Creating an Effective Restaurant Newsletter

One of the best ways to stay connected to your customers is with a newsletter that spotlights the very best of your establishment. But just how do you create a newsletter that stands out among the rest? There are several steps to follow that ensure that your customers know you are willing to go above and beyond for them.

The first determination you need to make is how your customers are to receive this information. Newsletters can either be sent through email or a hard copy can be had at your location. You may also choose to have them accessible both ways. Once you determine what will work the best for your establishment, you can then get down to the business  of creating.

Keep in mind that once you begin making a newsletter available, you must consistently communicate with your customers. Your customers will learn to look for and expect the newsletter on a regular basis. Release newsletters on the same day and time. Most establishments find that a bi-monthly works for them and does not put on too much pressure on its author.

A newsletter must attract attention and be pleasing to the eye. By adding photographs from your restaurant’s special events or featuring customers enjoying meals you can visually attract readers. Also considering adding photographs from your Facebook or Twitter feeds that feature positive customer feedback. Be sure to use your logo and colors in order to establish branding. Keep the layout simple and light on content. Try to keep the content to around 200 words. Make sure the content is interesting and to the point.

An easily read newsletter is best. Utilize bullet points to draw attention to important subject matter. Use average language and avoid using street talk and slang.

Make use of links to make the newsletter user friendly. Always use links to your Twitter and Facebook accounts. Giving your customers access to your menu via a link is vital. Considering adding additional photographs by linking a keyword to a Flickr account.  Make use of other local blogs that have featured your restaurant.

Use social media icons to your advantage. By using these icons you educate your customers that you can be found elsewhere. Examples would be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Foursquare and Pinterest. Encourage customers to interact with your establishment by offering incentives, such as checking in five times on foursquare will give them a 10% discount.

Your restaurant has a history so be sure to add the story. Whether it has been around since your grandparents came from Europe or whether it was conceived just a year ago. The history gives your restaurant a unique personality that will set it apart from others.

Set up a consistent location is your newsletter to highlight special events and menu specials.Make use of pleasing photographs of your menu items. Along with a great tagline, you will keep your readers interested and engaged.

Give a humanistic appeal to the newsletter by featuring a staff member. Customers love to see what’s going on with restaurant staff.  It will give them a better connection to you and will let them know that your staff is important to you.

Give your customers a call to action. Offer offline incentives. You not only want your customer to read your newsletter but you also want them to go a step further. For example, give them a free appetizer on their birthday when they like you on Facebook. Another idea would be to hide a code somewhere in your content which when brought into the restaurant would offer a 5% discount.

Use your newsletter to gain access to new customers. Encourage your customers to be your ambassadors. If you give them a reason to be loyal, you can easily ask them to forward the newsletter to a friend. Giving them a discount or free dessert can also add to the cause. This brings up another point to consider. It is important to keep up on your email. The majority of tips out there are based on the internet. However, if you are caught up in the day to day running of your business all these tips can be hard to incorporate into your day. The best way to keep up with your emails is through the customer interaction you have daily. Get your wait staff on board. If there is a waiting area where your customers gather have paper and pen accessible or leave some sort of receptacle for business cards. You may have to entice them to sign by making offers such as receiving unannounced specials. As mentioned above, enlist your customer’s help by asking them to email to a friend. It is also not a bad idea to acquire the help of an email service. This way your emails will reach the right clientele and they will handle all the details which can be time consuming

Ultimately by making your newsletter attractive and informative you can create the perfect platform for retaining and making new customers.