Recently I went to downtown with my wife. Around 7pm, we were hungry and I used my phone to search 10 locally owned non-chain restaurants here in Toronto and here’s how it panned out:
- Four restaurants had no website at all
- Five restaurants had desktop sites only
- And sadly, only one restaurant had a mobile site.
Of course, this was not a scientific study and my idea of a random sample was an imaginary drive down the main thoroughfare in our city and picking from my memory the restaurants on either side of the street. I did try and cover high-end to low-end and different types of food. Still, I think it amazing that restaurant owners are not a little more vigilant in reaching people via mobile, since people on the go search restaurants using their phones more than any other device.
And the restaurant business is already such a dicey endeavor. With a 60% failure rate in the first three years, I would think that something as simple as a mobile website would be a no-brainer. If you’re still not convinced, however, here are a few reasons why you DO need a mobile website.
Restaurants Going Mobile: Easy Peasy Ham & Cheesy
If you only have a regular, full-scale, desktop website, I beg you to look at it from your smartphone. Can you read any of your text? Are your tabs too small for a fingertip? Is there more info than needed if you are looking for the menu or the phone number? Again, people are searching for a place to eat while they’re in the car, in meetings, out shopping, etc. Do you really want them to pinch and pull to expand your site just to find the address? Make the decision an easy one for undecideds. Give them a simple-to-read, interactive experience and they will reward you with their business.
Restaurants Going Mobile: Heating Up
The competition is always hot in the food service business. And apparently your competition isn’t taking advantage of the mobile website craze either, so blaze the trail yourself. This is a perfect opportunity to get a leg up on any other restaurant not catering to the needs of the mobile-savvy customer.
Restaurants Going Mobile: Feed the Connections
Apps like Urbanspoon and Yelp are there to be the conduit between you and a customer. You need to make it as inviting as possible. Having a website to connect to from those apps gives people on the go another opportunity to easily see what you have to offer.
Restaurants Going Mobile: Business To Go
Think how simple ordering ahead or carryout can be with an option to order from your phone. I’m willing to bet that the business you generate from smartphone orders will cover the cost of hosting a mobile website. Taking it a step further, allowing people the option of storing their favorite dishes or pizza toppings to make ordering even simpler, can make you a takeout superstar!
Restaurants Going Mobile: Discount Dining
The mobile site also gives you another avenue for your advertising as well as a place to provide coupons that don’t need to be printed. Offer 20% off a meal and customers will be happy to come in and dine. All they have to do is flash their mobile coupon and you’ve got yourself a happy customer! (Provided the food and service is awesome… but that part’s up to you.)
Many web-hosting services already offer a free mobile version of your site and if yours doesn’t, the cost is pretty affordable considering how much business it could generate.
What is stopping you from going mobile? Leave a comment below and let us know.