• Geoff Linton

Impact of COVID-19 on Industry: Spotlight on Restaurant Sector

The impact of COVID-19 is hitting industry sectors differently. But email marketing has proven to be a powerful direct vehicle to keep connected with customers. Many industries adapted their services, and subsequently their email marketing strategy, to keep up with shifting consumer trends and preferences. One industry that has changed quickly is the food industry (restaurants in particular), which has pivoted their email content from on-site to delivery and pickup.


A recent SparkPost article provided a snapshot of email volume in the food/restaurant sector in the US, based on data from their national email panel:



There are a few important observations to note about the above chart. First, there was a substantial spike in email volume after the initial market crash (COVID-19 restrictions), followed by a slight decline after shelter-in-place orders. Even after the slight decline, email volume has sustained a higher rate than previously. Email volume for restaurants and bars went up 26% between pre-crisis and post-crisis, and email volume for food services went up 15% compared to pre-crisis. The restaurant industry also has a fairly good Inbox Placement Rate (IPR). Open rates (read rates) have also seen a slight uptick, but has remained relatively stable at around 20%.


What does this tell us about email marketing during COVID-19? We are seeing that consumers want emails from this industry and they’re getting delivered (i.e. there’s not a lot of spam).


Tekside’s Role in Helping a Boutique Agency


A core part of Tekside’s tech portfolio is our CONNECT Email Platform. One of our agency partners in California is using targeted email for a cross-section of restaurants as the primary tool to stay connected with customers and generate delivery orders. Budgets were shifted from direct mail and revenues only declined 30% versus 60% for their competitors. Email is generating response and cost efficiency. During the COVID-19 crisis Tekside launched a new Home Dashboard and the Connect Analyze module so the restaurants could query and drill-down into results. In these tight times, every order counts!