emails from your restaurant's customers to increase traffic.

Do you send emails to your customers? Whatever the size of your establishment, they can be very useful and significantly increase your attendance rate.

Published on 04/12/2021Sébastien Vassaux

Do you send emails to your customers? Whatever the size of your establishment, they can be very useful and significantly increase your attendance rate.

Why send emails?

First, remember that (almost) all of your customers have an email address. Email remains one of the cheapest and most effective ways to maintain direct contact with them.

Added to this is the simplicity of emailing compared to all other means of promotion. The email can be sent from anywhere, anytime… It will wait patiently in your client's mailbox and sure it will not be lost. At worst, simply put in the trash.

Finally, email simplifies interaction. If it makes you want or contains an element that interests / appeals to your customer, the latter will be likely to transfer it to other people. Likewise, if your customer has a question in relation to one of your emails, he can easily ask it by answering you. In fact, email encourages communication with your customers and strengthens the relationship you have with them!

When to send emails?

Emails are sent fairly regularly: there are plenty of opportunities to contact your customers!

The typical email for a restaurant: the menu of the season / of the month / of the week… This underlines your effort in terms of change of menu, variety, and it will encourage your client to visit you very soon. For this, your dishes must be highlighted (both by your text and your visuals).

The holidays are also a great opportunity to send emails that will highlight your restaurant. Communicate about your activity during the Christmas period, Valentine's Day,  Mother's Day ...

If you are facing a slack period and want to attract more customers, email is an excellent way to advertise your exclusive offers, your menus at reduced prices… So many reasons for them to visit your restaurant!

You can also launch emails that are more out of the ordinary, for example by involving the customer: why not have them vote for the next dish on your menu? Your customers appreciate these direct interactions where their opinion is taken into account. Participating also gives them the feeling that they have something to gain: here, to elect their favorite dish! The customer will move more easily to taste the dish he has selected himself.

Finally, your emails can be used to promote the new services you offer: the possibility of privatizing your restaurant, the organization of an "open house" day in your kitchen, the parallel catering activity, the setting up of cooking lessons …

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How to collect email addresses?

To obtain the email addresses of your customers, do not hesitate to  ask them directly  !

During the addition, you can, for example, place a card on the table on which their coordinates are to be filled in (don't forget to leave a pencil next to it!). This card must be both visually appealing and quick to complete.

Whether orally or in writing, discuss the benefits of subscribing to your newsletter: exclusive offers, the opportunity to be kept informed of the latest news ...

Some restaurateurs place a “jar” or an object that acts as an urn on their counter: this has the effect of encouraging customers more directly to deposit their newsletter subscription card there.

A German restaurateur also had the good idea to offer to take pictures of his customers at the table and send them in exchange for their email address.

Finally, if you are present on social networks, do not hesitate to ask for the email addresses of your community! Ditto if you have a website: leave a clearly visible newsletter subscription button.

How to send the emails?

To send your emails, you will need to have emailing software. These make the “massive” sending of emails simple and fast. If you are not familiar with software and emailing in general, don't panic: these solutions will guide you and offer you predefined email templates: attractive designs, few elements to change ...

Here are two of the emailing software that we believe to be the most relevant for a restaurateur who is new to emailing. These are easy to use and offer a very interesting free version:

  • Mailchimp ( http://mailchimp.com ): This is one of the most widely used emailing software in the world. Its free version will allow you to register up to 2,000 subscribers and send up to 12,000 emails per month. The only downside: the software is in English, which makes it difficult to use if you don't know the language.
  • Mailjet ( https://www.mailjet.com ): Simple and intuitive, Mailjet has the advantage of being available in French. The software also offers "ready to use" emails and with its free version, you can send 6000 emails per month and 200 emails per day maximum.
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