Without question, the restaurant business is an extraordinarily competitive industry. Thus, having a great online presence is imperative for a restaurant to succeed in our digital age. A paramount component that restauranteurs must consider is their restaurant website design. In addition, things like mobile marketing services and local SEO will propel a restaurant’s website to the top of local listings, which is essential for any establishment to succeed in 2020 and beyond. In this article, restaurant marketing experts discuss 14 things a great restaurant website should have.
Mobile-friendly, Pictures, Menu With Prices, Direct Link To The Phone Number, Location Address, Static Map
“I think while making a website the things to be kept in mind should be in the following order:
Mobile-friendly (most important): A group of people out would only look at it on a mobile, even when convincing friends to try out your restaurant.
Pictures of the restaurant( both food and ambiance) make sure it’s original and pleasing to the eye.
Menu and prices and any special offers (downloadable will be the best).
Direct link to the phone number that can launch the calling app or program on the device (people with smartphones are often not that smart).
Location address and a static map if you can or a link to open the navigation app with the user’s current location to your restaurant will be amazing.
But most important of all, the food must always be good. As far as I know, word of mouth works the best in the food business. I know of places to eat that don’t even have a proper address or seating but can put big restaurants to shame in the number of customers and revenue.”
Seamless Customer Experience, Professional Pictures Of Your Food And Drinks, Make Your Website Functional
“Great restaurant websites are rare. To be at this level, first, you need to offer a seamless customer experience. There should never be a question of finding key information, including your address, hours, menu, phone number, and reservation requirements. Place this information at the bottom of your home page, in your footer, and create separate pages. With proper real estate, the visitor won’t leave upset that they couldn’t find the key information they were after. You could also consider adding a chatbot that takes website visitors down a path to provide the main information they desire.
Next, you need professional pictures of your food and drinks across the site. The food should jump on the site. It should look irresistible. Don’t forget to add people to these pictures. Food is a social event so a good combination of people eating the food with food shots goes a long way. You can even go above and beyond using video. Chocolate sauce dripping on a cheesecake does more than a still shot of cheesecake. This will really drive interest.
Lastly, make your website functional. Offer customers opportunities to buy gift cards, purchase merchandise, and reserve rooms. When you make your site intentionally with these elements, it will be truly great.”
Be Responsive, Include Online Ordering, And Be ADA Web Compliant
“A great restaurant website in 2020 should be responsive, include online ordering, and be ADA web compliant. Hands down these are the most important components. Responsive design is a must, because over 90% of restaurant website traffic is on mobile devices and nobody wants to pan and zoom just to read a menu. Online ordering is a must now which increases restaurant revenue by 20% on average. It also reduces order errors, boosts average check size, increases efficiency, improves labor allocation, and helps reach more customers. Plus with COVID-19 online ordering is keeping restaurants open and in business. ADA web compliance is the practice of ensuring that the information and the functionality of a website are accessible to people with disabilities.
Nearly 1 in 5 Americans have a disability using assistive technologies to access websites every day. Making sure the restaurant website is accessible will help the owner-operator avoid discrimination and legal complications, build positive public relations, better SEO, improve usability for all types of users, broaden market penetration into a market segment has a combined spending power of over $215 billion, and its the right thing to do.”
User-Friendly, Visually Appealing, With Contact Info And Hours, Prominently Displayed
“A great restaurant website should be user-friendly, visually appealing, and it should have your important information, like contact info and hours, prominently displayed, and easy to find. More than ever, it’s important to include your menu on your website, both for Google searches, and so that customers have access to a touches menu.”
A Restaurant’s Website Needs To First Focus On Its Customer’s Needs And Wants
“A restaurant’s website needs to first focus on its customer’s needs and wants. I can easily say a list of three things every restaurant website needs but this is useless if it’s not what your specific customers need. Examine why your customer may visit your website in the first place. Very often we visit a website for an experience, to learn something, or to find a solution to a problem. Identify what your customers want from your website, prioritize that in a list and focus on making that list as accessible as possible.
Very often, people visit a restaurant website to know the business hours and location. Sometimes, they want to see a menu or the job openings available. What are things your customers may want to know when deciding where to eat lunch? Maybe they need to know you have gluten-free or vegan options. Or they need to know its wheelchair accessible. Know your customer and serve them!
Some of the best restaurant websites I’ve seen are incredibly simple 2-page websites that have everything a visitor needs to know front and center. They can quickly visit, see exactly what they need, and go. Yes, this may create a high bounce rate but for a website that only needs to give key information to someone planning a visit, your goal isn’t the same as a content-based blog. Your website is an extension of your customer service and experience. Put your customer first and they’ll see why it’s worth their time to visit.”
Pauline Orr, Freelance Website Developer and Blogger, Pink Pursuits
A Restaurant Website Should Promote Its Attitude On Safety
“I believe, from my experience visiting thousands of food outlets, a restaurant website should promote its attitude on safety including allergy information in the form of an interactive menu and how to communicate dietary preferences, somewhere to see availability or a link to a booking platform, to promote its attitude on safety (COVID controls), to capture customer data to improve future communication (e.g sign up to a newsletter), to improve adaptability to potential new waves of COVID, but also to send out offers, do surveys and improve customer loyalty, some staff and customers testimonials or links to Trustpilot rating, photos of successful events, clear contact details and expected response times.
Additionally, short videos of the restaurant full, and kitchen in clean condition during service and perhaps a message from the owner/manager welcoming people to the restaurant might encourage them to sign up for the newsletter/event calendar, perhaps in reward for a coupon, they will fill in a survey so the restaurant can know their customer, etc.
Some customers will be searching for answers for practicalities such as maximum numbers, facilities such as baby changing, vegan/dietary options, disabled access, opening times, WiFi, power sockets available, if they may bring their own table decorations/birthday cake”
Having a fantastic online presence is critical for any restaurant to thrive. By processing a superbly designed website coupled with an effective marketing strategy, restauranteurs can successfully promote their establishments and generate a loyal clientele, which will ultimately increase sales.
Sarah Bauder is a senior content specialist at IronMonk Solutions. Sarah has a degree in journalism and has a decade of experience writing content at numerous renowned publications. She enjoys writing about digital marketing, business, entrepreneurship and more.