Sponsored by MGH- Modern Marketing for Restaurants
A website is the centerpiece for any business. For restaurants, this is extremely essential in a day in age where 68% of U.S. diners have been discouraged from visiting a restaurant because of its website. However, it may be the last thing on your mind. Below are five ways you can enhance your web presence to help business boom.
Make your ORDER NOW button one of the most prominent pieces of your site. The delivery and take- out business for restaurants is growing every day. In fact, delivery sales of restaurants are projected to grow at more than three times the rate of on-site premises revenue through 2023 – according to a March report from L.E.K. Consulting. So if you offer these services, make sure that it is in your customer’s face when they visit your website. Don’t make them hunt for this, make it standout. And if you don’t offer takeout or delivery, it might be time to consider adding it to help boost your bottom line.
Update your food photography. Food photography can be expensive, but: IT IS WORTH THE INVESTMENT. You have a restaurant, people don’t want to just see your menu, they want to see your food. And if you have a little more to spend, hire a food stylist. Yes, a food stylist. It may seem ridiculous, but have you ever seen photos of perfectly placed, delectable dishes that make your mouth water and your jaw drop in awe? That’s probably because the food was styled to look impeccable. It’s not imperative to take photos of all your food. Just pick a few dishes and make sure they are featured prominently not only on your website, but also use them in social media. Draw people in with breathtaking photos of your amazing creations and let them speak for themselves.
Enhance readability. Don’t try to be overly creative when telling your story or updating your menu. The most important element should be readability. So, ditch the fancy font and upgrade the size a tad to make sure your customers don’t need to put on their bifocals to check out your menu. You may feel this isn’t in line with your brand, but many customers first stop is your website. And if they can’t understand the type of food you have and can’t read your menu, then you’re losing out on business. If your menu is updated seasonally, then create a PDF where customers can adjust the size to their liking. While we are on the topic, make sure your menu is up to date. I can’t tell you how many times I go to a restaurant website and find outdated menus. Fall is on the horizon, so start planning your updates now.
Simplify your navigation. While readability is essential, another important aspect is to make sure people can find what they are looking for. Our attention spans are getting shorter by the minute, so take a look at your site and see how easy it is to find the phone number, address, menu, reservation details, etc. Examine it from a consumer’s perspective and take a look at a few other restaurant websites to see how easy-to-use they are. If it takes too long to find the basics, well then you may lose a few folks along the way.
Make it mobile-friendly. Last, but certainly not least, make sure your website is mobile-friendly. What does that mean? Pick up your phone and put in the URL. Does your website appear just like it does on your laptop or desktop computer? If you have to zoom out to see your full website, then you need to have it updated to be responsive. This means that it will work across all devices, so you don’t have to make any adjustments. In a world where everyone – even my parents – have smartphones, this is an essential change that you need to make – now.
All of these items don’t need to be considered all at once, but take inventory of your website and tackle one of these at a time. The most important and easiest to complete is to make your website mobile friendly. Contact a local marketing agency or website freelancer to get a quote as soon as you can to get this done now. While you are at it, get them to analyze your site and provide a few recommendations for you to consider as well. Competition is increasing at a rapid pace and if you want to stay ahead of the curve, make sure your website shines as much as your food.
Andy Malis is the founder and CEO of MGH, a full-service marketing communications agency located in Baltimore, Md.