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.
By Jose L Riesco
A combination of sales, promotion, marketing and public relations are required to achieve long-term success with any small business. As far as a restaurant is concerned, in order to fill your tables frequently you will need to make sure that your current customers return, and that you can attract new ones. Customers are the cornerstone of your business. Make sure that your atmosphere, value for money, quality of food and highly trained, attentive staff are ready.
A restaurant newsletter is an ideal way to boost your business and develop a relationship with customers. You can decide to do a color printed version that you can mail, distribute to the neighborhood businesses or just leave by the door at the restaurant, or having an electronic newsletter that you can email. I would suggest a combination of both since in this way you cover all your customer’s preferences.
Your restaurant newsletter should have the same image than your restaurant. If your restaurant is formal and upscale, so it should be your newsletter. 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 color copies 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. The restaurant newsletter should not be self-promoting, it should be customer focused. The customer wants to know about your monthly specials, your charitable commitments, any new seasonal menus, a story behind this month’s recipe, your new celebrity chef, industry trends, or new features of your restaurant.
It is important that you maintain a consistent delivery date (even if it’s only quarterly). 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. You don’t need to write long articles. Short articles with short sentences will do better. 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 are printing your newsletter, don’t forget to include clear links so that your customers can follow when they have access to a computer. Very Important: Don’t forget to include instructions on how to subscribe to your list and to recommend to forward your newsletters to their friends and family. You should think about offering incentives to new subscribers and setup a formalized referral system for your existing subscribers. Encouraging feedback by asking a question or taking a poll is also a great feature to include in a newsletter.
Jose L Riesco worked in the IT industry for 18 years and owned a restaurant before working full time as a consultant and marketing expert. By creating a unique client-centric Strategy, restaurateurs will be able to dramatically increase their sales while reducing marketing expenses. To find more about his Restaurant Marketing Strategies and his new book visit his web site: http://www.myrestaurantmarketing.com