Image by: Serge Kij
For many restaurant owners, a website seems to be a corner that is cut and every other aspect of their business is put before their online presence.
The truth is that a restaurant businesses’ website is about as important as the food and the brick and mortar building that it is served in.
In addition to this, many restaurant owners will assume that having a Facebook page or a listing on a third-party website is the way to go. In my professional opinion, leaving your entire online presence up to a third party is reckless; they have their business agenda, and you have yours.
Sure, portals are great for driving traffic to your restaurant however they can also lure prospective customers away from your business by displaying related competitors right beside your listing.
You do not own your listing on a third party website, and just as Facebook has done with their Pages; you may one day be extorted for a “premium listing” in order to gain any value from said third party. Sudden changes to how a third party website operates can greatly impact your business.
Whereas a website is an asset you own and one that matures over time in terms of visibility on search engines and popularity across social channels. You own it, you control it.
In this article we will look at why a website is important for any restaurant business, and some key factors to consider when choosing a WordPress restaurant theme.
Why is a Website Important for a Restaurant Business?
1. Specialized Restaurant Theme
Not just any theme will do for a restaurant. There are custom business requirements to consider; WordPress is a “one size fits all” solution until it is tweaked with a theme. An effective restaurant theme will have attributes that other themes don’t, such as:
Attractive menu and display of food selection
Built-in reservation booking
Hours of operation widget
Fast loading and mobile friendly; can load properly across all devices and screen sizes
4 out of 5 restaurant patrons will seek out an eatery online before making their final decision; they will browse menus, look at photos, and seek out an address. If you’re not online, your restaurant business will be left completely out of the picture.
3. Word of Mouth
When someone speaks about a restaurant online, they are likely going to share a link to go with it. Perhaps it will be a photo, a menu, or simply the front page of the website. Social media channels such as Facebook can be integrated into your website for social proof.
A quality WordPress restaurant theme puts you in control; add your menu items, specials, and even run special promotions via your own website.
5. The List
This one is probably the most important factor when it comes to using your WordPress website effectively; providing a hook like 10% off a customer’s next meal in exchange for an email address will allow you directly engage with your customers on a regular basis in the future. When you use a third party website as your central channel of communication with your customers, they act as a middle man –and they keep all your customer data for themselves. That doesn’t sound very nice, does it?
6. Do-it-Yourself and Save Money
A restaurant WordPress theme will allow a restaurant owner to edit their own website and make their own updates instead of relying on a pay-by-the-hour website designer or developer. In addition to this, many premium WordPress theme developers will offer free support.