8 Tips for an Effective Restaurant Web Site

1.) Avoid PDF Menus:
Google has a hard time capturing data in PDF format. So even if that’s how you sent it to the printers, you’ll need to put it in regular text format on your web site.

2.) Ask for Birthdays and Email Addresses: 
Ask people for their email address and birthday so you have a reason to send them an email and a discount.

3.) Use Quality Photos Only: 
Don’t just take photos with your phone and upload them. In fact, you might avoid food photos entirely unless they are done by a professional.

4.) Update Frequently: 
Adding current events to your web page is a sure way to let patrons know that there’s always something happening on your site and through your doors. Another reason to update frequently is to assure that your restaurant pops up in appropriate searches. Because Google and othersare always reconfiguring the algorithms that determine search results, it’s imperative that your codes and tags are properly maintained and updated. Your website is a valuable tool, but only if you set it and don’t forget it.

5.) Flash Specials:
Sitting on a bunch of pork tenderloin that’s about to go bad? Post a flash special on your site or better yet, via Facebook and Twitter.

6.) Match the Ambiance: 
Your site should reflect the same ambiance as your restaurant. Use the same color schemes and art work too.

7.) Take Reservations Online: 
Partner with Open Table or another service to allow easy reservations. Though note that with Open Table set-up costs can be as high as $700 – along with a monthly fee of $199 and a per reservation fee between 25 cents and a dollar.

8.) Enable People to Back Your Business: 
People have an emotional relationship with restaurants and often want to feel like they were on the inside of something new and cool. So allow them to give you startup capital in exchange for perks and rewards. And, of course, consider using Foodstart.com – the only community-funding platform designed just for food and beverage businesses.