There's also a few tips that might help your restaurant in a recent article we wrote titled "Is Google Local Important for Search?". Take a quick look at that and see for yourself how you can help your restaurant be found.
What Does This Mean For Restaurants?
Well, unless you're ONLY interested in the few thousand people (if you're lucky) who live within say a 10 Km radius of your business you have to reach out to a wider audience. Plus publicity costs money and there's no guaruntee or measurability with many of these 20th Century methods still in use. So here we're going to explore a few things you, as a restaurateur can do to help your business be found by these people that are searching.
First, let's face some facts...
Smartphone use is increasing
I don't think we need to reference any statistics here, feel free to Google it. More people now use Smartphones than ever before. With this comes the ability and easy of finding what you want and no doubt you already know that Facebook is not what they use when looking for somewhere to eat.
Click the image to the right to see what we mean...
Restaurant diners use "Locators" like Google Maps
"One in three searches on a mobile device are of local intent, and 75 percent of diners have used a mobile restaurant locator like Google Maps. This makes tools like AdWords and Places all the more critical, as operators can target nearby customers more carefully and be sure their information is found when potential customers in the area do a search, she says." (click here to read the full article).
Now add to this the fact that around 50% of diners will not look beyond page 1 of the search results (more here).
Don't rely soley on reviews sites
Yes, reviews sell. We're not debating that fact as we know from the restaurants we have worked with that reviews drive diners to their restaurants. However, when a prospective diner is looking at your reviews thay're not quite at that point where they want to buy. If they were they'd be ringing your phone. No, what they are doing is "comparing". This is when your website comes in to play. They compare, look at your website and if (as is mentioned in our previous article) they take the first bite with the eye they make that call and a reservation !
Own the sales process
We don't mean go out and "buy" prospective diners here. What we mean is that by having a website your restaurant can do something that social can't. It can control the user experience, guide the user through your website to (for example) the menu and from there guide them towards making a reservation.
You can display whatever you like there and make it dynamic. Have offers that ONLY display at certain times, capture their mail address to keep them informed of your offers and more importantly: Keep them coming back to YOUR website and YOUR business.
What's most important for you as a restaurant owner when a diner is looking for you? To be found we would assume, no...?
That's what we do... We get you, your restaurant, and your food in front of prospective diners.
Did you know that around 57% of diners make a buying decision for "dinner" around 1 hour before they dine. Think about that for a moment, and think "where might they be?". Clearly they are local, close by and looking to eat ! They're hungry and you should be the one to feed them !
Almost all of the restaurants we have designed websites for through Restaurant Website Design have risen to #1 (organically and through local search) in Google and without exception every site has received traffic and in many cases have taken reservations BEFORE we have even offically launched the website.