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How to Build a Great Website for Your Restaurant

So, you're close to launching your restaurant, and you need to spread the word and ensure you get lots of exposure. Or perhaps you've already opened your doors and need to get more reservations. You know potential patrons are out there, hungry and hoping for a great night out. You just need a way to connect with them. A website is one of the best ways to attract more people to your restaurant, but it needs to be approached in the right way to get the best results.

Focus on the Most Important Information

When people are looking for a new place to eat, they generally want to know five things:
  1. Your opening hours.
  2. Your phone number.
  3. Your current menu.
  4. Any specials or happy hour information.
  5. Your address and location on Google Maps.
These are the most important pieces of information you should include on your website — they help your potential customers make a quick decision.

Use a Tantalizing Color Scheme

When you design your website, you should do it with one thing in mind — making your visitors hungry! Photography, the right colors and an irresistible menu are all great tools that will get those taste buds watering. Color is one of the most debated subjects in food-based websites.
Colors that are linked to the food you are serving are usually a good choice. Reds, greens, yellows and neutral colors all work well together, and you will often see these colors working in harmony for many restaurant brands. Bring your website to life with lots of vibrant color. Muted tones may look nice, but they could have the opposite effect of what you are after.

Use Professional Photography

A firm reservation starts with a great photo. However, taking pictures of food can be more challenging than it looks. Not only do you need to make the food look as appetizing as possible, you also need to act fast to ensure the food is snapped at its best. It won't be long before that juicy cheeseburger starts to turn into a congealed and soggy mess on the plate.

Rather than trying to capture every single dish on camera, instead showcase your superstar dishes. These are the ones your chef is most proud of, the real crowd pleasers that will look great on your website.

Words Good Enough to Eat

While color and photographs are great ways to sell your restaurant, great copy can win customers over too. By using descriptive words that really sell your food and ambiance, you can entice potential visitors to make a reservation instantly. Think about the type of food you have to offer. If you insist on buying local produce, then shout about it. If you have a special signature dish, then tell the world.
In addition to your general website copy, you can also add descriptive content to your menu. Think about the way the food looks, tastes and feels in the mouth. Think about its heritage and any special ingredients used. Words can evoke strong emotions in the reader — and can make all the difference between patrons ordering one appetizer or trying several.

An Effortless Booking System

While it's absolutely fine to offer just your phone number as a means of booking reservations, customers today want more flexibility and convenience. Millennials will certainly expect to be able to book reservations online. By offering easy booking and instant confirmation, you can save your customers time and also ensure a steady stream of confirmed reservations. You can still reserve a number of tables for walk-in customers, but ultimately you want to attract as many advance reservations as possible. Your website is the perfect channel to do this.

Focus on the Local Community

If you are just operating from one location, it's a great idea to focus on your local community. Reach out to other local businesses to see if there are ways you can collaborate online and advertise at local events. Setting up a Facebook page to complement your website is another good way of engaging with your local community. Whether you are offering discounts or encouraging feedback from your customers, social media can carry your message further and is often the first place potential customers look. They can also check-in to your establishment and spread the word further.

Final Thoughts

Owning a restaurant is an exciting venture — but one that is made all the more rewarding when it is taking regular reservations and making good profit. A good website will fast become your most valuable asset, helping you attract customers looking for an establishment like yours or convincing those who have already heard of you to make a reservation.
A website is the first thing potential customers look for when they want to make a reservation or find out more about your business. There are many ways you can get the best return on your investment with a website. By using professional photography and website design services, you can ensure a great first impression before people even set foot in your restaurant.

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