The hospitality industry is by far one of the the largest industries here in Australia, especially with a $12 billion market. Hundreds of new restaurants open every month in the greater Melbourne area alone.
Based on my own experience, I must say, online presence plays a big part in increasing the revenue of the hospitality industry.
Around 43% of customers check websites and read online reviews of your business before they decide to pay you a visit.
Therefore, whether you have a small business, multi-store outlets or a commercial dining room, you should consider a few things that will provide a positive customer experience.
Get the basics right
A big part of the reason why people visit websites is to seek information customer need. Phone numbers, opening hours, address, menus, and photos of your food. The phone number should be prominent and visible at all times. Make the number clickable for mobile visitors to easily call for reservations or enquirers.
Bonus tip: I highly recommend displaying your menu as text, not as a PDF. This works better for the SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
There are also various digital applications you can use for better customer engagement:
-Dimmi is one of these apps and it seems to be widely used by a broad number of our customers;
-Skip, Uber Eats and Deliveroo are great any outlets.
-Social media plays a big part of your business, so be sure to include all your social media links on your sites.
Share your stories.
Write about your chef, food/product philosophy, top quality ingredients, farmer’s stories and more. It adds values that you as a business owner believe in.
People love to hear your stories and to learn from the people behind the business. It is a good practice not only for building your customer relationship, but it also brings you some well-deserved media attention.
Invest in quality design
The beautiful interior design of your place and the quality of the food you serve should also be displayed on your website. Business owners often forget the necessity of a well-designed and simple website, but as potential customers check you out on your website it makes a strong impression before they walk through your door.
No matter how beautiful your restaurant is, poorly designed websites can affect tech savvy customers’ decisions. Showcase a strong, consistent branding throughout your website and “wow!” your customers.
Invest in beautiful photos and videos
Getting professional photos and videos of your sizzling plates and mouth-watering desserts is important. Quality imagery and footage make your audience crave your products. We recommend all our clients to add professionally shot photos and videos of their kitchen – putting the dishes, roasting coffee beans, making a perfect Latte, and the lively atmosphere of the space. These will result in users to not only feel the taste but feel the smell of the offerings.
Use your website to bring them back
Send online newsletters. Offer promotional codes for repeat purchases. Give extra value and reward royal customers. Every component plays a big deal in your business.
People want to stay on top of food trends, indulge in new delicious products on a regular basis. How can you easily deliver this to your customers?
It comes down to number of ways to promote your business by making use of events like seasonal events, as well as different themed functions. For example, you can create specials for birthday, Valentine’s day or Mother’s day. You can find some great platforms online to reach your audience for these special occasions.
Go the extra mile. Have your own mobile app
Think about the customer experience as you’d like to experience as you walk into a store:
The customer walks into your store without having to wait, sits at a table and be able to order all the food from a couple of clicks. You can integrate technologies between a phone, kitchen and even accept payment online.
Sound more like a scene from a futuristic movie doesn’t it? This is actually what a lot of restaurants in the US are starting to implement. Food businesses now have their own apps especially for local restaurants to use apps to promote their daily specials, happy hour deals and promotions.
Technology and hospitality can go hand in hand. Previously, we’ve witnessed a huge amount of savings in admin and staffing with marketing automation. Making your own hospitality app is not as scary as it sounds.
Symphonic has the creativity and experience to redesign existing websites that convert your site traffic into offline sales. Talk to one of our strategists and designers about the project.