The business of selling taste is competitive – so what are some of the most important parts of a successful restaurant website? And once you get a visitor there, how do you compel them to book a table?
A responsive mobile and user friendly website for your restaurant can do wonders in making you stand out from the crowd. Here are 7 handy tips you should consider for your restaurant website.
1. Hypnotize with food photography
Food is the first priority for any visitor searching for a good restaurant. Thus your website should sell your restaurant with high-quality images of food. Consider adding a carousel to your homepage with alternating images of your signature dishes, encouraging the visitor to stay on the page for longer. A picture is worth a thousand words, especially for a hungry customer! There are numerous photographers on Bartercard that can assist with food photography.
2. Add ‘delicious’ content
If your mouth-watering photographs are blended with appetite-raising descriptions, then you’re one step closer to getting the viewer to your restaurant. Caption your photos and include the fabulous ingredients you use. You could even considering adding a short video of your chef preparing a signature dish to catch attention.
3. Show ambience
Presenting your food is definitely the first thing to do but your restaurant atmosphere also matters. A good restaurateur pays close attention to the internal environment where people dine. Images that convey this are paramount to selling your services.
4. Tell your story
What’s the story behind your cuisine? Is your cooking based on specific culinary techniques or authentic recipes? Are customers in for a traditional experience when they walk through your door, or a modern take on something classic? What has influenced your signature style – is it another place or culture, or new approach to cuisine? Perhaps you are aiming to be more sustainable (vegan), healthy (organic) or go back to ancient approaches (paleo). Every successful restaurateur has a story to share which adds flavour to their cuisine. Share it with your customers!
5. Include your menu
People are time poor and don’t have time to visit a restaurant just to see the menu. Make it easy for them and list it online. Include your food menus directly on your website integrated with the design, rather than as a downloadable PDF which does less well for search engine ranking.
6. Have a fresh and modern site
Since it’s about appetite, ensure your site is fresh and modern to match. Bright images and aesthetic design will help you stand out from the crowd. A great site adds credibility to the quality of your food, so is worth investing in – there are plenty of options available on Bartercard.
7. Make it easy for them to come to you
Apart from having a site that’s user friendly and simple to navigate, make it easy for your customers to come to you. All your efforts will be in vain if the visitor is convinced they want to try your cuisine, but confused about how to get there. Clearly display your contact details. Include a Google map of your location. Allow them to book online. Many restaurants do not accept bookings rather taking customers on a first-come, first-serve basis, however for those that do, online booking allows customers to get in instantly and is one less step to picking up the phone.
Some extra tips to get more visitors to your restaurant website
It’s easy to lure customers to your restaurant once they are on your site, but how do you get them there in the first place? Some simple tips.
List your restaurant on third party sites like the Bartercard website (mybc.bartercard.com) and Urbanspoon (www.urbanspoon.com) which allow browsers to read about you, links them to your website and allows customers to leave reviews for others to read. Restaurants with great reviews will attract more business, so delight your customers!
Improve your search engine ranking
Increase your visibility online by focusing on search engine optimisation (SEO) to rank higher on search engines like Google. This can be a complex area to understand which many restaurateurs leave to professionals, but you would be surprised at what you can do by researching this topic yourself. There is a lot of comprehensive information available on SEO, but simple steps you can take (some we have already covered) include:
● Ensure your website is easy to understand – does it flows well, would it make sense to the average user, is it simple in design and does it allow people to find information easily?
● Provide relevant content – have you included everything a customer is looking for including images, menus, pricing and contact information?
● Use the right words – who is your target market and are you speaking to them in the right 'language'? Research who your customers are and what your customers are looking for, and use their lexicon. For example, if a person looking for a vegan restaurant they might be searching with words like ‘healthy’, ‘ethical’ and ‘sustainable’ – ensure you build your customers’ language into your site.
● The more links to your website the better. Reviews and third party endorsements linking back to your site strengthens it and pushes it further up the search results. List on third party sites where possible, advertising in online directories or research food bloggers and invite them to dine at your restaurant.
Author: Pragnesh Vaghela - Bartercard Member
Founder and Managing Director of Technology Three, Pragnesh Vaghela has over 13 years experience in building websites and mobile apps.
Pragnesh has successfully delivered projects for well-known companies including HP, Apple, Sony, Seaworld, Warner Village Theme Parks, Riviera, Gold Coast Airport, ING bank and Deutsche bank to name a few.
Contact Pragnesh via firstname.lastname@example.org or (+61) 435 454 876.