Three restaurant website trends that are here to stay in 2014

By Brian Casel,
Founder of Restaurant Engine

You have poured your heart and soul into your restaurant and there is nothing you want more than to have it succeed.

While serving a fantastic menu and delivering exceptional ambiance are exceptionally important factors that will no doubt affect the success of your restaurant, there is one thing outside your establishment itself that will gauge your success: Your website.

With an estimated 2.2 billion people connected to the World Wide Web, a website truly is the essence of any business; both online and off. What does that mean for restaurant owners? It not only means that you need to have a website for your establishment, but you need to keep up with current trends in order to continue reaping the rewards that your site reaps.

The Internet is ever-changing and looking forward to 2014, there are bound to be some restaurant website trends that will stand in the spotlight.

Here is a look at three crucial restaurant website trends to stay on top of in the coming year.

Mobile design

More than 1.2 billion people access the Internet from a mobile device.

What does such a staggering statistic mean? It means that you need to have a mobile site if you want to increase your visibility and your accessibility. Take the following scenario into consideration:

A couple is out on a date night. They've seen a movie and now they are looking for a nearby place to grab dinner. What's the easiest way to find a restaurant? By pulling out the trusty old smartphone and doing a search for eateries in the surrounding area. If your restaurant is in the nearby area and you have a mobile site, that couple would be able to not only easily find your establishment, but they'd be able to easily see what you have to offer, thanks to your mobile-friendly site.

Menus, hours of operation, contact information and so on are much easier to access via mobile devices when you have a mobile-friendly website, which means more success for your restaurant.

Online ordering

How many times have you, yourself, wanted to order take-out? Sure, you can look at the website of the restaurant that you want to order from, browse through their menu options and make a phone call to place your order; but honestly, this method is time consuming and can even get confusing.

Online ordering simplifies the process of ordering out. All your customers have to do is access your website, take a look your menu, choose what they want and place their order right online. They can even make their payments and arrange for delivery, if you offer that option, when you provide online ordering. Talk about making the process of ordering out a breeze!

Managing updates

The restaurant industry is ever-changing. Chances are that you change your menu on a regular basis, host different events, have changing specials and you may even alter your hours of operation from time-to-time.

Since your restaurant is constantly changing, you are going to want to be able to quickly and easily update your website to accommodate those changes. When you can manage your own updates, you can make those modifications whenever you see fit. This really puts you in the driver seat of the usability of your website.

As 2013 is rapidly coming to an end, it is time to take a look at the trends for your restaurant's website for the upcoming year. Keep on top of these three trends and you'll be sure to have success in the upcoming year.

Brian Casel is the founder of Restaurant Engine, a website design solution for restaurants. Get your free Restaurant Website Checklist available now on the Restaurant Engine Blog. Email Brian directly at brian@restaurantengine.com.

Photo provided by Wikimedia.

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    Don't forget "Cloud Computing". That will play a crucial role as well - DSMenu (www.dsmenu.com)
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