- A menu with photos
- Contact information
- Mobile friendly website
- Contact form for inquiries, events, catering
- Robust ‘About’ section featuring what makes your food spot special
Top Priority: A Graphic Menu
First and foremost, your restaurant’s site needs to have a menu. The majority of searches will be heading to your site for this purpose, so a call to action for this page should be immediately discover-able on your homepage.
The menu itself should include the name of the dish, a short list of ingredients or description, and photos. Pictures of every dish may not be necessary but a few high-quality shots can go a long, long way.
Prices are not included on this list because staying up to date may prove to be a challenge. If you are able to list prices on your menu, that’s a huge plus, but do not feel pressured to do so if you do not have the bandwidth to maintain accuracy.
Open Line of Communication
Speaking of accuracy, make sure all of your restaurant’s contact info is easy to find and correctly listed on your site. This includes your location’s phone number, physical address, hours, and any other preferred method of communication. A phone number is something that should be taken care of early on, as it typically takes longer than a simple call to your preferred provider. It’s also wise to set up a Google My Business account along with your Google Map API prior to opening as well.
Deciding on other preferred methods of communication will come down to your individual restaurant’s needs. Are you planning to offer special deals for events or catering? Will you offer online ordering? What about taking reservations?
Events and catering, whether on or off-site, will vary from party to party. Instead of scrambling for a blanket set of answers to provide on your site, opt to use a contact form instead. Be sure to have them include important details such as occasion, number of people attending, who to contact, along with either their phone number or email address so you will be prepared for the conversation.
Even with a great point of sale system and staff, handling online orders can be a beast to tackle on those busier evenings. Fortunately, there are plenty of third-party sites that can assist in collecting these orders. Some will even make deliveries for you.
Reservations can also be handled with a simple third-party integration. Several of our clients swear by OpenTable. With easy integration with big names like Google My Business and WordPress, we can see why.
What about Social Media?
More and more you see big restaurants relying on social media to keep up with the public, but keep in mind that this is a huge responsibility. It takes more work that you’d expect to get a business account up and running, and even more to maintain once you have a following. Fortunately, there are some amazing tools out there that can help.
One last outlet of communication you should consider is email. Yes, a contact form for general inquiries is an excellent first step, but have you considered keeping fans informed and engaged with a newsletter? If you’re an avid blogger, you may even be able to find a way to take care of two birds with one stone.
Other Things to Consider
What makes your restaurant so unique? Whether it be the brilliant head chef, historic architecture, or funny backstory, flaunt what you’ve got. Elaborating on a few of the secrets to your success creates a sense of familiarity, which makes your restaurant all the more inviting. In this age of information, everyone wants a quick taste of what has come before even stepping through the door.
Sometimes, that can be taken in the most literal sense. In fact, nearly 60% of viewers will be seeing your site from a mobile device. That’s why it is more important than ever to make sure your mobile site is more than an afterthought. Mobile design needs to be kept in mind every step of the way in order to provide the best experience for potential diners.
Need help setting up your restaurant website? Give us a call