If there is one thing we’ve learned, if we didn’t already know this before, from the COVID-19 pandemic it’s that the absence of an effective online presence for your business (whatever that business is) will massively negatively impact your bottom line.
Most industries and businesses were already well aware of this fact but it’s fair to say that the restaurant sector was some way behind others. For instance, the online delivery industries connected with non-food related items have been playing the online game well for years now, even decades.
When it comes to how a restaurant appears online, both in terms of the way their websites look and work (if they even have one), a surprisingly high percentage still look as if they were created decades ago and are no longer fit for purpose.
Now, more than ever, customers will want to shop around online for a restaurant that they may either visit or order from and if your business doesn’t show up in a prominent position on a Google search or looks horrific and doesn’t work, then you’ve lost a customer.
With that in mind, here are a few tips that should help you make the most of this crucial part of your business operations.
The restaurant market is an extremely competitive one when it comes to the subject of web search ranking, this is doubly true. If you want new customers to know about your restaurant then you’ll have to make sure that your online footprint is effective.
That means you’ll need to hire the relevant agency for this service, don’t attempt to do this on your own unless you have the relevant experience. The idea here is to make sure that when a customer in your region is searching for the best restaurant in town, or just wondering what types of establishment are in the area, that you are front and center.
Don’t underestimate the importance of ranking well for the relevant searches in your field as this can be as important as the level of foot traffic in the area of your physical restaurant.
Social Media Presence
If you want your restaurant to stand out online then you’ll need to develop a social media strategy that is fit for purpose. That means, again, hiring the right team to do so as trying to run this yourself could prove both unsuccessful and time-consuming.
The idea here is to give your restaurant a great reputation on relevant social media channels, less than encouraging a direct conversion in the form of a visitor to your diner or restaurant.
Here you are basically promoting just what you have to offer.
Whether that’s an Instagram account that has glorious photos of the amazing meals you serve, and crowded tables of customers loving the atmosphere, or a Facebook page that pushes specific deals or promotions you may have, say for instance you are starting a new happy hour deal, then you’ll want to inform your followers and attract new clients.
One thing we’ve noticed is that a great many restaurant or bar websites are woefully dated when it comes to their web design. Either they haven’t updated their sites in a while or the functionality is way off.
Again this may seem like something that isn’t a big deal but you’d be surprised. If a visitor goes to your official website and feels that something is lacking with the whole experience, it could cost you custom.
When you put together the design and interface of your site you should be as clinical and stylish as if you were considering the quality of your custom restaurant booths. In other words, what is on your website might as well be what’s physically in your restaurant.
The website that fronts your business is a reflection, and extension, of the offline restaurant you run, treat it as such.
Once you have an effective online presence it’s all about using this to your advantage, from a financial perspective.
Look to push your company online by offering unique deals and offers specifically for those who find you via their computers and devices. Once again, you should look to do this with the help of experienced professionals.
Develop a cost-effective strategy that measures your audience, and potential customer base, against the sales you can encourage online. Set the market accordingly, offering differing levels of promotion that work in your favor.
This is much the same way as you might have previously promoted your restaurant in local papers or in billboards. The additional benefit here being that the audience is pretty much limitless and as such it’s a resource you shouldn’t overlook.