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The “internet of things” has changed almost every aspect of our lives, and how we market our business is no exception. If a restaurant doesn’t have a well-designed website, it can’t compete in today’s digital economy.

Restaurant patrons want the ease of access, communication, and social interaction that technology provides, and they rely on the internet to locate local businesses to patronize. A restaurant’s website must be designed to make it easy for regulars and potential customers to interact with their business. Below are my 3 absolute must-haves for the best restaurant websites.

Looks Mahvelous on Mobile

According to the Wall Street Journal article I read, 81% of customers used a mobile device to search for a restaurant. If eight of every ten people use mobile technology (laptop, smart phone, tablet, wearables) to find a place to eat, it’s critical that a restaurant’s site looks just as good on mobile as it does on a regular computer.

Socially Connected

Social media marketing should in the marketing plan of every restaurant, and not just because it’s an inexpensive way to market a restaurant. Customers want to connect with their favorite restaurants, and they make the connection through social media.

A well-designed restaurant website must be tightly integrated with the restaurant’s social media pages. WebDiner social media integration allows customers to interact with a restaurants social media page without having the customer leave the website! This is important because we want site visitors to remain on the website as long as possible to make Google happy ;)

WOW! Factor

When I say I want a WOW factor, I’m not talking about flashy HD video that automatically runs when you click on the website. I’ve seen restaurant websites with this type of video on their home page, and personally I think it’s distracting, and it makes the site hard to use on a mobile device. IMO, patrons want to see pictures of your food, browse your menu, map your location, and share your website with their network. Besides, who has time when there are all of those amazing cat videos on YouTube?

Beautiful, functional, practical; all of these describe exceptional restaurant web design. I like to think that WebDiner gives every design what I like to call the WOW factor.

Winning Words

Every restaurant website should have a winning description of what a patron will experience when they enter the brick and mortar restaurant. A romantic seafood restaurant on the beach will be described in distinctly different terms than one would use for the local gastropub.

Customer comments that rave about the food, service, atmosphere, and, etc. should be used to show site visitors how much your patrons love your eatery!

Outstanding Images

Pictures are worth a thousand shares! Tantalizing photos of the restaurant’s food; atmosphere and smiling staff are all excellent choices.

Web Wizardry

Fabulous restaurant web design isn’t really magic, but it does require a certain level of creative design and engineering wizardry ;) Web design must be a combination of easy to use navigation and eye catching graphics that are built on a stable, secure technology platform.

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