The internet has the power to make or break a restaurant. However, with the hustle and bustle needed to run a restaurant, the last thing on restaurant owners’ minds are their websites and social media pages. As a restaurant owner, you are responsible for every detail of a customer’s experience. The customer’s experience begins with first impressions, ingredients, quality of service, labor, and the cost of food and drinks. Research has proven that a well-organized online presence has a significant effect on the restaurant’s success.
Nonetheless, many restaurants have inadequate websites or no web presence at all. The marketplace is rapidly evolving, thus making it easier for customers and restaurant owners to use the web.
To stay relevant and ensure your restaurant is in front of your customer base, you must embrace a few easy web strategies. You should understand that It would help if you understood that the guest experience is digital. Your website is the cornerstone of your restaurant marketing strategy. With a digital presence, you have a unique opportunity to design your guests’ experiences, both online and in-person, to build loyalty and convert casual guests into regular clients.
The fundamental aspect of building an effective website is that it efficiently conveys critical information while also attracting new customers. The following web solutions will help you create a great website to boost your online presence and increase your revenue.
1. Include Basic Information
Helpful information such as your address, working hours, and phone number should be at the front and center of your homepage. Make it as easy as possible for your guests to locate and not click around to find it. If your restaurant is located in multiple locations, then make sure that you list them all. Other than user experience, listing accurate information on the homepage helps improve your rank in Google search results. Also, your data should be up to date and correct. Often, the search engine is the first place a potential customer will encounter your website. All the vital information, including prices, should be readily available.
2. Reward Loyalty
Loyalty programs are vital in turning casual customers into consistent regulars. Ensure that your encouragement for visitors to sign up for loyalty is prominently displayed on your website, along with online ordering and gift cards. Loyalty accounts are usually linked to guests’ credit cards and can be entirely tailored to your concept. Your guests could be awarded points whether they order online take-outs or dine in-store. Also, you could reward guests for their 10th order or 10th visit.
Additionally, you can combine loyalty and email, incorporating insights from customers’ analytics personalized to those close to reaching rewards. A strong loyalty program invokes the desire from your guests to order from you again and redeem the points accumulated for a discount. You can continue to contact them with targeted email campaigns, repeat visits, deals, and gift cards.
3. Direct Social Media Links
One of the most critical factors in your marketing efforts is creating a consistent brand experience on your website, on social media, in person, and through email. Linking social media to your website is an easy way to make it possible for your guests to keep in touch with you. No matter the channel, keep your social media pages in line with your brand, culture, and menu.
Although your social media campaign should make sense as a whole, adjust the content to be sensible for the platform. For example, you can use Facebook to share updates and create and promote events while keeping Instagram visual with high-quality pictures or behind-the-scenes photos and videos.
Many people use social media to discover new restaurants, whether through recommendations from friends, advertising, or through their research. Therefore, it pays off to update your business pages, relevant information and remain active by regularly sharing photos, content, and updates. To make it easy for guests to access your pages and share with friends, embed your social media links directly on your website.
4. Online Ordering
According to a recent report, more than 80% of guests prefer to order directly from a restaurant’s website. To take advantage of the practice, you have to make it easy for your guests to place an order once they visit your homepage. While integrating your website with an online food ordering system and reservation software, showcase your menu and direct visitors to the vital information they may require. Many restaurants successfully have a prominent “ORDER” button on their homepage directing clients to their online ordering page. Do not forget the basics, such as adding photos to upsell products and providing context to your menu.
If your restaurant has an elaborate menu or is offering new dishes, create detailed menu descriptions. You should equip your online ordering system with the capability to inform customers of how long they may have to wait for their orders to be delivered.
5. Offer Gift Cards and Other Merchandise
Gift cards and merchandise offer you an easy way to increase your revenue. They are also effective ways for your loyal clients to show love and provide free advertisements for your restaurant. Gift cards essentially serve as a micro-loan for immediate cash flow. Promote gift cards front and center on your homepage to make it easier for gifts to locate quickly. Some restaurants expanded into selling merchandise when their doors were closed during the COVID pandemic. Inventory of sale through your website offers you alternative sources of income.
6. Incorporate ADA Accessibility
Before your new and improved website goes online, ensure that it is accessible for all potential guests. Find out if it contains alternative text that provides text descriptions for images displayed on your website to aid the visually impaired. Ensure that you have a form label that uses screen readers to interpret and interact with fields on your forms. All your website functions, such as finding your location, viewing the menu, ordering online, and making reservations, are accessible to all guests.
Your restaurant’s brand plays an essential role in how you can attract guests and keep them coming back. The brand expresses who you are, what you stand for, and what guests can expect from you. It extends beyond the four walls of the restaurant. Your web presence needs to show your unique positioning at every click. Creating a consistent wholesome brand experience online is vital to your marketing efforts.