The mark of a great restaurant website is one that intuitively communicates its brand, is easy to use and easy to understand, and captures the experience of dining at the establishment. However, as a restaurant concept grows and opens more locations, many multi-unit owners find it challenging to incorporate the same messages that worked so well for a single location into a new website that covers multiple locations.
The good new is, with some advanced planning by your internal team and working alongside an experienced restaurant website development team, you can overcome these challenges and benefit from a multi-location restaurant website that will become your most valuable marketing tool.
A well-designed multi-location restaurant website can save time and money by:
- Administering/updating only one website instead of managing many.
- Allowing for tighter control of your branding and messaging across all of your locations
- Creating opportunities for promotional marketing for all of your locations
In order to maximize your time and website investment, the planning process for your website should include a list of your team’s operational needs such as reservation capabilities, event reservation or management tools. You should also include a list of what the overall goals are for your new website.
The mark of a great restaurant website is one that intuitively communicates its brand, is easy to use and easy to understand, and captures the experience of dining at the establishment.
Trillion’s restaurant website development process includes a preliminary discovery phase that includes interviews with key management and stakeholders as well as competitive research. We then complete a user experience phase where we develop wireframes and create strategic content. Next, we implement our graphic design phase where we develop the look and feel of your website. Lastly, the programming phase is where we code and test your new website prior to making it live. (You can read more about our website design process here.)
Here are the top 3 items to consider for your new multi-location restaurant website:
Implement a location finder/search
If you plan on having five restaurants or more, a location finder and search feature should be designed into your website. This tool will allow your customers to easily find a restaurant that is close to them by entering their zip code, or searching by city and state on their computers. When a customer is on their mobile device, only the closest locations matter so we like to use geolocation. By using geolocation, GPS-enabled smart phones can instantly serve up which restaurant is nearest to a potential patron based upon their location.
Create detailed landing pages for each restaurant location
A landing page provides all of the information on one page that a search engine needs (like Google) to help your customer find your establishment. This allows your customer to quickly visit the page (i.e., by clicking on a link, a social media post, or a search result in Google) and learn all they need to know about your nearest location to them. Each landing page should list the restaurant’s location, contact information, hours of operation, menus and specials.
Plan for fast website growth
If your restaurant group is scaling at a rapid pace, make sure your website is built in a way that will also support that growth. Create a website that can easily be administered by your team (without a programmer) using an easy-to-use content management system such as WordPress. Start by making a list of the most important information that needs to be added to your website when new locations go live. Business information such as address, phone number, hours of operation, unique menus should be communicated to your programming team as they plan your website. Also consider the people who should have access to the website: is it your marketing team, one person, or will every restaurant manager want to edit their page? Knowing whether you want centralized or decentralized web administration will help define a website that fits into your restaurant’s workflow.
Interested in learning more about multi-location restaurant websites?
Our team is expert in all aspects of branding, marketing and website development for restaurant, franchise and hospitality groups. You can also download our handy website planning tool here. Give us a ring, we’d love to discuss some of the latest tools you can take advantage of for your business. Contact us at 908-219-4703 or fill out our contact form.