Restaurant Presence on the Web

Every restaurant has a presence on the web. It’s up to the restaurant to manage that presence. In fact, that’s true of every organization, but this post is about restaurants.

The restaurant may be represented on the web by review at sites like Yelp, and by mentions on blogs and at other social media sites. It makes sense for the restaurant to add its own web site. I jotted down some thoughts on restaurant web sites earlier this year.

  • A simple front page is key, especially since potential customers may be mobile, hungry, and impatient.
  • Current content is good. Customers want to know that the restaurant is still good and is doing interesting things. Search engines like current content too.

While rich and extensive content may be good, especially for upmarket restaurants, I don’t think it deserves a place on the above high-priority list.

With these thoughts on the back burner, I was interested to read about Chompstack in a RWW article by John Paul Titlow. Chompstack is a tool to build mobile sites for restaurants.

First thought: great idea, given the importance of mobile for restaurants. Second thought: is it necessary to focus specifically on mobile? The restaurant also needs a site that works well on laptops, desktops, etc., as well.

Like most people, I think of the hammer with which I’m most familiar. I could use WordPress to build a restaurant site that works well for the mobile customer and for the not mobile right now, but still impatient, customer. Such a site would of course have a built-in blog for current content such as reviews, specials, etc.

Restaurant web presence seems like a huge opportunity. I don’t see many restaurants with really good web sites. I see many without a web site, or with site with more bloat than good information.

What do you think? Can you provide examples of restaurants with good web presence?

2 thoughts on “Restaurant Presence on the Web”

  1. Hey Andrew,

    Thanks for mentioning ChompStack. We started with mobile websites because we wanted to solve a problem that we ourselves experienced: being around town looking for a place to eat, looking for restaurants on our phones, and not being able to load their websites to read the menu.

    Personally, I don’t really ever look up restaurants on my desktop computer. It’s always on my phone, when I’m already out doing something else, and need to find a place to eat.

    But it’s not a far leap to be able to build a desktop site and a mobile site using the same tool, and we will be adding support for that in the future.

    The biggest challenge is that while consumers really appreciate mobile-friendly restaurant websites, most restaurant owners simply don’t have much time to worry about getting that kind of thing built, much less keeping it updated on a regular basis.

    That is why we’ve focused on building tools designed specifically for restaurants to create and maintain their website as easily as possible…I think WordPress or other generic CMS solutions might be too complicated for most restaurant owners.

    We’re trying to get the word out to restaurants that having an attractive, user-friendly restaurant website will help them attract more customers, especially those looking for places to eat from their phones.

    Thanks for helping spread the word!

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