When deciding where to eat, 88 percent of diners “always” or “frequently” use technology to explore their options. Nearly 9 out of 10 diners say they regularly check a restaurant’s menu online before dining out. And roughly 60 percent browse photos of the restaurant. Does your website give them what they’re looking for?
Your website should reflect your business goals, your brand and your visitors’ needs. And since every business is different, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for your restaurant website. But there are a few best practices that virtually every restaurant should keep in mind online.
Your restaurant website should include:
- Your menu: An up-to-date menu is absolutely crucial for attracting new guests. Would-be diners want to make sure you serve dishes that satisfy their cravings and meet their dietary needs, before committing to a restaurant. On your website, be sure to point out which dishes on your menu are gluten free, vegetarian, vegan, low calorie, kosher or allergen-free. To ensure that your menu is easy to find and to read, avoid using PDFs. Instead of scanning a version of your paper menu and plopping it on your website, dedicate a webpage to your menu and list each item on the page. By writing out each dish and its ingredients, you improve your odds of getting found by search engines like Google and ensure your menu looks great on every screen.
- A consistent address and phone number: Make it easy for potential guests to find you by double checking that your hours, phone number and address are prominently displayed on every page of your website, preferably in the header.
- A glimpse inside your space: While your food is front and center, your dining experience is also an important consideration for restaurant seekers. Help new customers imagine their experience by showing them around your restaurant. Don’t forget to include authentic, beautiful photos of your location.
For most restaurants, a menu, photos and phone number are not enough to attract new diners. Website visitors may also be wondering whether you have catering, if you offer space for private events, how child-friendly the environment is, and more. But stuffing your website with irrelevant pages risks confusing or annoying visitors. So how do you strike a balance between not enough, and too many pages?
Take this quiz to discover how many pages your website needs to persuade guests to choose you, instead of a competitor: