To be fully appreciated, delicious food requires the use of all five senses. From the mouth-watering aromas to the attractive presentations and rich textures that make it to the plate, restaurateurs seek to engage customers in all aspects of the dining experience. That presentation is difficult to replicate online, however.
That is why it is essential to create the perfect design for your restaurant website. With the right pictures, descriptions, and overall set-up, you can entice customers who have never seen or tasted your food to visit your restaurant.
The task can be challenging, but these tips and strategies will make the process seem easy:
An easy interface with customers is an important part of any website. When your customers place online orders, you do not want them to be frustrated. Yet restaurants often lose clients because of their frustrating website designs.
Ideal restaurant websites are designed with the customer in mind. You must identify the needs of your customer and make it easy to meet them. To do that, follow this checklist:
Be sure to emphasize essential informational elements such as your hours of operation, menu, or contact page. Make sure that links to those features are prominent and easy to access. If you include them in a sea of links and tabs to less essential features, your customers will not find them.
Slow navigation speeds also frustrate customers. Research shows that 40 % of potential customers click out of a website if it takes longer than three seconds to load. Because 60 % of new restaurants typically fail within their first year, you cannot afford to lose any potential customers because of a cumbersome internet navigation experience. Improving your odds of long-term success by having a user-friendly website is a no-brainer.
Design Around Searches & Orders: Customers visit your website to search for information. That is why the most important part of any restaurant site is how “searchable” things are for users. Toward that end: Don’t bury important information within tabs that are not properly marked. Make those features clear and easy to use. Also, position your “Place Order” button in a high-visibility area. The bottom left corner of the screen won't generate as many clicks as the top right corner.
Use SEO Tools & Strategies to Your Advantage: Ranking highly in web searches for “restaurants in my area” is one of the most important things you can do to make your restaurant a success. This will ensure that your website reaches the largest audience possible, introducing you to lots of new customers. Ranking on the first page with Google or other search engines depends heavily on whether your site provides keyword-rich pages. This attracts diners who are searching for something specific, like a specific dish on your menu. Understanding SEO and making it work for your restaurant is critical to your success.
Choose an Adaptive Design: Your website must look spectacular to customers searching for a lunch venue on their laptop, phone, tablet, or other electronic devices. That is why you need an adaptive design that will not be affected by the medium through which it is accessed. Responsive design is a great way to build a website that adapts to different environments and devices. It will scale everything to the perfect proportion, automatically fitting large and small screens.
Post Some Awesome Foodie Photos: A restaurant website cannot be complete without amazing food photos. You want your food to seem appetizing and inviting, and that involves hiring a professional photographer to create mouth-watering images. Ordering something blindly is a gamble for many customers. In addition, adding photos in each section of your website will make it more inviting and appealing to browsers.
Show Off Your Staff: A fun way to make your website more personal is to include photos & bios of staff members. Making your design more personable will attract customers who enjoy knowing who is preparing their food. Letting customers “meet” their chef gives them a better idea of your company and brand.
Integrate Social Media into the Site: Social media platforms are critical to your success and you want to be a viable presence on as many of them as possible. Not only do they offer places to circulate your information for free, but engaging your audience through different platforms can dramatically increase the number of tables you’re filling on a regular basis. Try posting Instagram photos of dishes, mentioning your daily specials on Facebook or having your staff responding to reviews on Yelp. Your customers want to see that.
Maintaining a healthy social media standing can make you incredibly popular and will give you an option to showcase the magnificent foodie photos you took for your website. It’s important to realize, though, that both positive and negative feedback from customers should receive responses from your team.
Restaurant website design can be a cumbersome process. But when you begin making connections and interacting with customers, you create bonds that will create regular customers and bring a whole new personality to your brand. Improving the SEO side of things can be even more beneficial. Understanding how search engines work is a great marketing tool that can really make your business boom. Great tools are available online to help you get started today!