The lead up to the first day of a new year is a busy and exciting time for restaurants. The holiday season sees a large uptick in business as family and friends look to spend time together over a delicious meal, and businesses celebrate with holiday get-togethers. Once the confetti settles and the clock strikes a new year, it’s time to focus on areas to improve and lessons learned. What better resolution is there than getting more people through your doors? The solution? It starts with a mobile-optimized restaurant website.
Optimize Your Website
Having an attractive, optimized restaurant website will create a great first impression online. After all, 90% of guests research a restaurant online before dining – more than any other business type. The guest experience online needs to match their expectations – your restaurant's website should look and feel like it does inside the space.
Use Tools That Convert Online Traffic Into Foot Traffic
The first step in driving more traffic is understanding how guests are finding your business in the first place. 77% of guests viewed restaurant websites before selecting where to dine. As this statistic shows, your guests are searching online before ever setting foot in your space. This is the area you want to put your 2020 focus on.
Having a hospitality-specific web partner, such as BentoBox, provides a one-stop solution that ensures your business is converting as many online visitors as possible. This is done through a mobile-friendly website that uses SEO and web design best practices, such as text-based menus, descriptive keywords and targeting, so that your restaurant appears at the top of search engine queries.
Have Your Contact and Location Information Front and Center
Many guests are simply looking for ways to get in touch with you, or to see where your restaurant is located. BentoBox puts this front and center on every website – especially on mobile, as more than 50% of people search for restaurants on their mobile device today. Ensure that your phone number is one-click-to-call and that your address links straight out to map applications for easy directions.
Going one step further, tools such as LocalSync on the BentoBox platform, push this important information, alongside menus and hours of operation, to your Google My Business, Foursquare and Facebook profiles. These are easily updated in real time by the restaurant operator on the website’s back end. This is important for appearing first on Google search queries, especially on mobile devices so that visitors can quickly receive the information they need, converting web traffic into paying customers.
Include Photographs That Entice
People eat with their eyes. It’s important to always use high-resolution photography that leaves your food, drinks and space flattering to the viewer. A resolution may be to hire a professional food photographer to accomplish this. Having a portfolio of images that showcase all that you offer will be instrumental in your marketing efforts and will all but certainly help bring traffic to your restaurant.
Sell Tickets for Special Events, Tastings, Classes and More
There are alternative ways to engage with your guests and bring in more traffic. By creating and selling tickets to special sporting events, wine classes or chef tastings, your restaurant can benefit from additional cash flow and opportunities to connect with your guests while driving brand loyalty.
Promote Special Events and Offerings With Popup Alerts
Offering event promotions such as happy hours, or a 2-for-1 special are proven to drive people into your business. Snake River Grill in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, offered a promo for gift cards promoting it across their website, selling $25k in gift cards on the first day.
“We did a homepage alert the first 4 or 5 days of the promotion, but it was so tremendously popular that I actually took it down because we needed to catch up a little bit!” - Katie Cooper | General Manager | Snake River Grill.
Practice Consistency and Achieve Results
Once you’ve set your resolutions to increase foot traffic with an optimized website, it’s important to continually update your website and use it as a tool. The end result is increased foot traffic and customer loyalty (13% of consumers consider themselves brand loyal to restaurants). Converting web visitors into paying customers ensures that you’re maximizing the potential for business and more sales.
About BentoBox: BentoBox powers website design as part of CHECK® Business Tools. BentoBox offers a restaurant website builder and develops websites exclusively for the restaurant industry. Creating a strong website for your restaurant can help convert visitors into paying customers, while saving your business time and money. Learn more about BentoBox by visiting website design in CHECK Business Tools.
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