If you own a restaurant that needs to permanently close, you may want to formally inform customers and vendors with a restaurant closing letter. Even though there is no formal relationship between a restaurant and its customers, it is courteous to let them hear about the closing from the owner and not when they try to make a reservation and find out the restaurant no longer exists.
There are many reasons why a restaurant needs to close its doors forever, including:
• The owner is too ill or aged to oversee the restaurant in the best possible way and there is no one to take over the job.
• The owner needs to declare bankruptcy because the restaurant is no longer making enough money to pay the costs of supplies, upkeep and employees.
• The restaurant will be sold to a different owner or company and it will no longer have the same management or name.
• The owner dies, and the beneficiaries are not interested in running the restaurant.
• The owner simply wants to sell out and retire.
The components needed in a restaurant closing letter are:
• The closing date – this is especially important for a restaurant to provide because their customers may plan ahead and make reservations for lunch or dinner. It is considered the best business practice to inform of a restaurant closure at least 30 days before the last date of serving.
• The reason for the closure – in many cases, customers consider a restaurant as an extension of their own kitchen and meal planning because food is an intimate part of any lifestyle. It is courteous and offers good-will to explain the reason for the closer in order to answer any questions the customer may have. It is up to you how much detail to give.
For example, if it is because of a death, you may just want to say the owner passed away and not mention a heart attack, cancer or an accident. If the reason for the closure is bankruptcy, you may say the restaurant is no longer financially viable. However, you are not obliged to give the reason for closure if you prefer not to.
• The time and date of any special farewell party – many restaurants, especially old, established ones have a regular clientele who may appreciate one last meal at their favorite restaurant.
• Express gratitude for the customer’s patronage – it leaves a good feeling and shows respect for the customer to thank them for their regular patronage over the years.
• The recommendation of another restaurant in the locality that they believe the customer may like – this is not an essential component, but a nice one if there is another local restaurant that offers the same ambiance and good food.
• Another non-essential but nice component of the restaurant closing letter is to mention any impact you had on the local community. For example, if the restaurant supported a sports club, the letter could mention that another business will continue that support.
The owner or person closing the restaurant should make sure the website also has the closing date and other information. Once the restaurant closes, the website should be taken down. It may also be a good idea to put a sign near the cashier inside the restaurant that mentions the closing date of the restaurant. This gives the employees the opportunity to thank the customers for their patronage.
Here is a sample restaurant closing letter. It is a formal business letter and may be sent by post or email. If it is sent by email, put the name of the restaurant in the subject line and omit the customer’s postal address and sender’s signature line.
Sample Letter Announcing Restaurant Closing
City, state, zip code
Restaurant owners Name
City, state, zip code
Dear Valued Customer:
The purpose of this letter is to notify you that Garibaldi’s Italian Grill located at ADDRESS will be permanently closing on DATE. We have provided high-quality Italian food for 47 years and been an enthusiastic part of the local community, but with the passing of Anthony Garibaldi, the restaurant will close. Thank you for making Garibaldi’s Italian Grill one of the town’s most popular eating establishments.
We have supported the TOWN Little League for the past 25 years. For those of you who participate in the TOWN Little League, we are happy to say that NAME OF BUSINESS has agreed to pick up our support so you will continue to have a first-class team.
We will have a farewell party on DATE from 5 pm – 9 pm and you are welcome to attend at any time. Reservations can be made at PHONE NUMBER or at www.Garibaldigrill.com. Thank you for your loyal patronage over the years. We wish you all the best for a happy and prosperous future.
Signature of Sender
Printed Name of Sender