Web Design for Restaurants
Besides reputation and the quality of food, nothing generates more business for successful restaurants than the internet. According to a recent article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, only 51% of small businesses have a website. This is despite the fact that 97% of consumers search online for products and services, 88% have been influenced by an online review and 91% have visited the business because of an online experience.
Unfortunately, just having a website is not enough. A successful restaurant must have a complete online strategy that:
- Includes a user friendly website that includes the information guests are looking for and is responsive (be optimized for phone and tablet users).
- Focuses on search engine optimization so that customers can easily find your website.
- Incorporates a social media strategy that builds and informs a loyal customer base.
- Follows and addresses customer feedback sites such as Yelp and Trip Advisor.
It is critical for restaurants to have a responsive website to attract impulse guests who are searching on their phone or tablet looking for immediate information. Even though over 50% of all internet searches are now conducted on a phone or tablet, only 6.7% of small business websites are mobile compatible. Can your restaurant maximize its potential if your website frustrates 93.3% of your customers?
Think of the situations that people use their phones to find a restaurant:
- A family is traveling from out of town and is looking for a restaurant.
- A couple leaves an event and is looking for a nearby restaurant with a good menu.
- A group of parents are looking to take the group out to celebrate after their kids win the big game.
- A group of coworkers leave work and are looking for a new place to meet.
These are just some examples of why the responsiveness of a website is critical for a restaurant.
If those were not compelling enough reasons, take into account that Google actually penalizes non-responsive websites in its search engine rankings. Essentially if two websites are identical in content but one is responsive and one is not, Google will rank the responsive site higher. Can you afford to be automatically ranked behind your competition because your website is not responsive?
Conversely, imagine how many more customers your restaurant will attract by having a great restaurant website that is responsive and ranked high on the search engines because you invested in your website and your competition did not.
The sections and information on your restaurant website are not much different than the sections of a menu. Below is a summary of what we call a Menu for a Great Restaurant Website:
Introductions / Appetizers:
About Us: Tell your story in a unique way that diﬀerentiates your restaurant from your competition.
Contact Information: Include not just the phone number and an email address but also the manager’s name and contact information.
Contact Form / Customer Survey: Encourage customer feedback and make it easy for them to provide it.
E-Mail Club Signup: Create an email club that allows you to build a database of contacts. Oﬀer discounts and upcoming event information.
Primary Sections / Entrees:
Menu: Include all aspects of your menu but make the presentation user friendly and not just a PDF that users must download.
Photo Gallery: High quality and high resolution photographs of the restaurant, staﬀ, food and events can entice new customers to visit.
Specials and New Menu Items: Specials and new limited time menu items can provide a sense of urgency that generates customer visits.
Upcoming Events: Upcoming event lists and calendars can allow customers to plan future visits.
Special Services: Include information on catering, takeout or discounts for parties.
Frequently Asked Questions: Have your staﬀ write down the most frequently asked questions they receive in person and on the phone. Include these on the site to improve customer service.
Important Little Details / Side Dishes:
Hours of Operation: Include information on holiday hours and extended or shortened hours for special events.
Map and Directions: Make it easy for customers to ﬁnd the restaurant.
Links to Social Media Sites: Eﬀective social media management is a must for restaurants. Place links to your social media pages on your website to help grow your fan base.
Dial-able Phone Number: Make it easy for customers to call your restaurant.
Why Your Restaurant is Great / Desserts:
Awards, News Articles, Reviews and Testimonials: Include anything that tells your story from an outsider’s perspective. This information builds credibility.
Community Involvement: Speak to the charities the restaurant and staﬀ donate time and money to, charitable events hosted and any other information that speaks to the restaurant being a contributing member of the community.
We can also assist with advanced website functionality such as online ordering, E-commerce, custom web design, complex contact forms or a thorough website redesign.
Just as building your restaurant did not automatically bring people in the door, building your website will not automatically bring web visitors. We work with companies to implement search engine optimization (SEO), social media strategies and pay per click advertising also known as Google AdWords to increase the amount of web visitors.
Having a website without investing in SEO is like having a restaurant without investing in a sign.
Once there are zillions (an approximation) of people visiting your site, we implement reporting such as Google Analytics to determine where the visitors are coming from, what they like, what they don’t like and how entice more of them to take a call to action. We also create custom graphics and infographics to maximize the user experience and promote shares and forwards of links.
Your restaurant needs all of the exposure that it can receive and nothing provides exposure like a great responsive website. Partnering with MIBS will provide your restaurant with the best website design and maximize the revenue generated through an optimized online presence.
MIBS is the best website development company in the Pittsburgh area, at least that is what most of our relatives tell us. We currently have staff in Cranberry Township, Butler and New Castle and are looking to add more staff in other parts of the city. Thankfully, we all have cars and valid driver’s licenses, so if you are not specifically in one of those areas, we can still work with you.