My sister and her gang of friends have a habit of browsing through a restaurant’s website before stepping out for dinner. They discuss the menu, see if the food looks appetizing and try and gauge the ambience. They say it gives them an inkling of what to expect from the evening. In short, this influences their decision of going to the restaurant.
Restaurants today need to recognize how important their websites are in influencing potential customers to pay them a visit. A website is an online extension of your brand’s personality. Every mode of communication and media should speak a language that resonates with your target audience. A case in point is Chipotle Mexican Grill, a US-based food brand that promotes a sustainable food culture with locally grown and sourced, fresh ingredients. Every effort is made to match the style and tone to their brand philosophy and promise.
Your website is a platform to showcase your brand and its Unique Selling Proposition (USP). You should keep the following 4 criteria in mind while creating it:
1. Excite – Create avenues in your website that excite your visitor and build anticipation. Paint a picture with audio-visual and written communication of how their experience at your restaurant is going to be. Build on your brand USP to draw your visitor to your restaurant. We return to Chipotle here. Their website delights and comforts with its communication of hand cut and freshly prepared food from locally sourced produce and responsibly raised meat. Enticing visuals, engaging content, easy navigation and a clutter-free display can tempt visitors to your restaurant.
2. Inform – Use your website to add to your brand persona – narrate the story behind your restaurant with your philosophy of food, your belief in using only fresh produce and supporting local growers or the decision of serving only vegetarian food. Educate them about your culture and cuisine, your flavor influences and how best they can enjoy the cuisine you serve etc. As an Indian restaurant serving North Indian food in Melbourne, you can nudge your patrons into enjoying their naan or biryani with their hands for a more authentic experience. Have playful videos where you teach them about why and how to eat with their hand and encourage them to leave their inhibitions and cutlery behind!
Talk to your customers to understand what people search for when looking for Indian restaurants online. These helpful keywords must be skillfully infused into your website content for search engine optimization which helps pull customers towards your restaurant.
3. Engage – Engagement is essential to convert website visitor traffic to leads. Increase the stickiness of your website through hooks of engagement with competitions with actual or emotional benefits (a discount coupon or getting the winner’s picture up on the website’s wall of fame), interactive games, an integrated chat for any queries or exclusive online deals for members. Your website should be integrated with social platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to let people share their results or scores. Restaurants serving Indian food can engage people with pop quizzes and fascinating trivia about the spices used in their cuisine or interesting videos of the cooking process which can then be shared on social platforms to promote the cuisine and attract new admirers.
4. Transact – Extend the restaurant experience with a website that seamlessly offers customers the options of table reservations, online order and delivery. These conveniences help you become their go-to restaurant of choice. The reservation form of the Mohxe restaurant in Bronte, Australia provides a seamless table reservation experience that does not overburden the user.
So, does your website tick mark all these criteria? Contact us for a website audit.