A new survey shows that three quarters of all diners check out a restaurant's website before visiting.
Nowadays, a good website can make or break a business, especially for restaurants and food service franchises. According to a new study done by MHM, 77% of diners look up a restaurant online before deciding to eat there and nearly 68% of customers admit that they have been discouraged from visiting a restaurant based on its online presence.
While some claim it is all about social media, franchisors can no longer avoid the need for an engaging, modern and quality website to act as the brand’s hub. MHM’s study adds that 30% of consumers have turned down a restaurant because its website seemed “old or out of date” and 33% cite difficult-to-navigate sites as the problem. While previous restaurant no-no’s included dirty floors or bathrooms, now customers aren’t even making it through the door before making their decision.
Although 77% of consumers check out the restaurant's official website, 95% of customers at least look it up online. Now more than ever, Yelp and other online review websites offer brand’s a way to stand out and drive sales as well as help both franchisees and consumers evaluate a brand’s reputation and reception.
Many QSR and fast casual eateries recognize the importance of online offerings, developing clean, mobile-friendly websites as well as personalized loyalty program apps. Brands such as Papa John’s, Domino’s and Pizza Hut report nearly half of their sales come through mobile and online orders. Chipotle—a brand known for innovative online marketing—even won a Webby Award for responsive web ordering in 2017.
It appears that a company’s website may no longer just be the secret sauce—it is now the centerpiece of the whole meal.