8 Elements of a Successful Welcome Email for a Restaurant Rewards Program

Mar 11, 2024

So, you found yourself needing to create or update a welcome email for your restaurant loyalty program.

Maybe you’re envisioning an email so good that your program members feel heard and understood as soon as they open it. Maybe you want to make it super clear and avoid any confusion about the terms of your reward program.

After being inspired by some great welcome email examples you now need to craft an email of your own.

Don’t know where to start? Here are eight elements of a highly converting welcome email for restaurant loyalty programs.

1. Subject Line

Although people are much more likely to open a welcome email they are expecting after signing up for your program, you still need a catchy and highly engaging subject line.

Check out some of the examples we found:

  • “Your Welcome Offer Has Arrived”
  • “Welcome to Bon Rewards!”
  • “Your sign-up Reward is waiting!”
  • “We’re so glad you’re here!”
  • “Welcome To The Club! Your FREE Shake is waiting for you.”
  • “You’re in!”

When crafting your own make sure you address the fact that your member has just signed up for your loyalty program so that it is easier for them to recognize your email and open it.

2. Rewards System

Every restaurant brand will have its own points system, so when a new member signs up, they need to clearly understand what they need to do to receive the points for your program and, more importantly, how they can redeem it.

Take a look at this example from McAlister’s Deli:

They’ve done a really good job at making it a really simple system where $1 spent equals 10 points. The email then goes on to give three examples of how the points can be used for free menu items.

Notice how they made a clarification with an asterisk in small print to eliminate any confusion their customers may have i the future when collecting and redeeming points. Think of ways you can make your rewards system as clear as possible right from that first email.

3. The Offer

Your customer just shared their personal contact information with you by signing up for your rewards program. Many restaurant brands choose to reward their new members with a FREE offer.

Here are some examples:

FREE Menu Item: Frisch’s offers a FREE dessert:

Discount: Maggiano’s offers $10 off of your next meal:

Points: Au Bon Pain automatically adds 50 points to the member’s account after they sign up and download the app


4. “Find a Location” CTA

It’s great if your newly signed-up members open your welcome email, but what you really want them to do is to take the next step – order the food online or go to their nearest location. To help them make that next step, you need to add CTA buttons.

Walk-On’s gives their members both options right in the email after sharing some mouthwatering pictures of their food:


5. Keep It Visual

Speaking of mouthwatering pictures, including some really great examples of your menu items will take your welcome email a long way. First, it might help your customers make a decision to buy from you faster. Secondly, they might discover new menu items they didn’t realize you served. And finally, sharing pictures of some of your best sellers might increase the order value as well.

Here are some awesome examples we found.

For chocolate lovers:

For those craving snacks:

For family meals:

So choose the visuals for your emails wisely.

6. “Download the App” CTA

Many restaurants want their customers to use their app to place orders for pick up and delivery. And you might have one too.

Welcome email is a perfect opportunity to tell your customers about it and encourage them to use it. But before they start using it, they need to download it first.

Use this opportunity to take them right to the download page, just like Jimmy John’s done:


7. Educate Your Customers

Why not take advantage of welcome emails being one of the most opened emails and include some additional information about your restaurant brand? You have a great opportunity to educate your customer and build even stronger relationships with your members.

Take a look at this example by KFC and how they added a section to explain how they make their famous chicken:


8. Next Steps

So your customer has opened your welcome email, maybe they placed an order or downloaded your app. Maybe they found a location and went there for their meal.

But do they know what’s going to happen next?

Dunkin’ is solving that by showing customers exactly where they are in their journey. By looking at the timeline below, their members know what kind of emails they can expect next and what type of information will be included.


We’ve analyzed over 30 different Welcome Emails and found that these elements were the most common. If you add them all to your email, you will end up with a very informative, clear, and engaging email. Best of luck!

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