With any restaurant, customers are the cornerstones to success. In order to fill tables frequently enough to make a profit, you have to attract new customers and retain loyal ones. While restaurant atmosphere, quality of food, value for the price, and a friendly and knowledgeable staff are important components for a good running business, long-term success requires a solid combination of sales, marketing, promotions and public relations.
A restaurant newsletter is an ideal way to boost your business and develop a relationship with customers. It can be done in electronic form and sent to email lists and posted on your restaurant website, in print form to be mailed and given to customers at the restaurant, or a combination of both.
The look of your restaurant newsletter should reflect the image of your restaurant. If you are a formal dining establishment, you newsletter should look upscale and sophisticated and be written with flair. If you are a casual, family restaurant, then your bulletin should have a fun and friendly look and be written in an upbeat, casual tone.
In any type of printed or online materials about your restaurant, relevant information should be provided somewhere, whether in a box off to the side, as part of the title box, or as an informational line at the bottom. Pertinent information includes name of restaurant, street address, phone and fax numbers, hours of operation, website address and email address.
The content of your restaurant newsletter should be less self-promoting and more customer-focused. Inform customers about specials of the month, charitable events you are hosting, the new seasonal menu, and changes in chefs, a story behind a recipe, new features in the restaurant and industry trends.
Frequency of a restaurant newsletter is important. If you overdo the communication, customers will view it as advertising rather than information. A monthly publication is probably best if you have a lot going on, but if you change menus seasonally and don’t hold many special events or fundraisers, then consider a quarterly one.
A good restaurant newsletter is one that customers can quickly read. Write brief articles and use short sentences. Catchy headlines and dividers to separate articles also help. Be sure to break up text with white space. Include only one or two small images, whether of food, staff, or other appropriate photo, so as not to jam a persons email box.
With any restaurant newsletter, be sure to provide links. If you’re doing a printed publication, include the links so customers can visit when they have available computer access. And remember to include instructions on how to subscribe to your newsletter list, as well as a forward to a friend link. You might want to consider offering an incentive to new subscribers and to current subscribers for referrals. Encouraging feedback by asking a question or taking a poll is also a great feature to include in a newsletter.
Jose L Riesco
©Riesco Consulting Inc.
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