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restaurant marketing

Restaurant websites should serve multiple functions. Primarily, they are they a point of contact. However they should also give your current customers an easy way to see if you have updated your menu. A low cost functional website is not hard to have, but here are a few things you should aim for;

  1. Show prices. There I said it. Every website should show pricing. People who are against this idea say things like, “oh well I want them to call/come in” etc. However I think the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. For one, showing pricing will give you customers an idea of what they will pay. For two, if they can’t afford to pay those prices, do you want them wasting your time?
  2. Show where you are. It is free to embed Google Maps, you should be using it to show where you are. You should also have a picture of the outside of your restaurant.
  3. Put your address in the footer. It is good for Google places, good for SEO etc etc
  4. Offer a discount/special for booking online. Entice people to take action when they are looking at your site. Give them a special code for them to get a bottle of wine free etc.
  5. Show your menu in text form. Don’t put your menu up as an image, you are wasting SEO points AND you are making it hard for your users to read your menu. Use plain text and list at least a small portion of your menu. For bonus points you should list different sections of your menu on different pages, eg Fish, Pasta, Dessert. That will improve the readability and the SEO points you will get.
  6. Have a booking enquiry form. It doesn’t have to be a complete commitment, but have an easy to use enquiry form that has set times listed, so people can easily leave you (or send you by email) their details.
  7. Use Video. Pretty much the only good thing that came out of the Hidden Pizza campaign was that they used video, a lot. You don’t need voice over, or anything expensive. Just have 20 second snippets of a full restaurant, a few dishes and people looking like they are enjoying themselves. If you want to go all out, have your chef talk about the dish of the day.
  8. Integrate social media. Facebook is the new Yellow Pages. Give people who use your social media a bonus. Use social media on your website instead of a newsletter form. The main benefits are that you can keep all your contacts in one space, but you also get the benefit of social networking.
  9. List catering/group booking options. This is also not a bad place to put testimonials from corporates if you have them.
  10. Make it seasonal. Every website should be easy to change. You should be able to upload new content easily. Seasonal menus are a must, but seasonal looking websites just beg for attention!

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