8 secrets to driving more orders on your restaurant’s website

By Emma LiburdiFeb 20th, 2024

Chef managing tickets for incoming website orders

It’s no secret that websites are the one tool that every restaurant needs in its arsenal. In fact, 77% of diners visit a restaurant’s website before dining in or ordering out. But not all sites are created equal. To really bring in sales, you’ll need one that’s optimized for orders. ChowNow recently partnered with Squarespace to build premium websites designed for restaurants. Here’s all you need to know about building a great site that drives online orders.

1. PUT YOUR SITE AT THE TOP OF SEARCH RESULTS

Everyone uses search engines to find nearby restaurants. But almost no one scrolls past the first few results of their search. Luckily, with the right SEO tools, your restaurant can appear at the top of search results and bring in tons of new diners. Think about how diners might search for your restaurant. For example, they might look up “Sushi in Connecticut.” Then use SEO tools to make sure your website is ranking high for those keywords. If you are, you’ll quickly work you way to the top of search results.

2. PLACE YOUR ORDER BUTTON FRONT AND CENTER

The most successful websites are easy to use. If it takes too long to place an order, you might miss a bunch of sales. You’ll need an “Order Now” button that’s easy to find. Place the button on your homepage so it’s one of the first things diners see when they land on your site. You can also put one on the top section of your site and make it “sticky,” so it’s always at the top of the page even when diners scroll down. Remember, the easier it is to order, the easier it is to drive sales.

3. USE A DIRECT COMMISSION-FREE ORDERING PLATFORM

If you have too many ordering options, it might confuse customers. Only link to one ordering platform on your site, and it should be the one that gives your restaurant the most profits. Most ordering platforms squeeze restaurants by charging up to 40% in commissions on every online order—and that adds up. Instead, link to a direct ordering platform that doesn’t charge commissions, like ChowNow.

4. MAKE YOUR MENU EASY TO FIND

Just like your order button, your menu should be easy to find for diners. You should link to it in your homepage so they can quickly find what they need. You can also make it a “sticky” link at the top of the site so it’s always accessible. Diners will be looking for your menu, so make it as easy as possible.

5. MAKE A GOOD FIRST IMPRESSION

Make your website as appetizing as your food. Use sleek, modern design that makes diners feel welcome while driving them to order. Don’t forget about menu photos either. Adding high-quality menu photos can encourage bigger tickets and more orders, so be sure to put your food in the spotlight.

Restaurant website optimized for online ordering

6. INCLUDE ALL YOUR IMPORTANT INFO

Don’t keep your diners guessing. You don’t need to overdo it with too much information, but be sure to include your hours, address, and contact info on your homepage. Diners shouldn’t have to go out of their way to know your basic info. If it’s not there, they might choose another restaurant instead. You can also link to your social media channels from your website. Your restaurant can gain followers and use marketing to drive them to order again.

7. OPTIMIZE YOUR SITE FOR MOBILE

The majority of your website traffic will be on mobile devices, so it should be easy to navigate on smaller screens. Your website should be responsive, meaning it should adjust to the size of whatever device is being used to view it. That way, your website looks great on any phone, tablet, or laptop.

8. KEEP IT BRANDED AND COHESIVE

Your website should be an extension of your in-house dining experience. If it isn’t, diners might get confused and go someplace else. Your logo should be front and center on your homepage, and you should use brand colors and imagery throughout. It’s a simple way to build brand loyalty and a cohesive experience for all your diners.

Building a successful website may seem complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. You can get a premium website powered by ChowNow and Squarespace that’s optimized for ordering and built by our experts—and it’s all included with ChowNow Pro. If you’re interested, reach out to our team to learn more.

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