All businesses need an online presence, and this is especially true in the restaurant business. Competition is fierce, and the difference between success and failure can be factors which have nothing to do with the quality of the food, dedication of staff, or the atmosphere your establishment conjures.
The fact is that to attract new customers; you need an online presence and a professional easy to use website that can take bookings, carry forward the ambience of the restaurant, showcase photos of the location and the food that is served and restaurant information, policies, locations and contact details. Sounds simple, but as we shall see, there is more to it than meets the eye.
When combined with a good online marketing campaign, a good restaurant website will be a conversion machine for your business, securing bookings and generating enquiries.
With this in mind, let us take a deep dive into the aspects every restaurant website needs.
1 Mobile First
All restaurants need a mobile-first site. If you think how fast life has become, and the increasing use of mobiles over computers, not having a useable site on a mobile is unthinkable. With this in mind, ensure that the full menu can be accessed and customers can book online using a mobile at the very least.
As many people will be using a phone to see your shiny new site, putting in a click to call button or two is not a bad idea.
2 Online Bookings
As mentioned, it is important your site can take bookings online. This should be a simple process and require no more than a few mouse clicks or screen taps. Consider using a highly visible call to action button with a simple ‘Book Table’ or ‘Make Reservation’ button copy. A good designer will ensure that the button contrasts the rest of the site making it prominent in the page design.
3 Menu & Photos of Dishes
Your full menu should be displayed on your site with professional copy to describe the dishes and it’s key ingredients. If done correctly, this can be a powerful selling point. You should aim higher than your immediate competitors here, to make your dishes stand out from the crowd.
To help even further, a sample selection of photos the food you serve will help to make sure that your future customers get a ‘virtual taste’ of what your restaurant offers. Try and feature ‘action shots’ where people are shown tucking into their favourite dish. If done well, potential diners will see a restaurant that is clearly real and authentic.
4 Specials and Vouchers
If you offer a voucher system or have a specials menu, this should be well featured on your site. As such, it is essential that you have full control over the content and can change it easily and quickly as desired, especially for elements such as vouchers and specials. It is also best to include important terms and conditions for the use of any vouchers or specials to ensure that no customer is disappointed when redeeming such offer.
Your brand must be prominent in your website, especially if you are an independent restaurant trying to stand out among corporate chains, and indeed among your competitors. Once customers associate your delicious food and dining experience with your brand, then you can look forward to regular bookings and recommendations. Research shows that people like to spend their money with a trusted brand.
On the question of the brand itself, logos etc must be professionally designed, speaking the language of your diner. Think about the clientele you’re trying to attract. Your branding is going to be like your menu and configured to your customer tastes. That is to say; your branding is going to be different if you are a mid-range family restaurant to a fine diner where clientele has more money to spend.
In essence, your brand should be positioned to appeal to the customers you want to attract.
6 Your Story
All good brands have a story, and yours should be no different. Bring across your passion for food and delivering an amazing dining experience to customers. If you can make it a journey showing your early years when you were discovering food to your success as a top chef so much the better.
7 Contact and Location
As discussed, your site should be easy to contact and showcase where you are located. You may want to feature Google maps and other tools so your diners can find you easily and quickly. Using Google Maps features, one can just tap the location and get driving instructions on most phone’s mapping apps.
8 Social Media Integration
Having a good social media integration is a must for any business and restaurants that know what they are doing have great Facebook and Instagram feeds at the very least. Having a strong social media presence not only allows you to showcase how great your establishment is, but it is a good way to interact with customers and indeed take bookings.
You can also showcase your specials, vouchers and your glowing reviews.
Final Thoughts on Your Restaurant Website
Ensure your website is designed by a credible company with a good knowledge of how to turn your business website into a conversion machine. Yes, you can build it yourself, but like someone who doesn’t really know how to cook in your kitchen, what comes out of the oven may not be to your taste.
Get in touch with us today so we can discuss your project and develop an amazing website to generate new business towards your restaurant.