As we move towards the reopening of the economy, the restaurant industry will be at the forefront. We’ve all been missing our favorite dishes, tables, servers, and bartenders. Once the doors open, we will be first in line at our favorite spots. Learning what to include in a restaurant website is the key to a smooth and successful reopening.
Restaurants are in a unique spot to prepare for their reopening. You want to be at the front of your patrons’ minds so they are as excited about your doors reopening as you are. Having a modern, efficient, and functional website is essential to making that key impression on your patrons. We’ve laid out some key elements to your website to make it work for you.
Super Mobile Friendly
About half of all website traffic is mobile. That number is significantly higher for restaurants. Restaurant websites need to do more than just work on mobile phones, they need to be designed for mobile-first. Taking the visitors perspective and browsing the website on a phone can go a long way to helping decide what the priorities are.
Secure, User Friendly, & Fast
In-line with being mobile friendly, restaurant websites need to be fast, if not snappy. Few things annoy a hungry visitor more than not being able to find what they’re looking for on a slow loading website. Security is important for all websites, but especially so when online payments are involved.
Contact & Ordering Info
When you think about what to include in a restaurant website, the two main reasons visitors go to a restaurant website are to order food or to check availability/make a reservation. Contact information like a phone number, accurate open hours, and GPS deep-links need to be immediately visible throughout the website. Access to online ordering should also take priority for screen real estate.
Online Ordering & Delivery
Even before COVID-19, third party delivery services were gaining in popularity. Now, they are 10x more popular and are normalizing their user base. As things get back to normal, it will be crucial for restaurants to incorporate some easy-to-use form of online ordering for their customers. Going one step further, it’s important that the online menu is optimized, streamlined, and error-free.
For restaurants who prefer their customers dine-in as opposed to take-out, a clean, mobile-friendly food and drink menu are imperative. Many restaurants will update a PDF of their print menu, and while that’s better than nothing, it’s not easy to read and browse, especially on phones. Quick-links to menu sections and descriptions of menu items can help visitors find what they’re looking for. Accurate pricing is a requirement to keep customers coming back.
Photos, Social Proof, & Social Media
The saying “people eat with their eyes first” holds true, even on websites. Great photos of a restaurant’s specialty dishes and drinks can differentiate them and get visitors’ mouths watering. New customers will likely need more convincing before they pick up the phone or jump in the car. Social proof like awards, testimonials, online reviews, and social media followers can immediately satisfy hesitant customers.
Local Search Optimization
A restaurant that doesn’t appear for relevant, local searches isn’t likely to be open very long. Optimizing for the type of food served and even specialty dishes is crucial at the local level. This can be optimized through the website, but it should also be done at the local listing level. Local restaurant listings on Google, Yelp, Facebook, etc., all need to be optimized to rank better when visitors are looking for a place to eat.
Be Ready When Your Customers Come Back
As our economy begins to move forward and your business starts to make important decisions on reopening, knowing what to include in your restaurant website is the key to a successful reopening. Having an effective online presence in place and a user-friendly website will remind patrons that you’re a great choice for their next meal.
Implementing the basic restaurant website features above will help increase your business and stay relevant in a service industry that is changing before our eyes.
Stay ahead of the game – if you need help getting your website ready for the recovery, schedule a free consultation with our team of restaurant website experts!