5 tips to improve your restaurant website
1. Add online gift card sales
Less than 3% of family owned restaurants sell their gift cards online, a mistake that can cost a restaurant tens of thousands of dollars annually. Our average fine dining restaurant client will sell over 10K worth of gift cards online in the month of December alone. Over $100 Billion is spent on gift cards annually and online gift card sales are growing by 29% per year as customers search for more convenient and unique gift options. Add features like the ability to pay with Apple Pay to increase convenience for customers, in turn increasing conversions for you. Collect and save all of your customers emails, during holiday seasons run campaigns to entice customers to purchase again. Our clients have found that over 60% of holiday gift card purchases are from returning customers. Constantly remind your customers, and friends of customers that your holiday gift is the perfect gift. Increase your Facebook and Instagram advertising budget during holiday seasons marketing the purchase link of your gift cards. Add a banner to your website that reminds visitors that you sell gift cards online. During off holidays run promotions offering guests 10% off on gift cards, keeping in mind that 18% of restaurant gift cards are not redeemed.
2. Optimize for mobile
Over 60% of diners view restaurant websites on their mobile phone. Guests that visit a restaurant's website want the ability to interact with four pieces of information immediately: menus, location, hours, and the ability to call the establishment. Menus should always be one-tap away from the landing screen and adding a mobile call-to-action bar provides the ability to directly call your restaurant, obtain directions from their exact location, and view the hours with a live tab displaying open or closed.
3. Ensure your menu is responsive
57% look at the online menu via a mobile device before deciding to visit, thus it is vital to deploy a responsive menu that fits directly to the guest's device, no more pinching or zooming to try and decipher a pesky PDF menu online. Responsive, not PDF menus, also ensure that Google can crawl your menu items and increase your restaurants visibility when customers are searching for specific dishes.
4. Professional high-quality imagery
Your images have 15 seconds to capture a potential customer. The images on your website are the most important material for your restaurant’s marketing strategy, and the best way to ensure high-quality images is through hiring a professional photographer who can help capture the best composition, angles, and lighting in your space. Just as your website shouldn’t be overloaded with text, it shouldn’t be packed with photos. Every picture you use on your website should serve a purpose, whether it’s showcasing the food, the restaurant’s exterior so guests know what to look for, or the interior with people in it so that your space looks lively and welcoming. The design and layout of your website are the bones to your website, but the images are what make it come alive.
5. Start a blog
Search engines love constantly updated content and so do your customers! Publish restaurant updates, events and announcements, new or seasonal food items on the menu. Go beyond the four walls of your restaurant and show your guests where their ingredients are being sourced. Showcasing a chef's pick of the week, have your chef select a dish to feature and discuss the ingredients, post pictures, etc. Offer a questions and answer opportunity. Questions can be submitted through the website contact form or even through social media, and then have the Executive Chef answer the question and place the response as a blog post.
Bonus Tip. Add a private party & events page
Ensure that guests who are booking a large party or event have all of the information they need before contacting you. This will greatly reduce the amount of inquiries on the contact page and increase conversions for large parties and events. Build a custom form that guests can fill out with all the information you need to get their party perfected. Include images of past parties, pictures of the facilities with no one in them, and information regarding guest and kitchen capacity.