Restaurants pride themselves on providing a warm environment for visitors to enjoy time with their friends and family while creating meaningful memories over a good meal. While so much time and energy may be devoted to ensuring that your restaurant is pleasant and inviting and your food is of the highest quality, many businesses spend little time or effort ensuring that their restaurant website design has the same effect. Many websites are launched and then neglected, not kept up-to-date, contain superfluous content, and do not engage a visitor. In short, they are uninviting and likely provide a terrible user experience.
If you are a restaurant owner or operate one, you may not realize that your outdated website is hurting your business. Here are Absolute’s 5 Must-Haves for your restaurant website to maximize leads, build customer loyalty, and elevate your brand.
Make it easy for them to contact you
Nothing is more important than making sure your site’s visitors know how to reach you. Prominently list your name, address, and phone number (NAP) on your homepage, footer, and contact pages. As a rule of thumb, offer as many points of contact as possible so that if they search for you, they know exactly how to make a reservation, order online, or ask a question.
If you have a customer looking for your restaurant, don’t frustrate them with poor information layout so that they go somewhere else! If you have a newsletter, you can also offer an opt-in for your customers where they can sign up and collect information on future promotions. In short, make it easy for your customers to get what they’re looking for.
Show off your Menu
Ideally, your menu should be displayed in HTML format so that search engines can index your content, and users can easily read your page on various devices. However, if you are updating your menu often, it can be time-consuming to make the changes. Therefore, we see that many restaurants opt for a PDF version of their menu for the sake of simplicity.
We recommend having both. PDF’s can make the page load more slowly and may be difficult to view on smaller screens. We suggest including your menu as a PDF in case a user wants to download and print your menu for future reference. Always make sure your menu is updated to reflect price changes, the addition or removal of menu items, or any other modifications.
Make Your Website Responsive
Always consider that a significant portion of your audience may be looking for you, or viewing your website, from a mobile or tablet device. In 2015, mobile search exceeded desktop search, so if your website isn’t responsive, it will likely give a poor user experience. Not only can it negatively impact the user’s opinion of your business, but can result in penalization from Google, which gives preferences to mobile-friendly, responsive websites in search results. A study recently found that 60% of consumers will go to a competitor’s site after a bad mobile experience, so don’t give your potential customers a reason to visit your competitor.
While videos can be a powerful promotional tool for your brand, having a slow loading video start up on autoplay isn’t a best practice. The same goes for background music. Nothing is more annoying than a slow page loading, followed by background music that you can’t turn off or control.
The aesthetics of websites have changed over the years, and while splash pages once created an allure of exclusivity, they won’t provide your user with any other benefit than having to click once more to enter your site.
Instead, use appealing visuals including photographs of your food, restaurant interior, seating arrangements, and visitors to entice future customers into your establishment. Your homepage is the prime opportunity to showcase the ambiance and atmosphere of your restaurant and give the user an impression of your eatery in a few fleeting moments.
Be sure to highlight special offerings, favorite menu items, chef specials, and other pictures to represent your establishment and add tremendous visual flair to your website.
Social Media, Reviews, and Testimonials
Nothing adds more credibility to your restaurant’s website than reviews from real people who have visited your establishment. Indicate your social media channels so that users can follow you, or read more about other people’s experiences. According to Brightlocal, nearly 90% of visitors trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. While there are so many channels, you may wish to choose the ones that work best for your brand. Social media can increase customer retention and advocacy, so don’t neglect to monitor those online properties and ensure that they are consistent with your website and restaurant.
Absolute Marketing Solutions is an award-winning web design company based in Tampa, Florida. We have served over 200+ clients worldwide providing digital strategies to accelerate growth and create new business opportunities. To learn more about our team, visit our page here.
Want to get the Bonus Website Must-Have? Sign up below for exclusive access:
Search engines, as well as humans, love quality content. With that said, having a place on your restaurant’s website, such as a blog, is an integral part of your overall digital marketing efforts. Be sure to add blog posts, news stories, awards and recognition, and other pieces of relevant information that would benefit your customers. For a free content marketing evaluation, contact the team at Absolute Marketing Solutions today.