In 2016, it’s rare to find a customer who walks into your establishmentby just stumbling across your eatery or bar. With the technology that each one of us carries around daily in the form of a smartphone, in less than 1 minute a potential customer can visit your website, skim through your menu, and read reviews from other customers. What happens when your business doesn’t have a web presence or has left their website and reviews unattended to for years at a time? Customers will move down the list to the next closest establishment. Here are 5 tips for restaurant and bar owners to ensure that their website is able to entice the potential customer to not only visit once, but to return again in the future and recommend you to their friends.
Optimize for Mobile
As previously mentioned, it’s hard to find someone who isn’t carrying an internet-ready smartphone these days. Unless they have a laptop that they use on the go, most will be accessing the Internet through this small device. Websites that are not mobile optimized, meaning they have a different layout that displays on mobile devices, show up as very clunky, often not viewable websites to potential customers viewing the site on a mobile device. Studies show that nearly half of all website traffic to restaurant websites comes from a mobile device.
Easy to Update
Sure, having a flashy website with videos and lots of high-tech features may look great to the customer, but if it costs you big bucks monthly to maintain and update, the return from the website is severely diminished. Ask your web developer to ensure that certain areas of the site, like menu updates, specials, pricing, and images, are easily accessible so that you do not have to wait on the developer to make the changes and have to pay after each change you make, however small or large it may be.
Offer Online Reservations
The “right now” mentality of restaurant customers in 2016 means they do not want to have to pick up the phone, wait on hold for a hostess to answer, and only then find out what time they can make a reservation for. By offering an online reservation system that customers can access online, guests will be able to see exactly what time reservations are available, and will be more apt to select a time rather than chance coming in and having to wait. Plus, each time a customer makes an online reservation, your establishment just gathered a new customer’s information for marketing purposes.
Utilize Social Media
A website that ignores social media in 2016 is a website that hasn’t received any attention in the last few years. Every major social media platform now offers multiple ways for restaurants and bars to integrate their social media posts with their website. In addition, utilizing social media to direct followers, fans, or friends, to your website with a cleverly designed landing page, special deal offer, or new menu item showcased is a great way to increase website traffic and increase new customer traffic into your establishment.
Similar to social media, reputation management isn’t a direct feature of your businesses website. Rather, reputation management is the act of responding to reviews that customers leave, both good and bad. When potential new customers browse your social media profiles, Yelp, or Google reviews, and see that someone from your establishment takes the time to respond to reviews whether they are positive or not, it shows that your establishment cares what customers think and how they view you, which is often one of the most valued traits that customers look for in a restaurant or bar that they frequent
For all of your other restaurant needs, contact RPA today. We work to protect our clients in the restaurant industry from the unexpected events that life brings