Since March’2020, Restolabs has helped 500+ restaurants set up their Ghost Kitchens - most of them pivoted from traditional set up to delivery-only model to beat the pandemic times.
But pandemic times aren’t over just yet - according to the experts, it can take about a couple of years more until we get back to normal times, which we all know would be a lot different than what we have seen in the past. A lot of things have already taken a big swing and a lot of other things are on their way to radical transformation. Ghost Kitchen as a concept is one such thing that we have seen exploding since the outbreak of COVID-19, and would continue to accelerate even after the pandemic is over. Restaurant folks have started embracing the benefits that this mighty business model brings along. They not only find it cost-effective and convenient, but also see it as one of the most innovative ways to cater to the demands of the new, tech-savvy generation. If customers’ preference is moving from traditional dining-in to ordering-in, then why not invest in a system that offers them just that? Of course, the menu and packaging can be optimized to ensure good quality deliveries and happy customers.
But again since the adoption rate for Ghost Kitchens has increased substantially in the past year, the competition has also become fierce. Getting the word out has become more important now than ever. In that light, a brand must come up with a strong marketing plan to stay on top of customers’ minds.
Maybe you have hired the best of chefs for your ghost kitchen. Maybe you have imported the equipment to ensure only the best quality food is prepared in the minimum time. But if you don’t have a good looking, seamless and easy to navigate website for your restaurant that your customers can use to place orders, all the other efforts that you have made would surely go in vain. Why? Because the key to the success of an online business, which in your case, is the delivery-only kitchen, lies in the customer experience on the website they land on to interact with your business. A slow loading website with confusing layout and no clear instructions is a recipe of failure for an online restaurant. So make sure that you hire only an experienced web developer for your website designing who can create a user-friendly website that delivers a seamless customer experience.
A few things to keep in mind when designing a restaurant website
When customers check out restaurant websites to look for food, what attracts them most is the visual content of the website. It impacts their decision of coming in and dining or ordering food from that place. Tasteful images of the restaurant’s interior and exterior, delectable, etc to lure foodies.
Including web-based menus instead of PDF’s in restaurant websites makes it easy for customers to navigate through the website. Also including contact information, location and open/close hours makes it very convenient.
Your website design should be mobile-friendly as 80% of customers use their mobile phones to place food orders.
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If you don’t have a budget to get a website designed from scratch, Restolabs can help you hit the ground running when it comes to building a robust online ordering website. With our system, you can start accepting online orders in less than 5 days. Want to know more? Check out our demo site now.
How else would your customers find out about you if you won’t index your website on popular search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo etc.
If you’re looking to generate sales through your website, SEO is one department you must focus on. Apart from writing SEO optimized content, and fitting in the most suitable keywords, you must also plan the names of the dishes in a way that easily triggers search queries. For instance: instead of giving some fancy name to Sushi Platters, stick to the basics and make sure the name of each dish precedes the term “Sushi”. You know why? Because in the US alone, “Sushi Delivery '' gets searched for 27K times in a week as per the Ubbersuggest report. The same report also suggests 49.5k searches for “Sushi Delivery Near Me”. So while you optimise the meta keywords and descriptions with relevant keywords, make sure to optimize the menu as well for gain better results from keyword marketing efforts.
Other things you must focus on when creating a SEO Plan for ghost kitchen marketing
Make sure your business is listed on Google My Business (GMB) and well embraced with customer reviews.
Optimise the URL address of your website. If you are selling burgers, your address should include “burgers”, instead of just the brand name.
No https security certificate for the restaurant website may cost you customers as today’s tech educated customers are sensitive about sharing their data online.
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Phone images won’t work - not anymore. Food lovers eat with their eyes first, and good visuals of food appeal to their emotions, making them want to taste your food, and usually, people don’t let go of such cravings.
For a Ghost Kitchen a professionally done visual food presentation can convert more online visitors into paying customers.
Apart from giving a big boost to your brand in several ways, beautiful food photography can be used across different platforms to support your marketing efforts. And each time you put out a photo of a new dish, you have probably gotten a few new people interested in ordering from you. That’s the power of visual marketing.
For instance, Perryssteakhouse renowned for their unexpected steakhouse specialty and unique display element maintain a really authentic visual experience on their instagram feed. Their photos reflect their brand with the use of cocktail photography, recipe videos, warm wooden bowls, and well packaged buns ready for deliveries, just as you’d expect.
An investment in food photography is an investment in your brand. When done right, these photos tell the story of your restaurant while attracting new customers and reminding old customers why they love your food.
If you choose to hire a professional food photographer, look for someone with more than 10 years of experience in culinary photography. But if you’re on a shoestring budget, you can always find good food photographs on Stock Photos to keep your social media accounts appear relevant and your offerings tempting.
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Social media is the hidden key for ghost kitchen brand growth. To make your brand’s footprint immediately discoverable online it is important to have an ongoing creativity and community management plan. While Instagram is the perfect channel to showcase visual content to tempt customers into buying from you, Facebook can really help you convert those likes into sales with it’s easy integration facility with online ordering systems. Creating dynamic content consistently can help create a stronger connection between your brand and your customers. You can include behind-the-scene videos, employee spotlight, playful food videos, recipes and so on. Don’t forget to share feeds of your loyal customers and highlight daily specials in your stories.
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Now that Ghost Kitchens are on their way to becoming mainstream, expected to become a trillion dollar industry in the next 5 years, it’s really the time to embrace the concept and make it work in your favour. Investing in a good marketing plan will help you get an edge over competitors, making your business stand out even during the pandemic times. Once you are able to gain a good amount of followers buying from you, the journey ahead would start getting smooth for your business. This is really the time to make your business future-ready, and it starts now!