Running a pub takes a lot of work, and maintaining an online presence can become an afterthought for many pub owners. However, with nearly every customer today looking online before making a choice of where to drink or dine, every pub needs to have a website. And there are certain elements you should absolutely include on your site in order to have it do the work you need it to do. While restaurant websites can be as simple or complex as you’d like them to be, below are six essential parts that you should put on your pub website.
1. Beer List
Simply put, if you’re a pub, people want to know your beers. Having a page devoted to your beer list is a good idea, and not just for information’s sake. If you feature beers from certain regions or from local craft beer makers, listing a bit about their unique features and origins is great for searchability — and it can help distinguish your offerings from your competitor’s.
Make sure to put your list in text, not in a PDF or image, on your pub website. Plain text is easier to change on the fly and Google reads it (and shares it) much more effectively. If you have some seasonal beers, make sure to keep the list up-to-date.
Even if your beer lists rotates so much that you can’t keep a full list current on the website, still keep a page listing the various examples of beers you’ve had on rotation. Then you can put a note letting the user know the beer list changes all the time and they’ll have to come in to see what you have in-house that week.
2. Food Menu
Guests don’t just go to pubs for the beer. Make sure you include your food menu on the pub website. Whether a visitor is double checking if your menu fits their dietary restrictions or simply wondering what they might order, having your menu available can be the difference between a customer making a visit or taking a pass.
Even if you only serve small appetizers and snacks, posting your menu online can let your potential guests know if they want to eat dinner with you, or plan for just drinks and a good time. You don’t want them coming into your place expecting to order a full meal, only to be disappointed that they weren’t warned of a limited menu ahead of time. As with the beer list, avoid posting PDFs of your food menu — keep it mobile-friendly and easy to read on the fly.
3. Your Hours
Your guests want to know when they can come to your pub, so your hours must be correct on your website. If you change your hours seasonally (or have different hours on holidays), make sure you only have those special hours on your pub website for as long as they are relevant. Otherwise, it can look like you don’t keep your website current, which could give the wrong impression about other aspects of your customer service.
Also, if you have limited kitchen hours compared to your general hours of operation, make those very clear on your site — particularly on your menu page.
4. Your Address and Location Details
Having your physical address on your website is a no-brainer, right? But there’s more to potential guests finding your business than just that.
For instance, are you near a public transit stop? Knowing your pub is easy to get to in a city can be a big selling point for potential guests trying to decide where to eat in your area. You should also absolutely mention if you have free lot parking or easy street parking at your business.
It is also be smart (and a public service) to include some numbers to local taxi companies or links to companies like Lyft or Uber on your site. Managing a pub means a good portion of your guests will be drinking alcohol, and posting these resources for your future guests show that you’re thinking of their well-being before, during, and after their time at your place of business.
5. Weekly Events
Pubs are known the world round as popular community centers, and the most successful pubs know to make communal events a priority. Do you do a trivia night? Do you regularly show sports on certain nights of the week? Do you host any fantasy football tourneys? If you have a pool table or other fun table game, do you hold regular events? All of these things should be on a page on your pub website so people can easily find them.
If you want to include special upcoming one-time or seasonal events, just make sure you take those events off the Events page once they’re over. As with your open hours, keeping your event listing up after the event is done suggests to the user that you don’t keep your pub website up-to-date.
6. A Sense of the Experience
This is broader than restaurant hours and menus, but it’s an important part of any successful pub website. Your website needs to represent your pub’s ambiance, tone, and the niche element to your brand.
Part of the sense of experience means having a page specifically about your business, which can drive home that tone you’re looking for. An “About Our Pub” page doesn’t have to be hundreds and hundreds of words long — a couple of paragraphs is more than enough. It can feature a little background about your history in the area, the owners, your mindset when it comes to beer, or your place in the community as it stands today.
Like many independently-owned restaurants, pubs are thought of as places to have a unique experience that you can share with friends over and over, so why not bring that message to your website?
Want to hear how Rewards Network helped Brooklyn pub Pacific Standard succeed in one of the most competitive restaurant markets in the world?