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8 ingredients to make your restaurant website stand out

Written by Pragnesh Vaghela on 16/06/2015 11:21:00 AM 0 Comment

The business of selling taste is competitive
 – new flavours, combinations,
styles and trends are constantly evolving
and shaping what consumers love to eat. 

As the interface between your restaurant and the market, your website often creates the first impression for your customers.

So what are the key components of a successful website? And once you get a visitor there, how do you compel them to book?
These are eight ingredients you should consider.

1.    Use the right photography

Food is the first priority for anyone searching restaurants, so your website should sell your food with high-quality photography.
Consider adding a carousel to your homepage with alternating images of your signature dishes (or drinks, if you are a bar), encouraging the viewer to stay on the page for longer.
A picture is worth a thousand words, especially for a hungry customer!

Leave the presentation to the chef or alternatively consider approaching a food-stylist. 
There are also numerous photographers available on Bartercard to assist you with professional photography.

2.    Add ‘delicious’ content

Blend photographs with appetising descriptions and you are one step closer to enticing the visitor to your restaurant or bar.
Caption your photos and add descriptions of the cuisine you serve – not forgetting to mention sustainable practices if you source locally. 
You could even add a short video of your chef preparing a signature dish or your bartender creating a popular cocktail to capture attention.

3.    Show ambience
Presenting your food well is important, but your restaurant atmosphere also matters.
A restaurant is a package of quality food, standout service and the right surrounds, and a good restaurateur will pay attention to creating an environment conducive to the style of food and a superior dining experience.

If you are in the process of setting up a restaurant, a clean and professional interior is achievable on a tighter budget, especially if you are part of Bartercard.  
With minimalist and industrial-style looks currently trending around the consumer space, a high-end, polished fit-out isn’t essential, so restauraturs don’t need to pour big budgets into their setup.  

Whatever your approach, conveying the look and feel of your restaurant on your website is important 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 sustainable (vegan), healthy (organic) or go back to ancient approaches (paleo). 
Every successful restaurateur has a story to share which adds flavour to the cuisine.  Share it with your customers!   

5.    Showcase your menu

Most people are either time poor or conditioned to sourcing information quickly online, so they won’t come to your restaurant just to see the menu (unless it's foot traffic). 
Make it easy for them and include it on your website.  Build your menu directly into a landing page rather than listing it as a downloadable file which does less well when it comes to search engine ranking.

6.    Have a fresh and modern site

Since it’s about appetite, make sure your site is fresh and modern to match. 
Bright images and a clean design will create a stand-out site and make your food more appetising.  A professional website adds credibility to the quality of your food, so is worth investing in – there are plenty of options available on Bartercard to conserve cash on your website build.

7.    Make it easy for them to find you

Apart from having a site that’s user friendly and simple to navigate, make it easy for your customers to find you. 
All your efforts will be in vain if the viewer is convinced they want to try your cuisine, but can't locate you. Clearly display your contact details.  Include a Google map of your location.  Allow them to book online.

Marketing4Restaurants' Free Online Restaurant Booking System allows you to offer online reservations from your own website without any costs or sharing of customer details.

8.    Mobile optimisation of your site

According to the Huffington Post, 57% of mobile users will abandon your website if it takes more than three seconds to load and 30% will abandon a purchase transaction if the shopping cart isn't optimised for mobile devices.  

Mobile optimisation is vital in this day and age to not only make your site look neater on a mobile device, but to give mobile browsers easily-viewable, bite-sized information and easy booking. 
This year Google also announced that any sites that aren't mobile friendly would be demoted in its search engine rankings - another reason to get your mobile site optimised.

Want extra tips to get more visitors to your restaurant?
Download our FREE eBook below.

Author: Pragnesh Vaghela

Founder and Managing Director of Technology Three, Pragnesh Vaghela has over 13 years’ experience in building websites and mobile applications.
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 or (+61) 435 454 876.

Topics: Website design, Successful restaurant website

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