Your restaurant’s website makes a strong impression on your current and potential customers. A professional and strategically-built website will convert online visitors to paying customers.
When 77% of new customers visit a restaurant’s website before choosing to order for pick-up or delivery, correcting your website errors can’t be something you put off for another day. Website mistakes will cost you visitors and ultimately affect your bottom line.
A restaurant wants to be just as careful inviting customers to their website as when they enter the door to be seated; there are certain aspects of your website that make or break a visitor’s decision-making process.
Your website needs to stand out in a crowd while being easy to navigate with highly-optimised pages. Statistics show 68% of diners choose to eat elsewhere if they’re not pleased when visiting a restaurant’s website. Simple mistakes like poor website navigation and misspelling can deter visitors from becoming paying customers.
Correcting your website errors is something you should investigate right away to ensure it reflects your restaurant’s professionalism. Here are seven common errors that could be present on your website and how they can be fixed:
Hard to Find Information
Most people who visit your restaurant’s website are looking for very specific information. Omitting these key details can leave diners wondering – they may simply go elsewhere instead of spending time navigating through your website to find answers.
Here are the top six things your diners are looking for when they visit your website:
- The menu.
- Your contact phone number.
- Your location, including a link to Google Maps.
- Hours of operation.
- Specials, offers or Happy Hour information, including promotions found on social media.
- A simple online booking system that works well.
Make sure these pieces of information are easy to find, either on the main page or highlighted on your website’s navigation menu. Put your phone number on every page and ensure visitors can tap on the number to give you a call. You must have all six of these features on your website so visitors have an easy path to information.
Building a Restaurant Website that’s Not Mobile-friendly
Many outdated websites are not responsive and can only be viewed on your desktop. In 2020, 83% of searches for restaurant websites were made through mobile devices. If your website is not responsive, cannot be viewed clearly and easy to navigate using desktop, laptop, tablet and mobile, then you will be losing customers.
Having a mobile responsive site is a non-negotiable for your visitors as the majority of quick service sales will come through from mobile orders. You can check if your website builder has the option to make your website mobile friendly. If not, consider switching to a platform like WordPress or Wix.com, which do offer responsive designs and are very affordable.
Adding Too Much Text
One common mistake restaurant websites tend to reflect is they have way too much text. The last thing hungry customers want to do is read paragraphs of text after navigating through the website. Keep it simple, concise and only convey exactly what your visitors are looking for and nothing more.
It pays to be clear, so write copy that is easy to understand. Your website should be about finding information which is easy and quick to read - use pictures alongside small text descriptions when explaining things such as the look of the venue, the location and menu items.
Your website must showcase professional high-res images of your venue and your food to compel people to visit, or order from your online menu. The worst mistake that deters customers is having low quality images which do not convey what your restaurant stands for.
Take the time to snap professional photos of your menu items and venue to showcase on your website and social media. Your menu depends on great photography and you must use it to your advantage. Help your customers eat with their eyes by presenting beautiful, enticing photos of your delicious food.
Missing a Blog
Restaurant owners will argue ‘why on earth do we need a blog?’ It’s simple, a blog is a great way to communicate with your customers and offer original content with value.
A blog lets you:
- Create fresh content (great for SEO).
- Connect and engage – offer recipes, cooking tips, video testimonials and more.
- Drive traffic and get inbound links (also great for SEO).
You can share your blog on social media posts through Facebook and Twitter to offer your customers more things to talk about. Write about your upcoming menu items, or events and give your customers the opportunity to offer their feedback.
Missing an Events/What’s On Section
If you do not have spare time to write a blog post every now and then, the other option is to have an Events/What’s On page on your website. Many restaurant websites are missing this crucial page even though they are constantly running events like ‘Live Music’, or offers like ‘Happy Hour’.
Your website must have a section which showcases what you’re offering to entice your visitors to pop over to the venue, or order online.
No one wants to visit your website and find the information is outdated. You may be regularly updating your hours on social media, Google My Business and other platforms like AGFG, but you MUST update your website as well.
The most important things to keep updated are:
- Opening hours.
- Contact number/email.
- Food images.
If there are any changes to your restaurant’s operations, get onto your website and make sure these changes are updated accurately. A restaurant should check their website’s accuracy at least once a month; also ensure you have a system in place to carry out maintenance.
If you do not have a website there are no more excuses, you must get one now to stay successful in such a competitive market.
If you do have a website, ensure you are not making any of the seven mistakes mentioned here. Your website should be an ever-changing field that is updated regularly and showcases your professionalism and originality.
Spend time and thought on your website and you’ll increase conversions, online bookings, online ordering and see more diners walking through your door.