For some restaurant groups or owners, a website doesn’t come to mind as a key priority – especially if they’ve been running without one for a while. However, times are changing and having a digital presence is almost as important as your physical one. Here are 5 reasons why your restaurant needs a website:
CREATE A KEY ONLINE PRESENCE
Have you noticed that these days, someone only tells you the name of a restaurant when recommending it? Gone are the days when they give the address or directions too. Why? Because an online search has become the second portion of word of mouth. Having just a Facebook or Instagram account isn’t enough. Especially since when things get busy, these pages go un-updated which leaves potential patrons wondering if your restaurant is still open.
Restaurant’s need a website that will act as their home base and a key source of information. Some key elements a restaurant website should include are location, operating hours, menus, professional photos of food and restaurant, an about / story section and contact information. Whether you’ve been operating for 50 years or 5, it’s important to stay on track with trends and demands so that you stay ahead rather than remaining stagnant or falling behind.
IMPROVE SEARCH RANKINGS
So what if someone isn’t given a direct recommendation? If someone is searching online for a local place to eat, restaurants need a place to be found that doesn’t involve the competition. This is why restaurants need a stand alone modern website that integrates keywords via good SEO (Search Engine Optimization) practices. It’s all about showing up in those local searches whether someone is on the go or looking for something larger, such as catering. For example, if you’re a sushi restaurant in Atlanta and someone searches “Sushi Atlanta”, a well-optimized website will show up in the results while restaurants without an online presence are left behind.
HAVE COMPLETE CONTROL (REVIEWS)
While sites like Yelp are great for restaurant discovery, they also have a potentially negative-side — reviews. If your restaurant does not have a website, your web presence is restricted to these reviews, where one bad experience or unreasonable customer could cause serious damage to your business. Unfortunately, for every 100 people that have a great experience at a restaurant, only a few of them will actually take the time to review it. However, almost everyone that has even a slightly troubled experience (hey, it happens) will take to a review site to post about it. A restaurant’s website is a place where you can control your own reputation and share testimonials from happy customers and regulars!
HIGHLIGHT HAPPENINGS AND SPECIALS
From events to new menu items, restaurants often have things to share with the community! While social media is great for this, the information there moves quickly or often can’t be shared in full detail. Having a restaurant website with a space such as a blog for announcements and updates is great. These updates can also help your restaurant rank higher in search due to activity and fresh content creation!
TELL A STORY
When it comes to businesses, especially small and local ones, there’s always a story to be told. The “About” section of a restaurant’s website provides an opportunity to tell a story behind the person or family or passion that is fueling the restaurant. People have a thing for emotional connections and authenticity, and this is just another opportunity that a well thought out restaurant website can provide.
Does your restaurant have a website? If not, please feel free to contact me. I specialize in branding and web design for the hospitality industry and I’d be glad to help you take your business to the next level! You can view my portfolio here.
With Southern Hospitality,