The Power of Restaurant Website Design
When you’re working at a restaurant, there are plenty of things that will attract people to your business. Whether you encourage current customers to tell others about your establishment, or you try to make note of returning customers and appeal to their preferences, both of these are very effective strategies. With the latter especially, it makes a customer feel welcome when a staff member recognizes them from earlier.
However, restaurant websites are an even better way of attracting customers to your business, both directly and indirectly. Not to mention it’s a great way for your establishment to stand out. With that said, if you don’t have a website for your company, you’ll have to design one. It can be a difficult process, but it’s nothing overwhelming if you follow some basic principles. First, I will explain why it’s important for your restaurant to have a site, then I will give some useful restaurant website design tips.
Restaurant Websites Gives Customers a First Impression
One of the reasons it’s important to have a website for your company, is because it helps to set the standard for what a customer is expecting. In other words, it gives them an impression of what your restaurant will be like, even before they visit it. After all, many people like to know where they’re going before they visit a place.
For example, let’s say a customer was looking for a good Italian restaurant in the area. However, one company lacked a website, while the other had its own site with a full menu, photos of friendly staff and social feed interactions with guests right on the homepage. Would the person be more willing to visit the restaurant that has its own site and an online menu etc., or the establishment that lacks an online presence altogether? After all, the one without a menu may have excellent food as well, but the customer doesn’t know that beforehand. Having a website for your restaurant helps you to sell your business and give your customer(s) a taste of what’s in store for them whether it’s ambiance or excellent food.
Many “potential” customers will simply do a quick Google search for basic terms they are looking for whether its to grab a bite to eat and a night out or simply for the best Thai that delivers in their neighborhood. You can easily put yourself in the game as a choice for them if you are at least part of the conversation, and it all starts with having a website.
Helps Customers Stay Updated
Another reason it’s important to have a restaurant website, is because it helps your customers stay updated. This is especially true if you have a contact page and mailing list. Any customer who is added will be informed of changes or updates to the establishment. In a way, this is effective because it helps your customers to constantly stay in touch with anything that’s going on. Compare that to customers who have an enjoyable restaurant experience, but aren’t aware of any changes or improvements made in the future. In the long run, a mailing list will also help you to build a strong following as well as provide you with a direct line of communication to them should you be running promotions or pushing your new direct online ordering system of course!
Now that you know why having a website for your business is important, here are some useful restaurant design tips.
#1. Appeal to your Demographic
When designing a website for your business, make sure the site appeals to your audience. What kinds of people will be visiting your restaurant? If your restaurant is a casual sit down establishment, for example, your design might be a bit more laid back. If however your restaurant is of a higher status, such as one that requires proper shoes and reservations, you will likely want to craft a more upscale first impression. It’s a good way of appealing to those who are looking for a sophisticated dining experience, while also letting the more casual customers know what your business is all about.
#2. Use Photos For Your Site
Photos are another aspect that’s important when designing your restaurant website. It’s a great way to appeal to your customers and get them interested. On the main page, for example, you should have a picture of the restaurant’s exterior. As for the menu, it should include photos of the main courses that your restaurant offers.
One last point, this is more of a personal preference we have here at 9Fold. Make sure you are not cluttering your pages or navigation bar with information overload. Less is more when it comes to design, you want to make sure to align your core product or strong points with your main headers or CTA’s (calls to action). Be sure of course not to skimp on information, if the page looks too light you won’t likely capture your potential customers’ interest, not to mention if you have very little info, search engines are not as likely to position you high in rankings- but that is a conversation for another day not really related to design per se.
For more information about the importance of restaurant websites and their design, contact us today at 9Fold. We look forward to hearing from you.