Email Frequency Tips For Restaurants

Our clients often ask us how often they should send emails to their customers. While there is no magic answer, there are some guidelines. In the “old” days, when restaurants paid a lot of money to do direct mail and print advertising, it was easier to be selective and not advertise too often. But with email being relatively inexpensive, it’s tempting to send your target customers frequent messages. Jay Goltz, a writer with the New York Times, has coined the term “e-nnoyance elasticity.” E-nnoyance elasticity is the number of people who will unsubscribe to your list as you increase the number of emails you send. Obviously we don’t want customers to unsubscribe, so we need to find the happy medium of just the right email frequency.

As a general rule, we suggest emailing your customers once a week. Depending on the information you have to share, you may find it necessary to email more or less than this. If you can answer YES to at least one of the four questions below, then it is probably ok to send the email you are planning:

Is the content or information new? If you email your customers each week with the same subject line – “This Week’s Specials” – you’re going to lose subscribers. People don’t want to see the same thing over and over, and chances are, your specials don’t always change week to week. But if your specials do change, move forward with your email. We have a seafood client that changes its specials weekly and lets its customers know. This builds anticipation and helps customers plan their schedules.

Is there an action that can be taken right away? Consider including an offer that has to be redeemed within 24-48 hours of receiving the email. Make sure you include that the email must be printed and brought in or shown to you on a mobile device in order for the offer to be redeemed.

Are you adding value to your customers’ day? Maybe you can share a chef’s recipe from your kitchen that they can make for dinner that night. Or point them in the direction of the farmers market where you buy local produce.

Do you have something different to offer from your competition? Maybe you’ve just won an award, or you are the first in your area with the latest microbrew. Maybe you are hosting a fundraiser event, a live band. Brag about it to your customers.

Our last tip is to strongly consider using an email marketing tool rather than a desktop email client such as Outlook or Thunderbird. An email marketing tool will track how useful your emails are to your customers, which will help you determine frequency. And if you use eateriaTM, an email tool designed for the restaurant industry, you’ll have more success reaching your clients and tracking who redeems your offers. eateriaTM was designed by restaurant marketing experts at Dining Dialog. Emails sent by the folks at Dining Dialog have an average open rate of 39%, versus an 8% average open rate in the industry.

Views: 424


You need to be a member of FohBoh to add comments!

Join FohBoh

Comment by Steve Sleasman on October 5, 2012 at 8:12pm

Good stuff




Social Wine Club for Craft Wineries


Kids LiveWell atwitter over Twitter party

In its continuing effort to promote more nutritious and flavorful children's menu options, the NRA will hold a Twitter party  -More

Starbucks could become top on-premise wine seller in U.S.

Starbucks is planning to slowly expand its evening sales of wine, beer and small plates to thousands of selected stores throu -More

The evolving nature of snacks

Snacks have shifted from an after-school treat to a meal alternative as meal times become more fragmented.  -More


Posting a job or finding a job starts here at FohBoh. Call us about special $25 posting packages to syndicate across all major jobs boards.

National News

Wahlburgers Announces Expansion Plans Including Franchise Agreement in Philadelphia

Wahlburgers has signed a franchise agreement with Hingham Associates, LLC that will bring five Wahlburgers to the metropolitan Philadelphia area over the next several years. The franchise group is actively looking at sites and is targeting a late 2014-early 2015 opening for its first restaurant.

Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. First Quarter 2014 Revenue Up 24.4%

Comparable restaurant sales increased 13.4% - Restaurant level operating margin was 25.9%, a decrease of 40 basis points

Jamba Juice Announces Grand Opening of New St. Louis, MO Location

Jamba Juice Company announced the brand’s continued expansion in the St. Louis market with the opening of a Jamba Juice® store at 11477 Olive Blvd. on April 16, 2014.

Expert in Real Estate Analytics Joins Luna Grill

Luna Grill, the San Diego-based Mediterranean restaurant chain, is welcoming retail real estate industry veteran Greg Thorburn to its leadership team. Thorburn has been brought on board to fill the newly created position of Vice-President of Real Estate.

Rita's Italian Ice Awards Area Development Agreement for Kansas

Rita's Italian Ice has awarded franchise and area development agreements for Kansas and the Kansas City area, which extends to the Missouri side of the city, to franchisees and local residents Jay Miller, Jeff Miller and Pat Reilly.


If you are looking for capital to start or grow your restaurant, create the next 501c3, develop and launch the next app for the restaurant industry,or want to help your peers in some meaningful way, we want to know about it.


TED: Matthew Carter: My life in typefaces - Matthew Carter (2014)

Pick up a book, magazine or screen, and more than likely you'll come across some typography designed by Matthew Carter. In this charming talk, the man behind typefaces such as Verdana, Georgia and Bell Centennial (designed just for phone books -- remember them?), takes us on a spin through a career focused on the very last pixel of each letter of a font.

TED: Jeremy Kasdin: The flower-shaped starshade that might help us detect Earth-like planets - Jeremy Kasdin (2014)

Astronomers believe that every star in the galaxy has a planet, one fifth of which might harbor life. Only we haven't seen any of them -- yet. Jeremy Kasdin and his team are looking to change that with the design and engineering of an extraordinary piece of equipment: a flower petal-shaped "starshade" that allows a telescope to photograph planets from 50,000 kilometers away. It is, he says, the "coolest possible science."

TED: Norman Spack: How I help transgender teens become who they want to be - Norman Spack (2013)

Puberty is an awkward time for just about everybody, but for transgender teens it can be a nightmare, as they grow overnight into bodies they aren't comfortable with. In a heartfelt talk, endocrinologist Norman Spack tells a personal story of how he became one of the few doctors in the US to treat minors with hormone replacement therapy. By staving off the effects of puberty, Spack gives trans teens the time they need. (Filmed at TEDxBeaconStreet.)

TED: Jennifer Senior: For parents, happiness is a very high bar - Jennifer Senior (2014)

The parenting section of the bookstore is overwhelming—it's "a giant, candy-colored monument to our collective panic," as writer Jennifer Senior puts it. Why is parenthood filled with so much anxiety? Because the goal of modern, middle-class parents—to raise happy children—is so elusive. In this honest talk, she offers some kinder and more achievable aims.

© 2014   Created by FohBoh.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service