Restaurant Web Site Design – Using Technology to Reach New Customers

The restau­rant indus­try is turn­ing to tech­nol­ogy to help increase their sales and attract new din­ers. More specif­i­cally they are turn­ing to the Inter­net and restau­rant web­site design. It’s a grow­ing trend that many restau­rants have yet to embrace but the inevitable truth is that those restau­rants who fail to present a mod­ern web pres­ence, will miss out on the major­ity of new busi­ness in their area.

How big of an impact is the Inter­net play­ing in this industry?

Accord­ing to a study con­ducted by AIS Media, 89% of con­sumers who they have researched a restau­rant online before din­ing there, and of those 89% of con­sumers, 57% indi­cated that prior to select­ing a restau­rant they view the restaurant’s Web site. And 33% view other consumer’s reviews online prior to dining.

The restau­rant indus­try isn’t unique in these sta­tis­tics. These are the same issues that busi­nesses are fac­ing across all indus­tries. Your suc­cess is greatly depen­dent on your abil­ity to adapt, and your abil­ity to brand. More and more con­sumers are turn­ing to the Inter­net and it adds a new ele­ment to your mar­ket­ing strate­gies. Today, con­sumers can research vir­tu­ally any and every­thing online, and they do! The econ­omy is still a wreck and fear is pre­vent­ing con­sumers from spend­ing in the same ways that they were before. Unfortunately, one of the first places peo­ple look to cut their spend­ing is on din­ing out. That’s why it is so much more impor­tant that your restau­rant web­site is a dom­i­nate force in your mar­ket­ing area.

So what are the ingre­di­ents that make a pow­er­ful restau­rant web­site pres­ence? It’s sim­ply a com­bi­na­tion of usabil­ity (acces­si­bil­ity or ease of use )and vis­i­tor expe­ri­ence. Yes, the same very ingre­di­ents that keep your loyal cus­tomers com­ing back to your will help you gain new ones via the Inter­net. It’s not as easy as it sounds though. It is six times harder to attract new con­sumers than to please your loyal con­sumers. Your cur­rent cus­tomers already know how good your food is. Your mis­sion is to con­vince those near 90% of con­sumers who are using the web to find their next din­ing expe­ri­ence that your restau­rant is the one they should choose.

An effec­tive restau­rant web­site should com­bine enough ingre­di­ents to allow poten­tial din­ers to gather an idea of the atmos­phere, and also offer the con­sumer incen­tive to visit your restau­rant. Reward con­sumers for vis­it­ing your web­site and they will reward you with their busi­ness. Whether you offer a low cost appe­tizer or even a entrée or desert free of charge for any­one who presents a coupon off of your web­site, you’re pulling the vis­i­tors in. Be cre­ative though, there are sev­eral meth­ods for mak­ing your web­site a money mak­ing machine. Metro­tain­ment Cafes, an Atlanta, Geor­gia based com­pany offers a cus­tomer loy­alty pro­gram via their web­site. While most of their cus­tomers hear about their loy­alty pro­gram inside the restau­rant, they have to sign up on their web­site, and it has resulted in a 10% increase in new busi­ness since it’s incep­tion accord­ing to owner Jeff Landau.

The num­bers don’t lie and you can’t argue with facts. The restau­rant indus­try is more and more being drawn into the dig­i­tal age; and for good rea­son. D0n’t get caught on the out­side of this trend.

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