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The restaurant industry is notoriously competitive, with everyone from massive chains to local haunts vying for diners’ attention. In email inboxes, that contest is incredibly fierce, but several brands are standing out from the rest. Here are 7 restaurant emails deserving of a Michelin Star, along with the smart strategies that help them win the inbox. Featuring:


Nothing says hello like a tasty burrito

The best way to introduce your brand to new subscribers? Set up an automated email to fire off immediately upon signup. This welcome note does it all: It makes a bold first impression, says “thanks” to new subscribers, tells them what to expect in future emails, and allows them to set their preferences.

Pei Wei

Want to learn more about your guests? Just ask!

Speaking of preferences: Subscribers expect to receive emails tailored to their individual interests, so if you don’t have the subscriber data you need to do just that, simply ask for it! Most people will happily take a moment to set their preferences, and you’ll see a huge boost in results because of it.

Lincoln Ristorante

A design tailor-made for driving reservations

If you’re trying to drive attendance to a special event, you can’t do much better than this incredible invitation from Lincoln Ristorante. The GIF makes it easy to imagine yourself at the table receiving course after enticing course. Then, a streamlined design directs you to a single, focused call to action: Reserve your spot.

Mario Batali

Boost engagement with video

The Batali brand uses email to keep fans connected to their main man in the orange Crocs, and their design looks as great as the tasty food coming out of the kitchen. This is a great example of giving your subscribers the content you know they want: delicious food and recipes for how to make it.

Olive Garden

Olive Garden

Let’s be real: It’s pretty hard to resist a fresh, steaming bowl of pasta. Olive Garden capitalizes on that with this gorgeous email that keeps your eyes interested and fingers scrolling all the way to “Get Your Free Meatballs.” With an offer like that (plus multiple options to redeem it), how could anyone say no?

Charlie Palmer Group

Restaurant marketing with a personal touch

The more personal your marketing, the better. Mimicking a handwritten letter by including a real signature (ideally from a person your audience will recognize, like a chef or company figurehead) at the end of your message is a nice touch that makes guests feel more connected to your restaurant.


Connect both inside and outside the inbox

Email is a powerful tool on its own, but it works best when you combine it with your other marketing channels. Promoting your app to your email audience provides even more ways for you to communicate with them and boost conversions, even beyond the inbox.

Sources: Brightwave1 Epsilon2 Jupiter Research3 Wordstream4 MarketingSherpa5 Wistia6 Social Media Today7 3M Corporation8 Nielsen9 Experian10 Litmus11 JiMobile12


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