Did you know that over 80% of Americans use their smartphones or tablets to find restaurant locations, timings and directions?
Why do I need a website for my restaurant? After all, it is fairly well known. And there’s Swiggy, Zomato, Uber Eats, etc for home delivery. Do I really need to invest money in a website? I’m anyway getting business so why waste money on setting up a website? I can use that money for other stuff…
As a restaurant owner, is that how you think? It’s understandable. With social media and door delivery apps, you probably feel you have everything covered. And with a competitive market and the stress of keeping your head above water in an entrepreneurial venture, you probably feel you can save money by not having a website.
But hey, think again. Even if you are an established restaurant, in today’s digital world where smartphones have become encyclopedias for their owners, every business requires a website. Interestingly, 82% of internet users research restaurants online and 62% of diners do research online before they eat out. I’m sure you do it too! Especially if it’s a place you have never visited before. You want to know what the place looks like, what the menu is, whether it is affordable or not and of course, the location. Don’t we all scroll on our smartphones, checking out options and reading reviews till we finally decide on a place?
If you want people to know about your restaurant and you want your business to grow, it is strongly recommended that you invest in a website. Here’s why:
To generate brand awareness: Your website will help people to know about your restaurant – the feel of the place, the cuisine, the price, etc. A well-designed website with enticing photographs and adequate information gives potential consumers a an idea of your restaurant. Unless you are a restaurant attached to a five-star hotel chain or an established chain of restaurants, advertising on television or press can be expensive. Your website will be a window to your brand.
To provide basic info: Customers can get to know where your restaurant is located, the timings and modes of payment. In this day and age, people are more likely to go online to find out information rather than calling. And for that, you need an online presence.
To highlight your USP: What does your restaurant specialize in? What is unique about it? Do you have special dishes that have customers raving about them? Do you have a band playing every night? The list could go on and on. You can highlight whatever is special to your restaurant on your website. It’s a great way to attract customers.
To collate a customer database: If you want to grow your business, you need to go about it scientifically. A customer database not only gives you a list of people to contact for promos or to give loyalty points to but also to map out customer preferences and help you tweak your menu and see what is working and what is not.
To promote food festivals, events, special dishes, promotions: If you are planning something special or offering discounts, freebies and more, you can promote them on your website and let customers know about these events.
To increase business: Ultimately, that’s what every entrepreneur or restaurant owner wants. More footfalls, more covers, more orders…which translate into more business. Having online visibility helps customers to find you and know about you. If you have a well-designed website with clear, concise information and mouth-watering photos of your offerings, chances are you will attract customers.
To deal with feedback directly: If you have a dissatisfied customer on a food aggregator app like Swiggy, how do you engage with the customer directly? Tough, right? But on your own website, you can engage with them directly. Personalized communication always makes a customer feel better, more so in the restaurant business which is so dependent on repeat customers and a loyal customer base.
To improve search rankings: In this era of digital media and Google, you want your restaurant to pop up when people are searching for something specific. For example, if you offer Italian cuisine in Mumbai and someone is searching for an Italian restaurant in Mumbai, you want your restaurant showing high up in the search engine results. You can tweak your website with SEO (Search Engine Optimization) friendly words to ensure that your website shows up in specific searches. A well-optimized website will help you do that. And this in turn will help grow your business.
To share testimonials from happy customers: In the restaurant business, negative reviews can kill your business. While you have no control of reviews outside your website, you have the power to highlight positive reviews on your website. Sharing positive testimonials from happy customers and regulars will help boost your brand image.
Remember, your website works like an online front door for your establishment. It serves as a permanent advertising channel for you 24×7 on the worldwide web. Isn’t it time you invested in one?