The restaurant business has always been competitive no matter what market sector it catered too. Many have transitioned to an online service over the last twenty years or so and worldwide the food delivery business is worth around $65,690m USD.
You may want to transition your restaurant business to an online offering to help survive in these troubled times. You may want to open a new revenue stream. Regardless, there are certain features that every restaurant website has to incorporate for success. Let’s take a closer look at what these are.
Choose the right domain name
Starting a website requires a proper and fitting domain name. Many restaurants use their respective name for that, which makes sense. The customers need to know where they are heading and it need to be clear where you can get your information about the menu or opening hours. It might also be of interest to register another domain name for upcoming food businesses. In this case no one else can use this domain and you don’t have to deal with this in the future.
Mouth-Watering Pictures for Mouth-Watering Food
Food is a visual medium, and as such, it is important that your dishes are shown in all their splendour and glory on your restaurant website. Unless you can take professional quality photographs, it is worth the investment to bring in a professional photographer to take the pictures that will appear in your web design.
When taking pictures try to:
• Show the best visually appealing dishes. Desert is particularly eye-catching.
• Ensure that the images give a complete picture of your menu. As the menu changes you may want to refresh your website images.
• Use mood images to show what a typical night out in your restaurant is like. Clearly, you want to show people enjoying themselves and that the atmosphere of your restaurant is conveyed. So if it has a lively vibe show it. Same with more intimate settings.
The effect you’re after is that when someone sees a picture of your signature dish, they start to get hungry. Your food and mood images should make your restaurant irresistible.
Make Restaurant Website Navigation Easy
All websites should be easy to use. For a restaurant web design, the menu, booking a table, and a map showing where customers can find you should be prominent. Websites offering these elements together with a means of contacting the restaurant should cover most of the information your customers will want to see.
To that end use good landing page techniques to drive more bookings. Consider using the following:
• Clear call to actions with relevant copy. So, ‘Book my Table’ could be good text on a button.
• Consider using a login system that retains visitor details for easier and faster checkout. You may want to extend this to saving certain dishes. This could help you in the kitchen too.
• Make offerings clear especially vouchers and other enticements.
• Ensure the checkout process is easy as this is where online businesses lose trade.
Show Your Credentials Through Story Telling
Customers will want to know why you became a restauranteur, and everyone loves a good story. As such, tell them your story in the About page of your website. Maybe you discovered a love of cooking while travelling Asia. Perhaps, it is a family tradition that enabled you to choose this path and become a restauranteur. Whatever your story may be, write it compellingly. If needed, bring in a copywriter to do this.
Show Your Kudos
If a customer leaves a good review, ensure this is imparted on your website. All businesses need to relay trust, and yours is no exception. Good reviews and even bad ones can help to build authenticity for your restaurant and bring it alive.
Should you get a bad review, answer it as there could be mitigating circumstances as to why this particular customer did not like their experience. With clever thinking, you can leverage this to your advantage.
Social Media and Incentives
It is essential to have a strong social media presence. The fact is that some of your customers spend half their lives liking, commenting, and sharing, and it is great when they lavish glowing praise on your business.
The trick to having a successful social media presence is to engage customers. Thank them, show them the specials menu as you change it, and post pictures of customers enjoying their experience.
You may want to show videos of your team preparing food, and the odd interview with your staff. All of this helps to bring your restaurant to life.
Other ideas could include:
• Testimonials – Show the world how great you are.
• Secret ingredients – Foodies love this!
• Specials menu – Everyone reads it.
• Most ordered dish – People like to know about people and what they are eating will engage them. Might drive orders of the dish too. You can also spin this theme as you come up with ideas.
With good web design, you can reach more customers and drive more revenue.