Promoting your restaurant on the internet can be a real challenge in a metropolitan center like Chicago. On the one hand, there’s tons of hungry people around. On the other hand, there’s also tons of restaurants competing to attract those same hungry people!
This is why having a great local web presence is essential to running a restaurant in a big city. The fact of the matter is, most of your customers are looking you up online before they come in to eat. Whether that means looking over your reviews on Yelp, pictures on Facebook, or your menu on your website. Customers have more options than ever before, and if your website doesn’t make a good impression they may never give your food a shot.
Make a great first impression and control the conversation by making sure your restaurant website looks clean, is easy to navigate, is mobile friendly, and has the information your diners want readily available. You may also want restaurant-specific website features like a
- Custom menu
- Restaurant map and hours
- OpenTable reservation integration
- Delivery integration with GrubHub or Uber Eats.
- Social media integration
The basic restaurant website specs
- 5-10 static pages for: A home page, a menu page, a location/hours page, an about page, make reservation / order online page, image gallery, seasonal/weekly/daily specials
- Menu integration
- OpenTable integration for hours and reservations
- GrubHub / Postmates / Uber Eats integration for delivieries
- Social media linking
- Set up image gallery
- Google analytics, google business profile
What goes into a great restaurant website
Creating a new website for a local restaurant is all about simplicity. Many restaurants of chains get too fancy, with too many pages, menus, specials and contact forms. Remember: your website only exists to get users in the door and eating your food.
That means the big, obvious questions should have readily available answers for your customers:
- Do they have what I want on the menu?
- How much will the food cost?
- Is the restaurant open now?
- How do I get there?
- Can I order online or make a reservation?
If you’re not making this big, important information easy to find then you’re definitely losing customers simply because they couldn’t navigate your site easily enough.
Restaurant website FAQs
What do I need to maintain the website long-term?
The only long-term costs are for your website domain name and your website hosting. For a simple restaurant website both typically run around $10 a month, or $100 per year. Once you’re set up with your hosting account you should never need to touch anything again.
Do I need to know how to code to manage my website long-term?
That depends! If your website runs on a CMS like WordPress, then you won’t need to code at all to manage your site going forward. Just log in and any changes can be made through their menu options. If your website was coded from scratch then yes, you’ll need someone who understands the code to maintain it going forward. This is why I recommend WordPress to so many small business owners.
How do you integrate with popular services for restaurants such as OpenTable, Google local profile, Yelp, GrubHub, and Uber Eats?
Many of these services have simple APIs or interfaces that allow your website to ‘talk to’ the main service. If you need a specific service not mentioned above I can almost certainly implement it. To be sure, get in touch with me using the form below.
How does this all fit in with social media and SEO?
A website is the cornerstone of all SEO and social media campaigns. I can link your new site up with local search directories including Google business and local Yellow page listings, or even your brand Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. However once linked up all ongoing promotion is up to you – unless you wish to hire me for further marketing and promotion services.
You might also consider: local website SEO
Remember the old adage about success in business – it’s all about “location, location, location” right? Well in 2017 it’s just as much about your location in search results and on social media that matters as it is about your physical location. Restaurants that rank in the first 2 or 3 spots on Google [do X% more business].
Showing up higher in local Google results or Yelp searches can literally make or break your restaurant and help you get noticed over the competition.