8 Restaurant Newsletter Examples & Why They Work
December 15, 2023
Here's how to stay connected with your guests and keep them informed.
Email is the fastest and most inexpensive way to keep loyal guests updated on news, events, and current promotions. Plus, it has a 122% ROI, which is four times more than any other digital channel.
Newsletters make it easy to reach guests who want to stay updated on what’s happening at your restaurant. We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite restaurant email newsletters to inspire you to use this powerful tool to connect with your guests online. In all of the examples below, there’s a mix of content — like upcoming promotions, a community spotlight, and menu updates — that keep readers engaged.
Then, explore these resources to strengthen your email marketing efforts even more:
Example 1: Won’t Stop Hospitality
Why it works: The Won’t Stop Journal, sent by Won’t Stop Hospitality Inc., does a great job of balancing promotions with upcoming events, employee spotlights, and a link roundup in their monthly newsletter. In this example, they’re pushing their buy $100, get $20 gift card deal ahead of the holidays while also driving ticket sales for a floral arrangement class and encouraging reservations at one of their concepts that’s newly decked out in holiday decor.
Most memorable in the newsletter is the shout-out to one of their delivery drivers, Angie, who gets a full-width photo feature in the email. The section links to the corresponding Instagram post, where you can see the online community’s love for this delivery driver.
The Friday News Roundup section is a bulleted list of both media mentions for the hospitality group as well as industry news articles that the team is reading (and recommending). All in all, the newsletter feels very warm and community-centric.
Example 2: Stan’s Donuts
Why it works: Stan’s Donuts has a robust email marketing strategy with four to five sends per month. In one of their latest issues, the theme is a holiday gift guide. It’s the perfect way to display a bunch of restaurant offerings and happenings, all in one message. They take the opportunity to highlight their merchandise store (for nationwide donut delivery and branded swag), Donut Fest event, and gift card deal.
At the bottom of the newsletter is a small, but powerful plug for their Toys for Tots collaboration. It’s smart to use their newsletter to display important information about a charitable event they’re hosting. Dropoff locations are named directly in the newsletter and accessible through the click-through to the locations page on their website.
Example 3: Union Square Hospitality Group
Why it works: Union Square Hospitality Group has one of the best designed newsletters. Their email template nicely matches their website presence with warm colors (yellow and orange) and beautiful photography.
The menu newsletter has two sections: On Menu Now and Mark Your Calendar. On Menu Now is a round-up of current events, menus, and pre-order opportunities — in this case, the topics are around a book release party, an aperitivo hour menu, and Thanksgiving options. Under Mark Your Calendar, there are call-outs to future happenings (almost like save the dates) that tease what’s on the horizon for the next month.
Each newsletter has enough substance to justify a monthly send but isn’t so saturated with information that it’s overwhelming or unreadable. The marketing team at USHG has found that perfect balance for their readers.
Example 4: Resident
Why it works: Resident is a restaurant pop-up dinner series that works with chefs from the world’s best restaurants to host small monthly gatherings across always-changing locations around New York City.
In August 2023, the team redesigned their already stellar newsletter with an updated look and feel. Here’s what they said about the change: “We want this newsletter to reflect the conversations that we (and we hope you) are having with the people in your lives. What are we collectively passionate about? Is there a show that is derailing every meeting or a reservation that we’re all trying to get? We’ll discuss all of it here.”
The intro paragraph typically speaks to current events and pop culture as well as previews what to expect in the newsletter content. Under Resident Refresh, updates from the business are shared like new venues for pop-ups and soon-to-be chef line-ups.
The Resident Recommends section is where you’ll see the most personality with the following subcategories: What We’re Eating, What We’re Doing, What We’re Reading, What We’re Buying, What We’re Reposting, and What We’re Watching. Each newsletter ends with a small plug for private events and a call-to-action about how to inquire.
Example 5: PLANTA
Why it works: PLANTA has done a great job of branding their newsletter, titled The PLANTA Post: plant-powered inspiration for your inbox, once a month and always on point. Up first is always a Table of Contents that gives insight into what’s included in the edition.
In this example, two special menu items are highlighted (say hi to the 1,000 layer crispy potatoes and dan dan dumplings) and a new location is subtly announced. The Current Reads link round-up is a mixed bag, but still on-brand, and includes a New York Times feature on climate change and the food system, industry news about mandatory composting in New York City come fall 2024, and a slightly out of place push to their job board (but hey, hiring has to fit in somewhere).
Overall, it’s clear that PLANTA knows their audience and fills in their content accordingly. A blend of food news — a la the link love section — along with a big spotlight on beloved dishes is what their diners crave.
Example 6: SONA
Why it works: SONA takes a more promotional approach to their newsletter — highlighting their private events and reservations — but in a way that still feels natural and fun.
Then, instead of a short mention of their signature cocktails promotion, a six drink line-up is introduced using great imagery, two-word tasting notes, and an engaging ask of “What’s your flavor?” The calls-to-action for booking a partial or full buyout and joining Bollywood Trivia Drag Brunch are subtle yet to the point.
Gorgeous, high-quality photography throughout is proof that their team invests in the restaurant’s email strategy. Overall, the messaging is simple and easy to scan.
Example 7: Claud
Why it works: Claud’s monthly newsletter does many things right. Firstly, it follows through on a promise of exclusivity that so many email sign-up prompts tease but often don’t deliver on. Email subscribers are the first group to get a heads up on New Year’s Eve tickets with a call-out at the top of the newsletter — “You’re hearing it here first: tickets drop tomorrow at 9am ET.” This tactic of event marketing (informing certain groups of people about opportunities before it’s made public) creates demand and will help drive better sales.
In Claud’s Corner, there’s a small recap of a pop-up event along with notice of upcoming days that the restaurant will be closed and a documentary recommendation. Three pieces of press coverage are featured In the News, a tactful yet effective way to include media mentions. Both of these link round-up sections work well because they’re short and sweet, text-based, and easy to skim.
Example 8: The Charter Oak
Why it works: The Charter Oak includes a mix of seasonal menu changes, private event experiences, and upcoming special events in their newsletter each month. In this one, there's a holiday recipe from their sous chef. The format is consistent and has an almost editorial feel to it.
Each newsletter always ends with a From the Farm section with a brief note from the restaurant’s farm director. The restaurant’s close relationship with the farm is a big differentiator for them, so it’s great that it’s recognized in the newsletter. Consider what makes your restaurant special when deciding what types of sections to include in your own newsletter. Lastly, a parting paragraph sends interested applicants to a Careers page to explore job opportunities.
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