With 90% of customers looking for dining out options, researching online about restaurants before making a visit or purchase, a stunning, user-friendly, gadget compatible, updated, and fully functional website.
A website is a restaurant’s primary online home. It is an extension of the restaurant.
If people must get the right image even before they walk into the brick and mortar building, it is necessary that they acquire a favorable image of the restaurant, the brand, and its culinary offerings.
A restaurant website is like a signboard that directs or redirects the customers towards the brand, enabling them to get to know it better. What’s most important is the fact that the restaurant has complete control of the content that is used – something that is not possible on a review site.
A restaurant website is a controlled method of portraying a restaurant’s image.
10 REASONS HIGHLIGHTING THE IMPORTANCE & ADVANTAGES OF A RESTAURANT WEBSITE
A website offers great advantages to any business, more specifically a restaurant. Here are the reasons ascertaining why a restaurant needs a website:
1. Brand Image:
A website facilitates the creation of a first impression. If the potential guest is convinced by the website, a positive brand image gets firmly rooted, leading to immense brand loyalty over a period of time. A website is a restaurant’s very own platform to narrate its own story in its own style.
2. Selling Online Merchandise:
A website can be used by a restaurant to sell gift cards or any of their other merchandise online. People who are looking for gift buying options, especially during Christmas, would love to use the restaurant website for making gift purchases.
3. Greater Search Rankings:
With an SEO-friendly website, a restaurant is likely to enjoy better online search rankings.
4. Improved Digital Features:
Restaurants can quickly include an online ordering and digital payment system on their website to generate sales and increase profits.
By including a booking or reservation widget on the restaurant website, a customer is offered the greatest convenience that he is looking for. It allows for systematic regularization and management of reservations, thus, avoiding overbooking.
6. Promotion of Allied Services:
A website is an official channel to promote other services like catering or private event management. Creating separate pages for these business activities and following SEO practices will widen the market.
7. Providing Key Information:
A website is a permanent virtual document where a restaurant can provide information about its location, menu, operational hours, directions, special offers, its history, payment methods, and literally every communication that it wishes to undertake. With such information available online, restaurant staff need not spend much time answering phone calls raising such queries.
Spending on print or audio-visual ads can turn out to be very expensive. But, website creation requires only a fraction of that amount. Information is always available, easily accessible, and also amenable as per requirements. It is also a permanent form of advertising. In the case of printed materials, the process of editing text, printing it once again, and distributing it involves a lot of labor and cost. Spots on television or radio are also very expensive and temporary.
9. Competitive Advantage:
Restaurants compete amongst themselves through their unique culinary offerings. But, the competition must extend beyond the kitchen. A website is the best place to tell people what is unique about your restaurant, why they should prefer your brand over the others, and how they benefit by patronizing you. Instead of letting others do the talking if a restaurant uses the website as its propaganda platform, the benefits are going to be immense. Without a website in place, people are not persuaded or convinced to support you.
10. More Trust & Loyalty:
Before making their first visit, customers always like to know the experiences of people who have frequented the restaurant earlier. Testimonials are the best way for prospective customers to understand how well (or not) the restaurant met the expectations of guests. A website is the best place to display positive reviews with great pride. The Google Business Page Reviews can also be directly added to the restaurant's website. This makes the reviews seem more authentic. By adding links to newspaper reviews or other media coverages on the website, people’s trust, and loyalty increase.
15 FUNDAMENTAL ELEMENTS FOR ANY FOOD WEBSITE DESIGN
For a restaurant website to provide prospective customers and loyal patrons relevant and updated information along with a pleasant experience, it must have the following 15 elements. This will help it stand out from the competition in the virtual domain.
1. Google Map:
Embedding a Google map on the restaurant website will facilitate visitors to click on the link and get real-time directions on their mobiles to reach the venue.
2. Customer Reviews:
With millennials relying heavily on customer reviews and star ratings before deciding to patronize a brand, it becomes important for a restaurant to include authentic customer reviews on the website.
3. About Us Section:
Including details of the story behind the commencement of the restaurant will give the patrons a strong emotional reason to connect with your brand. Whether you are a member of a family-run restaurant or a first-generation restaurateur. Narrating your real-life story will create a strong bonding between the customer and you.
4. Table Reservations & Online Ordering:
Guests would like to get their tables and seating confirmed in order to skip the cumbersome queues or waiting process. With the Covid-19 pandemic changing lifestyles forever, people prefer placing online food orders. Statistics state that digital ordering is growing at a rate of 300% more than dine-in traffic.
5. Local Information:
Along with contact information and an embedded Google map on the website, a restaurant must also add local SEO information like the restaurant’s address, operational hours, and the locality. By adding such information on the website and in indexed pages, it becomes search engine friendly and also improves search rankings.
6. Specials & Offers:
Customers visiting the restaurant website will be delighted to know in advance the day you serve their favorite soup or about the offers on your cocktail of the month. If you run exclusive happy hours or other special offers during Christmas, New Year, Restaurant Week, or Valentine’s Day, highlight it at important spots on the website.
7. Contact Information:
A website must clearly tell people how they should contact the restaurant if they need any queries answered, have concerns or feedback to submit. A mobile-optimized contact form must be provided on the website so that visitors can easily fill it. Also, when visitors click on the phone number provided, they must be able to make a direct call to the restaurant from their mobile phone.
8. Website Template & Branding:
A restaurant website must be founded on a perfect website template or design that conveys the brand aptly and powerfully. If the restaurant is a fine-dining one, serving Italian cuisine in a posh locality, the design must be classic and sleek. Whereas, if it is a pizzeria meant for youth, it must use vibrant colors and reflect a mood of energy and potency.
9. Mobile-friendly Experience:
Websites must be easy to view and navigate even from a mobile device. Contact forms, table reservation links, and order forms must be easy to access and fill out using a smartphone or tablet. Menus should be easy to view, scroll through and online orders must be made simple using a mobile device. Most importantly, online menus must not be in a PDF or attachment format.
10. Media Coverages & Press Mentions:
Links to articles written about the restaurant in local or national newspapers or magazines should be included on the restaurant’s website. A PDF version of the article can also be uploaded in the media section.
Links to videos of coverage done by food bloggers can also be included. This is a great way to highlight the restaurant’s story and unique features. Since the content was not created by you, it gains more authenticity.
Menus fuel a restaurant business. An online menu forms an integral part of a restaurant website. It should not be a mere PDF but an online menu that is crawlable and identifiable by search engines. An online menu must highlight the restaurant’s unique dishes, most popular dishes and have separate sections for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Including prices on the website’s menu gives guests a clear idea of what their dining experience is likely to cost them.
12. Loyalty Programs & Discounts:
Loyal customers can be offered incentives in return for their patronage. After four meals with the restaurant, their fifth meal can be discounted. For every $100 that they spend, they can avail themselves of a $10 discount. Such programs or discounts meant for loyal customers must be highlighted adequately on the website. An exclusive landing page can also be designed for this purpose so that patrons are offered something special after subscribing to newsletters, filling a questionnaire, or answering a survey.
13. High-Quality Images:
A restaurant website must be filled with good-quality images of food. A separate photo gallery section can be created to include images of the restaurant interiors, the kitchen, working shots of food being prepared, day and night lighting, most popular menu items, events celebrated in the venue, car parking, and literally anything related to the restaurant and business. Photos can effectively capture the restaurant ambiance and convey the vibe that people will experience when they are at the venue.
14. Updated Content:
A restaurant website must always be infused with fresh content. Online menus must be kept updated along with the prices. Restaurant visitors always have a glance at the culinary offerings before making a visit. If video footage of chefs preparing the best-sellers is included on the website, people are likely to get instantly attached to the brand. If a special discount is offered for Valentine’s Day and the information is posted on the website, it must be removed immediately after February 15. Stale information will create an adverse effect in the process of brand identity creation.
15. Social Media Links:
Social media advertising is a powerful tool that all restaurants must effectively utilize. Restaurants must necessarily have a presence on important social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. These platforms must be regularly used and kept updated. Restaurants must include customer reviews on social media and later embed these social media profiles onto the restaurant website. This is a great way to always remind people of your brand. They get to interact with the brand on various online platforms during their visits to the restaurant. This improves brand recall and helps create a robust brand image.
EXAMPLES OF GREAT FOOD WEBSITE DESIGN
Restaurants that wish to create a unique presence for themselves in the online space make use of a good user interface design, alluring photography, user-friendly interface, a pleasing color palette, simple fonts, convincing content, and mostly a portion of their secret ingredient to entice their online visitors.
Here are some samples of good restaurant website designs:
This website designed by Restaurantify is a classic example of a great food web design. Providing adequate space to accommodate several images of the food offered and all the basic credentials that customers will look for, this design is simple, straightforward, yet very powerful. This design includes online ordering and a table reservation system. While the website design is committed to creating a visual impact, it is also driven towards revenue generation.
This is another great example of a profitable restaurant website design. This design is suitable not just for Indian cuisine restaurants but for any food business as it facilitates information to be displayed in a streamlined manner. It is clutter-free, user-friendly, and gadget-compatible too.
The website of this restaurant serving pasta, pizzas, and sandwiches is a real visual treat. Based on the principles of minimalism, this website has a single-page template. With a single click, people can easily navigate between the pages meant separately for the two locations of Clayton and Nashville. Details of their provisions and wine shop are also listed for people who are looking to shop online.
The website of this delicatessen serving sandwiches since 1888 is sure to delight any online visitor. The website for this Jewish restaurant highlights the way the corned beef and pastrami are prepared using a traditional 30-day method as against the 36 hours procedure adopted by other delicatessens. The website also reflects the heritage importance of the brand as it has been operating for more than a century now.
The website of this stone farmhouse run by Chef Thomas Keller is a strong crowd-puller just like the refined fixed-price meals served by the dine-in restaurant. Absolutely minimal to the core, this design empowers visitors with all kinds of information. Links are provided right away on the home page below an image of the restaurant’s exterior.
THE BEST SITE BUILDER FOR A FOOD WEBSITE
If you are looking for a food website builder offering a sea of customizable restaurant templates at an affordable price, contact Restaurantify. They specialize in creating a website for a restaurant. Entrust this exclusive restaurant website builder with the task of building an SEO-friendly, gadget-compatible platform that is integrated with online ordering and a secure digital payment gateway.
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