How to Start an Email List in Your Restaurant

Posted on August 2, 2017 by Michelle Locke

If you stay on top of marketing trends, you may have heard about email marketing. Probably. Maybe. If you don’t pay attention to marketing trends outside of what you’re doing and what works, you may not have heard of it at all.

That’s fine, because we’re going to walk you through email marketing today—why it’s important, how to get started, and what you should do. Let’s get started.

What Is Email Marketing?


Firstly, email marketing is exactly what it sounds like. You know those emails you receive from large retailers, like Amazon, that have curated products, ideas, and ask you to leave reviews? For large businesses, that is email marketing. Using email to stay in contact with your customers is the most basic definition.

So why should restaurants start email marketing? Email marketing is a great way to ensure you always have a way to contact guests: when you’re having a special, when you have an important announcement, when you need feedback, and more. Instead of just hoping guests can come back, you can use email marketing ensure that they are hearing from you, that they know you have specials that will appeal to them, and that you’re dedicated to providing them an awesome experience.

How to Start An Email List in your Restaurant


So this is the big question for restaurants: how do you actually go about collecting emails in your restaurant? Here are a few of our tips.

  • Collect emails in your restaurant. Having a signup sheet at your hostess stand or cash register is a great way to have customers jot down their email address for coupons, specials, and more. If your employees use iPads to take orders or manage tables, they can also collect emails via these methods.

  • Use comment cards. Offering comment cards, with a space to write their email address, is a great place to collect emails, as well as get quality feedback.

  • Have a collection pop up on your website. If guests search for you online, to leave reviews or to view your menu, a pop up on your website is a great way to entice them to sign up for marketing emails.

What Should You Send?


You know you want to start an email list. You have a signup sheet, a pop up, comment cards, and more. You have your Mailchimp or MailerLite account set up. What do you start sending?

The easiest place to start is to write a newsletter. Thankfully, we will have tips on writing a newsletter in a week or so. Stay tuned for that!