The best way to build a successful restaurant is with good food, a nice atmosphere, and excellent service. But a restaurant is just like any other business and it needs to be marketed properly.
Everybody understands the importance of online marketing and restaurants tend to be quite good with social media. Posting great pictures of the food is a brilliant way to encourage people to come in but so many restaurants neglect the website in favor of social media.
It doesn’t matter how good you are at social media marketing, you need a good website as well. A lot of people aren’t really sure what to include on a restaurant website apart from the menu and some contact details and it ends up being a pretty empty and boring site. If you’re struggling, this is the secret recipe for a great restaurant site.
Tell A Story
People will access your site to find out where you are and have a look at your menu, but while they’re there, you need to give them a sense of what your restaurant is all about. That’s why you should try to tell a bit of a story about your food on the front page. Videos are great for this too.
Think about where the recipes come from and the culinary heritage behind your food and write a short introduction on the site about it. This helps to convey the experience and atmosphere that people will find at your restaurant which is often just as important as the food itself. It also shows them that the menu is well thought out and a lot of care goes into the cooking.
Use Experienced Web Designers
Restaurant websites are tricky to get right and not everybody has that much experience of making them. When you’re looking for a web design company, if you go with somebody that usually designs more traditional business websites, they might use those same principles when designing your website. What you need is a company that specializes in creating sites for the hospitality industry, like Tipsy Table, for instance. They’ll have a lot of great ideas on how to make a restaurant website that really works.
Keep The Branding Consistent
Branding is essential in any business and the restaurant industry is no exception. You’ll already have branding in the restaurant itself and you need to make sure that you’re being consistent with your website. If you aren’t, it makes you look amateur apart from anything else. You’re also not going to build a strong brand that customers recognize if there isn’t any consistency there.
Make The Menu Easy To Find
One mistake is just having a menu and contact details and not much else, but you can take it too far the other way. By far the biggest mistake people make when they’re creating a website for their restaurant is that they get too caught up in telling the story of their food, they forget about usability.
There’s nothing more frustrating than going to a restaurant website and not being able to find a menu immediately. A lot of people going onto the site just want to quickly check the menu and ignore your story. It’s important that you make it easy for them because people are very impatient online and they’ll only look for a couple of seconds before they go elsewhere. Have a clear link to the menu as soon as people enter the site.
A lot of restaurants offer online booking which is a big plus for customers because it’s just easier. A lot of people might not have time to call up and book so if you don’t have an online booking service, you could lose customers. It also means that you can take bookings at any time, even when you’re closed, and it saves your staff a lot of work so they can focus on running the restaurant to the best possible standards.
Choosing the right color scheme is tricky and it comes down to psychology. Different colors have different connotations so you need to consider what your restaurant is about. Brown, for example, is a color that brings authenticity and tradition to mind so if you’re doing hearty, family food, it’s ideal. It wouldn’t work, however, for a high-end restaurant serving experimental food. You’d be better off with something slick and minimal like a black background with very light, crisp images of the food. It’s essential that you match the color scheme to the tone of the restaurant.
Add all of these ingredients together and you get the perfect restaurant website that is sure to increase your traffic and overall sales.