Having an online presence for your restaurant is essential these days.
A restaurant website should be fairly simple to navigate, but don’t let this be an excuse for a boring site. A great restaurant website is effective and visually attractive. Afterall, you want to whet your customer’s appetite for more.
It is also a wonderful opportunity introduce customers to your brand and explain your why. Through the layout and design of your site, potential customers can get a real feel for the kind of atmosphere, food, and service that they can expect.
So what are the key elements to making your website really stand out and pop?
Tell your story
Let people know the reason behind your business and why you are so passionate about food. What makes your restaurant or dishes different? Don’t underestimate the power of a personal story. This doesn’t have to be complicated or long-winded but use it as an opportunity to really give people a flavor of the dream and ethos behind your business.
Keep content fresh and up to date
Make sure that your menus are up-to-date, any events or special offers are on there, and that any upcoming closures are listed up as well. Take a look every now and then to make sure that the information you are posting is correct and relevant.
Do you have photos of your current menu? Making sure that your imagery is fresh and current will help capture clients attention.
Offer Online Reservations
What better way to capture a future customer then giving them the option to book a table while they are browsing your website. There are lots of different restaurant reservation systems, from Dimmi, OpenTable and more that let your customers book with ease and are often free to add to your site.
Make sure that your website has responsive design
Responsive web design makes your website instantly adaptable to every possible device that it could be viewed on. This means that your restaurant website will look the same and give customers the same navigational experience whether they are viewing it from a phone, and iPad or a desktop PC.
This makes it easier for people to find what they are looking for and helps give a consistent online experience. Don’t underestimate the power of this. If people find it hard to navigate your website on their phones and become frustrated with trying to find information then you could be losing potential customers at the first hurdle.
Show behind the scenes
Much like telling your story, behind the scenes marketing gives your customers a deeper look into your business and the experience they will be having when they come along. Why not let your customers have a sneak peek at what it takes to create your signature dish? Do you only use locally sourced ingredients? Then show that off by linking to some of your local suppliers or doing a fun video showing how you source suppliers.
This behind the scenes look will really add to your brand personality. Don’t forget that there are a million other restaurants out there so it is your personality, your staff, your passion that is really going to make you stand out from the competition.
Make sure that your website design is on brand
Potential customers viewing your website online want to get an immediate sense of what experience they will have in-person. Is your restaurant family friendly? A high-end luxury dining experience? Is a fun lively bar to head to after work for cocktail hour and snacks? It is important that you take the time to ensure that your restaurant’s digital branding efforts align with the in-house experience. If you have specific restaurant colours or a logo then make sure to incorporate them into your restaurant website design.
Great food photography
Last but not least make sure that you show off your dishes (the main attraction) with some really beautiful professional food photography.
Professional food photography can make your food look mouthwateringly irresistible in the best way possible. There is a real art to making food look even more delicious and appealing with the right presentation, lighting, and atmosphere. Investing in professional food photography can seem like a big leap but it will pay dividends for your online and offline marketing efforts.
For many potential customers, your restaurant website will be the first point of contact that they have with you. It’s important that it makes a great first impression and really captures their attention and appetites. They want to see what type of food they can expect and iPhone images just won’t cut it when you are trying to stand out from the crowd.
Making your branding seamless, with professional photographs of your food, your online experience easy and intuitive and having really high-quality images will all add to that impression and make them eager to come and visit you.
Need help creating great images for your website? Please feel free to contact me to see how I can help you.