Have a restaurant? Have a website or are looking to get one? If so, you will likely want an awesome restaurant website…otherwise, why have one at all? Here are 5 must-haves to put on your checklist:
1. Get Your Menu Online
If you have a takeout or delivery service, and you DON’T post your menu online, what are you doing?! How are customers supposed to decide what they want to order over the phone?
This happened recently to my husband and I. We were looking online for the menu of a local Italian place. We found the website, but the Menu page was a few paragraphs about their food, as well as the beers they have. People looking for their menu were encouraged to contact the restaurant. My husband kept clicking on all of the different links searching for a list of their food choices, but all of them were generally pointed to the Contact Us page.
Instead of calling the restaurant right away and wasting their time with, “What do you have?” I searched the restaurant name again and found their menu on the AllMenus website. So instead of having us use their website to get the information we needed, we went to a third-party website. While the restaurant still got our money, we had to rely on a website with no relation to this restaurant at all. Menu changes and pricing updates can’t be made to a website you don’t control, so if your customers are looking for your menu, they might find (and rely on) an outdated version. If you change prices according to market value, you don’t need to include your prices online at all; on the flip side, if you change prices once every few years, it makes sense to have your prices online.
If you have a higher-end restaurant where your menu changes a few times a year, it still makes sense to include a current menu online. If your menu and/or specials change every week, it may make sense to post your menu as a blog post or on Facebook instead. This makes your menu more “shareable”, and you can see customers coming in just to try it out (before it gets replaced).
2. Include a Map
If you just have your restaurant address on your website without a map, potential customers have to take the extra step to look up your address to get acquainted with your location. By having a map inline somewhere on your website, people can instantly look at the map and see where you’re located. The good things about having a map (if you’re using a map from Google or Bing) is that your customers can typically click on a link on the map to get directions in a new window.
3. Photos of Your Food
Good-looking photos of your food are definitely a must-have for any restaurant website, whether you’re a food truck or a gourmet restaurant. Many people can tell if they’re looking at a stock photo, so authentic pictures of your food are best.
If you have a digital camera or a smartphone, you can easily take drool-worthy pictures of your food. Try to position the food off-center, and make sure there’s good lighting (natural is best).
4. Extra Services You Offer
Do you cater? Deliver food? If you offer extra services, be sure to include those on your website. Your potential customers could be searching online for catering or food delivery, but if you don’t include those words on your website, then you may never be found.
5. A Mobile Version of your Website
More and more people are using their smartphones to visit websites. Having a mobile-friendly version of your website is incredibly important, because it allows people to get your restaurant’s info fast because they won’t have to adjust the view on their phone in order for them to see your restaurant’s details.
Need a Restaurant Website? Try Happytables!
If you’re a restaurant owner and want to build your own website without hiring a web designer, you can try Happytables for free. It gives you a website that looks amazing across all devices. If you want more than the basic functionality and customization, you can upgrade (for a small monthly fee) to receive premium functionality such as
- social media integration
- reservations and ordering
- extra pages
- and more
Free Food Stock Photos
Get high quality stock photos of fresh ingredients, food markets, and completed dishes for free from Foodie’s Feed! These can be used for personal or commercial projects.
Another resource of free and beautiful food stock photos is Scatter Jar. You can use their photos of delicious food for personal and commercial projects, and download as many photos as you want! You can find photos of ingredients (both in the garden and out), food during prep, and of course, finished products.
If you need someone to take care of everything for you, I’d be happy to give you a free consultation! If you’re in the Chester County, Pennsylvania area, I can even do your photographs. Contact me about your restaurant project. I’ll be sure to hit on all 5 of these must-haves.