In this course
Translate your restaurant into a thriving business online. In this course, you’ll get to know the tools and features that’ll help you best serve your customers. Build mouthwatering online menus, set up your ordering system and start taking reservations online. Plus, you’ll get best practices and strategies for designing and planning your website, so you can create an online restaurant that grows with your business.
Learn how to
Design a website and choose colors, fonts, content, pages and layouts
Plan your online business with menus and photos of your food and space
Manage delivery, pickup, phone orders and more through your website
Take and track reservations and create notifications for your staff
Content creator by day, foodie by night, Nittany has spent years marketing and promoting businesses to help them succeed online. Now, she’s ready to help serve your business. When she’s not working with the Wix Restaurants team, you can find her exploring her local food scene or at the park with her dog, Indy.
Wix Restaurants Writer
Who it’s for
New online restaurant owners who want to build their business from the ground up
Experienced restaurant owners who are looking to establish an online presence for their business
Restaurant entrepreneurs looking to integrate online orders and reservations into their businesses
Resources to help you grow
Get helpful articles, practical templates and more to put your skills to work.
Start your restaurant website
Every restaurant needs a recipe for success, careful planning that builds the foundation for everything else you do.
And like prepping your kitchen, prepping your restaurant site means making sure everything is in order before you even open your doors.
So in this first lesson, we're going to talk about planning.
We'll cover how to define your brand values, research keywords, and collect photos of your food to get you all ready to take your business online.
And there's a lot to get through, so let's dig in.
To take you through it all, I'm going to create a website for a Mediterranean restaurant.
Let's call it Za'atar, and that's the site I'll use throughout this course to share all the steps, best practices and strategies for making your website a success.
So I'll start my planning by writing out my restaurant's brand values.
Then I'll use them to guide my decisions as I build my business online.
You probably already know your restaurant's brand values, and they'll be the same for your site.
For example, my brand is all about fresh farm-to-table ingredients, colorful dishes with modern Middle Eastern flavors.
And beyond the food, my brand is centered on a casual, laid-back atmosphere that's bright and airy and doesn't take itself too seriously, but is still trendy.
It's a place for friends to meet, drink and relax.
It might have been a while since you wrote out your brand values, so as you plan, it's a good idea to revisit or refresh them so they're on top of your mind.
Once they're defined, write them down and keep them close by.
I've identified the words that describe my brand values.
Next come the words my customers are using to find me.
Unlike my physical restaurant, no one can just discover my website by walking by it, so it's important to make my site discoverable on search engines like Google.
We'll take a deeper dive into SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, in the second course of this series.
But for now, I'll just start with some basic keyword research.
I always begin with Google Trends.
It's a free resource that can show you which keywords people are searching for online and where.
It'll show me a graph with the general interest of any keyword I search for on a scale from 1 to 10.
I'm going to first try the keyword "Mediterranean food".
Since my restaurant is in California, I'll filter my results.
Great. So I can see that a lot of people are searching for this term, but I want to make sure this is the best one for me to attract the most attention.
I'm going to compare it with two other search terms I'm considering.
So I'll add "farm-to-table" and "Middle Eastern food" and see what comes up.
Okay, really interesting.
Mediterranean food is by far my clear winner here.
And just to get some more insight, I'll scroll down to see where people are searching for these keywords and what exactly they're searching for.
So for example, I can see a lot of people are looking for options near them.
And that makes a lot of sense, because food-based searches make up four of the top five unbranded "near me" queries, with things like "food near me" or "pizza near me".
Actually, the term "restaurants near me" gets 6.2 million organic searches every month.
So I need to appeal to my local audience, and I'll talk about a few ways to do that when we cover SEO in the next course.
But for now, as you search yourself, keep a list of popular keywords and search queries that fit your branding and perform well online, then include them throughout your website as you write content later on.
Make sure that list has variety, with some longer, some shorter, some focusing on specific dishes or some focusing on the atmosphere.
But don't force it. Only include keywords when they fit in naturally and organically.
Now one last bit of prep.
High-quality photos of your food help increase orders and revenue, so you'll need to collect a lot of these photos before you launch online to cover your website, social media and any other marketing materials you have.
You can hire a professional photographer to come in, or just do it yourself.
If you choose the latter, check out our really helpful webinar we hosted about how to take photos of your food from your phone, with New York Times food photographer Andrew Scrivani.
I've linked it for you in the Resources tab.
Now, I always make a shot list before I start taking photos.
It helps me keep on track and make sure I don't miss anything.
For my shot list, I know I really want to capture photos of my food, my vibe and my space.
Then I'll refer to my list of brand values and expand on each of these categories with themes and shots that I think will capture them.
Try doing the same, and remember: the more photos the better.
Don't be afraid of keeping that list long.
Just like starting a restaurant, there's a lot of careful planning that goes into making sure everything is right.
So take your time, and once you're done use all these steps as your foundation to take your restaurant online.
That's what I'll be doing in the next lesson, using everything we've talked about here to design and build my website.
I'll meet you there.
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