Does your restaurant need a website?

June 20, 2022

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restaurant website

In today’s world, you need more than just good food to succeed in the restaurant industry. And if you’re a restaurant owner, you’re probably wondering if you need a restaurant website to take your business to the next level. 

In this post, we’ll share tips from our digital marketers on user experience that you should consider when building your restaurant’s website!

General layout

A well-designed and functional website is your brand’s business card and your restaurant’s virtual extension. So, make sure your website has the same vibe as your restaurant. 

Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and anticipate what they want to know when they first discover you.

What do you think they’re looking for when arriving at the homepage? 

Answer the who, where, and what. What’s your restaurant’s name and story? Where are you located? And what type of cuisine do you offer?

Make sure important information like your address, contact details, and opening hours are easily visible. Other features you’ll want to display prominently are your menu, table booking system, and food delivery service.

Contact information

Whether a customer stumbled upon your website accidentally or deliberately looked for your restaurant, contact details are everything.

You should list your phone number, email, address, and opening hours on a dedicated contact page. Plus, you can add your social media links and a simple online booking system for effortless reservations. You may want to add the most important details like address, phone number or hours on every page.

Once you’ve added the information, don’t just leave it there! Be sure to check back and keep your details up to date — the last thing you want is a customer leaving your website with incorrect information. 

TIP! Ensure customers have to make as few clicks (or taps) as possible to contact you. Make your email and phone number clickable, so it directs customers straight to the phone or email app.

Additional information

Is your restaurant wheelchair accessible? Do you encourage walk-ins? Is takeaway possible? 

A Google Maps integration or directions on how to get to your restaurant could be the difference between someone visiting your restaurant or your competitor next door.

You could add information like parking arrangements or how to find the entrance. Again, put yourself in your customer’s position and try to pre-empt any questions they may have so they’ll be reassured to make a booking.

Menu

Most people want to see the menu before visiting your restaurant. So make it easy to find!

Don’t add the menu as a PDF or a picture. It’s not good for SEO — the process of improving your website to rank higher on search engine result pages and get more free traffic. Also, each additional click you force someone to make will cost you customers, especially those on mobile devices.

Add your menu (with prices!) as text so that you can easily change and keep it updated.

And be sure to include information about vegan, gluten-free, and lactose-free dishes, spice levels and allergens.

Quality photos

High-quality photos of your restaurant and food are vital — so make the investment and hire a professional photographer. You don’t have to showcase the whole menu — just make a good and realistic impression of your food.

You can also optimise pictures for search engines by using relevant keywords in the file name. Just don’t upload the full size — that will decrease your website’s speed!

TIP! Try saving your photos in next-gen image formats like WebP, which load quickly and have smaller file sizes.

Marketing

There are plenty of ways to use your restaurant’s website for marketing; here are a few:

Social media feed

Social media is great for showcasing your daily specials. You can add the social media feed to your website using a plugin. Or, if you want to keep your website sleek and fast, just add links (icons) to your social media accounts.

Newsletter or loyalty programme

Email marketing is still one of the most effective tools, so give customers the chance to join your newsletter or loyalty programme. Try using a pop-up to grab your customers’ attention and get them to register. Or add the sign-up form to the bottom of each page or your contact page. 

Blog

Start a must-read blog where you can share recipes, tell people about your upcoming events, and share general news. A blog is a great way to interact with your customers; it drives traffic and increases visibility.

Reviews

99% of restaurants and cafes have Google reviews! People believe other customers, and 58% of users read reviews before visiting a restaurant. 33% of people refuse to visit a restaurant with less than a four-star review. 

Make sure you have all your accolades visible, whether it’s a Tripadvisor recommendation, your social media reviews, or your Bolt Food restaurant award.

TIP! Make sure you’re on Tripadvisor, Yelp and Google My Business. These make your restaurant easy to find and support your marketing efforts.

Mobile-friendly website

Since 2017, mobile browsing has been the number one source of Internet traffic. As of May 2021, mobile phones generate 58,26% of global website traffic. In some countries, it’s even more dominant.

It thus makes sense to prioritise a mobile-first design so your website is easy-to-use on mobile devices. It’ll work to your advantage in plenty of ways— from SEO to conversions. And be sure to check that your website works correctly on different devices and models,

TIP! If you already have a website, then you can check your speed with PageSpeed Insights.

Online ordering 

Data shows that ordering in accounts for ~40% of total restaurant sales and has tripled since 2017! Customers are using food delivery services with the same or even higher frequency than during the pandemic. 

Customers are 67% more likely to visit your restaurant if they’ve previously ordered from you online. So it makes sense to provide an online order option, but this is where it gets complicated. 

You must find a solution with an excellent user interface for the customer and you. And of course, you’ll need to have a smooth-running courier service so that orders aren’t left getting cold. That requires some serious investment to set up and maintain.

Secure website

A good website shouldn’t just look good and be easy to navigate. If you offer additional functionality like online table reservations or delivery, it must be reliable.

And if you have delivery services or an online gift shop, you need a secure site to prevent customer data from being stolen. 

Upgrade your website with the latest security software to prevent breaches and have an IT security specialist implement additional and relevant safety measures.

Does my restaurant need a website?

A website is guaranteed to attract more customers and help people find you.

But remember that 68% of people have been discouraged from visiting a restaurant after viewing their website. So make sure you put in the effort and follow our tips.

If you don’t have time to manage a website alongside your restaurant, avoid adding too many features that may require maintenance. Instead, keep it simple — focus on introducing your brand and leaving a good impression.

Regarding online ordering, it’s challenging to be profitable on a small scale. Building and maintaining the service needs time, money, and people. You’d probably have high labour costs as couriers are idle for parts of the day and overwhelmed during peak hours.

Let Bolt Food do the hard work

If you want to focus on what you do best — cooking, then leave the technical stuff to the professionals. 

The Bolt Food app is packed with the essential features discussed today. It’s a high-speed app that works on all devices and provides a secure and convenient online ordering system. 

You’ll also get a simple website where customers can see your menu and download the Bolt Food app to order from you. And to help you drive sales even further, we’ll support you with campaigns and marketing.

Bolt Food helps you reach millions of potential customers and lets your existing customers order more often. We can’t offer your clients the atmosphere your restaurant does, but we can help you reach them on those rainy days when they want to stay home! Read more about Bolt Food.

Sign up here if you’re ready to reach more customers, grow your sales, and increase your brand awareness.

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