The Guide to a Successful Restaurant Website

65% of smartphone owners search regularly online for nearby restaurants with 3 out of 10 abandoning your website if it’s hard to read.

Is your restaurant website driving customers away?

Maintaining a positive online presence with your restaurant website is as important as customer service at the table. We take you through how to build a better experience for your customers — and drive more sales — with:

Get answers on how your restaurant can develop its marketing plan to:

Download this free eBook today to see how your restaurant website can attract new customers and keep them coming back for more.

Excerpt from Chapter 1:

Times have definitely changed. And how you position your business on the internet today can have a lasting and positive effect on your sales.

When it comes to making their dining decision, customers no longer wait to sit down in your restaurant to see what you’re serving that day. In fact, nearly two-thirds of consumers are less likely to choose a restaurant if they can’t read the menu on their mobile device. Three out of every 10 will abandon your website altogether if it’s not easy to view on a mobile device.

So why have smartphones and tablets become so important to diners on the go? It’s because mobile devices are ideal for consuming content, more so than any desktop computer.

– Mobile devices are personal. Consumers have come to think of their smartphone as an extension of themselves, with them wherever they go and reflecting their personal style.

– Mobile encourages sharing. Consumers can talk to anyone anywhere in the world with a click of the button, but that also translates into deeper connections with people close to home — people who may also frequent your restaurant.

– Mobile is all about accessing information. Quickly locating timely information is at the root of every smart website developer’s strategy. And asking information about restaurants is among the most common queries for consumers on the go.

Website developers no longer talk about web strategy and mobile strategy as different things; users are making their device choices not by type of content, but by personal circumstances. With their smartphone at their fingertips, consumers don’t generally think, “I’ll save this website/article/search for when I get home tonight” anymore. It’s now or never for their interest. Your next new customer is searching for you this very moment … and they want to make their dining decision on the spot.

So, how can you make that moment really count?

Invest in responsive design.

Since most consumers today own multiple devices for accessing the Internet, it’s difficult to predict which device your customer will be using to visit your website.

Responsive web design has only one set of code that adapts (or “responds”) to the type of device it’s being viewed on.

With responsive design, the way items are arranged on the screen, the size of your text, and the size of your photos all adjust based on the device being used, without any extra clicks or separate sites. The content moves around and increases or decreases size to accommodate the size of screen it’s being viewed through. Responsive websites are more streamlined, easier to maintain than separate desktop and mobile websites, and better looking than a website built only for the traditional desktop.

With websites built based on responsive design principles, you are only loading the absolute bare essentials on smaller platforms like smartphones, while more visual content can expand for larger platforms like desktops and laptops. Why does this matter?

Because the more items your website needs to load when someone visits, the longer it will take (especially for mobile devices). The longer it takes, the less likely a visitor will wait around before seeking out another option.

In other words, when load time goes down with responsive design, visits go up – visits to your website and, hopefully, visits to your restaurant.

What should my new website include?

How can you make sure that potential customer wants to stick around your new website long enough to turn their experience into a meal? How do you seal the deal?

There are a few basics when it comes to building a successful restaurant website. Above all, make sure it matches the look and feel of your overall brand. Your website could easily be the first impression a new customer has of your establishment, your food, and the overall experience of dining with you. You want the website to be equal parts accurate and attractive.

The basics of any great restaurant website include:

– Enticing photos. Nothing sells your menu to a potential diner like high quality photographs. The Internet is a uniquely visual medium. Take advantage of that!

– Your menu. Make sure your menu is in a format easily read on a mobile device. Just posting PDFs or JPGs of your menu can strain the eyes or are difficult for smartphones to load, so include your menu as live text.

– Video! Website visitors are 10 times more likely to engage with a video than other forms of content.

– Your phone number. Calling your restaurant is still an easy way for guests to order directly from you, ask questions, and check your hours of operation.

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