Every business owner has, at some stage, taken a look at their website only to question why on earth a vital piece of information is missing.
Usually, it’s something obvious. The telephone number (no, really – it happens), or even the crucial call-to-action button that tells visitors exactly what they need to do in order to engage with your business and become a customer.
Where is it?
Surely it was there at some stage. No? Ah. Whoops.
This is no surprise in an increasingly hectic, distraction-filled world. And nowhere is this more the case than in the restaurant trade where – let’s be frank – you have rather more pressing matters to deal with than your website.
What’s that? The freezer’s broken again? Darn!
We feel your pain, and we won’t cast a single aspersion, even if you’ve fallen foul of ‘forgotten website syndrome’. That’s why we’re here – to help those who are simply too busy to remember every digital marketing task.
Without further ado, here are five things you may well have forgotten to include on your restaurant’s website. Some are obvious, others not so.
1. The menu
Stop laughing at the back. It’s entirely possible that, as a restaurateur, you’ve forgotten to put the menu on your website.
Never mind. Pick yourself up off the floor, put this silly episode down to experience and create a page as soon as you can labelled ‘menu’ – and keep it up-to-date with future changes!
2. Online booking
If the only booking method you offer on your restaurant website is a telephone number, you’re missing out on a huge number of potential diners.
In 2016, people expect to be able to book tables online. If you don’t have a restaurant table booking system – get one.
3. Photos (of your restaurant)
It’s easy to get carried away when building a website with fancy graphic design and beautiful stock imagery (that often costs a small fortune), but what about the imagery that matters?
People who visit your restaurant website want to see what the venue itself looks like, so make sure you hire a professional photographer to take some shots for you. Once they’ve done so, use them liberally on the website and on social media platforms like Instagram.
4. The story
How did your restaurant come to be? Who are you? What made you decide to get into the game?
People love stories, and with so much competition out there, you need to tell potential diners why you’re the one at which they should place their reservation.
Get creative and involve staff; seek input from the waiting and kitchen teams and include quotes from them within the text on your website. A funky About Us page with irreverent/tongue-in-cheek descriptions of staff never goes a miss, either.
5. Social media links
People rarely get in touch via traditional means these days. If someone finds your website and fancies contacting you, chances are they’ll look for your social profile in order to send a tweet or instant message. Give them the ability to do so by including links to your social networks in both the header and footer of your website.
If you’ve ticked off each of the website elements above, you can relax (on this front, at least). Your website, for now, is complete and, as a result, you should slowly start to see far more diners emerging from its digital doors.