Where should you set up your central hub on the web?

On Facebook? Instagram? Twitter?

Unless you answered, “my website”, you might be a little lost. It is of paramount importance to invest in good web design and web development. You see, your website design should be the first thing people see in Google search engine results when they look you up.

There are many reasons for this, not the least of which is that you get to control the story. If the first thing people see are your reviews on Yelp, you effectively have no control over your message. And, if your Yelp reviews are bad, you’re unlikely to leave a positive online impression.

Additionally, on your website, you can give retail space to the things you want your visitors to see. You can get them to subscribe to your mailing list, reserve a table, take advantage of a discount by using your loyalty & rewards integration, engage in online ordering, and more.

So, how do you go about sculpting an effective restaurant website? Read on.

Build With Your Target Audience In Mind

Your business isn’t about you – it’s about your target audience.

So, if you haven’t put much effort into understanding who they are and what needs they have, that’s something you need to start doing immediately.

Your target audience is going to determine what menu items you serve, at what price point, how you decorate your restaurant, when to run your promotions and a great deal more. It should have influence over how to structure your website development.

Depending on who you’re serving, you might choose to use brighter colors, bigger fonts, bigger photos and so on. Let your audience show you the way.

Include Your Address & Contact Information

Don’t forget the essentials – this all has a bearing on how your restaurant shows up in search.

Your website should include your physical address and contact information (phone and email), preferably on every page of your website. But this is just a starting point.

You should also use social media icons to direct your audience to your social channels, use a Google Map widget so people can easily find your restaurant, and add a user-friendly contact form so your prospects and customers can easily get in touch with you.

Use High-Quality Imagery On Your Website

The bar is high for restaurant imagery these days. Every restaurant is encouraged to use high quality images on their website. And, there are a lot of reasons why this is important.

You want to make a good impression with your audience. You want to show off your menu items (in the proper light), And, you want to show to your customers and potential customers why they might enjoy hanging out at your place of business.

If there’s anything to add here, it would be to create on-brand images. So, worry less about whether your photos were taken with a DSLR, and think more about whether your images are congruent with what your customers have come to expect from you.

Highlight Customer Testimonials

Nothing speaks quite as loud as customer testimonials when it comes to marketing online. Get your fans to do your talking for you. They know what you’re all about and are probably happy to rave about your food or the standout experience they enjoyed at your eatery.

Be sure to highlight several relevant customer testimonials on your site, preferably on your homepage. If the people landing on your website are anything like the customers who’ve provided quotes, they’ll be compelled to check out your restaurant or place an order online.

Final Thoughts

Target Audience + Contact Information + High-Quality Photos + Customer Testimonials = a great starting point for your website.

Think of these as the essentials. From a regularly updated blog to an engaging “about” page, there is so much more you could add to build out your website and serve your audience. But don’t make these extras the focus. Start with the essentials and grow from there.

Should A Website Be Part Of Your Brand’s Customer Experience?

Introducing a new website design could help improve your restaurant’s customer experience and, in turn, increase your sales. Chepri can help you determine which website options are best for your business and your customers, and help you implement and manage it. We are dedicated to developing web, mobile and self-serve kiosk experiences that will keep your customers coming back. Let us get to know you and we’ll help you launch an engaging and easy-to-use web app that both you and your customers will love.