Let me start by saying that I am a big fan of good restaurants as well as good food. But these days, it isn’t enough to just have unique menu items and a tasty menu. People are doing their homework before they go out to eat. By homework, I mean that people are looking at the websites of the different restaurants in order to pick out the one that has exactly what they are looking for. So, it becomes increasingly important for restaurants to continually maintain their site. I’m going to talk about a few things that, as a consumer and marketing student, I feel make a restaurant website appetizing.
The first major ingredient in the website recipe is to have a home page that is inviting and easy to navigate. To demonstrate what I mean, have found a restaurant that has it mastered. Campo, a recently opened restaurant in Reno has a great site that can be found at http://www.camporeno.com/. In bold letters at the top of the site, the meaning of campo is written. Translated, it means gathering spot or meeting place. What a great way to introduce yourself to the guest! In addition, above this translation is a picture of pizzas cooking in a stone oven. My mouth is watering. If that doesn’t appeal inviting to consumers, I don’t know what will.
The next ingredient needed to cook the perfect website is a list of the food offerings. I hate hate hate visiting a restaurants website and there is no list of what food is served! The restaurant I’d like to use to demonstrate this ingredient is Zozo’s Ristorante. Their site can be found at http://www.zozosreno.com/. This site has not one, not two, but three menus presented as links on the home page. Their banquet, dinner, and lunch menu are displayed, as well as a wine list. It is not just a list, either. The site contains an actually picture of the menu presented at the restaurant. I find this useful to customers because they can go to the restaurant and know exactly where the food item they want is on the menu.
The last ingredient, the garnish if you will, is the need for a link or display of news and media coverage and/or testimonials. This is an ingredient definitely lacking with the local restaurants in Reno, NV. Mostly corporate restaurants have such links. I find this very important because I like to try new places that receive positive coverage.
I leave you with this: consumers, do you homework and check out the sites before you eat. Restaurant owners, do your homework and read my blog.