5 Design Tips for Restaurant Websites

September 16, 2015 - WRITTEN BY GEORGE WANG

1. Make Your Menu Mobile Friendly

The number one reason customers visit a restaurant website is to look at the menu, and they're increasingly doing so on phones and tablets. Make sure your menu is formatted properly for mobile devices by avoiding having only PDF menus (which are slow to load and requires a separate program to open) or flash menus (which cannot be loaded by newer devices). Kaidoora generally provides customers with web-friendly menus (for website viewing) with a link to a downloadable PDF menu (for printing).

2. Update Content Often

What's your daily special? Are you open for this holiday? Are there any coupons or deals available? Updating your website and social media channels frequently with this information shows that you respect your customers' time, gives your website a boost to search engine optimization (SEO) because the information is more recent, and gives your customers a reason to come in today. We recommend tying these promotions in with email capture techniques (see #4) as well.

3. Make It Easy to Get In Touch

If a customer has decided to go to your restaurant, make it easy for them to take the next step! List your phone number and address prominently on every page of your website to make it easy for customers to get in touch. Even better, we recommend that restaurants put links to Google Maps so routing to your store on a phone is easy. Make phone numbers click-to-call. Food is often an impulse purchase, and if customers get frustrated with your website, they'll leave and order from a competitor instead

4. Optimize for Email Capture

One customer is great, but how much more is a customer worth if they keep coming back? When Kaidoora designs websites, one of our mail goals is to get the email of a customer. Ordering online or making a reservation? Give us your email so we can send you a receipt or confirmation. Trying to redeem a coupon? Give us your email so we can send you the coupon and you can show it to the waiter in the store to redeem in.

Email capture enables savvy restaurants to track important metrics like average spend or average time between visits, allows the possibility of special promotions or discounts to reward loyalty, provides an additional method to notify customers about recent news, like specials, holiday hours, and promotions

5. Make Ordering and Reservations Easy and Obvious

For businesses that want to accept reservations and ordering, make it as easy as possible for the customer. Kaidoora typically makes the button for ordering and reservations large and distinct from the rest of the website to draw attention to it.

Next, after the customer clicks the button, it's important to determine if the next step is to complete the transaction then and there, or to start a conversation with the client. For regular pickup orders, the goal is to complete the transaction, so don't make customers register or fill out unnecessary information before they can make a purchase. This generally drives customers to order by phone or abandon the order, which costs you in staff time and lost sales.

Alternatively, if it's a reservation or catering order that needs to be confirmed, don't ask the customer for every little detail, because they might not be ready to provide it. Instead, the goal is to get them to contact you. As social pscyhology studies show, customers are much more likely to complete a transaction after they've already taken the first step in the process.

Ready to take your first step towards a better restaurant website? Email me at george@kaidoora.com for a free, no-obligation review of your existing website today.

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