food and beverage underground

Make Your Restaurant Web Site Work

All most every restaurant now has a restaurant web site, and if they don’t they should. Here is a list of ways to make your site more effective.

Contact Information is Essential

The most important information for you and your visitors is your contact information. You should have this easily accessible for the viewer. A good restaurant web site will certainly have your address and phone number on the front landing page as well as having it as a header or footer on each of your lower level pages. A link to map it is also a great addition so people can get driving directions as well. Including a contact page where the viewer can send you e-mail is also a good way to assure they get all the information they seek is a strong tool, but make sure that these e-mails are checked and followed up on or it could be a negative for your restaurant web site.

waiter, server, waiter with tray

Sell the Menu

Since there are no size constraints on you site so make sure your full menu is there for the visitor to view. Remember you are proud of the menu you offer in your restaurant so be just as proud of it online. Not only should you include your food menus but also have all of your products easily available. You have the chance to pre-sell your wine list, dinner specials, specialty drinks, even beer lists.

Create more than just a listing here…. Sell It! A well-designed online menu will pay off ten fold. If you have good quality food shots sprinkle them around to entice your viewers. Always include your prices too so the viewers get the full picture.

High Quality Pictures

A picture is worth a thousand words as they say. Here it’s worth a million. Good high quality pictures are a perfect way to not only spruce up your site, but it’s a great way to pre-sell your restaurant. But, don’t stop there. Give the visitors a feel for the restaurant. A few dining shots will do wonders to show what your place is all about. I do suggest that the dining shots are not just the generic picture of your layout, but show a nice full restaurant with diners and bar patrons enjoying the experience.

Maintaining Your Site as You Maintain Your Restaurant

Remember your web site is an extension of your restaurant and must be looked over just as carefully. Not only do you need to make sure that all of the information is correct and current, but you need to be vigilant on checking that it is coming up properly for the visitors.

You also need to stay on top of all communications with the visitors as well. You never know when they are trying to contact you for a reservation, a private party, or to give you valuable feedback. Your restaurant web site is a vital communication tool; make sure you use it properly.

Starting an e-mail Program

E-mail programs are one of the easiest and certainly one of the most cost effective avenues to market your restaurant. One certain addition to you site should be a newsletter sign up. A good newsletter program will not only generate more business, but will create a loyal customer base.

Once the e-mail addresses are in your database a monthly newsletter should be designed to highlight new menu offerings, specials, events and even new staff additions will create a bond with the guests. This program can be easily modified to include such things as the guests special events like birthdays. One successful program sent special “Happy birthday” announcements to guests offering a free dessert during their birthday month.

Special Events

Keeping your restaurant web site up to date is essential so maintaining a list of special events and holidays that are up coming are perfect times to demonstrate the site is maintained. Design Your Site to Express Your Restaurant.

The look and feel of your restaurant web site should reflect the look and feel of your restaurant. The site of a family restaurant should not have the look and feel of a fine dining restaurant. If you are trying to attract family diners you do not want the site to appear to the visitors that they are too stuffy to bring the kids. A good feel is essential so keep in mind your target audience when designing the overall look of your site.

Sell, Sell, Sell

Use your web site for more than just informing visitors. Take advantage of their undivided attention by promoting other revenue opportunities. You should be able to sell merchandise, gift certificates, and even promote private parties and even outside catering if you offer it.

An effective restaurant web site should be designed to drive business to your restaurant, be informative for new patrons, and create brand awareness and customer loyalty. In today’s competitive marketplace a web site is a must and can be a very cost effective avenue to incrementally increase your business.

If you do not have a restaurant web site now I strongly suggest you start developing one today. You do not need to be a computer geek to do it, as there is great site development software available. One of the most versatile and easy to use is the same site development and hosting service that Food and Beverage Underground uses and that is Site Sell. Using the information in this article will drive more dollars to your restaurant and keep your customer base growing.

From Restaurant Web Site to Restarant Press

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