Hey, this is YOUR website. Why not have what YOU want on it? It’s a good argument and a tough one to overcome, but the bottom line is that YOUR website is built to attract THEM. Let’s not forget that very important fact. Although it should be about what they want, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t show them what they didn’t know they wanted. Make sense?

Things you should want to show them on your site:

1.The Experience. Your website needs to deliver the same vibe and experience as the physical experience. It should evoke the same feelings the person has when dining with you or patronizing your location. This is key and is usually the first thing lost when owners look to save a buck on their website by using a template or run-of-the-mill type of solution. Your experience is what sets you apart and part of your experience is your website. No arguments. It’s fact.

2. New or Featured Items. Keep things fresh and new by highlighting the things that are, in fact, fresh and new. Monthly specials, weekly featured items and other new or seasonal items should be pushed to the forefront of the site. This gives people reasons to come back and check out the site beyond utilitarian purposes.

3. Deals/Offers/Promotions. Everyone wants a good deal so don’t hide it from them. Put those deals out there in front of them and link to the sites on how to attain them. Groupon? Living Social? BlabberBug? Whatever the site is, let the people know where they are and how to get them. Remember, offering deals is a means to get people in the door. Once there, UP SELL UP SELL UP SELL!

4. Ways to Connect. Don’t let the website visit be the only time they hear from you. Get them to connect to you on their terms like Facebook, Twitter, Email marketing, text messaging, etc. Let them ask to be contacted and you’ll have an attentive audience instead of an audience annoyed by you.

5. Photography/Imagery. Listen up. Hire a real photographer who knows how to shoot food. No arguments here. Do it. It’s worth the money to have shots of your food, your interior, and your experience that capture them each in their best light. A picture is worth a 1000 words and good photography is worth the money you’ll spend. You don’t have to break the bank, but do spend the money. Your brother’s nephew-in-law twice removed with Nikon FastShot isn’t going to cut it.

Those are just five of the things you should want to have your site. They’ll keep you happy because they cater to the restaurant’s image, and they’ll keep the visitor happy because they’re getting a little bit of what they want too.

What things do you want on your restaurant website?