Don’t look at it as an either-or. You need both a social media and a website because they enhance your online presence and bring people into your restaurant in different ways.
How to Have a Great Restaurant WebsiteWhy Your Restaurant Website Is so Important
Social media platforms give you access to a vast network of people, but they all have one thing in common, they are Facebook users or Twitter users, etc.
But the first thing 80% of people do when a friend recommends a restaurant is - you guessed it - a Google search.
You might be thinking that it’s too hard to rank in Google, but that’s a mistake. Google searches for restaurants are targeted explicitly to locals. You’re only competing with other local restaurants with the same search keywords.
So look at it this way, when someone in Huston Texas searches for “sushi restaurants,” only local restaurants ranking for “sushi” show up. If you don’t have a website, you’ve made yourself invisible and are likely losing significant opportunities to reach out to new customers.
Your Restaurant Website Is Your Voice
Everywhere else online, from Yelp! to Facebook, other people get to tell the story of your restaurant, and you may or may not want that to be the first impression you make.
Your personal website is the only place you have 100% complete control of your online image. If you’re not taking advantage of this opportunity or you are neglecting a site in need of a severe face-lift, you could be missing out on hundreds of new guests per month.
Now is the time to speak up, make your own statement about who you are and ensure local diners know about your restaurant first.
Your Website Says Tells Your Story
Something to consider carefully is what kind of impression your website gives to visitors. Since 80% of potential guests will view your website before they decide to eat means the only thing worse than no restaurant webpage is a poorly designed page that turns them away.
As an extension of your brand, your website needs to appeal to your target audience the same way that your building, dining room, menu design and ambiance appeal to your guests. Draw them in with a taste of what to expect when choosing to dine with you.
Your restaurant website should be crafted carefully so that it will show up first in Google search results. Think about what diners are searching for. Make sure to include all the things people are interested in — the type of cuisine, entertainment, a family-friendly atmosphere, charming views, and whatever else makes your establishment unique.
Give Your Visitors a Taste of Things to Come
There are other practical reasons you need a website. If you post your menu online, then guests won’t have to spend so much time deciding at the table. That means quicker turns and more guests per service for you to serve.
If you do takeout or delivery, there’s no excuse not to have a website with a prominent menu featured with your phone number. There is no better way to entice spontaneous orders! It’s a must to have a POS with delivery and CRM capabilities, which will help facilitate all those delivery orders.
You may also want to include the latest online ordering technology to give diners that sense of instant gratification. It’s important that your point of sale can integrate with services like GrubHub.com and other platforms so you can get the most out of your website’s online ordering.
If you take call-in bookings for your restaurant, why not offer online reservations as well? A table management system like Rezku Prime helps your front of house team manage online and in-house reservations, and has the added benefit of unlimited bookings for no additional fee. That’s a great way to fill up the dining room!
Always keep your website updated with events, specials, and promotions so your guests can see what’s new. Generating excitement and showing that your restaurant is a happening place is an important goal for your online presence.
A Great Website Is Easier Than You May Think!
Yes, it’s going to take some work to make your restaurant website stand out, but you have choices, and you don’t have to spend a lot of time or money to have beneficial results.
If you choose to do it yourself, there are many resources online for website templates that will give you a starting point. It will take some new skills and a bit of effort, but the results can be fulfilling if you enjoy being “techie.” While this may be a tempting choice for those who enjoy total control, truthfully gauge your long-term interest and the likelihood of sticking with it.
If you decide to DIY, start learning the popular WordPress platform that has many high-quality templates available and vast resources through user forums and YouTube videos. Sites like BlueHost.com or HostGator.com feature affordable WordPress hosting for less than $10 a month and can help you get started on the platform.
However, if you’re not ready to bite off that much, a practical and affordable option that is sure to get you top-notch results is to hire a freelance web designer. As professional service providers, you don’t have to worry about them getting bored or running out of time to work on the site.
Turn over the whole project to a web designer or merely hire to complete specific tasks. You can find contractors through services like Fivrr.com and Upwork.com which specialize in connecting designers with clients — practically for peanuts! Do your homework and get plenty of references and keep in mind your mileage may vary.
Social media platforms give you access to a vast network of people, but they all have one thing in common, they are Facebook users or Twitter users, etc.But the first thing 80% of people do when a friend recommends a restaurant is - you guessed it - a Google search.You might be thinking that it’s too hard to rank in Google, but that’s a mistake. Google searches for restaurants are targeted explicitly to locals. You’re only competing with other local restaurants with the same search keywords.So look at it this way, when someone in Huston Texas searches for “sushi restaurants,” only local restaurants ranking for “sushi” show up. If you don’t have a website, you’ve made yourself invisible and are likely losing significant opportunities to reach out to new customers.A great restaurant website is an attainable goal that will turn a little effort into big returns. On the other hand, neglecting your web presence or solely relying on Facebook or social media to get the word out is a mistake that could cost you dearly in lost opportunities.