Is Your Restaurant User Friendly?

I have worked in the restaurant industry as a marketer as well as a server, so I’m pretty well versed about restaurants and their inner workings, as well as seeing how they set up their websites and their social media. As a restaurant, you are catering to many types of guests with many types of needs. As for your website, your users have specific needs as well. They want to find your phone number, your address, a way to make reservations (be it by phone, email or online), your menu, daily features, specials and bar happenings such as happy hour times.

  • Phone number – It shouldn’t be embedded in Flash or as an image in your header. It may look like text, but I should be able to select it and copy it. The reason for this is that I, and many others, have a smart phone that is able to recognize phone numbers. This makes it easy to click on the number and make a phone call simply from your website. If it’s part of your Flash or as a part of an image, I can’t copy it and make the phone call. Also, many smart phones can’t render flash, which makes your website useless for the mobile generation.
  • Address – Again, this shouldn’t be a part of a Flash element or an image. It should be in text, and even better, a link to a map on how to get to your establishment. It makes it much easier for your users, whether mobile or not, to map and find your restaurant, along with passing on the information to their friends.
  • Menu – Make your menu easy to get to and don’t make it a heavy PDF with lots of images. As a matter of fact, why don’t you just make it a simple HTML page? It’s easier to get to, I don’t have to open another tab, or even navigate to a PDF that is too large and takes too long to download. Plus, for a restaurant, it’s easier to update.
  • Daily Features – There are several ways of doing this. You can have your social media connected to your site like Twitter or Facebook, or you can always update your site with your daily features.
  • Happy Hour Times – These are pretty standard. A lot of people want to know what your Happy Hour times are and the features that you are offering like special drinks, 1/2 priced drinks, bar menu and live music.
  • Reservations – Have a phone number, email or online reservation application that is easy to use to make reservations. The harder you make it for your guests, the more you will lose their patronage.

Essentially, you want to make your website idiot proof. Make sure that you have maps, phone numbers, email addresses and the like easy to find on your website. The harder it is for a user to find the information that they are looking for, the more likely you are going to lose their business. Flash and images are pretty, but make sure that you have actual text on your site.

If you are using social media for your Social Media Optimization, you need to use these tools carefully. Once you start using Social Media, you can’t stop. It’s a conversation that you can have, you can listen to, and that you can optimize. But, your dirty laundry can be aired out as well. Make sure that you have standards in place for this. I will go more into Social Media for Restaurants a little later.

I know that these are elements that people want to see on restaurant pages, what else do you want to see that would make restaurant sites more user friendly?

 

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[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by ageekgirl, Rebecca Morrow. Rebecca Morrow said: New post! User Friendly suggestions for Restaurant Websites. http://ht.ly/3Ywsm [...]

 

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Online Gift Card purchase.

 

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