Editor’s Note: Here at Dispatches, we are always looking for ways to help our readers do things. For some of our readers, that means helping navigate the working world, for others, it means assisting in the ever challenging question, “what’s for dinner?” For still others, it means figuring out how to balance family life with everything else. In an effort to aid in all of these endeavors, we have collaborated on this article written specifically for our readers.
Most people don’t find out about restaurants online. They find out about it when they walk past one. Or when a friend tells them about it or read a recommendation online. Some restauranteurs believe having a presence on a recommendation site is enough but having a website for a restaurant business can be just as important as having a website for just about any other business. If you don’t have one, you’re missing out on a lot of sales potential. Here are some of the essential things you need to include in a restaurant (and really, all business related) websites.
Make sure your website includes the answers to these questions:
- When are you open?
- What kind of clientele are you aiming towards?
- What’s on your menu?
- How much of it is suitable for people with various allergens?
- What are the prices of your food?
- Where on the map is your restaurant located?
A visitor should have all the answers to such questions at their fingertips when they visit your website. You should also be sure to include anything you’re particularly proud of awards, community participation and anything else you think is newsworthy. For example, if you work with a quality beef importer, for example, highlighting that on your website could look great!
Your website should definitely be more than just text. You should have some high-quality photographs of your dining room, kitchen and products available on there. Uploading photos of the exterior and the interior of your restaurant is essential to helping people find you. Of course, you need to have amazing photos of the food on your website to entice customers to visit and remind them to return for their favorite meals.
A lot of people may wonder why a restaurant would need to have a blog. A blog can be extremely helpful when it comes to announcements and other newsworthy items we mentioned above. It’s a great way to highlight changes or seasonal items or a special event. Combining a blog with social media and you’ve got yourself a great marketing tool! You can also share recipes, ask for customer feedback, and much more. Blogs can help you get the word out about your business much more than you may think.
It used to be that everyone would book tables at restaurants over the phone. While this is still a common practice, many businesses are now taking bookings online. This is something you should be considering on your website. Electronic booking is becoming more popular because it’s faster and often works out much cheaper.
You should have an area on your website where customers can contact you. That way you can share the positive ones in a blog, and address negative ones in a post and how you are correcting the issues. You should also make sure you’re linking to outside reviews and letting those stand as they are without editing. External reviews can come across as much more trustworthy.