The online reservation form “Book a table” on restaurant websites has become already a standard in the industry. Very often, however, owners integrate it at their website without considering to re-organize the rest of the online content in a way to stimulate users use this form. When we talk to internet reality, it is very important organizing the site content at the best possible way to lead users execute a specific action or find the information they need. Thus can be achieved specific objectives generate sales, requests, phone calls or in our case online reservations etc. The internet is a very dynamic environment and often the users remain not more than few seconds on a website if there is nothing enough interesting to capture their attention. At the same time there is always something else which deconcentrate them and at the end they will leave your website. Moreover, every website has its own navigation and design which represents an additional difficulty for the user to find the information that he is looking for. In this relation, each website owner should think how to build the online content in order to get the expected results. There are different things that can be done in this direction, optimizing the design and the online communication to stimulate users make a reservation and visit the restaurant. This is in fact the main objective of every restaurant owner!
Here are some ideas to work on at your website:
Create a call-to-action button “Reserve a table” which differentiate from all other buttons and put it at a visible place at the webpages. Generally such a place is the site header close to the main menu. Choose a bright color for the button to attract attention and stimulate action. In many websites the booking button is included in the main menu and doesn’t differentiate at any way from the others. Some users who visit the website even may not notice that it exists. Another case is when such a button is missing at all, because the owners relay on their Contacts page and think that if the user want to book a table, they will go directly there. The experience, however, shows, that the lack of a call-to-action button on all pages decrease many times the total number of the online reservations.
Very often the restaurant websites include gallery of photos of the interior and the exterior of the venue but not of the menu items. As the saying goes, you eat with your eyes first. In this relation, you can offer the best and tasty menu but if it is not presented accordingly at your website with beautiful professional images to create desire, it is very less probable to attract online users book a table. Of course, we talk here about the situation where you as a user who visit the website have no other additional information about the venue, such as friend recommendations etc.
Many websites, for example, publish only a text menu online with the respective prices believing that the price is the most important factor for a potential customer to make a decision to visit or not the restaurant. They underestimate an extremely strong factor as the visual menu presentation.
Try to include professional images of the main dishes on your website and publish some of them at its Home page. This will increase significantly your online reservations.
Special events and promotions
Some other thing that can help you impress the online users when they visit your website is to communicate special events related to specific dates. This can create a sense of urgency and make them reserve a table even if they didn’t intended to do that at the beginning. Of course, this can happen only if the events are enough interesting for your customers. For example, this could be a live music event, Happy hour or thematic evenings or weeks such as week of the greek or french cuisine etc.
Moreover, you can communicate discounts for a specific days of the week, or a separate lunch menu of the day. There are so many possibilities, the only thing is to decide which one will work best for you. It is as equally important to succeed communicate the related information as it should in order to create the respective result. i.e more online reservations.
Social media links
Social media buttons at restaurant websites have also become a standard element and are present almost on every webpage. Are they, however, highlighted, as they should be in order to be effective? These links are important to remain in contact with the website visitors through your social media profiles and continue to communication them information by your new posts. Thus, the probability they to remember your venue and visit you again is higher. Often, these buttons are present only at the Contacts page of the website. It will be better if you insert them on every page at a visible place. Think about also hot to highlight them. You can add also some slogans telling the users what will be the benefit for them if they follow your social media profiles. For example, that they can receive info about actual promotions, discounts etc. Don’t estimate the power of social media and use them wisely to create loyal customers.
For sure, all the described advices above are not the unique ones that you can use to optimize your website for more online reservations. The main thing here to remember is that the online reservation form isn’t enough to generate sales. Each element, color and piece of information is important in order to make people remain on your webpage and stimulate them to book a table. Be smart in your online communication and always try to think a step in advance!