Current technology has taken over the days of putting together a binder of your favorite restaurant menus, and most diners now rely on an Internet search to find a restaurant to hold their next event or plan their next night out. So it’s essential that your restaurant’s website is in top condition by providing the information that customers want.
There are many do’s and don’ts to think about when building your restaurant website, so we are going to give you the insider perspective on the top six mistakes you may not even realize you are making on your own website and how to fix them.
Mistake 1: Your website doesn’t have quality photos
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again — one of the biggest mistakes a restaurant can make is to not put the time into creating quality photos on their website. The standard measurement for a quality image to show up properly on a computer screen is at least 72 pixels per inch (ppi). If a guest is looking for a luxurious dining setting for her anniversary dinner, they will want to see quality images of the restaurant’s dining experience before booking. A site with low resolution images of the food or space will not entice a guest to come try the restaurant and therefore decrease business. Put the effort into obtaining professional images and it will certainly pay off with increased sales.
Mistake 2: Your website isn’t easy to navigate
When customers come to your site, it should not be difficult for them to access key information that they may be looking for such as contact info, restaurant address, menus, and your private dining inquiry page.. Key elements should have clear representation and hyperlink to more information where necessary. If guests are unable to find key components easily, they may exit out and find a new location that will show these elements clearly.
Tripleseat customers have the opportunity to increase ease by incorporating a specialized lead form into their site to directly obtain new business. By creating a clean and organized structure for your restaurant’s website, you will increase the ease at which your customers can find everything they need and therefore make a satisfying customer experience.
Mistake 3: Your website isn’t mobile-friendly
To piggyback off of the previous point, it is important for a restaurant’s website to be mobile-friendly in its design as well. The site should still be easy to navigate, and the pages should load just as well on a mobile device as on a laptop. When diners are on the go, they often will use their phone for restaurant hunting. 81% of consumers rely on mobile apps to find a restaurant, so it is essential to have mobile accessibility. If your site can give the customer the same smooth experience across all platforms, this will increase the flow of business to your restaurant.
Mistake 4: Your website doesn’t show off your event space
While this may be an obvious one, you would be surprised by how many sites do not include images of their venue’s physical event space. For guests to make an educated plan for their future event, it is helpful for them to see the available spaces while considering guest count, event flow, amenities, or decor for their event. By not having these images quickly accessible on the website, potential clients can’t picture their event there, and may move on to another venue.
When deciding what photos to post on your website, it’s a good idea to have images of the space with and without people in the photo, and keep them on hand for inquiries. For this point, always remember tip number one, and make sure that your event space images are high quality. If you are a restaurant that hosts many private events, it is a missed opportunity to not show off your unique venue spaces on your site.
Mistake 5: The menus on your website aren’t formatted correctly
One of the most important elements in a diner’s restaurant decision-making process is what food items are included on the menu. If your website does not include the menu or only includes the menu in a PDF format, you are creating a challenge for your prospective customers. A PDF menu doesn’t display well on desktops and smartphones. If customers can’t read your menu, they’ll leave your site and find another venue.
There are many platforms and tips available to build your menu page depending on what fits your website. This article from Toast has great advice on how to optimize your digital menu for your website as well as other tools that customers use to search for restaurants. Incorporate your menu seamlessly into your website to uphold the easy site navigation, opposed to using a clunky PDF format. Anything that your restaurant can do to better the user experience on your website will increase the likelihood of attracting diners.
Mistake 6: You don’t share testimonials and reviews
A positive selling point that you may be missing on your website is past customer testimonials or reviews about your restaurant. Reading reviews is one of the most common ways that guests make the choice to attend your restaurant or not — in fact, 75% of consumers say that reviews help them choose a restaurant. So quoting pleased customers, highlighting satisfied testimonials, or showing 5-star accolades will only help drive your restaurant’s business. People feel more inclined to dine at restaurants simply after hearing about how other people like them had rewarding experiences, so be sure to capitalize on this opportunity on your website.
Do the marketing work now and reap the benefits later
The overall goal of your restaurant is to create a certain dining experience, so make sure that you put in the time and research to ensure that your restaurant website emulates that same experience. The website is part of your restaurant brand, so maintaining consistency to the message you are portraying in your physical location is part of driving business. It is easy to recognize a sloppy website versus a professionally designed and detail-oriented website design, so set your restaurant up for success by following these points.
Get more tips
After you’ve fixed these restaurant website mistakes, download our Events Industry Handbook, 4 Tips on How to Market Your Venue to Corporate Event Planners. You’ll get expert advice on how to reach event planners and book more corporate events at your venue.