The restaurant business isn’t just brick and mortar anymore. Virtual real estate and an online presence are quickly becoming just as valuable as their physical counterpart, and it doesn’t take long for businesses that plant their flag online with a restaurant website to start reaping the rewards.
Customers are making researched decisions about where they’re eating next before they even step out their door or place an online order, and they’re looking to the web for help. They’re also increasingly associating a restaurant that puts in the extra effort to maintain a well-kept website as someone who maintains a well-kept business in general. The best way to draw customers in your direction these days is often not only by attracting passerby or through the grapevine but by being there when they look online as well with your own restaurant website.
We’d all love our products to speak for themselves but the work begins before your food even enters a potential customer’s mouth. Maintaining online web content is your best edge when trying to put your restaurant ahead of your competitors. Today’s mobile-friendly restaurant website can also obtained at no cost and set up and maintained in-house in minutes. It’s hard to justify not creating one for your business.
Click below to start creating your own free restaurant website with Ontray, and keep reading to find a few more reasons why keeping a custom, high-quality, mobile-friendly restaurant website is a crucial move.
1. Control your restaurant’s brand yourself, in real-time.
A restaurant website can serve as an accurate homepage where your restaurant can live online. Your customers will be able to learn your hours, address, menu, specials, and see some visual media. Customize your logo and colors. Include anything else you think they should know about you. Are you a family run business? Do you contribute to local charities or sponsor youth athletic leagues? Are you celebrating your fifth business anniversary this year?
Sometimes the best argument isn’t even made with words. A website is a perfect place to display some high-quality pictures of what a customer can expect by eating with you. Show a clean dining room or a lively kitchen. Place a picture of the team or the family. Put an accurate menu within clicking distance and capture a picture of a recent special to get their likely already hungry mouths watering. With an online-ordering enabled website like Ontray’s you can even let them order right then and there at no additional cost to you.
2. Consumers – and Google – are already looking for your restaurant website.
When consumers hear about your restaurant through a friend or an undecided customer uses a search engine to find a nearby place to eat they’re expecting to find more information online to help them with their final food decisions – this could be your address, hours, or menu. What’s more, they often find a ‘Google My Business’ listing for your restaurant which also automatically tries to direct customers to your website. Be there with a personalized site to greet them all.
(You should be maintaining your free Google my Business Listing as well, see our blog post about 7 Reasons Why Every Restaurant Should Verify Their Google Business Listing. And if an imposter’s website is registered within your Google My Business posting claiming to be yours, use our post 3 Steps to Reclaiming your Google My Business Listing to get it back.)
3. Not only can they cost nothing, restaurant websites can MAKE you money.
Companies like Ontray aren’t just providing FREE websites to restaurants with no hidden fees – they’re growing restaurants’ sales through the proven relationship between restaurants with websites and newly generated business. The increased visibility drives revenue by bringing in brand new customers you wouldn’t be able to reach otherwise. Remember – not only do you get a home on the web, you’re getting a twenty-four hour, low-effort advertisement. Set up your website and let the internet work for you. It never sleeps!
Ontray’s free websites also offer online ordering within your website. Pickup, delivery, and catering orders can be conducted directly on your site and sent instantly to your kitchen. Capture an entirely new revenue stream without creating any extra work for your employees. As more of your customers order online, you can actually free up your employees’ time and responsibilities by getting them off the phone and allowing customers to pay online before a delivery ever leaves your store or a pick-up customer enters the door.
4. Running a restaurant website isn’t complicated like it used to be!
In the past, maintaining a website required hiring a skilled professional to create a site and maintain it in perpetuity, as well as additional fees just to keep your site up and running. Today there exist options that put the power into your own hands and cost nothing to you. Ontray, for example, is a platform that can get up and running in minutes and gives you simple control of your website’s custom content completely for free without any fees. In this case staying competitive really can be as easy as a few clicks of a button.
5. The full marriage of technology and restaurants is new, but not going away.
Technology is visibly changing the restaurant industry, you may already be feeling the effects of the new competition it’s driving in your pocketbooks. By embracing these powerful ways to reach current and potential customers you can know you’re doing all that you can to be rewarded for your hard work. If you don’t reach them online someone else will!
In person and word of mouth, relationships have long been vital for a restaurant’s success, but the information passed from person to person is often inaccurate and doesn’t touch the untapped customer base able to be reached with a distinct online presence. Today’s industry is increasingly reliant on technical resources to conduct sales and encourage customers your way. A website is a simple and effective way to let your clientele know what makes you different from the other restaurants whose sites they may already be browsing. Providing a way to quickly show web surfers what makes you special can be enough to win some future loyal customers. Remember that if you’re not capitalizing on these tools someone else is — and might steer your potential customers their way.