Offering visitors to your restaurant’s website a good user experience can mean the difference between a reservation made or online pickup or delivery order placed. On the other hand, a bad user experience may see them leaving and going to another restaurant in frustration. Perhaps the menu loaded too slowly or was too tiny to read on their phone or maybe they found a broken link instead of directions to get to your location. In addition to having a great-looking user interface (UI), having a well-crafted user experience (UX) that quickly answers a diner’s questions will lead to more success for you.
Keep Customers Up-to-Date with Regular Posts about Specials and Events
Having the latest information on events and specials available on your website is a good way to help people find something to spark a desire to visit. Posts about specials or events, can be shared to your Google business listing or to other directories to provide more chances that users will find your location. A modern WordPress or similar content management system (CMS) website offers you easy ways to add events and posts to update your site.
Focus on the Food with an Easy to Use Menu
Restaurants often use PDFs of their menus on their websites instead of adding individual items to the site. Since menus are updated often, the process of uploading a PDF to the site versus manual item updates is quicker and easier for anyone on staff to do. However, PDF menus have their drawbacks as well. For instance, they are harder to see on mobile devices without needing to manually zoom in on items and move the page around to see everything on the smaller screen. They are also harder for users with different abilities to access. A user who uses a screen reader to access the site might find that they can’t get any information about your menu.
So instead of using PDFs which is a format that was great a few years ago, today we recommend adding and updating menu items using a web editor. This process used to be difficult and required someone who knew html to complete but now can be done as simply as posting a blog. So, if you know how to use a Word-type editor, you can add menu items to your website.
Once you have done it a few times, the process is pretty fast. The benefits include having menu items that are easy to see and understand on many different devices. You can even integrate online ordering fairly easily. In addition, Google can search your site and provide updated menu information to people who search for restaurants in your area as long as the menu items include restaurant schema data.
Bring in More Diners with Trust Signals
Your website developer can set up your site to show actual customer reviews from Google, Yelp and other review sites on your website while keeping you in control. You can decide to show only the best reviews and to have them show in certain places such as on menu items or the home page. Reading recent reviews from actual customers can help new diners decide to try your restaurant for their next dining experience.
It’s also possible to have actual user reviews of your restaurant and menu items appear on your site from popular review sites like Yelp and Google Maps.
Integrate Different Services So They Flow
Many restaurants use services such as ToastTab to provide easy online ordering, email marketing, loyalty programs and reservations for customers. They might also use additional services like Untappd to share which beers are available. Integrating different services to have a pleasant visit experience is key. Having links open new tabs can be confusing for visitors. If visitors have different abilities, it may make it hard to understand what is available at your restaurant.
Be More Accessible
Make sure that your website is accessible for visitors who require different ways to navigate due to a disability. Common points of frustration are forms that can’t be navigated by keyboard or are not clearly marked and color contrast issues that make it hard to see information. Testing the site with a variety of visitors is key and making thoughtful improvements based on their feedback is important.
You already know a thing or two about preparing delicious food and drinks. Let us help with creating a delicious user experience for your restaurant’s website. Contact us today for restaurant marketing.