The restaurant dining experience has changed drastically over the years, and today’s diners crave more than just a good meal. Many modern diners pore over web reviews, flip through photo galleries, and peek at online menus before settling on the perfect place to eat. Because of this phenomenon, restaurants with sites as stale as last week’s leftovers are passed over before customers can even walk through the door.
Gone are the days where restaurant websites can get away with their terrible flash driven designs. People want to experience a sense of ambiance, just as they would during their actual dining experience. More importantly, they want a user-friendly experience that will leave them craving for more. Take our collaboration with Sunrise Cafe for example. Their vibrant site draws customers in instantly with a user-friendly design and a color scheme that just screams breakfast.
Understanding how to market more than just your menu is the first step. Draw diners in with vibrant (professional) photos of menu items, so they can visualize your offerings. Also, be sure to advertise your specials and keep an updated menu posted at all times. Nothing irks diners more than listing something that is no longer offered. For another one of our clients, IL Giardino, we incorporated a menu that site visitors could easily scroll through to peruse everything from appetizers to full entrees. This works especially well for mobile users who are more apt to scroll rather than pinch and zoom through a PDF menu.
Most importantly, realize the power of the people. Developing a strong social media community can take your restaurant from hole-in-the-wall to neighborhood gem. Pay attention to reviews, advertise specials to your followers, share even more enticing photos of menu offerings, and watch as your diners multiply by the dozens.