Being online with your business has become essential for engaging with current and potential customers. You need to take advantage of the vast variety of platforms available to market your business on the internet, otherwise you will miss out on revenue generating opportunities. The most important place to start is with your restaurants website. The message you want to put across will come from your website, and ultimately is where you want to drive your customers to from all other platforms.
However your website came to be, we’re here to give you some tips on how to make the most of your website:
1. Visual images
Image is everything. Even with a great website design, if your photos are amateur, your business will look the same. Hire someone who knows what they are doing and can paint the picture of your business with beautiful imagery. Ambiance, food, staff, services & happy customers should all be included on the list. These visual assets will seal the deal when trying to take people from your website to your restaurant.
2. A Clear navigation menu
Ease of navigation through your site is also important. When someones trying to find your menu, or where you are located they want it to be easy and not hidden. Think of your own experience when you visit another website. What are the things you’re usually looking for? How do you feel when you can’t easily find it? It’s frustrating, right? That shouldn’t happen when your clients visit your restaurant’s website. Information should be easy to find and well organized, otherwise they’ll leave the website feeling discouraged and frustrated.
3. Contact details
When you navigate onto a website for a restaurant you like finding there contact information should be instant. Often even when you google a restaurant you google “Restaurant contact info”. This basic information, like the phone number, address, and email address should be on the front page, either at the header or the footer sometimes both places. Don’t forget to re-include it on your menu tab and include directions to your restaurant.
4. Feedback form
You will be competing against Yelp on this one, but it is still necessary to have a feedback form on your website. This is a good way to invite customer feedback, positive or negative. If you can gather this feedback directly, and make an effort to improve the dining experience, you get an opportunity to make that customer’s next experience all the more special
5. No PDF menus
Your menu should be clean and crisp in a way that is easy for your customers to access. Using HTML to place your menu on your website is a must. Avoid attaching a PDF menu to your website as it forces your customers to click on an additional link, and won’t allow for easy editing, and overall doesn’t look professional.
6. Be mobile friendly
For those of you who are not in this century, smartphones and devices with data plans are where its at. Your customers are definitely using their phones and internet to research and check out the local restaurants. Make sure your site is prepared and can format seamlessly from web to phone otherwise they will move onto the next.
7. Customer testimonials
Absolutely nothing is more critical to building confidence and trust than customer testimonials. People like to hear that other people have to say. They need want to know the service was excellent and the food was delicious.
8. Customer sign up form
Customers definitely want what you have to offer—if there is little-to-no risk, and you can deliver what you promise they will be happy to sign up. Just don’t bombard their inboxes with pointless info. Send offers, offer incentives and keep them posted on daily specials. This is the best way to build relationships and engage with your customers.
9. Online ordering linked to POS
As we’ve mentioned above, it’s the digital age. People want to click and buy, so make sure when they do you have a POS like PointOS that sets your restaurant up with a delivery or pick up option on your website.
10. Can I make a reservation
If your restaurant takes reservations, then you’ll want to feature that information clearly on your website. Making reservations through your website needs to be easy to find otherwise you could loose potential customers. Some websites can be made to integrate directly with your platform of choice so make sure to make it a smooth experience for your customers.
In the era of gathering information easily, its not an option for your restaurant to not have a website. It makes it easy for your customers to find all the information they need and allows others interested in your business to research you. Just make sure you have everything it needs to be a success.
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See you next week!
Your devoted hostess,
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