By James Kwon
By James Kwon
From restaurant weeks to free lunch raffles, restaurant owners are always trying to reach new customers.
It’s easy to create an initial buzz for a restaurant, but much harder to keep one.
Getting new customers is easy with one simple thing: a great website.
Restaurant goers expand their food horizons on the Internet—as is evidenced by “best Chinese restaurant” ranking as one of the most popular searches on Google. Millions of hungry people search for new restaurants, particularly on their mobile phones, each day.
The two features consumers want to see on restaurant websites are menu options and pictures of food. Without these two basic features, potential customers quickly become frustrated and choose to check out a different restaurant (one with a better website).
Figmints recently released an exclusive internal project called Bitefire. Bitefire is an online platform that allows restaurant owners to create one of the best restaurant websites out there (trust me, we’ve seen them all) in less than ten minutes. I made one in four.
Simplicity in web design is rapidly increasing in popularity, with good reason. Users want to access the information they’re seeking as quickly as possible on websites. Mobile-responsive design is assumed, rather than appreciated.
All restaurant websites built on Bitefire use a sleek, left-hand sidebar for easy navigation. This sidebar also includes important details like restaurant location and hours.
Most importantly, the Bitefire platform allows restaurant owners to frequently, and easily, update their menu information.
The development team at Figmints built the Bitefire platform with great care to make it user-friendly for anyone, regardless of tech savvy-ness.
Although the platform uses a sophisticated Ruby on Rails back end, users who sign up for Bitefire use a simple editing tool to upload all necessary materials. The editing tool on Bitefire is in a visual composer format, so users can enter information directly where it will appear on their website.
Many restaurant websites are still using slow and outdated flash or PDF menu downloads. The Bitefire platform lets restaurant owners frequently update their online menus without the unnecessary step of viewing a PDF. Bitefire even automatically allows you to choose from multiple menu viewing options.
1. Busan Sushi
One Bitefire user, Busan Sushi, built their site with a focus on sophisticated imagery. The logo and white background keep site visitors focused on the most important thing: the food. As an added perk, their website displays real testimonials (the most powerful data in converting new customers!) pulled from the restaurant’s Yelp and Google Plus platforms.
2. Parkside Rotisserie
Parkside is an upscale bistro in Providence, Rhode Island. They decided to build their new website using Bitefire because it allows them to regularly update their changing specials. Parkside also loves using Bitefire’s Opentable widget integration to let prospective restaurant goers make a reservation direclty on their site.
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