Has this ever happened to you? You walk into a restaurant and look at their menu, and you have no idea where to start. There’s too much going on, arrows all over the place, and too many things to choose from.

Unfortunately it happens a lot, but it also happens online. The problem when it happens on your website is that customers will leave if it’s too much work. Your online world needs to be just as easy to navigate as your brick and mortar location. Here are a few things to keep in mind for your restaurant’s online presence.


1. Google Maps is showing better descriptions on mobile

Restaurant Google PlacesIf you’ve looked for a restaurant recently, you’ve probably seen short descriptions listed for some restaurants. Google is again making themselves even more relevant on mobile search, and by going after apps like Yelp, it’s even more important to make sure your restaurant follows their rules. They’ve even added a filter so users can search by best reviewed restaurants (on a star system). Once your restaurant’s Google Places page is setup, it should have all of your info, including pictures, an inside tour, phone number, open hours, and as many reviews as you can find.


2. People aren’t specifically searching for “restaurant reviews” anymore

google trendsGoogle Trends is a great tool for finding out what users are searching for. From the 2 searches above, it’s clear that people aren’t looking for “restaurant reviews” nearly as much as they used to, and the search volume is continuing its decline. Because of the way people search on their phones and the way the Google algorithms work, those kinds of things aren’t necessary anymore. What’s more important are keywords like “best restaurant”; with additions like the option to filter by number of stars, Google is eliminating the need for long tail keywords (“best restaurant old city philadelphia”).

Google knows where you are, and they can serve you more relevant content based on your location; if you’re on your phone, they know where you are based on your GPS, and if you’re on your computer, they know where you are based on your IP address.

Speaking of things users are searching for, there’s been a big spike in searches for ‘restaurant menu’ over the last 3 years or so.

google trends 2

People are constantly on the go, and they want to have info at their fingertips as soon as possible, or they’re going to move on to the next place. While the term ‘restaurant menu’ is a pretty broad term, it speaks volumes for what people are looking for. ‘(insert restaurant name here) menu’ and that’s exactly what people want.

Keeping users front of mind will make them more likely to visit your site, they’ll stay longer, and spend more time and money in your restaurant. It can be very frustrating when customers have to download a PDF to look at a menu, or pinch and zoom to read your menu on their phones – why not make it as easy as possible for them to read your menu and see your specials on one easy-to-read page? Make sure your dinner menu is mobile-friendly and your customers will thank you for it.


3. Email Integration is key

In Q1 of 2014, 66% of emails were opened on either a smartphone or tablet (http://marketingland.com/34-percent-email-opens-now-happen-pc-83277). Email follows the same idea as making sure your restaurant menu is easily readable; if you’re sending emails to your customer base, make sure they’re mobile-friendly. Too many images may not load, your content might get missed, and your email could end up directly in someone’s trash. Your email content should be responsive just like your website, and it should have the same look and feel to make sure your restaurant marketing efforts are consistent across mediums.


4. Food Videos!

Food and recipe videos on YouTube have grown 59% in the last year, and social engagement with food related videos has grown 118%. People want to see your food, not just read about it. Short videos are easy to make and post to YouTube, and they’re exactly what your customers want to see; if they can watch your chef prepare their favorite dish, you’ll inspire them to learn more and follow your restaurant.

75% of YouTube food video views are on mobile! Integrate YouTube videos on your restaurant’s website and inspire your regulars to keep coming back for more. You can post videos directly to your restaurant’s YouTube channel right from your iPhone or Android, and your fans will keep coming back for more.

youtube chart

Source: Think With Google

5. Chef’s Feed and Chef Reviews

Chef’s Feed is a relatively new app that has dining recommendations from the country’s best chefs. It’s in most major cities, and has reviews from some of the best chefs in town. You can read tons of reviews, from George Perrier’s review of the Snapper turtle soup at Oyster House to Jose Garces’ review of the Tasting Menu at Vetri, and many more. This app is another great way to get your chef’s name out to the public and generate some buzz for your restaurant’s best dishes.

You can click here to download the iPhone app or Android app.


If you’re interested in making sure your restaurant website is setup and optimized for the way people are searching, email or call us today to find out how we can help.