19 Oct 11 Secrets to Using Restaurant Web Design to Increase Customers and Beat Your Competition
If you are a restaurant owner, you know how important it is that people know about you and each of your locations. There is no better, or more cost effective, way to get that information to consumers than through restaurant web design that shows your stores and your food in their best light. While this might seem like an easy task, creating a gorgeous restaurant website that will attract customers and increase your revenue takes lots of great ideas, skills, and knowledge of how restaurant web design works. Lucky for you, we can help you bring it all together, beautifully!
Restaurant web design can address many needs, from advertising your menu items to expanding your presence locally, and setting expectations for dining experiences in your restaurants. The objective should be showing off your amazing food and making it easy to find needed information. You should know that about 90 percent of potential customers go online to research restaurants before going out to eat or ordering takeout or catering. For these reasons, you must have a compelling website to promote your overall brand and provide information on each location. Here are the tips we think are most important for awesome restaurant web design:
1. Identity your target audience and objectives
Make sure you have a clear understanding of who your target customers and why they would want to come to your restaurants. Are you trying to attract families with young kids, young adults, or business people on their lunch break? What income range is your target audience in and what other restaurants are competing for these same customers, even if they are a different type of restaurant. When your prospective customer comes to your restaurant web design, what do you want them to do on the site? Place an order online, get directions, call to make a reservation, place a catering order, and learning about franchise opportunities are just a few examples. Once you have your audience and website objectives clearly defined, it will make designing the site much easier and more effective.
2. Photography is everything
Mouthwatering images of your signature dishes should be utilized liberally throughout your website, as should great pictures that show off your restaurant’s vibe, and the fresh ingredients you are using in your dishes. Don’t skimp on images, but be sure that they are professional and show your food in the perfect light. Also, make sure that your text copy fits your style and branding message, and is personalized to your customers.
3. Send regular reminders to your customers
Don’t forget to have multiple ways to collect customer contact information so that you can send them regular promo information, info on special events, new menu items and specials. Ask for their contact information in your stores, on your website, and on a mobile app. Of course, give them a compelling reason to give you this information, like a free appetizer or dessert coupon they can use for their next visit.
4. Refine your menu’s usability
Menus are one of the most important pieces of information to have available at your website. People want to be able to browse through your list of menu items and see what you have to offer, and what your prices are like. Be sure that your menu is easy to get to and doesn’t require them to download anything; don’t be lazy and upload a picture of your menu. Your menu should be just a click away from your home page. Your menu is the most important thing you can have on your website for your users, and the more information you provide them, the better. Some consumers have special eating restrictions and dietary information is important to them. Apart from that, some want burgers and appetizers, while others are looking for a fine dining experience, and your menu tells them what you have to offer.
5. Easy online ordering and reservations
Do you accept online reservations or have an online ordering system? Let people know! When you add online ordering systems, make them easy for people to use. No logging in or creating an account should be required, and be sure they can save favorites for re-order. Even more important, be sure that customers can order online and bypass the line in your store to pick up their order.
6. Mobile, mobile, mobile!
Seriously, if your website is not optimized for mobile or mobile responsive, that needs to be your first order of business – TODAY! Mobile use is growing by leaps and bounds, and if your site is not ready, you will lose customers. Another important element for your website is easy access to directions. You can connect each of your restaurants to Google Places by confirming your locations. Then you will be included on Google Maps, and customers can leave reviews as well.
7. Monitor & engage on social media
Social media offers you the opportunity to engage with customers, and to increase your exposure. Some of the smartest restaurants have figured out how to leverage social media and create a cult following. Create a solid plan for content to share every week, and do so without fail. In fact, run social media campaigns every so often as well. They will increase the number of followers on your pages and the engagement. Nothing is worse than a social media page that is abandoned. Customers that have visited you can leave reviews on social sites, and you have the opportunity to respond. Always respond, even if the review is not totally positive. It shows that you care about your customers and are interested in making your business better. Be sure you have a presence on Google, Yelp, Trip Advisor and Facebook.
8. Don’t forget the essentials
Good basic information is helpful and should be easy to find:
- hours of operation of each of your locations
- store addresses and directions
- types of credit cards you accept
Having this type of information online cuts down on phone calls, and allows your staff to handle more important stuff, like taking care of your customers. Also, your website can solidify your brand if you use a logo or image that speaks to your customers and that they will instantly recognize whenever they see it.
9. Promote other services
Many restaurant owners also offer catering for special events or businesses, or specialty items like cheesecakes or whole pies to go. You might even have a special party room at one of your locations that is available for birthday or holiday gatherings. Add a tab to your website and tell people about your other services to increase your sales.
10. Replace more expensive advertising
Newspaper and other print ads, telephone books, and TV and radio commercials are very expensive. Besides that, they are much less effective than in year’s past. Professional restaurant web design is a fraction of the cost, is open 24/7 and provides lots more information. Where other types of advertising is quickly outdated, you can easily update your website any time. Good SEO for restaurants includes great content, good website structure and navigation, and connecting social media accounts to gain further traffic.
11. Hire a professional web design agency
Creating a compelling website that gives new customers and old a good overview of your restaurants, lots of good information, and a welcoming feel is key. Remember, in many cases this website is what is introducing you to consumers. Well-done restaurant web design will impress potential customers and encourage them to visit. Good restaurant web design is hard work, requiring lots of skills and significant experience. This is where we can help! From taking the professional photos you need to delighting patrons and engaging your customers online, we are here to help you build your successful business. We provide startup and ongoing support, and it is easy to get a quote by simply contacting us.
Restaurant web design is important for the success of your business. Hopefully, the tips above have given you some ideas about how you envision your website to look. Contact us today and turn that vision into beautiful reality, quickly and easily!FREE WEBSITE QUOTE