“Consumers are highly engaged with looking for the next great restaurant to satisfy their hunger pangs—or simply entertainment cravings. When those pangs and cravings emerge, these days they’re likely to go online. But if they come to your website, will it provide them with the information they’re looking for to make a decision to make a reservation?” Jay Schwartz asks.

AudienceSCAN reports 27% of Website/App Development Purchasers set personal goals to “get organized” this year – so take websites off their plates! Restaurant owners could benefit from hiring website developers. Make sure any developer offers the following essentials to web success to win the business.

“IdeaWork Studios is a full-service agency that works with restaurants to help them develop, or modify, websites to best attract their target audiences. Through their work, they’ve discovered some “must do’s” and best practices that help them make sure they’re addressing audience needs. Here are some of the essentials to having a good restaurant website,” Schwartz recommends.

Image and Atmosphere

“When consumers are walking down a city street looking for a place to eat, they get a sense of the restaurant from its “curb appeal;” they can peer into the windows to get a sense of the atmosphere or ambience. Those elements are important to potential diners and they’re equally as important on your website. Your website needs to quickly and clearly convey the atmosphere of your restaurant. Consider the different atmosphere that the Hooters and The Inn at Pound Ridge website convey. Your image needs to be as immediately apparent to website visitors as it would be to those strolling past your restaurant.”

AudienceSCAN finds during the past 30 days, 22.4% of Website/App Development Purchasers have used the internet via browser, tablet or smartphone to visit the website of a local TV station.

Photography

“Diners are moved visually by images of the offerings that restaurants have to provide. That means that your website must contain not only photos, but vibrant, high-quality, professionally done photos. Instagram shots just won’t do it here.”

Menus

“What’s on the menu?” It’s a critical question and one that your website needs to answer. Chances are, those visiting your website are also checking out the competition; how are you going to display your menu offerings in ways that will set you apart and, ultimately, make them choose you? Keep in mind that, unlike in your actual restaurant setting, servers aren’t available to answer questions or provide additional information. Whether or not to include pricing on your menu will be a decision that will be tied, to a large degree, to your desired image, but is an important consideration. For many diners, it’s an obvious question and one they’ll want to find answers to on your site.”

Mobile Optimization

“When hungry travelers are on the road they’re often turning to their mobile devices to find a spot to eat. When they do, your site needs to be optimized to display well in the mobile environment and to provide the kind of contextualized experience they’re looking for. For instance, while on the road, they’re likely most interested in your hours and location.”

AudienceSCAN reveals during the past 30 days, 22.1% of Web Development Purchasers have used the internet via browser, tablet or smartphone to visit the website of a local newspaper.

Contact Information

“Don’t overlook the obvious. Those who visit your website are making a decision about where to go to eat. If you don’t tell them where you’re located, or give them easy-to-find information about how to make a reservation, you may lose them to the competition.”

“Think of your restaurant’s website as your restaurant! It should convey the same sense of atmosphere, ambience, and brand that you attempt to achieve in your physical facility—and it should provide an easy-to-understand (and easy-to-navigate) experience for visitors whether they’re on a laptop, tablet, or mobile device.”

Web/App developers should promote themselves to local businesses like restaurants. This is a great opportunity to show exactly how developers can drive business with better websites!

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies, or with the SalesFuel API. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.