In recent years, the constant unveiling of new restaurants has been absolutely unstoppable. As some of the UK’s biggest retailers continue to struggle and close branches, it seems that the majority of these now-vacant premises are turned into bars and restaurants. Since everyone loves food and drink, we certainly aren’t complaining about these changes.
Of course, for owners of such premises, this means one very important thing: the restaurant industry is more competitive than ever. While it’s fantastic that people are now more inclined to enjoy a meal out at the weekends, the sheer amount of competition out there can make things incredibly challenging. For a restaurant-goer, this is fantastic; for a restaurant owner, this can become very frustrating.
It’s no longer enough to just open your restaurant doors and expect customers to come flooding in. While a new place is bound to attract the attention of the locals, a strong digital presence is required to really become successful. At the centre of this presence sits your website, and you need to make sure it’s designed as effectively as possible.
Pictures Speak 1000 Words
Restaurants can thrive through the use of high-quality images. Users are probably coming to your site because they want to decide whether to eat at your restaurant, and this is why it’s so important to clearly display your dishes.
Some places will simply load up a menu, letting the food descriptions and prices speak for themselves. But in 2018, this isn’t enough. People want to see pictures that excite them, make their mouth water and ultimately make them decide to visit your restaurant that evening, instead of one of your competitors. Images now play a key role in effective restaurant web design.
Making Bookings Easy
The last thing people want is a complicated booking system, and many users now actually prefer booking online; rather than having to ring up and attempt to speak to someone on the phone. Allowing online bookings means that customers don’t have to wait until your open to book, while they’ll also receive email confirmation of their table time and date.
In short, this makes life more convenient for the user and makes them more likely to book, while the use of online bookings acts as a key indicator of your site’s performance. By integrating Google Maps into your site and making sure people can easily locate your restaurant, you should have customers arriving in droves.
Don’t Use PDF Menus
There’s nothing more annoying than forcing customers to download a bulky PDF file to view your menu. It puts a lot of customers off and inevitably forces them to check out other restaurants instead. Your website needs to ensure that menus are easy to view on all devices, since downloading PDF files is a particular nuisance on mobile.
Social Media Is Your Friend
Finally, a fantastic restaurant website should link up seamlessly with your social media accounts. The high-quality images we spoke about earlier will make for a fantastic Instagram account, while the use of Facebook will let you target specific demographics.
For restaurants, social media acts as the perfect platform to advertise your dishes and appeal to customers that enjoy your style of cuisine. When a user visits your website, there’s a good chance that they’ll want to check you out on social media to get a feel for the place, so you need to ensure these social pages are easy to access.
VisionSharp have worked on a number of restaurant sites over the years, building on our experience to provide the best web design Manchester has to offer. Contact our team today if you’d like to find out more about how a great website could help your business thrive!