I went to a new restaurant a few weeks ago that just opened up in my town. After ordering my food, they asked each person at my table if they would like to enter into their draw for a $100 gift card to their restaurant, which would be announced through their email newsletter. Naturally, everyone signed up by filling out a small piece of paper that asked for our name and email.
I didn't win, but since then they have been sending emails almost daily with updates about the day's specials.
Now that is what I call effective email marketing. It's a shame that this is the first and only restaurant that I've seen implement this method. The only thing I've seen close to this is large companies spending thousands or millions of dollars on Facebook campaigns to get some "likes".
If I ever open a restaurant, I'll surely be using this marketing strategy.
If you run a restaurant, you should, too! If you work in a restaurant, bringing this up with your manager should earn you some serious points!