Websites are fun to have but really getting down to the nitty gritty of generating your site visitors into customers can be a process, so here is a little breakdown from a user perspective.
Many restaurant websites are great but some lack the ability to even view on a mobile device which makes it hard for your potential customers to choose you over the competition. This may be the worst of your worries but I have put together 6 points to consider when developing your restaurant website.
Let’s dive in:
1. PERSONALIZE THE SITE
Embracing your brand by communicating your restaurant story or background on your website makes your site unique and in some forms transparent. Which is important to customers and has been on the rise in business communications over the past few years.
Showing your not a robot-site gives a personal side to your brand. Really think about what your message is and how you want to be viewed in the public eye. This will show your honesty by building your customer relationships resulting in returning customers.
Having strong visuals are important to keep people engaged. Wether it is photography or illustrations, be sure to optimize for quick viewing via mobile devices.
Getting a food photographer can be pricey, a great alternate is to combine user generated content. What I mean by that is using what is already there. Customers take pictures of your food, now more than ever. So having a feed of your customers pictures can engage and involve your audience and you do not have to spend a fortune on photographs. Just be sure to have a hashtag associated with your restaurant so you can find these photos easily. Resource Here.
Although if you have the budget, I do highly recommend investing a great food photographer. The pictures alone can make your customers mouths water and generate sales. The power of photography is evident everywhere, look at Instagram for instance. Example: Dishoom or Mah Ze Dahr Bakery.
Illustrations are very popular because illustrator styles are very diverse and once you have stuck with a particular style it becomes recognizable. This can not only develop a consistency with your website but develop a strong bond to your brand. Prochetta & Co. uses a fun rendition on using illustrations. Or even using iconography like Bellwoods Brewery has on their site.
3. USING THE RIGHT PLATFORM
Today there are so many platforms to use and can be confusing about where to start. If you are going to be editing your website a lot or adding in content on a regular basis but may not be an HTML guru, you can make your website in WordPress or SquareSpace two great self editing platforms. Or there is the option to hire a web developer to produce your site from scratch. This works well if you would like to make your website fully customized.
4. UNDERSTANDING YOUR CUSTOMERS OBJECTIVES
Find answers by generating some questions like: Why would they be coming to your site? Where are they coming from? Do you want to have a commerce page on your site, to generate additional profit? Are your customers local or international? Really breakdown and define your customers to embrace their thought process. Even if you create a quick survey with incentives like Bier Market does here. Generating information with your customers feedback to help define your site path can be monumentally impactful.
Another way to understand your customers and visitors is to set your site up with Google analytics. You get a breakdown of where your visitors are coming from how long they are on your site and where they are going.
5. BE SOCIAL
Now more than ever, restaurants increase in polarity through social media. So being connected on social media platforms is as important as having a website it’s self. Generating conversations, posting up-to-date content and engaging customers making them feel a part of your restaurant experience is so valuable.
So it is mandatory to have social media links or feeds on your site to acknowledge your activity, like Riva has on their main page. The hard part is being consistent and posting regularly. After all running a restaurant is time consuming as it is. For this you can outsource your social media marketing to companies or individuals who can upkeep your social sites on a regular basis.
Dark Horse also has a prominent feed on their main page with big bold icons to their social sites.
Another good point is to give the option of purchasing gift cards on your site. This can drive sales for your restaurant by either posting incentives or promotions on your site or through social media to engage customers and turn them into returning customers.
6. MOST IMPORTANTLY: BE MOBILE FRIENDLY
I can not stress this enough it is most important to have a mobile friendly website. So be sure to do a cross-browser check on multiple devices.
I have mentioned it before but 80 percent of your customers will look up your menu before ever stepping foot into your restaurant, so be sure to not only have a mobile friendly site but make your menu easily accessible from your main page or directly on your main page. Like Terroni or The Black Hoof did on theirs.
One other huge thing to consider is watch out for flash media. Most mobile devices are not compatible with flash. If you are adamant about having flash-like qualities, some alternates would be having video’s imbedded like Gilgul has done or even animated gif’s like this one.
Hope these pointers help you in producing your ideal restaurant website, and if you have any questions or need help producing your restaurant website — contact Ashley Howell for more information.
Thanks for reading!