Restaurant owners constantly ask us “does my restaurant website need to be updated? ” And, “do I need a website”. Our answer is always a resounding “Yes you need a website!” And, if their restaurant’s website is more than a couple years old they most likely still need a new website. Your restaurant’s website directly reflects your brand. It’s the first thing prospective customers will see prior to making the decision to visit your establishment. In fact, more than 85% of adults search for local businesses, including restaurants, online (Reach Local).
Your restaurant might have the most delicious food, the greatest service, and a wonderful ambiance, but that will not guarantee your restaurant customers. A strong restaurant website is an integral part of your success. Your restaurant website is the cornerstone of your restaurant’s marketing strategy. Whether you use Google Ads, Facebook advertising, Instagram advertising, or general social media, you need a good website to have an effective marketing strategy.
A stellar restaurant website will give you the opportunity to do the following:
- Create brand awareness
- Showcase images of the space, including food and ambiance
- Share your restaurant’s menu
- Display your restaurant’s hours of operation
- Allow customers to easily make reservations online
Prior to deciding to visit a restaurant, consumers do far more research now than they ever have before. Having a great website makes all the difference.
Create Brand Awareness
In a nutshell, brand awareness is the extent to which your restaurant’s “brand” is recognized by potential customers. For example, when someone sees the Golden Arches they think of McDonald’s. Or, when they see a young girl with red hair, they think of Wendy’s. Even for local restaurants, with only one location, it is important to create brand awareness. You want the locals to think of your restaurant when they think “farm-to-table” or “home-cooking”, or “spicy cooking” or whatever your restaurant’s niche is.
Showcase Your Restaurant
Customers want to see not only the menu, but also the layout of the restaurant, pictures of the tables, and pictures of the food. A well-built website gives your restaurant the opportunity to showcase itself to customers.
Share Your Restaurant’s Menu
By displaying your restaurant’s menu on the website, prospective customers can see your offerings and prices. This could ultimately assist their decision to visit your spot.
Display Your Restaurant’s Hours of Operations
Customers can visit your website to see your hours of operation, rather than calling and speaking to a host. That way your staff can focus on assisting customers who are already in the restaurant. They can see whether you are open for breakfast, at what time you close, and so on.
Allow Customers to Make Reservations Online
Customers are more likely to make reservations if they can do so online. This frees up your staff and ensures that customers do not get impatient waiting on hold. Additionally, the option to allow customers to make reservations online means they can make reservations when they may not otherwise be able to – for example, when they are at work, school, or in a loud place.
Yes, your restaurant needs a website. It is critical to your website’s success. If your website has not been revamped in the past year or two you should look at giving it a makeover as well.
A website is just one key piece of marketing your restaurant. For more solutions for small businesses check out our whitepaper.