You thought it was over when you made your restaurant’s website as good as your marketing budget allowed. I have bad news. In the next 2 or 3 years, restaurants with effective online marketing will add a mobile website alongside their normal website. Restaurants in urban areas will have an even shorter time frame.
Drawbacks of a Standard Website on a Smart Phone
The truth is even the most functional restaurant website can be annoying on a smart phone. You can rip apart your current website to make it more mobile friendly although it seems like you are tossing away an investment. You could eliminate your Flash slide show. But a slide show of photographs may be exactly what your restaurant needs. You could scrunch all the icons together and make the text and buttons real big. You could get rid of the text that keeps you high in search engines.You shouldn’t punish customers (and yourself) for using a computer because others are using mobile phones.
Yes, mobile phones are improving, but the networks themselves have limitations (a faster network doesn’t mean it has a much better reach), making a normal website function. Play around with a smart phone and you will see that it is time to start thinking about a mobile website.
Mobile Website: Getting What You Want When On-The-Go
Mobile websites are more simple than pretty. Branding is sacrificed so that customers can get what they want quickly. They are on a mobile phone and need to decide quickly. You don’t give up the potential for more interactive content. Customers can browse the gallery if they want, but the loading of pictures won’t get in the way of customers getting hours and directions. Think about what customers feel when they open a website that has an automatic music track playing. This is terribly humiliating especially as finding the off switch is very difficult on a mobile phone.
The frustration factor will disappear. When I come across a mobile website, especially with a restaurant, I feel a sigh of relief. It tells me that the restaurant owner has thought about my experience. At this point, restaurants that have mobile websites will have an advantage. But it is almost certain that down the line when it becomes the norm, restaurants without mobile websites will be at a true disadvantage.
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