Jorge Pacheco (co-founder of Kulture Konnect)
As a restaurant owner or manager, you know how business can fluctuate from day to day or even during specific hours of the day. So, how can you maintain or increase your sales during that down time? One of the best ways to do this is through your website.
Many restaurateurs or restaurant marketing managers neglect their website, not only in terms of visual look and navigability, but also when it comes down to its potential to generate some extra cash through simple user experience tactics.
Keep reading and discover four simple tips to take advantage of your restaurant website and increase your bottom line.
The most obvious thing to have as visible as possible on your website is your contact information (address and phone number), and along with it, your restaurant’s menu.
Your menu is probably the very first thing that your website user would look for, whether it is to make a decision to dine in or to order online.
Whatever their reason, you need to make sure that you offer a straightforward journey through your menu on a desktop platform, but, most importantly, on a mobile device.
There are at least a couple of ways to achieve this:
- Build your own menu platform. This will give you the flexibility of making your menu look the way you want and add the features that you want.
- Outsource your menu to third party provider. Although this option has constraints in terms of how much you can customize your menu visually, it is a good alternative if you want an off-the-shelf and ready-to-go solution. Some options are SinglePlatform and Popmenu.
- Identify your star items as well as your challenge items and show them at the top of your menu. These are respectively the ones that are popular with a high contribution margin and the ones that are profitable but relatively unpopular.
- Use short and to-the-point descriptions. No one wants to read a book. You can be creative, but you still need to be straightforward and tell quickly your food.
- Keep your menu uncluttered. It should be really easy to ready and figure out what your food is about. Long or short, disorganized menus will push users away.
Online ordering is what’s going on right now. It surfaced really strong in 2017 and it is here to stay in 2018. The birth of online ordering comes from convenience and the fact that it is not for pizza joints anymore… Hungry diners can be sitting at home or their office and, if they want a gourmet burger, they can easily order it online and have it delivered to their doorstep.
So, in order to capture your share of the online ordering market, you want to make it as easy as possible for diners to order their food. Your online ordering system should be easy to use and intuitive, which in turn will help with the user experience and turn website visits and orders into cash.
Online ordering can be done in a few different ways:
- Order online and dine in. For those who just want to walk in and sit down right away.
- Order online and pick up. For those who don’t want to dress up for dinner and just walk up and get their food and get back home.
- Order online and deliver. For those who don’t want to leave the comfort of their home. For this option there are a few alternatives such as DoorDash, Uber Eats, Yelp Eat24, GrubHub, etc.
Many restaurants survive on coupons and deals, and many restaurateurs believe that they can keep a steady streamline of business with such strategy. However, instead of many one-timers, you would want the repeat customer. This is where loyalty programs fail. If you have a loyalty program that is coupon driven, you’re having people coming in only for the deal, not for your food or restaurant experience.
If you’re thinking of implementing a loyalty program, or if you already have one in place, make sure that your focus is on your existing customers and the added value that you give them when joining the program through unique experiences. For example: VIP new menu items previews or tastes, members only special drink when they buy two entreés, accrue points and get something when you have so many points, etc.
On average, members of a restaurant loyalty program will spend up to 20% when redeeming their reward and they will also increase their visits frequency.
Your Restaurant's SEO
Organic search engine optimization is more valuable today than ever before. The reason is because, unlike PPC, organic SEO ranking stays with you.
The best way to approach SEO is through relevant content, a mobile friendly (responsive design) and a performance-optimized website. Google and every other search engine love these features when crawling and ranking sites.
So, consider updating your restaurant website often and maybe adding a blog so you can have regular, relevant and fresh content.
Your restaurant website can be a powerful tool for your marketing efforts. So, make sure that it has a strong and appealing visual look, it is responsive, it is easy to navigate and it offers various ways for the user to get to your food (online ordering, clear menus, etc.)
About the Author
Jorge Pacheco is the co-founder of Kulture Konnect, a marketing design studio working within the restaurant industry. The team at Kulture Konnect can help you create beautiful, responsive websites that support you in driving business to your restaurant. We do this with a mobile first approach and by staying up-to-date with design, user interface, technology trends, and, most importantly, a streamlined user experience.
Ready to take your restaurant website to the next level with an online menu, blog and beautiful look? Get your free website consultation today!