Best Practice Restaurant Websites bring in $5 of revenue PER WEBSITE VISITOR! How do they do it?

Date: 10-12-2014

1We were looking at creating some new metrics to define the best practice online marketing for restaurants and stumble across a number that frankly amazed us – nearly 10% of our customers are bringing in $5 per visitor to their restaurant website. This is an incredible figure. We have always known that some of our customers are making a lot of money from their website – we have one customer who regularly takes in over 1,000 seats a month, but on drilling down into the data, it is interesting how high the best practice restaurant websites are doing and we found some interesting correlations between those high performing websites.

Here are our tips to increase the average revenue per website visitor for your Restaurant.

  1. Have a website. So this is kind of obvious, but many restaurants miss the importance of having a website. Some restaurants can get away without having a website and be profitable, but for the vast, vast majority, having a website is a critical part of the marketing plan. The fact that some restaurants are bringing in $20,000 per month in online bookings (that is $600 a day!) means that they have a much, much better chance of having a profitable month. The average restaurant website receives over 1,000 visits per month. Restaurants without a website are missing out on all those potential
  2. Make it Mobile Optimised. Some Restaurant websites are receiving over 50% of their traffic from users on mobile phones and yet the vast majority of restaurant websites don’t work on a mobile phone. This is like not answering the phone every second time it rings.
  3. Take bookings online. Taking bookings online helps keep your online marketing accountable, helps you build your database, (which is vital!), locks in a customer to your restaurant and stops them looking for somewhere else to eat, allows you to take bookings 24 hours a day, decreases the amount of time you spend on the phone and decreases the number of errors when taking down the booking details.
  4. Take bookings until as late as you can. Our Free Online Restaurant Booking system allows restaurants to require a certain amount of lead time before making a booking. Our research shows conclusively that many bookings are made within 24 hours of the time of the meal.People are very busy and make plans a lot later than they used to, so providing flexibility to your customers can make a significant difference between the number of people who make a booking and more importantly, the number of people who eat at your restaurant.
  5. Have a Database. Your booking engine should be feeding emails directly into your email system so that emailing all of your customers is quick and simple. You can also collect emails from online feedback, phone bookings, business card draws and birthday offers.
  6. Drive customers to the website through email marketing. Email marketing is the easiest way to increase business on the quiet nights, but you need a database. Your customers, if they have had a great previous experience and you have a great subject line will be quite likely to read your email.If you have a database of 5,000 emails (this is not a big amount of past customers) and 40% open and just 2% of those make a booking for 2, that is 80 extra seats in a month, which if it is for a Tuesday night campaign, means an extra 20 seats each Tuesday night.Some of our customers get much higher response rates.
  7. Great photos. SEO and emails are the Marketing part of your Sales and Marketing team. Great photos (along with menus) are a big part of the sales effort.
    When a person visits your website you rely on the photos to sell your food, your venue and the experience you offer, so having great photos is really important.
  8. Don’t ignore the great food, great value and great experience. I have eaten at some of these restaurants who are getting $30,000 of bookings each month. I have been turned away from some of these restaurants because they were full, and one thing that they had in common was that they have got great food, which they provide at great value along with a great experience.
  9. Make sure you have an integrated marketing campaign. The website should never operate in isolation to your other marketing. You should refer people from your website to Facebook and drive people from Facebook to your website. A great post on Facebook with a link to your website can make it a lot easier to convert them to making a booking.We based this metric on a rough figure of $50 per seat in revenue and the best practice number of 1 seat booked per 10 people visiting the website. We know that for some of our customers, this number is significantly higher, so in fact some are making $10 per visitor and some of these restaurants have over 4,000 visits per month. When you factor in phone calls and walk-ins, it certainly sets a restaurant up for financial success.It is important to keep this metric in perspective. Some of the restaurants receive less than 200 seats per month booked, so they were excluded from our deep dive into what makes a successful online marketing strategy for a restaurant. Great SEO plays a very important part in driving the number of visits to a website, as does database marketing.

    If you need help either building the number of people visiting your website, please contact us.

    Don’t forget our Free Online Restaurant Booking System is the quickest and easiest way to start taking bookings online and building your database.

If you need help either building the number of people visiting your website, please contact us.

Don’t forget our Free Online Restaurant Booking System is the quickest and easiest way to start taking bookings online and building your database.

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