In the digital age, it’s not enough for a restaurant to just have a website.
Sure, recent studies have shown that 77 percent of consumers check out restaurants online before paying them a visit or placing a takeout or delivery order.
But there’s more to that statistic—nearly 70 percent of consumers also said that if they have a bad experience on a restaurant website, they’ll find somewhere else to eat.
If your website isn’t engaging, user-friendly, and mobile-optimized, you could be literally driving guests toward your competition. Here’s what you need to know to create the best restaurant website you can—and the one tool you need to do it.
What Does a Great Restaurant Website Include?
When it comes to the information and features you can include on your website, your list of options is as big as your web design ability (and budget). Some things are pretty essential, though, including:
- Basic information, like your restaurant’s location, the kind of food you serve, your operating hours, and your contact information.
- A menu, since that’s what many guests are looking for when they land on your restaurant’s website.
- Online ordering information, whether you offer delivery, or just takeout for guests to pick up.
- Marketing tools. This can include a blog, an events calendar, an email list signup, gift cards for sale online, links to your restaurant’s social media channels, and more. Your website is a great way to advertise your restaurant, so take advantage of the opportunity to use a variety of unique marketing tools that will help sell your restaurant to visitors.
- Search engine optimization (or SEO), which uses the wording, design, and technology of your website to make sure it ranks high in Google searches for restaurants in your area, the type of cuisine you serve, a certain dish, and more.
With those must-haves in mind, let’s take a look at some real-life restaurants with great websites that nail those features.
Basic Information and Restaurant Contact
Scottsdale, Arizona’s The Hot Chick has a great info section. It’s in their website’s footer, which means that from any page of the website, guests can access this vital information just by scrolling down.
It includes The Hot Chick’s address and phone number, as well as links to its Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube pages. There’s also a link to an accessibility assistance page to assist guests with disabilities.
An Interactive, Engaging Menu
Too many restaurants upload a PDF menu to their websites and call it a day. But that creates a terrible experience for guests—PDF text is way too small to read on a smartphone, which is what the majority of people use to search for restaurants, requiring guests to pinch and zoom all over the screen to get a sense of what your restaurant offers.
Brentwood, California’s Coral Tree Cafe does something totally different—and totally effective. Their online menu is mobile-optimized, meaning it automatically resizes depending on the size of the screen a guest is using to view it. It’s full of gorgeous dish photos that show guests exactly what they’ll receive when they order. Vegan and gluten free dishes are clearly marked, and descriptions provide guests with ingredient information, for those with food allergies.
But what really sets Coral Tree Cafe’s online menu apart is that it’s interactive. Guests can leave hearts on dishes they love, and leave reviews for individual dishes, too. This turns the menu into not just a tool, but an experience for guests.
Easy, Accessible Online Ordering
During the COVID-19 pandemic, it became more important than ever to make sure your guests have an easy, convenient way to order from your restaurant online. Even when the pandemic ends, the guests who embraced online ordering and delivery in 2020 are likely to continue to do so.
Washington, D.C.-area’s Taqueria Habanero has a great website strategy for this. A link to place an online order is front and center on their colorful, well-designed website. Guests just need to choose the location that’s closer to them, and they’re taken straight to an online ordering page where they can choose whether they want to pick their order up or have it delivered.
Marketing Tools to Engage More Guests
Your restaurant’s website should have the primary goal of conveying important information to your current and potential guests. But since you have the website anyway, you should absolutely embrace its potential for marketing your restaurant.
That’s what the team at Atlanta, Georgia’s Full Commission has done. As soon as you land on their restaurant’s website, you receive a pop-up display that advertises their current specials and happy hour. If those sound appetizing, there’s a link right there in the pop-up box to help guests navigate to their online menu. At that point, once they see the mouth-watering photos of dishes available at Full Commission, we bet they won’t be able to resist planning a visit or placing an order.
Search Engine Optimization
And finally, what use is a great website if no one can find it? SEO ensures that your restaurant’s website shows up at the top of the search results for any relevant searches, from “restaurants near me” to a special dish you have on your menu.
SEO can be hard for restaurants to master, especially because it’s a constantly moving target as Google updates its algorithms and search best practices. That’s why most restaurants could benefit from having a tool to make sure their SEO is on point—like Popmenu.
Popmenu: The Easiest and Most Affordable Way to Make the Best Restaurant Website
As it turns out, Popmenu is the key to creating a restaurant website that has all these features and more. In fact, every restaurant website on this list is powered by Popmenu.
Popmenu is the all-in-one digital toolkit that helps modern restaurants succeed online. It can help you:
- Build and manage an incredible website;
- Create an interactive, user-friendly, and mobile-optimized online menu;
- Implement technology to create a contactless experience for your guests, whether they dine in or order out;
- Automatically re-market to guests, turning first timers into regulars;
- Offer direct online ordering for pickup or delivery;
- Boost your restaurant website SEO so you always top the Google results list.
In other words, Popmenu does everything a modern restaurant needs to stand out in the digital age. And here’s what makes it even better: You can get all those digital tools for one low monthly price that never goes up.
Popmenu was designed to address real issues voiced by real restaurants. It’s the only digital platform of its kind that’s made just for restaurants, and with their budgets and bottom lines. Popmenu is easy, convenient, and affordable—and will help bring more guests to your tables.
See How Popmenu Can Make Your Website One of the Best
Ready to see how Popmenu can help you take your restaurant website to the next level? Schedule a demo today.