These days, you can do just about anything online. Shopping for groceries, making a doctor appointment, catching up with friends—and ordering from your favorite restaurants.
Restaurant owners and managers who have been watching this trend already know: Restaurants need websites to thrive in the digital age. But that’s easier said than done, we know.
So whether you’re looking into building your restaurant’s first website, or you plan to update your existing website to make it modern, mobile-friendly, and attractive to potential guests, this is the guide you need. Step-by-step, we’ll explain everything you need to know to create a restaurant website—and show you the one tool that will make the process faster and easier than ever before.
Why Do Restaurants Need Websites?
In 2019, less than two-thirds of local businesses—including restaurants—said they had an active website.
That’s a big problem for the restaurant industry, because that same year, 77 percent of consumers said they check a restaurant’s website before paying it a visit or placing an order, and 70 percent said they had been discouraged from visiting a restaurant because of its website.
If your restaurant doesn’t even have a website, what would you like to bet those 70 percent of potential guests might be discouraged from paying you a visit? These statistics show a few important things: That guests research restaurants online before they decide where to eat, and if they’re not impressed by a restaurant’s online presence, they’re very likely to choose to eat somewhere else.
This means that not only do you need a website to help potential guests find your restaurant, but also a website that convinces them to choose you over your competition.
There are many features you can add to your restaurant website to make it more attractive to potential guests—for example, dynamic, interactive menus; easy online ordering; and mobile optimization so your site looks great on any device—but we’ll get to that a little further down. First, let’s look at the steps you need to take to create your restaurant website.
How to Create a Restaurant Website: Step-By-Step
Creating a restaurant website is a multi-step process—including a few things you should do before you even get to the part where you build your website. Here’s how restaurateurs can get started.
Step 1: Define Goals for Your Website
Start by thinking about why you’re creating a restaurant website, and what you want it to accomplish for you. This will inform your content strategy and may affect what platform you choose to host and build your site.
Some possible goals you might consider:
- Giving guests an online menu to check out before they visit your restaurant.
- Offering online orders and/or delivery.
- Pushing your restaurant’s information to local listing sites, like Google My Business.
- Getting your restaurant to be the first result when a potential guest searches for a cuisine or dish.
- Offering promotions or discounts for loyal guests.
- Building a following and collecting contact information so you can remarket to your guests.
As you’re defining goals for your website, try to think about what you want to offer your guests not just now, but in the future. Your website is an investment that will be around indefinitely, so try to avoid limiting your future growth by only focusing on what your digital priorities are today.
Step 2: Plan Your Content
Based on your goals, you can now start to plan out what kind of content your website will contain.
You should absolutely include basic information about your restaurant, like where you’re located, what kind of food you serve, and your operating hours.
You should also include a menu, since that’s what many potential guests will be looking for when they land on your restaurant’s website. You might need to take photos of your dishes to include. You should also think about the guest experience on your site—will a PDF menu that they have to zoom in on to read tiny text deliver the kind of experience you want them to have?
If you plan to offer online ordering or delivery, your site may need an API or integration tool that can connect it to your POS to send and receive orders.
You may also want to include a blog or events calendar. Your website can be a place for your restaurant to market itself to the local community, so get creative about what you can include.
Step 3: Determine Your Available Time and Resources
Now for one of the hardest parts. Creating a website can be time consuming, especially if you aren’t particularly tech-savvy. And if there’s one thing anyone who runs a restaurant knows, it’s that in this industry, you don’t have a lot of spare time.
If you don’t have the time or skill to devote to creating your restaurant website, you can outsource the job to a technology or marketing firm. But that will cost money, and with the razor-thin margins restaurants tend to operate on, it may not be in the budget.
Determining what kind of resources you can devote to building your website—both time and monetary—will help determine what platform you should use.
And if you’re like most restaurant owners and managers, you’ll want an easy, affordable, and convenient way to create a restaurant website. We have a platform for that.
Step 4: Choose a Platform
There are tons of small business website builders to choose from; but there’s a problem with many of them: They aren’t made just for restaurants.
Luckily, there’s a platform that is. Popmenu is the all-in-one digital tool restaurants need.
Sure, small business website builders like Wix and Squarespace offer a valuable service. But what they don’t offer is a website builder and digital tool suite that’s designed just for restaurants. Popmenu does.
How to Create a Restaurant Website with Popmenu
With Popmenu, our design team will create a mobile-friendly website that’s easy for you to manage. It’ll highlight everything that’s great about your brand, and it’ll be optimized for search so new guests can easily find your restaurant.
But that’s not all.
Popmenu also offers dynamic menu technology that turns online menus from frustrating, too-small-to-read PDF files, to interactive, user-friendly pages that show off your dishes and encourage guests to engage with them.
Popmenu makes it easy to offer online ordering and delivery, either fully in-house or by connecting with a local network of delivery drivers. And we offer automated remarketing, which means our platform collects valuable data about your guests and markets to them in ways that will turn them into repeat customers.
You’re looking for a restaurant website builder, and with Popmenu, you get that—but you also get so much more. You get every tool a modern restaurant needs to succeed in the digital age, all in one platform, all for one affordable monthly fee that will never go up.
Popmenu Manages Your Restaurant’s Entire Digital Presence
Popmenu is trusted by more than 4,000 independent restaurants nationwide. We can handle your entire online presence, from first impression to final bite. Ready to see for yourself? Schedule a demo today.