If you’ve thought about getting your restaurant’s website up and running for a while, you’re probably trying to figure out the best sorts of content to post. Before you start just loading up your page with everything you can think of, though, remember the old adage, “Keep it simple, silly!” That saying works for a lot of things, and believe it or not, website design is one of them.
While you want your site to be entertaining, informative and functional, the last thing you want is to overwhelm visitors by trying to cram everything onto your homepage all at once. That’s why it’s important to keep these simple tips in mind as you build your site.
1) Keep it simple.
Like I said, simple is best. While it’s tempting to overload your pages with pop-ups, buttons and a ton of visual of content, you have to figure out what works best for the customer. That doesn’t mean you can’t put all of that stuff on your page. You just need to make sure you design it so that your content is there without taking away from website’s actual purpose.
Remember, you still need to get customers to order food from your restaurant. Trust us, no one is going to stay on a website that has a pop-up every 20 seconds or an overwhelming amount of things crammed onto each page.
2) Showcase your specials on the homepage.
If you follow the advice from tip number one, then it stands to reason that the content you do feature on your pages be something important. Since most people come to a restaurant’s website to learn about the menu and food items, it only makes sense to fill up that valuable digital real estate with current information about your specials.
This way, customers know what the hot items are that week. Customer can start to plan their meal around those specials before they get down to the most important aspects of placing an order.
3) Feature your employees.
Your employees are not just people who work for you. They are one of the best sales tactics you have. While that might make sense for patrons who actually come to the location, you might not realize that even employees on your website go a long way towards getting a customer interested and invested in your business.
Post pictures and videos of your servers interacting with customers, serving food goofing off, or just generally enjoying their job and the experience they bring to your restaurant. Even better, have employees say something as well. Your workers can say why they love working there, their favorite menu items or something interesting about the restaurant that most people might not know. All of those little “factoids” turn into a chance for customers to feel like they are a part of something, rather than just people ordering food. Plus, people put a face on your company that’s not just about food and drink.
4) Take your customers on a virtual tour.
With today’s technology, it’s not hard at all to create and post a video. So, for those customers who mainly deal with your website online, it might not be a bad idea to give them a taste of what they might find if they ever do decide to visit in person.
Walk them through the restaurant. Along the way, they can see your employees in action, see what some of the menu items look like and get a visual taste of the full experience that visiting your restaurant might entail.
5) Highlight your chefs doing what they do best.
Since your food is your biggest selling point, anything you can find to showcase the food and its creation can raise a customer’s interest. So, make a video of a chef creating a signature dish. Don’t want to give away a secret ingredient? It’s okay to blur it out.
If you don’t want to go that far, have that chef invent a “poor man’s” version of that same dish. That means the dish is something good enough for customers to make and eat at home, but with the understanding that if someone wants to try the real thing it would be so much better to order from your restaurant.
6) Start a blog.
Consider writing a blog if you want to give your website an even more personalized way to connect with people. Write about whatever has been happening in the restaurant that week, an experience with a customer, a favorite moment, a new dish, a featured employee — there’s always something you can dish out (pun intended) with a blog. Your blog gives your customers that special connection that keeps them reading and ordering!
7) Create an online ordering module.
In the midst of all this creativity, put a spot where your customers can actually order food. Online ordering reduces mistakes, increases accuracy, produces more sales and makes your restaurant more profitable in the long run.
So, as you are working on setting up that website, keep these tips in mind. You don’t need to cram those pages with content, as long as the content you put on the pages are relevant, important, fun and creative. If you’re looking for help with the online ordering aspect of your website, we would love to talk with you and assist you in creating the module for your business. Please don’t hesitate to contact us today!
Creative Ideas for Your Restaurant’s Site was last modified: April 15th, 2017 by Rafi Cohen
Rafi Cohen, a graduate of Baruch College & Brooklyn native is the Co-Founder @ Orders2me, an online ordering platform that gives restaurant owners all the features they need to grow their business in the digital age.
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We are on a mission to help local restaurants thrive in the new digital economy. Our blog is designed to give local restaurants best practices from some of the top restaurants in the world today.