5 Musts for Today’s Restaurant Website
For restaurants, there is fierce competition on the Web and keeping up with the times can be critical to success.
A stale website experience can greatly influence the decision-making process for diners. So if there is any doubt in your mind that your restaurant’s website might be a tad dated, ask yourself a few questions:
- Are there pictures your food on your site?
- Can you easily view your website on a cell phone?
- Is your online menu up to date?
- Can your customers order their food or make reservations online?
- Do you showcase your participation in social media?
If you answered “no” to any of these questions, keep reading. We’ve put together a list of the top five items modern websites shouldn’t be without.
Stunning Food Photography
It’s time to ditch those stretched out, off-color photos of your food that look like they were shot in a back alley next to a dumpster. To capture the imagination (and hopefully patronage) of diners, you want to try to hit as many senses as you can.
High-quality food photography will help bring your website and menu to life. If your restaurant has a particular dish it’s known for, or you have certain menu items you want to highlight, professional food photography allows you to give them extra attention. And hopefully, sell more of it.
So make sure to show off your cuisine. It’s your pride and joy, after all.
Responsive, Catchy Design
If you’ve ever browsed a website on your phone and have had to pinch and pull your screen so that you can view it, you know how annoying it can be. We just can’t emphasize this enough – today’s restaurant website needs to be well designed and viewable on whatever screen you are viewing it on.
When your website scales to different browser sizes and can be viewed across various device types, this means it’s responsive. So whether your potential patron views your site on a phone or on a desktop computer, information is easy to find and read.
We mentioned in a previous post that 40-60 percent of online searches for restaurants are done via mobile. Don’t make the mistake of losing clientele due to a frustrating website experience.
Online menus are huge when it comes to deciding where you will eat. But while most restaurants do have menus online, they don’t do a good job of keeping them updated.
Don’t surprise your customers with price changes and discontinued menu items that they weren’t expecting. Make sure your online menu matches your in-house version verbatim.
Menus that are hard to read online can also be a big turnoff, so avoid uploading your menu as a PDF. We talk a little more about why PDFs aren’t a great way to display your menu in a previous blog post. Always opt for a responsive menu built as a web page that loads quickly and looks great at any screen size.
Sometimes it’s just easier and more convenient to type than to talk. If that’s the case, your diners may prefer to make their reservations or food orders online instead of over the phone.
Today’s restaurant website needs to allow their customers to handle these tasks.
The “Albuquerque Business Journal” reported that 20 percent of consumers would rather use technology than interact with restaurant staff. And 34 percent have used their smartphone to pay for a meal. These numbers will likely continue to grow as more restaurants embrace the benefits of online ordering and reservations.
An added bonus? Online ordering and reservations cut down on the number of phone calls coming into your establishment, freeing up your staff from having to pause to pick up a ringing telephone and allowing them to attend to other tasks needed to keep your business running smoothly.
Websites these days don’t just rely on visitors to come straight to them – they need a little love from outside sources and are highly integrated with social media.
Some ways to stay connected include:
- Social Media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are great places to connect with your restaurant’s guests. Make sure your participation in these sites is prominently displayed on your website.
- Blogging can give your brand a huge voice in the marketplace. It’s also a great way to share information and events related to your restaurant, and gives you extra content to share through your email and social media channels.
- Email lets you engage with your client base and keep them informed about events (who’s excited about Taco Tuesday?!), new menu items, and special occasions at your restaurant.
Having an active social media presence can benefit your business in several ways. Social media helps drive traffic to your website, lets you engage with your guests in online spaces they visit frequently, and builds trust and loyalty among your restaurant patrons.
Getting it Done
As a restaurant owner, you are likely busy running your business and don’t have a lot of time to make updates to websites and monitor social media accounts. If this is the case, you might consider hiring a local New Mexico web agency that specializes in web design and marketing.
Enchanted Dish can help you build an engaging online presence that accentuates your unique flavor and brings customers into your restaurant. Contact us to find out how we can help grow your business.