In the real world, a restaurant is judged by the quality of food, service, ambiance, accessibility of location, and pricing. However, none of these parameters affect the online success of its website. Instead, the effectiveness of a restaurant website depends on the online user experience that is delivered to potential customers.
What makes a good restaurant website? A good restaurant website focuses on brand continuity and acts as a reliable source of information about the restaurant. It should be attractive, easily accessible, and relevant. A good restaurant website will not only display the current menu and pricing at the restaurant, but it will also be accurate. A modern website should also offer reservations and online food order options to make it convenient for customers. It should be regularly updated too. A good website will also enhance the credibility of the business by displaying positive reviews and customer testimonials.
Let us take a closer look at these essential factors that make for a good restaurant website.
9 Essential Factors Of A Good Restaurant Website
Here are 9 factors that will make your restaurant website stand-out from your competitors’ websites.
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1. Accurate Representation Of The Brand
Many potential customers visit restaurant websites to find out what they can expect when they visit the restaurant. They usually want information about the type of food that is served, the prices, restaurant ambiance, and unique items on the menu.
So, a good restaurant website should serve as a virtual representation of the business. The appearance and content should reflect the mood of the restaurant. It should be consistent with the branding identity of the business, and ensure brand continuity.
2. Relevant And Updated Information
Your website is a one-stop destination for all information that a customer seeks about your restaurant. These include the opening and closing time, availability of online booking, and contact details. You can also add the menu and pricing details.
Users may also look for location details on your website. To make it easy for them to receive real-time directions, embed Google maps. This will help them to plan their visit. Also update the website with details of special events, promotional offers, and discounts if available.
3. Online Menu
Did you know that 80% of customers prefer restaurant websites with an online menu?
The menu helps a customer decide two things – whether the restaurant serves food that he wants and if it fits his budget. Include a menu with prices on your website and you will attract the right type of customers. You can even use your menu to highlight popular and unique dishes and impress prospective customers.
Menus should be accessible and elegant for better usability. Avoid PDF menus as they are not mobile-friendly. Instead, use the HTML format. Don’t forget to include prices on the menu as it affects the customer’s decision. Also, update the items and prices to reflect the actual menu at the restaurant.
4. Easy Accessibility
Not only should your restaurant website have relevant information about your business, but it should also be easily accessible. Remember that all visitors may not be tech-savvy. So it is important to place the information in such a way that it is easy to find.
Use a simple navigation layout with text-based menus. Basic information like your phone number and operating hours should be visible on the Home Page itself. Display the most important pages like About Us, Menus, Locations, Reservations, Contact and operating hours prominently in the navigation.
5. Mobile Optimization
Most users browse the internet on their handheld devices than on desktops and laptops. So, your website must be mobile-friendly. Having a mobile-friendly restaurant website will also improve your search engine rankings.
Optimize your website for handheld devices by choosing a responsive design that displays well on different types of mobile devices. Additionally, make the contact form easy to fill out on mobile phones.
Display the phone number in such a way that visitors can directly click on it and call. To improve usability, avoid downloadable file formats as they are inconvenient if customers have limited storage on their mobile devices.
6. Good Quality Images
High-quality photographs will encourage prospective visitors to visit your restaurant. Trigger their interest with stunning images of the exterior and interior areas of your restaurant as well as the food on the menu. This will prompt them to make a reservation.
How you present the images is just as important as the quality of the photographs. Capture the vibe of your restaurant with images taken during the day and night and display it on your website.
Also, add high-quality images of beautifully presented dishes with striking backgrounds. An image slider is an interesting way to artfully display images of your best dishes. You can also add it to the menu page.
Related Further Reading: 15 Best Restaurant Website Color Palettes That Will Wow Everyone!
7. Online Reservation Option
Digital ordering and advance online booking are big trends these days. When your website has this option, it conveys that you are a modern and professional business. These features will not only attract more customers to your restaurant but also enable you to serve them better. An added benefit is that online reservation will allow your staff to focus on serving customers and not on attending calls from customers.
A reservation system will also allow you to prepare better for crowds and provide good guest experiences.
You can easily incorporate an online booking option for your restaurant website with software like UpMenu and OpenTable. Software like ChowNow and GloriaFood will also help you take food orders online directly through your website.
8. Positive Ratings And Reviews
Good customer testimonials and comments are great social proof. It improves the credibility of a business.
Customers tend to look at reviews and testimonials to decide if they should visit a new restaurant. Although most users prefer to trust reviews and listings away from the restaurant site, it won’t hurt to have some on your website as well.
If your restaurant scores well on Google+ and TripAdvisor, pull in some of those positive comments and ratings as well to your website.
You can also add favorable press reviews or awards. They enhance the business image and create a favorable first impression in the minds of prospective customers. This will give you a competitive advantage.
9. Regular Updating
The purpose of any website, including a restaurant website, is lost if it is not up to date. As a business owner, it is your responsibility to ensure that the information on your website is regularly updated.
Your website information should reflect changes in the menu, prices, and operating hours.
It should also include all details of upcoming events, offers, and promotions. In short, your website should be a reliable source of information for everything connected to the restaurant.
To Wrap It Up…
A good restaurant website is an asset to the business. Not only will it help with branding, but it will also help you establish yourself in the online space. It should be a reliable source of information about the business and be regularly updated to reflect relevant information. The design should be representative of the vibe and style of the restaurant itself. It should present the restaurant in a positive light and be easily accessible and interactive.
Finally, high-quality content and photography are an indispensable part of good restaurant website designs. Pay attention to these factors and you can easily set your business up for online success.