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Restaurant dining is not what it used to be. Nowadays, customers are flocking online to discover restaurants and order food. In fact, 90% of customers research a restaurant online before visiting- that is more than any other business type.

So what does that mean for your restaurant? Your restaurant deserves an online presence as mouth-watering as your cuisine- and that starts with your restaurant website.

How to create a successful restaurant website:

To help you get started, we’ve put together a list of the nine most essential elements to include in your restaurant website.

1. Establish your online personality

Your website and online ordering listings are often the first things customers see when searching for restaurants online. It is also your first chance to make a memorable first impression, and there’s no better way to do that than with a site that highlights your restaurant’s unique personality.

Your website should serve as an extension of your brand identity, so you want to make sure it reflects who you are through the colors, tone, and images you use.

Consistent branding across your brick-and-mortar location and your website are also crucial in establishing a memorable personality. A site that successfully captures what’s special and unique about your in-person dining experience is what will create a distinctive online presence and attract visitors to your restaurant.

2. Share your restaurant’s contact information

Typically when a potential diner searches your restaurant, they are looking for basic information about your location, hours, and contact number. Including this information prominently on your site will help customers quickly find what they are looking for.

You should make sure your website effectively communicates the following information:

  • Your hours
  • Your location
  • Your phone number

3. Offer online ordering directly from your restaurant website

Accessibility is a huge pillar in establishing a strong online presence, and offering online ordering directly from your website will make it easy for customers to take action. In addition, integrating online ordering directly into your site will help ensure that you won’t lose any customers through a difficult takeout and delivery sales system.

Unsure how to create a seamless online ordering system? Look no further than Grubhub Direct. 

With Grubhub Direct, you can create your own restaurant website with a built-in online ordering platform so your customers can place orders right from your website.

If you already have a website, you can add a Grubhub Direct ordering page to your existing site. If you do not have a website, you can easily use Grubhub Direct as your restaurant website!

4. Share your restaurant’s story

You’ve put a lot of care and hard work into establishing your restaurant. Don’t be afraid to share your story with your customers in an “about us” or “our story” section of your website. Your restaurant’s history is what makes you unique, and telling that story allows customers to connect to your restaurant on a deeper level. In this section, you should:

  • Go back to your roots and explain your origin story. Tell your customers why you are passionate about what you do and what motivated you to create your delicious food.
  • State your mission and values so your customers know what you believe in and understand how your restaurant positively impacts your community.
  • Showcase your people so that your customers get to know the friendly faces behind their favorite dishes.
  • Highlight positive press and reviews from customers, news outlets, and local sources to underscore your restaurant’s reputation.
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5. Promote your social media profiles

Your website is just one piece in your restaurant’s online presence.

Social media accounts like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have become staples in establishing a restaurant’s brand. Linking to active social media accounts on your site can allow you to connect to customers so they can follow you at every turn.

In addition, customers are more likely to visit or order from your restaurant if they see your tasty creations in their feed.

6. Offer reservations

Including active links to your phone number or reservation will allow customers to seamlessly switch from learning about your restaurant to booking a table. Integrate a third-party reservation service like OpenTable into your site so that customers can quickly review times and make a reservation.

7. Showcase your menu

Your restaurant’s dishes are your most major asset, so you must feature your menu directly on your website. Customers often search a restaurant to browse the menu, so you want to make sure you include easy to read, accurate and up-to-date information about your food.

Including brief descriptions of your menu items also helps search engines find your restaurant when people look up a specific type of food. Adding markers for alternate dishes (gluten-free, vegan, kosher, etc.) can help inform customers about your accommodations while also making your site more relevant to specific kinds of searches.

Your menu shouldn’t stop at just tasty descriptions. A picture is worth a thousand words, and when it’s a photo of your delicious dishes, it could be what entices a customer to place an order.

High-quality, professionally shot photos are an essential part of a strong online menu. Studies show that restaurants that switched from text-based online menus to photos saw the number of website visitors who turned into customers increase by 25%. Adding photos to your menu can be what motivates a customer to place an order.

If you need assistance taking mouthwatering photos, you can request a free professional photo shoot for your Grubhub Marketplace menu when you sign up for Grubhub for Restaurants.

8. Make sure your restaurant website is mobile-friendly

Chances are, your customers are looking at your website on their phones, so you want to make sure your website is accessible on mobile devices.

Avoid mobile-unfriendly content like PDF menus that are difficult to download and read on the phone, and make sure your web pages are compatible with a smaller screen. Developing an easy-to-use site will ensure that your customers can not only find you online but also navigate your site pages to find the information they need.

Find out your restaurant website’s smartphone compatible with Google’s free mobile-friendly test.

9. Leverage local SEO tactics to reach new customers

Have you ever wondered why a certain restaurant pops up first when you search for “pizza near me” or “best lunch options” online? The order that websites rank during a Google search is due to search engine optimization (SEO) practices during site creation. Local SEO implementation is what could make your website reach customers over your competitors.

What is Local SEO? ​

Local SEO is the process of improving search engine visibility for local businesses. By following local SEO best practices, businesses can improve “organic” traffic from nearby customers—that is, customers in your local area who happen to be searching for restaurants.

Search engines prioritize local results—for good reason. Most Google searches include the terms “near me,” closest,” and “nearby.”

For more information about how to optimize your restaurant’s searchability, read our restaurant SEO blog article.

Start taking commission-free online orders on your own restaurant website

No matter how you present your restaurant’s personality online, creating a strong website can drive up revenue while capturing customers. For many modern diners, the very first impression of your restaurant happens online. Developing a solid website will allow customers to stumble upon your restaurant when searching for local dining options.

Online ordering integration within your restaurant’s website is also essential for capturing hungry customers looking to order takeout and delivery from your restaurant. That’s where Grubhub can help.

When you join Grubhub, you get access to our latest product, Grubhub Direct. With Grubhub Direct, you can quickly build your own branded online ordering website– but that’s not all. With Grubhub Direct, you get access to your customer data so that you can build stronger relationships with your customers.

Are you interested in learning more about building your restaurant’s online brand while also increasing your sales? Download our latest guide, Build Your Brand and Boost Your Business with Online Ordering.

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