Digitalizing your restaurant: 4 tips to optimize guest experience
Satisfy your guests, grow loyalty and take care of your diners while increasing the average basket size and saving time? You can do just that by digitalizing your restaurant. Here are sunday's tips.
1 - Make their lives easier with your restaurant website
You should be able to rely on your website. It must be practical and well thought-out. It’s the digital showcase of your establishment: its role is making people want to come in, sit down and order your food.
Not convinced by the value of a website? Simply ask your guests if they checked you out online before visiting. Unsurprisingly, many of them will admit to having googled you, just to be sure they were making the right choice.
A restaurant with a modern website and a mouth-watering digital menu is bound to be more attractive. This is an opportunity to stand out from the competition: today, you have to prove yourself outside the kitchen as well. Here are a few good practices to keep in mind in order to have a successful website that serves the diner experience.
Be simple, clear and precise
No need to design an overly complicated website. You should go straight to the point and focus on the essentials. Address, opening hours, online reservation, digital menu, phone number… all this key information must be visible at first glance.
The simpler the heading, the better: a visitor should be able to find their bearings in no time and have all the information they need. If you want to be found even more easily, consider integrating Google Maps into your homepage.
Bet on visual content
It’s pretty obvious, really: by taking beautiful pictures of your food and the restaurant, you encourage people to visit you. This is an opportunity to showcase your cuisine, but also the atmosphere of your establishment.
Present your dishes, your team and your values
It’s even better if you do it on the pages that are meant for that. In just a few seconds, the guests know exactly what they’re looking at.
Don’t underestimate the power of a digital menu
It’s something you must keep in mind. You can’t do without a carefully designed menu: it should be mouth-watering and convince your online visitors to give your cuisine a try. If you can, avoid PDF menus.
Your menu should be integrated into the website. You can also add photos of your main dishes: it doesn’t cost much money or effort and can make a huge difference.
Offer online reservation
A small effort for you, a big favor for your diners. Being able to make online reservations has become common practice. Allow your guests to do just that in a few clicks and make their lives easier.
Once they select their time slot, they will receive an email or SMS confirmation. This is an opportunity to stop relying on reservation platforms. While they’re useful, they can cost you a lot in commissions.
2 - Be visible online and communicate well
If your website already checks all the criteria we’ve mentioned above, you’re on the right track. Your new challenge? Communicating with your guests and making it easy for them to find you on the web.
It’s a plus for them and a must-have for you. You have to work on your visibility: if you do it right, your efforts might bear their fruits and attract new diners in your restaurants. Here’s how you should go about it.
Present yourself carefully on social media and dedicated platforms
Start by adding widgets to your site that redirect to your social media accounts. Facebook, Instagram and review platforms are especially important. The importance of social media in the guest experience should not be underestimated.
Interacting with your subscribers is a great way to get to know them better and build loyalty. You’ll be able to post about upcoming events in your restaurant and customize your offer based on their feedback.
Is a dish or drink particularly popular right now? Then it might be the time to offer a special promotion and tell your followers about it. It’s a great way to delight diners without the hassle.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Does it ring a bell? If not, we can’t blame you. These are the techniques put in place to make a site rank higher in Google’s search results.
Don’t worry, you don’t need to be a specialist to exist on the web. But it would be frustrating for your guests to not be able to find you at all. You have to make life easier for them.
Your site should have a clear title, which should be the name of your restaurant. You can buy the domain name. It’s easy and doesn’t have to be expensive. Write optimized content with relevant keywords.
Having text content on your website is always a good idea. Having text content with the right keywords is an even better idea. All the important words to your restaurant (the name, the name of the chef, the meals, the type of cuisine) should be mentioned. But keep in mind the texts should be readable.
Don’t overlook the importance of interlinking. Whether in between pages or with an external website, they’ll make you rank better.
3 - Digitalize and facilitate payments with sunday
These small squares have numerous advantages: limiting the spread of the virus, allowing you to link to a digital menu and even paying the check through sunday.
Our mission here at sunday? Helping your guests to pay the check in 10 seconds thanks to QR Codes. So we’ve put together the fastest way to pay in restaurants.
After having scanned the QR code set in front of them, diners are redirected to our web application. All that’s left for them to do is pay the check quickly and easily. This can be done through bank cards, Apple Pay or their mobile wallet… most payment options.
No more waiting at checkout, 15 minutes saved per table due to more efficient turnover, no reported fraud, increased tips and satisfied visitors… sunday is a real boost to the diner experience. Plus, it’s a great way to lower your costs.
As you use less of the credit card reader, your bank charges will decrease. Our commission is lower, and there are no equipment rentals or additional fees. In short, sunday is a good way to intelligently diversify your payment solutions.
And if it can also help you manage your inventory in real time, it’s even better.
Give diners all the information they need after they order
Tell them what to expect after they have chosen what they want and validated their order on your site. Order number, your contact information, the time when they can pick up their meal, an email or SMS confirmation… That should be enough to ensure a satisfactory guest experience.
Have a dedicated area in your restaurant for takeout
It’s a must for making your life and that of your teams easier and make your clients happier. All you need is clear indications. Watch out for long waiting times in front of the restaurant. Your guests might be disappointed if they have to wait for a long time before picking up their meals.
Train your teams and think about the quality of service
An efficient curbside pickup system is a smooth-running operation with zero guesswork. Your diners are probably used to being pampered. They should receive the same treatment when they come to pick up their meals after ordering online.
Digitalization is underway at the restaurant and you are now armed to offer the best possible experience to your guests. These few recommendations should help you to satisfy your visitors even more, while improving your communication, visibility and operation of your establishment.
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