Follow this strategic formula to boost your restaurant website marketing skills online

If you are a restaurant owner or work for a restaurant then you most likely have an outdated website (if not then you are a unicorn and you should be very happy).

Even if your restaurant website was doing well before the pandemic then it is still most likely already considered out of date.

So many things have changed (obviously) and in more ways than you probably think…

Here’s how:

  1. Higher demand for viewing business information
  2. New online ordering habits
  3. User engagement methodology
  4. Customer retention

I’m not even going to touch base on the fact that sales at restaurants were up against the odds (and up in general) through the pandemic but that is all out of support from the community and that won’t last forever, or even much longer, so you better be paying attention now.

It wasn’t that long ago when your website most likely had 3-5 web pages sharing the most important information for your restaurant (Home, About, Gallery, Menu, Contact).

Once upon a time that worked… But not anymore.

More and more people are adapting to having the attention span of a goldfish (true story) and the more you can adopt the single page website concept, the better.

Sure, having a bio about your restaurant is very important but does it deserve prime real estate in the header area or ‘above the fold’?

Probably not….

So what changes can you make on your website that will heavily impact how you market your restaurant online?

In this post we are going to talk about three key areas you can implement right now by either adding to your current website or getting a fresh start with a new website redesign.

I have a ridiculous offer for restaurants looking to level up their website game and adapt to everything we are talking about here… Plus more!

Let’s dive in to the how you can build a better website for your restaurant…

#1. Prioritizing Food Content

The very first thing you need to figure out is what will drive people who are viewing your website to make a decision to visit and order from your restaurant. 

In this case, we’ll go with the obvious and say food…

Now that we know what we want to promote, we need to choose not only our best food options but food that will look like it does when the customer actually visits your restaurant.

I’ve worked with plenty of restaurants who hire an outstanding photographer who also helps decorate the plates for the photos (a great asset) but does ZERO justice for customers who see one thing online and then another in person.

With our most influential food dishes, or drinks, ready for action we need to figure out how you prefer to display them (slides, grid gallery, etc).

#2. Make Your Reviews Shine

At this point a decision from your potential customer has most likely not been made yet and it’s time to address the elephant in the room and share some reviews (Yelp reviews, Facebook reviews, Google reviews, etc).

From Yelp to Amazon we all find higher value in the reviews vs the price so let’s make this really stand out and look awesome…

How you display your reviews are up to you but the best way to display your reviews on your website are through live feeds which are available for all, or most, of your major review platforms such as Yelp, Facebook and Google.

You could copy>paste and add a cheesy 5 Star icon but I do not recommend that…

Taking the extra step in streamlining your reviews on your homepage and updating automatically when new reviews are posted will make your life so much easier (and profitable too).

Our incredibly powerful hosting platform, IKR Pro, has an integrated tool already available for this but you can easily use a free plugin or extension to get this done as well.

All you need is access to your profile and a special API token provided by the publisher…

Wondering what reviews people rely on most (in order)?

  1. Google
  2. Yelp
  3. Facebook

Yes, you can find ways to filter 5-Star reviews but I encourage all of my clients to test 4-star reviews as leverage and utilize this hesitation to strive harder (but my brain is weird and programmed to do better on edge).

If your restaurant does not have good reviews, doesn’t have reviews on any of the listings we mentioned or simply doesn’t have any reviews at all then we definitely need to talk…

#3. Offer Variable Pricing

Now for the killshot… your prices.

Regardless of how much money a potential customer has, the price is always the make or break point in trying to have the prospect make a final decision.

Don’t forget that your full menu is important so we recommend adding a link to your full menu following this area of your website.

After all, every dollar spent on something that you find a return on (enjoyment, etc) should be considered an investment, and this is an investment a single person is willing to make in your restaurant, your staff and your product.

Highlighting just a few menu items offering variable price options will greatly benefit the decision making process for your prospect (trust me when I tell you that over 80% of the people making this decision will spend more on higher ticket items once they arrive).

Here is the most commonly asked question from my clients when I tell them this… 

Why can’t I just show the full menu and let them decide?

Because most menus are already overwhelming with options and if you ask this question then you are in the same boat not realizing that you have the control to direct your potential customer, or investor, into their purchasing decisions.

You’re not telling them what to order, you’re just helping them make an educated decision.

In conclusion, everything we discussed here is quite simple and should be fairly easy for you and/or your website editing personnel to integrate into your existing website.

Sometimes all you need is a little refresher or guidance to take your restaurant marketing efforts to the next level and that’s what our team is here for… you.

If you own a restaurant or help a restaurant with their marketing and would like to learn more about how our team can help you grow or adapt to the new web, please do not hesitate to reach out and take advantage of your free strategy session.

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