Did you know that more and more businesses have begun to take the online route to expand their range of opportunities? And restaurants are not an exception. You may not have a long chain of diners under your belt; it may simply be a small yet cozy place in the far corner of a lesser-known neighborhood. It may even be a newly established food truck. But it definitely needs an online presence, the lack of which will make your otherwise promising business become slowly stagnant.
If the risk of losing your enterprise isn’t reason enough, then here are four more excellent incentives to build a website for your restaurant.
Promotion at Lower Rates
It usually takes hundreds of dollars to attract a handful few customers to your restaurant via offline marketing. Did you know that you can draw the attention of thousands of potential foodies in and around your area in a matter of weeks through online marketing? All this at a fraction of the offline costs! You only need a website and a digital marketing professional to get the desired results in no time.
Display Menus and Handle Reservations
The first thing that any customer looks for in a restaurant website is the menu. It helps them assess their choices beforehand to reach a favorable decision. You can also allow them to make a reservation which can be handled remotely by the manager. Providing such ease of access will certainly put you in a better position to get a glowing review from the customer, which brings us to our next incentive.
The Ability to Leave Reviews
The review system forms the crux of any business. Did you know that a few good negative reviews online have the power to bring an entire restaurant down? Similarly, a few good positive ones will make your enterprise scale newer and greater heights! Thus, it is another definite advantage of having a website for your restaurant.
Increase Brand Awareness
You already have established your restaurant brand in the neighborhood. But do you ONLY want the locals to visit your joint? To let the people outside of your community know your restaurant’s existence, you need to drill your brand into their heads. So the next time that they hit your locality, they will be sure to pay your diner a visit. A website will help you do just that.
Now that you’re ready (may be even eager) to get a website for your restaurant up and running, you might be faced with a pretty daunting question: what the heck should I put in it? Here’s everything you need to know about the contents (basic and advanced) of a restaurant website.
What Content Do I Need For My Restaurant Website?
As mentioned earlier in the article, menus form an integral part of a restaurant; the first item that a potential customer looks for in a website. However, I’d advise that you don’t simply upload a soft copy of your hardbound menu. For one, many users may find it difficult to read, and for another, search engine crawlers (the ones that rank your website) won’t be able to index the information in the image. Request your web developer to build a responsive and interactive online menu, one that lets users also choose the items for home delivery.
Imagine the plight of you and your customer if the latter isn’t even able to locate the diner! Apart from mentioning the address of your restaurant, also include its exact location on a map of your neighborhood. And don’t forget to add your business phone number.
This is one of the most critical parts of any website. You can not only convey everything about your restaurant through the written word, but also help search engines rank your website better. Describe the most distinctive features of your joint on your homepage in brief. Feel free to elaborate on those and everything else in a separate ‘About Us’ section.
Images and Videos
Most people prefer to check out images and watch videos rather than read lengthy articles. Upload delectable pictures of your finest dishes or record the preparation techniques of your daily specials on video. A regularly updated website, then be it articles, images or videos, always ranks higher in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
Imagine that a customer likes your services and leaves an outstanding review on your website. Another potential customer is debating whether or not they should visit your restaurant when they come across that positive review, and the scales tip in your favor. But they need to notice the reviews in the first place. Remember to display all your positive reviews prominently on the homepage itself.
Links to your Social Media Pages
A business is only as popular online as its social media presence. Is something or the other constantly being updated on your Facebook page? Do people often retweet your business tweets? Is your Reddit forum rife with new discussion topics? If not, then it’s highly likely that customers don’t even know about your social media accounts. Place your social media links on the header of your homepage, or display them distinctly on the sides.
Themes and Formatting
Last but not the least, note that the design of your website should be consistent with the content inside and with the actual ambiance of your restaurant. People are easily attracted to a good contrast of colors and themes that genuinely reflect the atmosphere of your diner. Secondly, make sure that the formatting is in sync with the rest of the content on your website. Nobody likes sudden changes in fonts and sizes awkwardly within sentences. Maintain CONSISTENCY throughout!
Apart from the aforementioned necessities, you may also consider adding a few beneficial plugins and widgets on your restaurant’s website. For instance, WordPress offers the WP Restaurant Manager plugin that eases the process of handling online reservations. Browse through the entire list of plugins on your web provider’s page and pick the ones that suit your business.
At Locate, we have developers who can create a custom designed website for all your needs. Feel free to reach out anytime to find out more!