The typical restaurant guest has transformed over the last 20 years, from a conservative individual looking to have an enjoyable meal to a demanding and sophisticated foodie seeking a delightful and challenging dining experience. With the rise in expectations of patrons, improving revenues and profitability for restaurants is turning out to be a distinct challenge.
We all know that every hour that a restaurant table sits open is not only an hour of lost revenue but it’s an hour of paid wages and utilities, as well. Technology solution providers, like Northstar POS, can help restaurants properly staff their single or multiple locations based on expected turnout and even help to get more customers through the door on a consistent basis.
In our article today, we are giving you five tips to help increase your number of online reservations!
Tip #1 – Have a reservation button/link on every page.
Getting website or mobile visitors to make a reservation is the whole purpose of your website. Period. Yes, you want to make it easy and fast for visitors to find hours of operations, menus, location and contact information. However, you cannot forget the main purpose of your site: booking online reservations or orders. So, on every page, there should be a reservation link/button. There is debate in the SEO & CRO world whether above or below the fold is best, but you can let the ‘experts’ duke it out. The most important action you can take it putting it on every, single page. We want to make it easy for the user to make a reservation, not difficult.
Tip #2 – Use clear call-to-action text.
Whether on your website, Facebook ad, landing page, Google AdWords, Twitter, Instagram or any other medium, a clear and actionable call-to-action (CTA) is needed. Tell the user what to do next and how to do it. Make it easy.
Ambiguity kills conversions about as fast as a marriage proposal on a first date.
Use ‘Reserve a table now!’, ‘Make a reservation,’ ‘Book a table now!’, anything that makes sense and communicates to the user the next step. Experiment and see what text resonates with your audience.
Tip #3 – Unique pages for each location
NOTE: This tip applies to restaurants with multiple locations. While the services offered at each location might be the same, there could be certain information only relevant to people in that local area. To solve this issue and communicate specific differences, create unique reservation landing pages for each location your restaurant may have. This gives you the opportunity to include local content that speaks directly to that market. For example, showcase the chef, seasonal specials, hours, parking instructions and more. By following this strategy, you can also eliminate the issue of customers making reservations at wrong locations.
Tip #4 – Make your website responsive and mobile-friendly
We have been touting this message for over four years, yet we still come across non-responsive websites. We are about to go into 2019 here people. If you do not have a mobile-friendly website, make that one of your top priorities for your business. You need a presence online and especially on the go.
Tip #5 – Partner with online reservation services
Many people, including ourselves, visit websites like OpenTable, Rezbook, or Zomato Book to make reservations at local restaurants. Most users even visit to do a blanket search of restaurants in their area. By being listed on these sites, a restaurant can capture reservations from people who might otherwise not have known about the restaurant or that it takes reservations online. During certain times of year that restaurant reservations are in high demand, such as Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day, these types of websites can be paramount in bringing in new customers who will hopefully become frequent, long-term patrons.
These tips may sound simple and intuitive, but you would be amazed at how many restaurants, big and small, miss these curtail details. We hope have found these tips useful. If you already do this, try to do an informal ‘audit’ and see if you digital presence uses these principles. You may be surprised!