Restaurant websites have been around for decades now. And consumers have formed opinions about what they want, expect and need from them. An appealing online presence is no longer a bonus; it’s absolutely essential.
Having a strategic, cohesive online existence can generate new business while strengthening the behavioral loyalty of existing customers. Here are four things consumers look for in a restaurant website.
Visiting your restaurant site should be the next best thing to having a table in your operation. Are the food pictures beautiful and inviting? Does it transmit all of the must-have information about your menu and your establishment?
Beyond location, hours and contact information, think ingredients and pricing. Some three-quarters of millennials want to see food and beverage prices on a website before deciding whether to visit, according to Technomic’s recent Consumer Brand Metrics Quarterly Update. Pointing to growing interest in food transparency, 70% of millennials want in-depth menu details on the website and 60% expect food photos, the report found.
2. Integrated online presence
Look for a website that optimizes for mobile devices, because many of your consumers do their restaurant research via tablets or smartphones. In fact, some 78% of millennials look up menus via smartphone, according to Technomic’s 2016 Generational Consumer Trend Report.
What’s more, half of millennials follow restaurants via social media. Plus, social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat are inherently visual and can make for compelling website content. So look for a site template that allows for an integrated online presence. Doing so will build consumer loyalty and help you fully control your brand.
3. Online ordering
If you offer delivery or carryout, your website should make that a clear, simple experience for consumers. Online ordering is not only sought after by existing customers, but it’s also a business driver as well. Some 29% of those 18-34 say online ordering drives their to-go business, according to Technomic’s 2016 Takeout and Off-Premise Dining Consumer Trend Report.
Plus, some 48% of LSR consumers and 45% of FSR consumers say they would use online ordering for to-go orders if it was offered, the report found. Squarespace features ChowNow integration, allowing easy pickup and delivery options on your website without steering customers to another site.
4. Easy navigation
Look for a site template that offers easy, user-friendly navigation. Large images and compelling typography are key. A website should let the photography of your food and restaurant décor shine while still providing all relevant information.
Consider linking your loyalty program, if you have one, to your site to further build consumer engagement. For example, 56% of millennials are more likely to use a restaurant loyalty program that can be accessed via smartphone, according to Technomic’s Consumer Brand Metrics data.
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