Building a restaurant website is an important part of staying relevant, competitive, and successful in the digital age.
According to Social Media Today, nearly half of online searches come from people who are looking for local information—like when your stomach rumbles and you grab your phone to search for “lunch spots near me.” Without a website, your restaurant won’t be seen by all the people making those local searches.
In addition to that, in 2019, 77 percent of consumers said they check a restaurant’s website before visiting it. Yet, in the same year, more than one-third of local businesses—including restaurants—reported that they don’t have an active website.
These statistics make it clear that having a website is an important part of maximizing your restaurant’s visibility and reach with potential guests.
But as important as a website may be, creating and maintaining one takes time, labor, and money—three things restaurants don’t always have in excess.
Creating a website for your restaurant needs to be easier, less time-consuming, and more affordable. And now, it can be—but you have to use the right tools. Here’s what you need to know.
3 Common Ways to Build a Restaurant Website
Typically, when a small business like a restaurant wants to build a website, they have three options:
- Use a content management system (CMS) or other online tool to build their own site, usually using a pre-built template.
- Hire a web design service or agency.
- Hire an individual web designer or a freelancer.
Most choose to go with the first option for one main reason: Hiring an agency or even a freelancer to design and build a website is expensive. An agency will likely charge thousands of dollars, and even an individual will cost at least hundreds, but more likely thousands as well. We know that’s out of the question for the average restaurant, where profit margins tend to be razor thin. Restaurants, like many other independent small businesses, need their websites to be affordable, first and foremost.
That’s why website builders like Wordpress, Wix, and Squarespace are marketed so heavily toward small businesses. They’re much more budget-friendly ways to build a website, and in many cases, their website builders are designed to be easy for even beginners to use. They make heavy use of templates, meaning most popular website builders can have your website up and running pretty quickly—even if you aren’t the most tech savvy or experienced at building websites.
But are these really the best choice for restaurants?
Why Existing Website Builders Aren’t Ideal for Restaurants
Many popular website builders are made to appeal to small businesses. They design their services to make it fast, easy, and affordable to get your business online.
The problem for restaurants, though, is that they require certain features and tools that aren’t typically standard with basic website builders. Restaurants often need online menus, online ordering, delivery, reservations, and more.
And while web builders like Wordpress, Wix, and Squarespace often offer these kinds of features, they’re locked behind premium plans or they require integrations with third-party tools. Often, restaurants find themselves adding (and sometimes paying for) more and more a la carte tools to add to their website.
Easy, convenient, and affordable? Not anymore. Using a basic website builder to create a high-quality restaurant website is a lot harder than it should be, because basic website builders aren’t made for restaurants.
Building a Restaurant Website: What Restaurants Need
When choosing a website builder, restaurants need to be able to get their sites up quickly and easily, and they need their platform to be affordable. But they also need certain tools that are necessary for a restaurant to compete online in the digital age:
- An online menu.
- Direct online ordering.
- Delivery tools.
- Marketing tools.
- QR code generation and other tools for contactless dining.
And what restaurants really need is for all those features to be included in a simple, straightforward, and affordable website builder. No third-party apps, add-ons, plugins, or integrations required.
Luckily, that platform exists. It’s Popmenu’s Indie package.
Building a Restaurant Website is Fast and Easy with Popmenu
Popmenu is already the all-in-one digital toolkit for modern restaurants. But soon, we’ll also offer a website builder that puts all the control right in your hands.
Indie is the only website builder that’s made just for restaurants. We designed it because independent, single-location restaurants needed a way to build websites quickly and easily—and nothing on the market perfectly fit their needs.
Here’s how it works.
Sign up and choose Indie as your package. You’ll then enter your restaurant’s information and your personal information, which will create your My.Pop account.
Choose one of our pre-built website templates. Don’t worry—you can change your template later if you end up not liking the one you choose at sign-up. Our website builder also allows you to edit your website’s content, add and remove sections, change its colors to match your restaurant’s existing branding, and more. This website is fully customizable so you can really make it your own.
Sign up for your 7-day free trial. Your website will be ready to view almost immediately, so you can spend the next two weeks seeing how all of Popmenu’s other features can take your restaurant’s digital presence to the next level—risk free.
With Indie, you don’t have to talk to a sales team or sit through any product presentations. You can sign up on your own, choose a template for your website, enter your restaurant’s details, and (this is the best part) see your new website in just seconds.
And just because Indie is Popmenu’s most affordable package doesn’t mean you miss out on other great features we built just for restaurants.
Popmenu Is More Than Just a Website
With Indie, you still get plenty of the other features that makes Popmenu a must-have toolkit for modern restaurants.
Engaging, Interactive Online Menus
Our menu technology is patented and one-of-a-kind. It takes plain restaurant menus and turns them into dynamic, interactive experiences that your guests can engage with on your website. Their mobile-responsive design, dish reviews, high-quality photography, Pops, and more make your menu stand out from the crowd. The proof? The average guest spends just 15 seconds on a PDF menu before navigating elsewhere. The average guest spends 1 minute and 50 seconds on a Popmenu menu.
Direct Online Ordering and Delivery
Indie customers can also get direct online ordering with their website, without an add-on or a plugin. To make things even easier, your website can integrate with the tools—Toast, Stripe, Square, DoorDash, and Otter—that you already use. We also offer a unique DoorDash integration that allows you to take advantage of local delivery drivers without the commissions and fees DoorDash usually charges restaurant partners.
Marketing Tools That Spark Guest Loyalty
Google My Business integration, digital ads, followers, smart messaging, and more—Popmenu is loaded with marketing tools that make it easy to remarket to your guests and reach new ones. These are the kinds of tools that turn first-time visitors into restaurant regulars.
Contactless Ordering Tools
Restaurants across the U.S. are opening up and guests are returning to dining out after the COVID-19 pandemic. But now, with guest and staff safety at the front of everyone’s mind, it’s more important than ever to consider tools that will help keep your restaurant safe and eliminate shared touchpoints between guests and staff.
That’s why Popmenu has developed contactless dining tools that help make dine-in visits safer than ever. Generate QR codes, allow guests to pay their tabs online, and more—with more contactless features coming soon.
Popmenu Indie: Start Your Free Trial Today
It’s time for building a restaurant website to be easier, faster, and more affordable. That’s why we built Indie, and why we’re sure you’ll love it.
Ready to see for yourself? Your first two weeks are risk-free, giving you a chance to see how you can bring your restaurant and hospitality experience to life online. See if Indie is the right fit for you!