A website is a crucial tool for every restaurant that wishes to adopt modern restaurant management and marketing strategies. Every restaurant should have a completely functional own website.
Tasks that a well-designed restaurant website performs:
- Builds and fosters customer relationships
- Encourages people to visit the restaurant
- Helps potential customers spot you through the Internet.
Google states that more than a billion restaurants are searched on the site every month
People searching for restaurants use terms like “food near me”. This clearly indicates that eating experiences start online. Since the website is the first touchpoint with potential customers, having an online presence with online services is more critical than ever. It is essential to have a restaurant website checklist that proves to be handy during website design creation and maintenance.
18 Things That Your Restaurant Website Must Have
The Basic Stuff
Restaurant websites must provide visitors with basic information like address, phone number, and working hours. It should be displayed prominently on the front and center of the website’s homepage. While taking efforts to make people locate you easily, also ensure that they do not have to search for basic information once they have landed on your site. If you have several branches, list all of them so that people know which is the nearest branch they can visit. Keeping the information updated and accurate is essential to improve Google search rankings. Google is most often the primary place where people come across your restaurant. So, keep your basic stuff in place.
People visit a restaurant website to check what you offer them for eating and drinking. Most restaurants prefer uploading a PDF menu on the website as it is an easy task. But, it is always better and more enticing for your online visitors to see and experience an actual webpage that is compatible with smartphones as well. This makes sharing easy for customers resulting in a greater reach for you. Do not forget to add images of the dishes on the online menu in order to tempt visual eaters to come and try them out.
Social Media Accounts
Restaurants must ensure that links to their social media accounts are provided on the website. This is essential to give an extra boost to the brand’s social following and also provide an alternative platform for potential customers to engage with the restaurant’s brand. When you connect your social media accounts to your website, it becomes easy for guests to keep in touch with you. Embed the social media links directly on the restaurant website so that guests access your pages and also share them easily with others.
Images Of Your Food
Although people cannot taste images, posting food images on the restaurant website is essential to let consumers know what you offer. Letting people know the portion sizes through your photos is important so that customers also know the quantity they will receive for the quoted price.
Statistics state that 82% of guests prefer ordering directly from a restaurant’s website. Once people land on the homepage of your website, if you make it easy for them to order food from you, it is a great win for you. The ease of online ordering is greatly tempting for consumers. They prefer it better than ordering food over the phone. Many restaurants have improved their online sales significantly by displaying the ‘Order Online’ button prominently right on the homepage. So, do not forget to integrate the website with technology like online ordering and reservation software.
About Us Section
A restaurant website must narrate its story to online visitors. Telling people why you decided to start this restaurant and the struggles you faced during the process will help people understand you and your ambitions better. When they get to know the ordeals you have faced to fulfill your dreams, they will support you more passionately. Highlighting unique features of your story and the achievements of your chefs, bartenders or staff will emotionally connect people to your restaurant.
Restaurant Interior & Exterior Images
Apart from adding food images, including photos of the restaurant’s interiors too. Future customers will thus know in what kind of environment they will dine in if they visit your restaurant. If the restaurant’s exterior is stunning, you can include images of them as well. It is ideal to post such images right on the home page in order to solidify brand recognition.
Highlight Loyalty Programs and Discounts
You might be offering discounts and special offers to your local patrons like one discounted meal after their three visits to your restaurant or a $10 discount for every $100 that they spend on dining. Highlight such attractive programs and discounts on your website. Information about such discounts can also be provided on a landing page where customers can avail a special offer after subscribing to your emails or newsletters.
The impact created by a video is 1000 times more than that of an image. A restaurant website can contain videos of customers reviewing your food. You could offer a free or discounted meal to a few customers to share a few kind words before the camera. Building associations with popular food bloggers or influencers to create video content on social media about your restaurant and sharing them on your website is also beneficial. Videos of food being prepared in the kitchen can also be posted on the site. The restaurant owner can also leave a short video message about the restaurant’s founding and mission statement on the website so that people learn better from the mini-documentary.
Catering And Event Reservation Information
If you are a restaurant offering catering services or if you rent out your restaurant space for parties, weddings, and corporate events, include information about such services on a separate page of the website so that people looking to book you for events get the necessary information easily.
Special And Offers
If you offer drinks or menu specials, include that on the restaurant website. Let people know that you offer a soup-of-the-day or cocktail-of-the-month. If you are hosting events on holidays like Christmas, New Year’s Eve, or Valentine’s Day, highlight them on the restaurant website.
Gift Cards And Merchandise
Gift cards and merchandise are great ways to earn revenue. It also allows loyal guests to show their love and appreciation for the restaurant. Selling gift cards provides immediate cash flow to the restaurant. It also becomes a habit for the customer to buy cards from you on every special occasion. Gift cards should be promoted extensively on the website.
If your restaurant hosts frequent events or rotating specials, it is necessary to promote it on the website by including a calendar. While doing so, remember to keep it updated. You could also conduct fun events like occurring trivia or bingo nights Your restaurant website should serve as a prime hub for hosting information about upcoming events. Information can also be advertised through social media.
Use an email sign-up form on the restaurant website to encourage people to easily join your mailing list. To ensure a higher number of sign-ups offer people a 10% discount on their next meal or a free drink. Your restaurant website can help you build a database of customer email addresses. Use it well to communicate with your customers, reward them for loyalty or send them special offers and updates.
In order to showcase what customers think about your restaurant, add a webpage with authentic customer reviews. On this page, you could also include links to review sites like TripAdvisor, Yelp, Google My Business, etc.
Embedded Google Map
It is important to embed a Google Map on the restaurant website so that online visitors can click on it to get real-time directions to your restaurant’s location even using mobile devices. This convenience will make them visit your website frequently.
Local SEO Information
Restaurants must not stop by providing optimized contact information and an embedded Google Map on their website. One must also include local information about the restaurant (your address, name of the locality, and operation hours) on the website and in indexed pages for search engines.
This web design feature might not be recognizable to your online visitors or consumers, but it is essential for the success of every restaurant website. Without analytics, it is not possible to keep track of how the website is performing. There are several tools to keep track of analytical data like the location of your website visitors, the pages that get the most views, etc. Some of the important metrics that you must consistently keep track of are – bounce rate, keywords, and the kinds of devices and operating systems people use to access your website
This blog would have helped you to understand how important your restaurant website is and how to make it a powerful tool that attracts new visitors, retains existing ones, increases online sales, and builds greater brand awareness.