Now is the perfect time to refresh your restaurant website
Pandemic lockdowns have taught us that restaurants cannot rely on a single revenue stream, nor on traditional ways of serving their clients. These days, a fully functional and mobile-friendly restaurant website is necessary so that customers can browse menus or order food at their fingertips. In addition, due to the limited capacity of restaurants and cafes, it has become incredibly important for customers to have the ability to book a table online. We have listed the top restaurant website trends for 2022 in this article.
Ready? Let’s start…
Restaurant Website Trends
1- Taking orders directly through the restaurant website
Based on Hospitality & Catering News, consumer spending on takeaway and delivery in the UK grew by 11.4% in early 2020, while dine-in spending fell by 3.5%. While third-party delivery companies such as Grubhub and Uber Eats have seen huge increases in sales, the consumer research firm Sense360 found that 63% of consumers prefer to order delivery directly from the restaurant, versus 18% who prefer third parties. This number shows the importance of owning a fully functional and mobile-friendly website for restaurant owners.
Even though there will still be competition with delivery sites like Lieferando, restaurant owners will be able to own their platforms rather than being solely and legally bound to another company.
2- Focus on the environment & healthy eating on the restaurant blogs
People are becoming more aware of their environmental impact and intend to change their behaviour as a result. This includes buying fewer plastic products.
Although there are countless ways to market your restaurant and what you do for the environment, blogging has far more benefits than most methods. Restaurant websites will start creating content on their blogs and social media about how they are contributing to the environment and healthy eating as sustainability and healthy living awareness grows.
Getting started with a blog is simple, and the time investment isn’t enormous. Each article you write each week may take you an hour, and responding to reader comments throughout the week may take another 20 minutes. This will give you a loyal readership, an opportunity to interact and connect with customers and prospects, and a higher ranking in search engines, which may increase website traffic and potential conversions. Additionally, it is a well-targeted marketing method because it allows you to generate content for the ideal clients.
Restaurant owners may also choose to post updates about their restaurants, events, announcements, seasonal food items on the menu, chef’s pick of the week, and their team on their blogs.
3- SEO, user experience and website performance
Potential customers usually turn to Google to find a place to eat or a place to hold a special event.
One of the most important website trends in 2022 is website speed, which applies to all industries. Therefore, restaurants should pay attention to how quickly their restaurant websites load. In addition to affecting search engine optimization, good website loading speed also prevents visitors from going to other food delivery or competitor restaurant websites.
Placing a PDF of your menu on your restaurant website will be a big no. The user experience is now considered one of the search engine ranking factors for restaurant websites, and owners should allow visitors to scroll through their menus without having to download them.
Without any updates, a static website may be viewed by search engines as “dead” – with no life and no new content to offer. Therefore, updating your website with fresh and unique content once a week can mean better opportunities for search rankings. Blogs, for example, are a great way of keeping a website fresh and alive!
Read our list of tips to increase your website’s visibility on search engine rankings here.
4- Lead Generation and Email Automation
In the upcoming year, lead generation and email marketing will continue to be hot trends. Restaurant owners will utilize their websites to capture leads. The purpose of this is to increase customer loyalty and acquisition.
A simple line of text on a popup or banner can be added to the restaurant’s website to invite guests to sign up for your email list. Visitors can then receive a small coupon or a free appetizer as a reason to sign up – automatically sent to their email.
Email marketing has the advantage of being automated. Restaurant owners could use an RSS feed that updates subscribers every time new content is published on their sites. Engaging your audience will result in long-term loyalty, which in turn translates into returning traffic, which provides tremendous value to your website.
Looking for ways to increase your subscribers’ list? Read our article “5 Ways to Build an Email Subscriber List”
5- Increasing revenue streams online by finding creative ways
Due to the pandemic, more and more restaurants are turning to sell products and merchandise as a revenue source to pay their rent and create new sources of income. This includes selling restaurant branded merch such as T-shirts, caps, mugs, tote bags, gift cards and more.
Restaurant owners can also offer catering services for special events and festivals, as well as cooking classes, to increase their revenue. The use of an online booking form or a calendar on their websites will make this process easier for restaurant owners.
6- The rise of dark kitchen websites
In 2021, we have seen the rise of dark kitchens. Dark kitchens are kitchens without actual restaurants. And they are generally accessible only via social media platforms and delivery services such as Deliverect.
Based on Statista, they are predicted to take up 50% of the market share of both drive-thru and takeaway food services by 2030.
We expect to see more dark kitchen businesses having websites and offering food delivery via their own websites in the coming year.
Interesting Restaurant Online Ordering Statistics
Do you still have doubts about getting your restaurant website refreshed? Take a look at the following statistics regarding restaurant online ordering:
- Based on NRN, Digital ordering and delivery have grown 300% faster than dine-in traffic since 2014.
- 70% of consumers say they’d rather order directly from a restaurant, preferring that their money goes straight to the restaurant and not a third party.
- 57% of millennials say that they have restaurant food delivered so they can watch movies and TV shows at home.
- 45% of consumers say that offering mobile ordering or loyalty programs would encourage them to use online ordering services more often.
- Orders placed via smartphone and mobile apps will become a $38 billion industry by 2020.
- Pizza chains reported an 18% increase in customer spend from online/mobile orders vs. phone orders.
- Own your online ordering system: 43% of restaurant professionals said they believe third-party apps interfere with the direct relationship between a restaurant and its customers.
- 90% of guests research a restaurant online before actually going there. This is a practice done more in this business type compared to others. (Upserve, 2019)
- 92% of diners read restaurant reviews. (Upserve, 2019)
The advantages of having a restaurant website on the WordPress platform
Perhaps you think of WordPress as a blogging platform, not as a suitable platform for building websites. First, let’s clarify. Originally designed as a blogging platform, WordPress(com) continues to be a hosted website, but many Fortune 500 companies like UPS and eBay prefer WordPress(org). This is because WordPress(org) is an open source platform that allows for more flexibility than any other website platform.
Let’s have a look at some of the advantages of using WordPress for your restaurant website:
1- Cost: It is free, you only need to pay for your hosting and domain name. In contrast to other platforms such as Wix or Squarespace, there is no monthly subscription fee. You can also save money on maintenance expenses if you do it yourself rather than hire a designer.
2- SEO: SEO is much better with WordPress. You can customize SEO tactics for every page, giving you full control over how search engines rank your pages. Plus there are a lot of free plugins you can make use of.
3- Content Marketing: It is an ideal platform for content marketing. You can update the content of your site quickly, easily, and as often as you like with WordPress. Furthermore, Social Influence can teach clients how to update content, edit pages, and publish new blog posts.
4- Integration: Third-party apps, such as online forms, booking platforms, reservations, email marketing and menu plugins, are easy to integrate.
5- Ownership: When you use WordPress, you own the data of your clients. When websites are built on DIY platforms, they don’t own their data, which is something many website owners overlook. It’s better to not be at the mercy of other businesses, right?
6- Online Sales: Restaurant websites can be used to make online sales. And you don’t even have to pay extra for this. Unlike DIY platforms, the e-commerce plugin WooCommerce is free for restaurant owners to use, allowing them to sell anything on their own websites.
Interested in working with us on your SEO-optimized & mobile-friendly restaurant website? Contact us today for a free discovery call!