Your restaurant’s website is a crucial part of your business. When people are hungry, they turn to the Web. So your restaurant needs to be there. But unlike other businesses, restaurants benefit from including certain elements in their website. There are specific elements that simply must be included.
Let’s take a closer look at what you need to have in your website.
Including high quality images on your website is crucial to convincing visitors to pay your restaurant a visit. These images should showcase your restaurant’s atmosphere, layout, food and drinks. Anyone searching for your restaurant is likely trying to get a sense of what dining there would be like. So show them.
Adding images to your website, from any location, is as easy as drag and drop with PageCloud. You can bring images in from your computer, the Web or a graphics application, with just a few simple clicks.
Booking Functionality and Ticket Sales
Add an area on your site where customers can make reservations. Not just a phone number that they can call, but a form that they can fill out to actually book a table at their convenience. Not everyone wants to call directly.
You can find scheduling widgets and integrations (Open Table, for example) to add directly to your PageCloud site. These apps allow anyone to make a reservation directly through your site, making it as easy as possible for them to choose your restaurant.
Hosting an event? Sell tickets directly through your website with services like Eventbrite. By dragging and dropping the Eventbrite link for your event onto your PageCloud site, a widget will automatically appear. Visitors can then book tickets right on your site. Convenience is key when selling tickets to any event, and adding this functionality makes it as convenient as possible for visitors.
Mobile web browsing has increased dramatically in recent years, but this trend is much more prominent in areas like restaurants. Many people searching for your establishment will do so on the go. They could be out with friends, trying to decide where to eat. Or in a new city, browsing restaurant options between meetings. When someone is browsing the Web on a mobile device, they are looking for different information than when they are on a computer.
Think about what the most important information would be for someone on the go. Location? Contact Information? Menu? They probably won’t be looking for your About Us page at this point. So make sure you can customize the information they see right away.
Make your contact information, menu and booking functionality viewable right away, so they don’t leave when they can’t find what they want.
Before someone visits your restaurant, they will probably want to know what others thought about it first. Although some businesses find it risky, you might want to include reviews somewhere on your website.
This could be in the form of links to your TripAdvisor page. You could also add commenting functionality within your website, through a program like Disqus for example, where visitors could leave reviews. In this case, they could be displayed right on your site, rather than in the form of a link.
Social proof goes a long way online. Showcasing what others thought of the dining experience at your restaurant will give potential customers incentive to choose you, seeing direct feedback from other people like them.
Let customers know where they can find you outside of your website by linking them to your social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram). It’s also important to share any hashtags you use, or current campaigns, to encourage visitors to share their experience at your restaurant on social media.
When visitors see others talking about you elsewhere, it serves as a another form of reviews, giving them a sense of whether or not they would like to dine there. It also helps you increase your reach online, if others are talking about you on social networking sites.
It may seem obvious, but make it as easy as possible to contact your restaurant. Whether for a reservation, to ask your staff about the menu or to book an event, many visitors to your website are going to want another way to reach you.
You can include your phone number and address on a “Contact Us” page, or add a chat widget like Intercom or Chat Centre. Just make sure it’s in a highly-visible place on your website, making it easier for potential customers to contact you right away.
You may also want to create a profile with Google My Business. This free online listing lets you showcase your business location, hours and contact information. All of this will then appear in a Google search, when someone goes looking for your restaurant.
About Us Page
While not as important on mobile websites, your About Us page is an opportunity for you to showcase the story behind your restaurant. So take this opportunity to introduce yourself to potential customers.
The support-for-local movement is stronger than ever, and customers want to know who they’re giving their money to when they dine out. Introduce your team, share the story behind how your business got started, or showcase some of the motivation behind your menu items. This gives people a way to connect with you, making it more likely that they’re willing to spend money at your location.
With these tips, you're well on your way to building a restaurant website that will bring hungry customers right to your door.