Covid-19 has seen the restaurant industry experience a major digital shift, with many adopting better technologies to adapt to new challenges. As technology becomes increasingly necessary for survival, having a website that’s both easy to use and attractive to look at, is more important than ever. To give you some inspiration, this week, Chris reviews The Walnut, an indie restaurant based in the hipster quarter of Edinburgh.
First up, and since this is the first of this particular series, it’s important to note that you can do a lot with free website building platforms like Squarespace and WordPress. The majority of this website didn’t really need any particular web development experience so if you’re considering doing a DIY job on your website, don’t be put off! This website was built using Squarespace.
We like what the Walnut have done so let’s dive into it…
Job #1 of any restaurant website: appeal to my senses and make me want to eat here. Mission accomplished. If we’re being picky, we’d have liked to have seen a main dish here, but it was morning when we started the review! We also like the quick, sharp testimonial, which also tells me where the restaurant is, which is nice.
We like any restaurant website to have a nice clear “booking” call to action. Yes, you can see reservations in the top menu, but menus are for exploring, not for your number 1 revenue generating action.
We’re big fans of simple, one page navigation. This site follows a logical flow:
*these are important, but people aren’t buying your Covid policies. If you haven’t appealed to their senses, world class Covid protection won’t make them book.
We like this menu, but for mobile, it means the main call to action (Reservations) is hidden in the menu. For mobile, we’d like to see a Book now button on the top of the page so visitors don’t have to scroll to see it.
Straight into opening times – really important if (like this place) you’re not open when most places are. Clear pricing and delicious sounding menu.
Top tip, notice how this menu doesn’t overdo it. Just simple, lists of ingredients. No deconstructed artichoke or liquid nitrogen encased sheep’s retina…
Job #2 of any restaurant website: please, please make it easy to book.
I think it’s a no brainier to partner with ResDiary or open table – the amount of times I’ve gone elsewhere because I didn’t want to wait for to see if there was any availability…
But for those who don’t want to use ResDiary, great to have another option.
We’d have liked to see this call to action further up the page. We also saw they don’t store card details for table bookings on ResDiary. This is great for customers, but won’t help with no shows. It’s a judgment call we think, a tricky balance and a real Catch22.
More delicious pics. And something for everyone. We have no complaints here.
We think this website is great, and we wouldn’t change much. They could add more customer reviews and they could do with looking at SEO, but top marks.