Why Restaurants Need a Website
Running a restaurant is a huge task that comes with a never-ending to-do-list. Most operators probably don’t like the idea of adding another assignment but there is one that is very important – a website. According to a Constant Contact/Single Platform survey, “75% of consumers surveyed often choose a restaurant to dine at based on search results”.
If your restaurant doesn’t have a website, you’re missing out on a massive audience. Online visibility is huge for restaurants and can ultimately determine whether customers come to your restaurant or not. If you aren’t convinced, we have 7 reasons why restaurants need a website.
Your website will likely be the first impression a potential guest has of your restaurant. Make it a good one. A website gives you control over the image of your restaurant. It gives a restaurant the platform to tell their own story, in their own words (unlike third party sites). Customers will get a good idea of who you are, as well as get an idea of the overall atmosphere of the restaurant. Potential customers want to know what to expect when they come to your restaurant so include high-quality photos (you’ll want to hire a professional photographer) of menu items and the restaurant. This is also a great opportunity to show how much your staff is appreciated by including pictures and bios of management, lead chef(s), etc.
Improves Search Rankings
Having a website can improve your online search ranking but only if you are applying SEO to your site. Check out our 6 Essentials for Successful Restaurant SEO article to get started.
Including a booking widget on your website provides a convenient and easy way for guests to make reservations. It’ll allow your host to spend more time with in-house guests and customers to make reservations any time of day. This is also a way to manage reservations and avoid overbooking.
Improves Trust and Loyalty
Before customers visit your restaurant, they want to know what other guests thought of it. Don’t let third-party websites be their own source of information about your restaurant. BrightLocal stated that 84% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Your website is the perfect place to build trust in your brand with testimonials. You can even add your Google Business page reviews directly to your website. This makes your reviews seem more legitimate rather than copying and pasting testimonials.
Advertising can get very pricey. Although billboards, commercials, and radio spots can be popular forms of advertising for restaurants, they can be expensive and are temporary. Your website is a much more affordable and permanent form of advertising.
Keep Guests Informed
Guests are going to look at you social media accounts and website to stay in the know about your restaurant. Your website is the perfect platform to update guests about new menu items, specials, address, hours of operation, events, seasonal hours, etc. Just make sure to always make it a priority to frequently check that information on your website is accurate. Nothing is more frustrated for a customer than to be provided incorrect information.
Promote Other Services
Does your restaurant offer catering or host private parties? Your guests probably won’t know about it unless you put it on your website. Make sure to keep your website up-to-date with everything your restaurant offers.
A website is one way to strengthen your brand and keep customers in the know about your restaurant. Another way is social media. Learn more in our Why Restaurants Should Utilize Social Media blog article.
About the Author
Emily Wimpsett is a Content & Social Media Specialist at QSR Automations. Emily was born and raised in Louisville but considers herself a die-hard University of Kentucky fan. For college, Emily attended Indiana University Southeast and obtained a degree in Communications with a track in Advertising. In her free time, Emily enjoys just about every water-related activity but she is partial to kayaking and whitewater rafting.