I don’t see restaurants using email very often and I think they’re missing the boat. Email is such a powerful tool for bringing return visitors back to a restaurant or filling slow nights.
I noticed a story last week about a restaurant that gave a discount for “well behaved kids”. The parents were proud, and quite surprised to be rewarded for their kids good behavior. What I found more interesting about this story is what I noticed at the bottom of the tab.
A “Join Our Mailing List” reminder and a bit of a benefit statement for doing so. Here’s an example of a restaurant that over time will identify a group of patrons that will help their bottom line.
Tell me as a restaurant owner you wouldn’t know what to do with the names of 500 customers who appreciate or are interested in wine.
As an example:
– announce special wine tasting events – like on Saturday afternoon
– survey them to find special wines THEY want on the wine list
– offer a free glass of wine if they drop by the day AFTER Valentine’s Day
– bring in a wine maker and do a special 5 course tasting dinner
– try a gift certificate with a free glass of wine attached
– fill your bar with a mix and mingle night based on how to taste Sauv Blanc
– you could even educate them on wine in a monthly newsletter – share your knowledge
…and so on.
Do this for one year and you’ll soon see the power of email marketing in a restaurant setting.