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By Michael Adams, marketing manager at Fourtopper
Have you taken the leap to get a mobile site for your restaurant? How’s it working out for you? Is it bringing in more customers?
Many restaurants owners have realized the value of mobile for their business. Just look at these stats from TelMetrics:
What do all these stats mean for your restaurant? Mobile is exploding. It’s quickly becoming the sole way customers find out about you. This means a mobile-friendly website should be a top priority for 2013. And you’re on the right track if you already have one.
But, there's still room for improvement.
Poorly designed mobile websites can be more of a detriment to your company, than a boon for business. Simply putting a mobile site up isn’t the answer. It may aggravate your customers more.
Save your mobile website by avoiding these mistakes:
1. You don’t have your hours listed
When are you open? Your cinnamon rolls may look ooey-and-gooey, but can I get one at 8:30 p.m. when I’m driving through town? Hours help mobile users plan. Whether they’re looking for a place to take the in-laws or a quick date-night meal with their boyfriend, they want to know they’ve got flexibility in case plans go awry.
How to fix it: Pop your hours right on the homepage of your mobile site — easy for all to see. And make sure you highlight if you’re closed any days of the week. It’d be a real bummer if potential customers showed up Monday night and the doors were locked.
2. There’s no phone number
Just like No. 1, what if I want to call you to see if you have gluten-free menu options? Or, what about making a quick reservation? How can I do that without having your phone number? A phone number is the best way for many customers to get in touch. And with mobile phones, there’s one-touch click-to-call making it even easier for customers to call you.
How to fix it: Make it prominent on your mobile site. Or, if you don’t like when the phone rings off the hook, send customers to a link to make a reservation online.
3. You still have a PDF menu
I have come across several restaurant mobile sites with PDF menus. This is problematic for a few reasons: not only do I have to navigate away from your site, but I have to open a separate PDF document, zoom in, and squint to read about your calamari appetizer. Not a great user experience.
How to fix it: Get a member of your team to convert your menu to text or type it into a Microsoft Word document. Then upload these pages to your mobile site so they’re easier to view. This is a small change with huge impact.
4. It doesn’t match your branding
Is your logo red, but your website blue? And maybe your mobile site is yellow. Inconsistent branding confuses customers. They won’t know if they’re on the right site and may click back to the search results. You’ve got a logo with a couple company colors. Shouldn’t you incorporate them?
How to fix it: Grab your logo, your company colors. Talk to a freelancer or web designer and get them to incorporate your branding into your mobile site.
5. There are no pictures
Humans are visual. We like to see pictures — especially of your food. Just think of a how visual a restaurant chain’s menu is. There are large, beautiful pictures on every page. Add some life to your mobile site with new pictures.
How to fix it: Pick a favorite photo and feature it. Be careful, though: large pictures take a while to load on mobile phones. This means avoid slideshows and video.
Mobile sites aren’t too hard to figure out. There are free or low-cost solutions available. The trick is making the site work for your restaurant. The tips are simple, but they’re little changes that will make a big difference to your restaurant’s mobile customers.
Michael Adams is the marketing manager at Fourtopper, a provider of mobile-friendly websites for restaurants.
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