With more and more people going online to find dining options, restaurant owners are starting to realize how essential it is to have their own online presence. There’s no other way to establish that than to build your own website.

There are hundreds of thousands of restaurants in the U.S., but only a small fraction of them have a website. By having a website, your restaurant gets an instant edge over your competition.

Building a website for your restaurant doesn’t have to be difficult. There are many online tools available that make it a breeze for business owners to set up a simple but attractive website. There are also many providers that offer website building services to ensure you have a good-looking, professionally-done website.

Whether you go the DIY route or hire a professional, it’s always best to keep these website-building practices in mind.

 

  1. Know your audience.

Even before you set out to build a website, it’s crucial that you know who you’re building it for. This makes all the difference when you’re choosing the appearance, style, and tone that you’ll be using for your website. For instance, a greasy spoon café catering to college students will have a very different website from a Michelin-star restaurant.

You also want to know where your audience is hanging out online so you can integrate the services they use into your website. If your customers are active on Yelp, for example, you can incorporate your Yelp reviews into your website.

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  1. Include all the essential elements.

Visitors come to your website because they’re looking for information, so don’t hesitate to give it to them. People will want to know about the following details:

  •   Phone number, email address, and other contact information
  •   Hours of operation
  •   Location, with a detailed map
  •   Menu
  •   Booking information, including booking for special events

Some customers will термобельеalso want to make online reservations. However, unless you have someone dedicated to responding to online reservations, it’s best to take reservations by phone.

 

  1. Design for all devices.

A huge percentage of Internet users use their mobile devices to visit your website. You’ll need to build a website with a responsive design, which means the website should be able to look well on desktop computers as well as phones and tablets.



If you’re using WordPress, which powers 30% of all websites on the Internet, you have access to easy-to-use themes that provide a responsive design.

 

  1. Use professional imagery.

A picture says a thousand words and beautiful photos in high resolution can invite your visitors to come to your restaurant. Pictures of brightly-colored food against a neutral background will create cravings that need to be satisfied. Images of the restaurant’s surroundings will give them an idea of the ambiance.



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A not-so-obvious trick is to take high-quality pictures of your process. For instance, if your bar uses high-quality commercial ice makers and under-counter ice makers, such as the premium Manitowoc ice machines, customers will be pleased to know you’re offering the best, not just in terms of the final product but in the process involved in preparing their drinks.

 

  1. Create a Menu page.

Many restaurant owners make the mistake of simply uploading a PDF version of their menu and expecting their visitors will be happy to download it. They won’. People will not go the extra step of downloading anything if they can get the information right on the website itself.

Your menu is a central part of your website to give it the dedicated space it needs. Provide a list of ingredients, allergen information, and a dash of color by adding attractive pictures of your offerings.

 




  1. Connect your website to your social media pages.

Social media marketing is word of mouth on steroids. It’s a phenomenal way to build a great reputation and engage with your customers at a personal level.

You don’t need to have a page on every social network out there. Facebook, having 2.2 billion monthly active users, is a no-brainer. You’ll just have to figure out which ones your visitors use (Go back to No. 1!) and build your presence there.

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