Running a restaurant is TOUGH and it's not for the faint of heart. When it comes to restaurant websites, most restaurant owners get it wrong. They don't see their website as an extension of their restaurant, instead, slap together a shell of what a website should resemble.
Since we love carry out and we're all big foodies around here, we thought it was time to put together a few tips to help restaurant owners and managers put their best foot foward on the internet - starting with website tips. These will help you elevate your search presence without driving you crazy.
Here are 3 website tips you can implement today to make your site run as efficiently as your restaurant.
#1 Add More Pictures
The best way to bring people in the door is by showing them pictures of:
Use your social feed as a guide, too! If you have a basic WordPress site and an Instagram account, you can feed your IG content into your site seamlessly.
Supplying future patrons with images of food is great but showing them other people enjoying their food is even better!
Show off your dishes visually when someone is looking at your menu. No image makes people question the food. A good image gives them an idea of what to expect. A great image makes them order and come back for more.
#2 Use Apps to Streamline Your Business
We're not talking about appetizers (although those are delicious), we're talking about using third-party software and platforms to take the guess-work out of:
Making a Reservation
Placing a Carry Out Order
Informing the Restaurant of a Special Occassion
When you use platforms like Resy or Table Agent, making a reservation is seamless. OpenTable allows patrons to invite others and leave a review. Toast makes it easy for people to order carry out while also making in-restaurant check out a breeze. Most of these platforms come at a cost to the business but think about how much time you'll save not fielding questions around "Do you have room for a table of 6 tonight?" several times a day. Additionally, most of these apps offer patrons an opportunity to tell the restaurant when there's a special occasion like a birthday, anniversary, or proposal - so wise up and pay attention to those areas.
#3 Use an Interactive Menu - Not a PDF
This cannot be stressed enough: using a PDF in lieu of an interactive menu is lazy and a terrible user experience. It shows the user that you didn't care enough to make a true digital version of your menu and gives the impression that their business doesn't really matter to you. There are so many benefits to utizling an interactive menu:
You can entice people with better descriptions
If menu items need to be swapped out, it's easier to do
People can view more than one menu easily
There's no squinting involved
Adding a list of allergens is easy
Using photos is possible when utilizing an interactive menu
You can categorize and showcase specials vs the main menu
See what we mean? Plus, when someone's searching for "Koshari Chicken", Google and other search engines will be able to pick up the item from your interactive menu. They can't do that with a PDF.
Restaurant Websites Should Work FOR You
Your restaurant's website should help elevate the dining experience without creating excess grief in the process. The three tips above are just a start - if you're ready to market your restaurant in a way that brings more people in the door, start working with a digital marketing agency that loves food and knows how to get people in the door.