how to grow my restaurant online

Have you been thinking about how to grow my restaurant online? If you want to grow your business, you need to be where your customers are. And in today’s times, that is the Internet.

According to a study by the National Restaurant Association, more than 60% of customers in the United States use online food delivery services. This is excellent news for any restaurant business looking to expand its reach.

You can quickly expand your customer base and make your business more profitable by taking your restaurant business online.

From food delivery apps to social media marketing, there are many ways to take your restaurant online. Not so surprisingly, online delivery has grown 300% faster than dine-in traffic since 2014. And it’s not just third-party delivery apps gaining traction. More than 70% of the population is interested in ordering from a restaurant directly. 

Gone are the days when you had to invest in multiple brick-and-mortar stores to expand your business and target demographic. With a restaurant app, you can boost your customer base and increase revenue by offering customers a chance to book their table from home, thus saving their time. Besides, it will also help you provide quality services with the help of technology.

Now that we have established the need to take your restaurant online, here are a few simple ways you can do it.

Here are five ways to take your restaurant business online

Creating an online presence for your restaurant is easier than you think. Here are five ways you can take your restaurant business online and start bringing in more customers:

5 ways to take your restaurant business online

1. Lower your overhead costs by moving to an online restaurant platform.

As the restaurant industry continues to evolve, it is clear that one of its most significant challenges is to find ways to reduce operating costs and increase profitability.

One of the easiest ways to lower overhead costs is by moving your restaurant online. By creating an online presence for your restaurant with a website, social media, and mobile app, you can cut down on many expenses related to marketing and customer engagement.

An online presence can also help bring in new customers who have never heard of your restaurant before. Website marketing, social media marketing, and mobile apps are ways to reach out to new potential customers, which can add to the number of orders you receive without increasing your advertising costs.

2. Create a professional website—not just a social media page

Although social media is a great way to connect with your customers, it’s not a substitute for a restaurant website. Social media profiles are limited in what they can do, and it’s straightforward for diners to get lost in the shuffle. Consider building a website when you want to create a more permanent home for your restaurant online.

A good website will give you more design freedom than any social network will allow and help you rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs). Your site can be an essential tool for telling your story and reassuring diners that your business is the right choice. It can also encourage people to visit your location or take advantage of other services, from reservations to delivery. And, of course, it provides another platform where consumers can find information about your business.

Your website is the first step to creating a presence on the web. It’s where customers can find you, learn more about your business, and even place orders. Plus, it’s the one place that’s always available for them to go back to 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

3. Use search engine optimization (SEO)

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an essential part of any good website design. You can have a beautiful website, but what’s the point if no one can find it? Understanding how SEO works and optimizing your website for organic search traffic will help you attract new customers and increase sales. 

Search engine optimization is how your site shows up in Google searches. It’s an important tool that helps potential customers find you online—and if they can’t find you, they can’t see what you’re selling. SEO can help boost your ranking on search engines, which will increase traffic to your site. You can optimize your website by following three steps. 

i. Start with high-quality content

People search for directions and menus online, but they also search for “best chicken,” “new restaurants,” or “where to take clients.” Create content that answers these questions.

ii. Use keywords

When people search online, they enter keywords or phrases they think will help find the information they need. If someone searches for the best brunch spot in town, the keyword is “best brunch.” Keywords are at the core of SEO, so be sure your content addresses relevant keywords and phrases.

iii. Optimise your website

Google has a free tool called PageSpeed Insights that measures how quickly your site loads on desktop and mobile. This matters because 40% of people will leave a website if it takes more than three seconds to load.

4. Build a mobile app for your restaurant

You can keep customers happy with a smartphone app that enhances their experience.

Your customers want more from you as a restaurant owner. And with the increasing popularity of smartphones, there are many ways to meet their needs and expectations.

With a mobile app for your restaurant, you can make it easier for customers to order food and drinks, find your location, get directions and contact information, leave reviews, get coupons and special offers, etc.

Why should you build an app in the first place?

Your website is probably already responsive, meaning that it automatically adjusts to fit the screen it’s being viewed on – which is fantastic because it means customers can access your site from any device. But there are a few reasons why an app would be helpful for your business:

It promotes customer loyalty. How do you get repeat customers? A loyalty program is a great place to start! An app allows customers to track their points rewards quickly and offers specific to them. This makes them feel valued, which is excellent for your business.

A dedicated restaurant app will increase visibility and accessibility. What's easier: Typing in a web address or tapping on the app icon on your phone? The answer is obvious – people are much more likely to download your app than visit… Share on X

10 features to make your mobile restaurant app stand out

Now that you know the answer to how to grow my restaurant online, the next focus is on which features to include in your restaurant mobile app to make it stand out. 

10 features to make your mobile restaurant app stand out

i. In-app loyalty cards:

If you have a “buy 10 coffee, get 1 free” offer or any other similar program, there is no need for a physical card anymore! You need to create an in-app loyalty card and let your customers collect points by scanning the QR code from their smartphone screen!

ii. Push notifications:

While the notifications option is not a new thing, it still is valid. Push notifications allow users to stay updated about your restaurant’s latest offers and services. Users can also know about the details of your menu if you give them push notifications regularly.

iii. In-app referral programs:

Customers are more likely to try out a new restaurant if a friend has recommended it, so why not build on that concept? Restaurant apps can include in-app referral programs to incentivize customers to spread the word about your restaurant. You can offer points to those who refer new customers and give incentives to both the person giving the referral and the person receiving it.

iv. Online ordering:

Online ordering is the new way to order food. It gives consumers control over what they want and how much they want to spend. This method of ordering food has taken off, allowing restaurants to reach new customers and increase profits.

v. Geolocation services:

Geolocation services are becoming increasingly popular among consumers and businesses alike. So, you must have this feature in your restaurant management software. This feature allows consumers to locate the nearest restaurants or a specific restaurant. It also helps them find directions to the restaurant.

vi. Consumer feedback and reviews:

With this feature, users can rate or review your restaurant on various parameters like ambiance, food quality, service, etc. This will enable you to understand where you need to improve and how you can enhance your services for a better customer experience.

vii. Real-time tracking: 

This feature allows customers to track their orders in real-time. Customers can see when their order is accepted, dispatched, or delivered. They can track the exact location of their delivery agent and estimated delivery time.

viii. Booking tools:

For customers, it’s much easier to make a reservation via a restaurant app. For restaurants, an easy-to-use booking tool can help to manage reservations efficiently.

ix. In-app payment:

Restaurant apps should be equipped with payment options to simplify making orders, thus enhancing user experience. Customers will be able to pay for their orders from within the app instead of waiting for staff members to bring a bill and a credit card machine or mobile POS terminal.

x. Gamification

Gamifying your loyalty program is a great way to encourage more customers to join and participate. By gamifying the process, it makes it more fun for your customers.

5. Leverage Google Maps, Yelp, and other business listings     

Claiming your business listings is essential to ensure that the information on the Internet about your business is accurate. But you can also use these listings to promote your business, engage customers and build SEO. Let’s look at 5 practical ways to use these tools to grow your business.

how to create a google my business listing for your restaurant

i. Make sure your business information is up-to-date on Google My Business and Yelp.

First things first: Before talking about marketing through extensive listing services, ensure that your information is accurate. If this isn’t the case, you’ll run into any problems down the road.

Double-check your contact information, hours, website URL, and any other important info associated with your business. This may seem like a no-brainer tip, but it’s often overlooked.

ii. Use solid photos and videos to showcase your business.

Nothing sells a product or service better than a high-quality image or video, primarily when visualizing something that consumers can’t see firsthand.

When it comes to Google Maps and Yelp listings, you can upload photos or videos directly to your page. Take advantage of this opportunity by including as many photos as possible! These images are what will help differentiate your business from its competitors.

iii. Respond to all reviews.

Especially critical reviews! Google shows a star rating based on the number of reviews and the average of each study, and how you responded to those reviews. When you respond publicly, you acknowledge that there was a problem and show that you care about customer satisfaction. You’ll find Yelp has similar functionality for responding to reviews; Facebook also has this feature.

iv. Provide additional information about your business

The more information you provide, the more likely customers will be able to find you and contact you. Listings should include complete contact info, hours of operation, photos of the store or business, products and services offered, etc.

Make sure your phone number is displayed prominently. The most important thing to do when making sure that customers can find you is to give them as much information as possible so they can contact you directly.

v. Use keywords in your description

With most directories, you’re given a space to describe your business and detail what products or services you offer. This is a prime spot to include search terms customers will use when looking for your type of business. The more points of reference that you have with search engines, the more likely they’ll direct people to your business.

Be sure to use keywords that describe your products or services in the description section of your listing so that they’re more likely to show up in search results.

Wrapping Up

Satisfy your customers and staff on the go with a new interactive mobile app. Here at Idea Usher, we have created multiple mobile apps for restaurant and hotel industries to ensure sales run smoothly every time. Once an app is launched, you can look forward to gaining more than just higher profits, as it helps you build loyalty among your customers and keep them coming for more.

So, if you own a restaurant and want to get big business, then a restaurant management software is the best way to boost your business. You can get in touch with the expert team at Idea Usher for any kind of help related to understand and kickstart your restaurant mobile app development.

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Still have some questions in mind? Refer to these frequently asked questions. 

1. How can I promote my restaurant business on social media?

You will need a consistent voice and brand image to promote your restaurant on social media. Along with that, you need to generate user-centric contents and capitalize on trending topics.

2. How much time does it take to build a restaurant app?

The time taken to develop an app depends upon various factors including features, platforms for which app is created, etc. It may take from 8 weeks to 6 months to complete the development of a restaurant application.

3. How can I use Google to promote my restaurant business?

By using Google My Business and improving SEO of your website, you can better promote your business. Also, you can buy ads on Google through Adwords.

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