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The Do's and Don'ts of Restaurant Reservation Confirmation Emails

Saif Alnasur
Saif Alnasur

Jan 24, 2018 12:51:00 PM

Since the advent of the internet, email has found its way into our lives, becoming one of the most powerful (if not the most) forms of communication. With studies showing that workers spend approximately 28% of their week reading and responding to emails, hence the reason its so important to take the time to master your emails. 

Restaurant confirmation emails are no exception. It's difficult to strike a balance between informing and educating your guests while also putting together a piece of content people are willing to read. If you are attempting to overhaul your confirmation email style, read through our do's and don'ts to maximize your email effectiveness.

Restaurant Confirmation Email Do's

Below are a list of some of the top things you need to be doing for your confirmation emails to be a success.

Email Subject Line

Have a clear and concise subject line 

Your guests already receive more emails a day than they need to , you don’t want your confirmation email to be one more they ignore. The clearer your subject line, the more likely it is that your guests will actually read it.

Be as specific as possible, for example “Your Reservation at RESTAURANT NAME”.

Start your email off on the right foot

It might be tempting to start your confirmation email off with “Hey”, “Howdy”, “Hola”, or even “Yo” but this definitely isn’t professional. Instead use “Hi” or “Hello”, if you’re trying to be more formal you can use “Dear”.

These emails represent your company, and when it comes to guests trusting you to confirm their reservations, you want to be as professional as possible.

Avoid spelling and grammatical mistakes

Your confirmation email template will be sent to every guest making an online reservation at your restaurant, so it is worth taking a little longer to proofread it for any grammatical or spelling mistakes. Errors in your confirmation email are often viewed negatively, as they poorly represent your brand.

Personalize the email

Personalize your confirmation emails as often as possible. The process might be entirely automated with restaurant automation systems, but there is no reason for your guests to feel that when reading your messages. Add information like their name, contact information, and booking specifics to give the email a personal feel while also giving guests the chance to correct any incorrect information.

Be timely 

The time between when your guest makes their reservation and when they receive their confirmation email should be as minimal as possible. A confirmation email serves mainly to give your guest confidence that their booking has been registered and the sooner they get it the better. It also means that if there was a mistake made in the booking process, they can attempt to rectify it ASAP. If you are using a restaurant reservation system to send your confirmation emails, ensure that they are being sent to guests in a streamlined manner. 

Make sure its printer-friendly

If your restaurant requires your guests to bring a form of confirmation with them, it is highly important to make sure your confirmation email is printer-friendly.

Make use of the opportunity

While a confirmation email serves one main purpose, that shouldn’t stop you from attempting to make it work in your favor. If you run a successful restaurant or one that receives a lot of online reservations, you can use your confirmation email as a form of self-promotion. Include information about deals, special events, and anything else you feel your guests should know. It's estimated that confirmation emails get a 12% to 20% open rate, making them 5 times more effective than bulk emails. 

Tip: Keep all information unrelated to the guests booking at the bottom of the email as to not interfere with its main purpose.

Promote your social media

It wouldn’t hurt to link your social media accounts at the bottom of your confirmation email. This encourages your guests to post about their experience after their meal online while tagging the correct social media handles.

Tip: Add a note saying “Post about us on social media to receive 15% off your meal” for some extra free promotion.

Optimize for mobile

With approximately 68% of emails nowadays opened on mobile, it’s a segment you definitely don’t want to ignore. Make sure your confirmation emails are mobile-friendly so that formatting isn’t the cause of no-shows and email mishaps.

Use an email marketing provider

Email marketing provider

When all else fails, there’s no shame in subscribing to an email marketing provider such as Mail Chimp to help send out your Confirmation emails. If you are having trouble figuring out formatting or can’t seem to get emails out on time, using an email marketing provider will solve that for you.

Restaurant Confirmation Email Don'ts

Below are a list of some of the top things you need to be shouldn't be doing for your confirmation emails to be a success.

Forget to sign the email

Every single confirmation email you send out, automated or not, should include a signature at the end. The signature doesn’t necessarily have to include your personal details, but at least information about the company, and means for your guests to contact you in case of questions or concerns.

Use Humor

You might be tempted to try to layer your confirmation email with humor, but make an active effort not to. Your confirmation email is meant to provide necessary information for your guests and is not the place for jokes. If you are keen on telling your favorite jokes, save them for your email newsletters or along with social media posts.

Overuse exclamation points

Too many exclamation marks in email

Exclamation points, while a great way to convey excitement, have no place in confirmation emails. This also includes messages written in all caps and colloquial abbreviations like “lol” and “omg”.

Forget to Follow-Up

Confirmation emails don’t end at just the first email, you should also be sending a follow up email closer to the date of your guest’s reservation. This is a great way to prevent no-shows while also giving your guests the opportunity to modify their bookings in the event anything has changed.

FREE: Download a copy of our restaurant confirmation email template samples

Are you having trouble putting all these tips and tricks into action? Download our free-to-use restaurant confirmation email template to get you started today. Includes everything you need to start confirming reservations with ease. Free Restaurant Confirmation Email Templates Send your guests the confirmation emails they deserve. Download Now

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