It might sound like a no-brainer, but it needs to be said–people do judge your establishment by your website. If a lot of travelers use a search engine to look for a restaurant, and you don’t have a website, then it’s a real possibility that you have lost a client (or even worse, a client base). Here are some things you should, and you should not, include in your website.
While it might be obvious for a lot of restaurant, food truck, or food trailer owners, there are a lot of establishments out there that use their Facebook page, for example, as their “website.” Here’s a little piece of advice: Don’t.
Not only are you missing out on people who might not use social media. Even though an overwhelming number of people in the US might be on Facebook or Twitter or whichever social media channel that’s used, you’re still neglecting people who don’t want to use Facebook, or not have one at all. Besides, wouldn’t your website want to stand out from other restaurants in your area?
A menu (in PDF)
Unless you have the time, effort, and money to implement an online menu like Chili’s, it’s a better idea to just have your menu viewable in a PDF format. This way, you not only have to worry about additional code in your website, but you have an easy way for your patrons to print you menu.
Responsive design is a web design philosophy that adapts itself to any size. So instead of having a “mobile version” and a “full version” of your website, you have a single website design that works with your smartphone, tablet or your computer. Why is this important? Because in this day and age, the web has reached a point where there are more mobile users than desktop users. Would you like to lose customers just because your phone can’t cope with your current website design (and if it does, great!).
So where should I start?
If you believe that you are ready for your website but don’t know where to begin, there are a few resources to get started.
For years, the established and easy option to start your website is Squarespace. Yep, the same company that inspired Jeff Bridges to make a spoken word album and Key & Peele to provide live American football commentary this weekend has provided a high-quality, easy-to-use approach to website design. It will cost you but it’s a small sacrifice for great design.