Restaurants: Please Go Mobile

My favorite app: Yelp! I live on that thing and rely on it to make every dining decision. But the reviews only get me so far; I want to see the menu and chances are, I want to call for take-out. This is where the frustration begins.

According to a new study by Restaurant Sciences, a restaurant industry analytics provider, only 1 of 20 independent restaurants have a mobile website. Given my Yelp! experiences, this isn’t exactly shocking.

One TechCrunch reporter’s rant hit the nail on the head when he described terrible restaurant websites that often include Flash intros, music and animations. These elements all just create a bad experience for users, especially those visiting from a smartphone.

Restaurants…listen up: You need a mobile-friendly website. The TechCrunch article went on to mention that some reports reveal that half of all visits to restaurant websites are from mobile devices. That’s huge.

For restaurants that haven’t built a mobile website (and even for those that have), what you need is quite simple. Your customers want to call you, they want to find you and they want to see your menu. Mobile sites don’t need to be as fancy as regular desktop sites. If you include these three things, you’ll be good to go.

  1. A Click-to-Call button allows a mobile visitor to give you a ring in just one click.
  2. A mobile map that opens in Google Maps and gives visitors turn-by-turn directions from their current location.
  3. A readable menu that lives on your mobile site – no PDFs!
We’ve pulled together some of our favorite mobile websites for restaurants. Peruse them on Facebook.