5 tips to boost food orders on your website
Getting your business online
Time to complete:
The internet is a wonderful way for hungry people to find great restaurants — including yours.
If someone is looking for an eatery, they may find their way to your website through a Google search, your Business Profile on Google, or an online ad. Congratulations, you have a potential new customer — and a great opportunity.
Now you need to encourage that website visitor to place an order or come dine with you — and you can put your website to work to help make that happen. In this lesson, we’ll explore 5 tips to make your website a powerful tool for getting more orders and reservations.
1. Have a prominent “Call to Action” (CTA)
Think about what you would most like a potential customer to do when they visit your website. The answer may be that you want people to make a reservation through your booking provider, call to place an order, or email you about catering options. Maybe you’d be happy with all three, but for now, choose the one you’d most prefer.
If you do offer online reservations or orders, consider prioritizing that. 80 percent of U.S. consumers expect to be able to book a table or place an order from a restaurant online.1
of U.S. consumers expect to be able to book a table or place an order online. 1
Whatever action you want people to take the most should be your main “Call to Action” or CTA. Whether it’s a prominent button, a bold-colored phone number, or a large link, your CTA should be impossible to miss.
To make your CTA as effective as possible:
- Put it in an obvious location where it won’t be missed (avoid the bottom of the page or in the middle of a block of text, for example).
- Make it stand out by experimenting with contrasting colors or a prominent button.
- Keep it professional by finding a healthy balance between eye-catching and annoying (avoid blinking text, for example).
2. Show text versions of your menu
Sharing your menu on your website is a must if customers can order online. But even if they’re booking for in-person dining, an attractive, accessible menu can help them choose your restaurant.
57 percent of U.S. consumers say that a menu and pricing is the most important feature for a restaurant to offer online2. Showcasing your menu — or menus, if you offer different selections — helps customers understand exactly what tasty choices you have to offer.
Include your menu(s) in text format on your website to make them easy to read.
When sharing your menu(s) online, include them in text format, rather than in a downloadable PDF or a photo. This will make sure potential customers can read them, even when they’re browsing from a tiny phone screen. Plus, a text version helps search engines to understand what you have to offer. To learn more about how Search Engine Optimization (SEO) works, check out our lesson on Google Search.
3. Include lots of photos
Want to give your potential customers a taste of what to expect? With photos of your restaurant, you can. Including lots of high-quality photos of your food, ambiance, and location helps potential customers imagine what dining with you is like — and gets their appetites going.
Photos on your website serve a number of important purposes beyond just making visitors hungry. You can use them to:
- Show off your most popular dishes. These are the superstar plates that get customers in the door. They also give new visitors an idea of what to order, making their decisions easier.
- Show the ambiance of your restaurant. Is your bistro perfect for date-night? Is your gastropub the coolest hangout in town? Let people know with photos, and get them excited about what they can expect.
- Make it easier to find you. Exterior photos make it easier to find your restaurant from the street, and interior shots can let customers know where to pick up carryout orders, what your party rooms look like, and more.
4. Add your contact information and hours
It’s important to make it easy for customers to contact you, find your location, and get the basic information they need. To help, make sure your website has an easy-to-find contact section.
You’ll want to include your restaurant’s hours, address, phone number, and an email address where they can ask questions. You can even consider including a map to show people exactly how to find you.
5. Tell your story
Diners have lots of restaurant options, so use your website to tell them what makes yours unique.
Do all your dishes come from your grandmother’s recipe book? Were you inspired to create a new fusion cuisine after living abroad? Do you only use local, sustainable, farm-to-table ingredients? Customers want to know these things — and these details can help you stand out.
So share your story with the world, through your site.
Getting hungry customers to visit your website is a huge first step. And with these tips, you can make sure your website is set up to help them take the next step — placing an order or making a reservation.
5 ways to boost food orders and reservations on your website
- Have a prominent “Call to Action.”
- Show text versions of your menu.
- Include lots of photos.
- Add your contact information.
- Tell your story.
- 1, 2. Google commissioned Ipsos COVID-19 tracker, US ~n=302 online consumers 18+. Jan 28-31, 2021