Restaurant owners are continuously seeking to improve their online presence, and their first port of call is always to deliver a stunning, user-friendly website to their customers. We’ve come to a point where serving great food in a top location simply isn’t enough to attract new customers and surpass the local competition.
Most of our purchase decisions are swayed by what we see online, and the same applies for choosing where we want to dine out. We’re all guilty of checking out menus and reviews of restaurants before we even walk through the door, to ensure that we’re making the right choices. Having a poorly designed website that doesn’t reflect your restaurant in the best possible light isn’t going to entice potential customers, and is likely to be losing you business.
I specialise in web design for restaurants, and have more than enough experience to know what customers want to see in order to excite and entice them to dine at your establishment. Here’s a few things to consider when it comes to creating your new website…
With such a competitive market space within the restaurant business, you need to stand out from the crowd in the easiest way that will reach the largest audience. Continuing your branding and messages throughout both your restaurant and online presence is hugely important, as that is how customers will remember your business and are more likely to make return trips, or even spread the word.
Focusing on a high quality design isn’t exclusive to restaurants, but spans to businesses of any nature. It’s likely that you invested a lot of time and money into building and designing the perfect dining setting that you’re proud of, but it shouldn’t end there.
It’s important to remember that not everyone has had the chance to see inside your restaurant, so why not give them a taste of what to expect on your website? A stunning design focusing on large, high quality images of your cuisine and interiors is the best way to reflect your in-house standards online.
It seems like a fairly obvious point to make, but so many restaurants tend to get it so wrong. Chances are, if someone’s checking out your website, they want to see what food you’re offering. Making your menus easily accessible to every user is important, as we often find that customers have already chosen their food hours in advance of attending their booking. If they can’t see what food is on offer, how do they know if they’ll like anything on the menu?
We’re using the internet differently today than we were years ago, and the percentage of mobile searches vs desktop are still on the increase. Don’t make it difficult for your users to navigate a desktop version of your website from their mobile device, it’s too difficult and requires more effort than people are willing to make.
This factor goes hand in hand with the previously mentioned point about including menus. Have them integrated into your website, with nice handy drop-down menus where users can select which style of dish they want to view (appetisers, sides, desserts etc.) Avoid at all costs uploading your menus as a PDF. The inconvenience of having to download a PDF or open it in a new tab is too much hassle, and having to zoom in to read easily is an annoyance. Keep it clean, simple and tidy.
Nowadays, the general population can be too reluctant to pick up the phone and make a booking. We’re too reliant on the internet and want everything to be quick and simple with minimum communication required.
Online booking systems can be seamlessly integrated into your website, and are the perfect tool to allow your customers to view time availabilities and choose one that suits them. If you allow table bookings, I recommend this as a highly effective way of increasing your customer base and conversions.
One of the best ways to promote your restaurant is with customer reviews. With a great looking website and restaurant, you’re off to a good start – but people want to know how good it really is. Shouting about your top-rated reviews on your website is highly recommended, as it immediately gives you the trust factor and increases the likelihood that people will want to enjoy the same great-tasting food and service that others have raved about.
Review platforms such as TripAdvisor can be integrated within your website, and you can showcase your 5* badges and awards in your site header or footer to really grab the attention of potential customers and excite them about their visit.
If you’re looking for a stunning new website for your restaurant, get in touch with me today to discuss your options. I also offer restaurant food & interior photography, to enhance the look of your website with the highest-quality images.