Building a Better Restaurant Website
In the modern age, a thriving restaurant needs to rely on more than the old bag of tricks to get ahead of their competition and build, then retain, a strong customer base. With the hospitality industry relying more and more on digital solutions, it’s important for every restaurant, no matter the size, to have a website that serves as the hub of its online presence.
Ideally, a website should double as a functional tool as well as a unique marketing opportunity. Use it as a customer touchpoint and learn exactly what your audience wants, straight from the source. When you integrate an online ordering platform, your website will help increase sales, streamline delivery and improve the overall customer experience.
Now the question is, where do you start?
Establishing An Online Presence
Everything you do online should have the dual purpose of exposing your brand to a broader audience and meaningfully engaging with customers on an individual level to promote future loyalty. Show that you have their best interests in mind by delivering a streamlined dining experience that’s tailored for whatever your best guests want. This is a rare, win-win opportunity.
THE WHAT: Online Ordering
THE WHY: Providing a landing page that’s easily visible from the homepage encourages guests to order directly from you rather than a third party, saving you the 30%. When you sign up with eatOS, we build a branded merchant app personalized for your business to ease the transition into takeout, delivery and curbside services.
THE WHAT: Google My Business
THE WHY: It’s crucial to be where your customers are. Google is the first place that most go when they want to find somewhere new to eat. Make sure you’re appearing in relevant searches from nearby patrons by signing up with Google My Business, a service that helps expose you to interested parties within your preferred radius.
THE WHAT: Customer Feedback Channels
THE WHY: It’s important to hear directly from consumers what they do or don’t like about your current business operations. Give them a place to voice their opinions that you can monitor so they’re not just shouting their complaints into the ether, frustrated that desired changes never come to light. Watching you implement new ideas for their benefit will strengthen your individual relationships and help them form a more accurate opinion of your company.
THE WHAT: Control Over the Brand
THE WHY: Connect your website to your social media and vice versa, and you’ll begin to create a special brand voice and aesthetic to give customers an idea of what dining with you in person is like. It’s invaluable to have this control over your reputation. Everything from the pictures you choose to the color scheme will shape their ideas about the brand.
THE WHAT: Menu Optimization
THE WHY: Price and food is what makes or breaks the customer experience. Clearly display the prices of each dish, include straightforward but enticing descriptions, and pepper in high-resolution photos of your actual dishes so there are no surprises when it comes time to pay nor when the order arrives on their table or at their door.
THE WHAT: Newsletter Marketing
THE WHY: Even advertising is digital now. Building a strong list of email contacts, with permission to send marketing campaigns to each one, puts all that sourced sales data to use by designing campaigns tailored exactly for the people you’re reaching out to. Newsletters are a good place to tell them about upcoming events or deals they might be interested in based on their purchase history.
THE WHAT: Call to Action
THE WHY: Don’t just show customers what you have to offer; encourage them to do something about that craving. It’s up to you what link you want to include, but restaurants commonly make it a one-click step to make a reservation or order off the online menu. Make your call to action clearly visible and eye-catching so customers can quickly make their decisions and pay.
Preparing for the Future
Establishing your business’s online presence is critical to its future success. Keep your contact information up-to-date so customers can reach out directly with any questions or drop by for a visit—without being turned away at the door because you never updated the hours when you started closing on slow weeknights. Ensure there are clear links from your social media to your website and vice versa, so you’re interconnected no matter which platform they first see you on.
Get the most out of the website that it’s taken so much time to prepare. At its best, your website will increase average sales, strengthen individual customer relationships and act as a marketing tool in and of itself for your continued benefit. Expose your brand to a broader audience while simultaneously establishing yourself in the online sphere where most customers spend their free time. Create a restaurant website today.