5 Costly Mistakes to Avoid with Your Restaurant Website

Rev Ciancio

All businesses need a website. It is no longer optional; it’s do or die.

Having a website that’s easy to navigate, mobile-optimized, and up-to-date helps to ensure a successful customer journey.

Consumers searching online for where to get their next meal discover businesses online  on sites like Google, Facebook, Tripadvisor, Yelp, OpenTable, Yahoo, YP, Foursquare, Zomato and more.

Potential customers only click on a website if these listings pass a “sniff test,” meaning you offer what they are searching for. If they can’t quickly determine your business is what they’re looking for, they move on to considering a competing business.

Having a website proves you are a legitimate business. 

A well-maintained website is a key factor in your online search result rankings. It sends a confirming signal to search engines, where customers are looking for a business like yours. It also serves as proof that your business still exists and makes sure your address, hours of operation, and your menu or service list are visible to potential customers

For business owners savvy enough to prioritize the importance of an updated and mobile-optimized website, they often make a few key mistakes when building one. Here’s how to avoid them: 

1. Not having a website – consumers need the confidence that you’re a real business. This goes beyond a mere web presence. The high-value, frequent customers – your top 20% – need to know information about your hours of operation, your current menu, your staff, your catering, and your private events. Making this information easily accessible to consumers via your website can increase visits to your business — and more visits means more revenue.

2. Not updating your site – Consumers usually visit your website only after actions like getting a referral from a friend, clicking on Google map pack results, a link from your Yelp profile, or seeing your Facebook ad. But if the information is out of date, missing, or just plain wrong, your website hurts customer confidence, possibly driving them to look elsewhere to get what they need.

You’re also inserting a frustrating kink into the chain of the customer journey. Extra steps create friction and friction causes drop-off. Missing info means the person now has to make a phone call, send you an email, or simply moving on to the next potential restaurant where the information they need is already available online.

3. Spending too much – there are many good options out there for a restaurant website. It’s easy to fall into the trap that more expensive means better. 

For a small restaurant business, a flashy website with all kinds of bells and whistles will set you back a lot of dough but will you see a return on it? Most customers just need information like your menu, hours of operation and your address. In fact, 93% of people are reading online menus before choosing where to dine. 

Make sure it’s easy to find. Hungry consumers search on the go, when cravings strike, so prioritizing mobile optimization is crucial. Most importantly, make sure it’s easy to update. All of those are more valuable to a hungry diner than games, layouts and animations.

A functional, mobile optimized and easy-to-update website is what you want.  Check out SinglePlatform’s custom web option; a beautiful, ridiculously-cheap, fully-managed, mobile-optimized website, complete with full integration to your menu powered SinglePlatform. This ensures the menu on your website is always up to date with what is on your menu in the restaurant.

4. Outdated menu – your online menu deserves a dedicated spot on this list. Before a hungry diner needs information like how to get to your store, what time you’re open, and if you offer catering, they need to confirm you serve what they crave. This means not only should your regular menu be on your website, but so should all your menus, specials, drinks, catering, special event menus – all of them.

Additionally, don’t make the mistake of using a PDF to share your menu to your website. Website pages with PDF menus load slower with those than text and add friction to the customer journey.

5. Hiring a nephew / neighbor, customer, and then losing the password – You’re busy running your business. You don’t have time or a large budget to build out a website. That’s why many restaurant operators just like you rely on a colleague, customer or family member or neighbor to build out a quick and dirty website. This often results in subpar work, lost passwords, and sites that quickly go out of date.

In the moment, what feels like the right decision quickly turns into a pain point.

SinglePlatform can solve all of these issues for you. With our help, customers will be able to locate not just your website, but all the information they need to decide that your restaurant will satisfy their cravings. 

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