Best Practices

How Effective is Your Restaurant’s Website?

For hospitality businesses in 2024, it is essential that every piece of technology you own serves as an enhanced digital touchpoint for your guests. Knowledge is power, and your website is the greatest source of knowledge your establishment can provide to guests. A new survey from US Foods found that 83% of diners visit a restaurant’s website before they dine-in or order out from the establishment. To meet the needs and expectations of modern diners, here are the key features every restaurant website should include.

Prioritize for Mobile Search 

A beautifully designed, user friendly website is a must. But it all goes for naught if your prospective customers can’t find you. According to marketing guru, Rev Ciancio

  • 2 out of 3 searches for a local business are for a restaurant
  • 2 out of 3 searches for a restaurant are unbranded. People search for what they crave.

That means you absolutely must show up in mobile for branded and non-branded search for the food and beverage categories that matter for your business. Everything online needs to be optimized for discovery on a phone, for someone who is looking for something right now in your vicinity. Low-cost, easy-to-use tools that integrate with GoTab like Marqii make managing and automating menus, reviews, listings and local SEO easy for non-technical staff or even those with no marketing experience at all.

Simplify Interactions

The most effective websites are designed with the user in mind. So while you may create a beautiful design, make sure it’s easy to access, easy to browse and has all the key information that your customers, or future customers, are looking for.

Location and Contact Information

Make it easy for customers to find and contact you. Display your address, phone number, email, and operating hours prominently on your website. Include an interactive map with directions, parking information, and nearby public transit options to help customers plan their visit. Ensuring that this information is easily accessible can reduce frustration and enhance the overall customer experience.

Events and Merchandise

Keep your customers informed about upcoming events, special promotions, and include a dynamic store feed for any merchandise or items your business sells. A dynamic calendar or a dedicated section for news and updates ensures that guests are always in the loop about what’s happening at your restaurant, and a store with live inventory updates ensures accurate purchases and seamless stock updates.

User-Friendly Design and Accessibility

Mobile-Friendly Design

With a significant number of users accessing websites via their mobile devices, having a mobile-friendly design is non-negotiable. Ensure your website is responsive, providing an optimal viewing experience across all devices. This adaptability ensures that your site is accessible to all users, regardless of how they access it.

Easy Navigation

A seamless user experience is crucial for retaining visitors and converting them into customers. Ensure your website has clear, intuitive navigation. Organize your menu logically, with sections for the home page, menu, reservations, about us, contact information, and any other relevant categories. A sticky menu that remains visible as users scroll can further enhance usability.

High-Quality Visuals

High-quality photos and videos are essential for showcasing your restaurant’s ambiance, dishes, and events. Invest in professional photography to capture the essence of your dining experience. Consider adding a virtual tour of your restaurant to provide an immersive preview for potential guests. These visuals can significantly influence a customer’s decision to visit your restaurant.

Accessibility Features

Ensure your website is accessible to all users, including those with disabilities. Implement features such as alt text for images, keyboard navigation, and screen reader compatibility. Adhering to accessibility standards not only broadens your audience but also demonstrates inclusivity and social responsibility. This ensures that everyone, regardless of their abilities, can enjoy your website and, by extension, your restaurant.

Integrations and Media

Social Media Integration

Link your social media accounts to your website and display live feeds from platforms like Instagram and Facebook. This keeps your content fresh and encourages social engagement. Social media is also a great way to showcase user-generated content, such as photos and posts from your diners. This not only builds a sense of community but also provides authentic testimonials and promotional content.

Loyalty Program Integration

Promote your loyalty program directly on your website. Allow customers to sign up, check their points, and redeem rewards online. This not only enhances customer retention but also encourages repeat business. Highlighting the benefits of your loyalty program on your website can entice new customers to join and existing customers to engage more frequently.

By incorporating these features, restaurants can create a powerful digital presence that not only attracts new customers but also enhances the overall dining experience for their guests. In 2024, a well-designed, informative, and interactive website is a critical tool for success in the competitive hospitality industry.

Detailed Menu

The menu is often the primary reason visitors come to your website, so it should be comprehensive, detailed, and visually appealing. Include clear descriptions and prices for all items. Highlight special dietary options like vegan, gluten-free, and allergen-free dishes to cater to diverse dietary needs. High-quality images of your dishes can entice potential customers and give them a visual representation of what to expect. This not only helps in decision-making but also sets the right expectations, which can enhance customer satisfaction and reduce potential complaints.

Online Reservation System

If you are a full-service restaurant that takes reservations, integrating an online booking system is a must. This feature streamlines the reservation process, allowing guests to make reservations at their convenience without needing to call, thus reducing the workload on your staff and improving customer experience. 

Online Ordering and Delivery

Facilitate online ordering for takeout and delivery with a user-friendly system. Display all menu items, modifications, and clear pricing. Ensure the ordering process is quick, secure, and seamless. Integrate payment gateways that support various payment methods, including credit cards, digital wallets, and other popular payment options. This convenience can significantly boost your sales, especially as more diners prefer the ease of ordering online.

Considering updating your tech stack? Request a demo today to learn more about how GoTab can elevate your operations 

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Situated “in the heart of it all, yet tranquil enough to make you feel away from it all too,” The Limelight Hotel Snowmass offers 99 hotel rooms and 11 residences, as well as footsteps-to-gondola access in winter and summer — right in the middle of Snowmass Base Village.

The Situation

Especially over the last few years, the Limelight Hotels IT team had witnessed a significant shift to contactless technology in the hospitality industry. After evaluating friction points in the guest journey, aligning with modern technology platforms in their restaurant was determined to be an effective way to offer elevated contactless dining experiences to their guests while also evolving their technology platforms to continue to support long-term company goals. Limelight Hotel partnered with GoTab to provide an enhanced on-demand dining experience on par with the brand’s reputation for exceptional guest service.

The Solution

Reducing Staff Touch Points Without Sacrificing Guest Experience

Guests are now able to begin a tab from their room or the property’s restaurant by scanning a QR code, texting a link to friends or family members on the ski slope to add in their orders, then meeting up together at the patio or lodge to enjoy their meal and après ski festivities without interruption. By streamlining tasks like inputting orders and processing payments, this eliminates friction for hotel staff and allows them to focus on delivering renowned guest service for a memorable experience. Since partnering with GoTab, Limelight Snowmass has consistently seen higher check averages and sales.

“We found the Point of Sale platforms we were looking at offered the guest and staff limited opportunities to further reduce touch points or improve the traditional restaurant experience. The GoTab platform enabled the guest to take an active role over the flow of their experience while simultaneously reducing touch points and further streamlining restaurant operations.”Nick Giglio, Manager of Hotel IT Operations, The Little Nell Hotel Group

According to the Limelight Hotels team, some of the other platforms that were evaluated were either missing some of the pieces they were looking for, had weak customer support models, or had little willingness to develop integrations to existing hotel platforms already in place. To that end, GoTab integrated with cloud-based platform, Infor. Together, GoTab and Infor are providing dynamic solutions to support central, efficient service across hotel amenities and deliver exceptional guest experiences.

“Previously, guests would call down to the restaurant to begin an order from their room or while they were out enjoying the ski slopes. Using GoTab, guests can now place orders from anywhere on the resort, giving them the on-demand service they want without interrupting their day. GoTab empowers us to give control to the guest, reducing touch points and streamlining overall restaurant operations, making Limelight Hotel the resort of choice for Snowmass.”Nick Giglio, Manager of Hotel IT Operations, The Little Nell Hotel Group

Since introducing GoTab, The Limelight Hotel has seen a consistent level of upsells and items sold per check resulting in additional revenue capture. They have been able to maintain service levels in their restaurants during periods when there was reduced staffing available without significantly diminishing the guest experience.

The Benefits

Eliminate Phone Orders – Take Orders from the Slopes. Guests can start a tab from their room or on the mountain without interrupting the flow of their day.

Future-Proofed Technologies – Delivering elevated contactless ordering via integration with the Infor hotel management platform.

Eliminating Friction in the Guest Journey – Maintaining service levels during periods of reduced staff without diminishing the guest experience.

  • Eliminating Friction in the Guest Journey – Maintaining service levels during periods of reduced staff without diminishing the guest experience.
  • Eliminating Friction in the Guest Journey – Maintaining service levels during periods of reduced staff without diminishing the guest experience.
  • Eliminating Friction in the Guest Journey – Maintaining service levels during periods of reduced staff without diminishing the guest experience.
  • Eliminating Friction in the Guest Journey – Maintaining service levels during periods of reduced staff without diminishing the guest experience.

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