Now let’s face it. A lot, and I mean a lot of business is done online nowadays. I heard somewhere that 72% of millennials research and shop online before they visit a location. So think about that for a minute. If the future is researching online, shouldn’t every business including yours be represented there, especially restaurants who are by nature part of the social world? The answer is yes you should.

Growing your online home - part 1. Your website. Your home

Your website. Your home

So with that said, as a business, you need to have a home online. A central online place where visitors can go when they visit you, without distractions. You need a place to convince customers to come to you instead of going to Joe Schmo down the street. A website is your online home and its role is to be an extension of your restaurant’s physical location or you as a sole entrepreneur. It should be a place where a customer can order from you right there or provide information on how they can get to you when they want to visit. Not having an online space is literally like leaving money on the table.

A website should be a place where customers feel like they are welcomed. It should be a place that greets them with open arms and provides them with the information they might be looking for or entice them to want to visit you. A website should not just occupy space. It should not have just an image that leads to nowhere or content that has not been updated in years. As my previous creative director used to say, “put some love into it”. Pay attention to the details as you would for your physical restaurant. Ask yourself, if you would be ok with having your physical restaurant set up halfway before your customers come in? Definitely not. This is how you should think about your website’s content i.e. text, images, menu items, blog posts etc.

Getting the best out of a website

In order to get the best out of your restaurant’s online space, don’t just have anyone create your website for you. Don’t let one of those advertising companies that use the same template for every type of business create one for you and definitely do not think of creating it yourself unless you are also skilled in the world of web design. The website should have the necessary features help the online and mobile viewer have a sense of ease when viewing it. Your designer should know the design style and fonts that work the best, the necessary features for a responsive (mobile-friendly) website, understand hierarchy and content placement to lead your customers to the place you intend them to go and above all understand what makes a good restaurant website.

Once you get a website up, you should not stop there. Stay committed to the online extension of your restaurant and make sure to continuously give it what it needs to allow your website to do the work for you while you sleep.

So what do you do after your website goes live to keep it from getting stale? Look out for my next post on the subject where I will be providing you with a list of strategies that can help you keep up your website and get it continuously bringing in customers and revenue.

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