By Andrew Parr
At Best Served we are committed to delivering content that you can watch, listen and read. This piece is the third of an eight-part series that is tied directly to Best Served Custom, Ease of Ordering Volume 1, Episode 3 – Websites Must Be “UX” Friendly. In this series we explore the customers’ perspective by having conversations directly with them. These written stories are reflections of my own experiences and what real customers have shared with us.
Just a quick recap of Chapters 1 and 2: Each of the last two weekends my wife and I cuddled up on our couch, scrolled social media to explore dinner delivery options, and ordered from local, independent, neighborhood restaurants. We did indeed find restaurants that were telling us their story and that had promotions that bring value. One restaurant encouraged us to download their app and order from there (which we did with the enticement of 15% off our first order).
Here’s the catch, and this is where so many restaurants are challenged with their UX (user experience) and UI (user interface) - though we were offered a 15% first time discount, it was in no way clear how to have the discount applied, and it was certainly not automatic, as there was no discount noted on the receipt. With so many customers no longer dining within the four walls, it is really important that restaurants look at the UX in the same way they look at their in-person steps of service. The landing page is your “host”, and we are waiting to be guided to our “table.” Is the website an accurate representation of the brand? If I go from the website to the physical space to pick up my food, will my mind tell me that they are the same place? Does the website convey the colors, feel and ambiance of the physical space? And by all means, take the time to talk about yourself and your team on the “about us” page. Some customers will skip that part, but I want to know who I am ordering from, and why I should order from that restaurant.
While taking all of this into consideration, designing restaurant websites as mobile first is an absolute must. They have to be phone friendly, because A LOT of customers are doing everything on their phone. If a website is clumsy, my expectation is that the rest of the experience will be, as well. Is your Google Map location accurate, because I need to know what’s available to me where I am. I want to see a clean and easy presentation because clutter equals confusion. Confusion means I will leave the website and move to the next option. We want not only to have customers find the website, but also stay on it! Fonts should be easy to read; thinking about colors against the background and staying away from hard to read script. Remembering the steps of service, the website needs to be able to anticipate my needs the way my server or bartender would. You know, give me everything I need and nothing I don’t. And please, please, please, make sure the online menu matches what is actually being sold. The best way to accomplish this is by you, the owner, chef, manager sitting at home on a day off (or half day off) and actually ordering from your own restaurant. By doing so, you will know exactly what the User Experience is. Put it all together (easier said than done), deliver on quality, and I’m yours!
Relationships extend far beyond the four walls of a restaurant and include employees and customers. Best Served is excited to partner with 7Shifts, underwriter of Best Served Custom, whose commitment to employee engagement provides a real time feedback loop, building a strong culture and customer experience.
Andrew Parr, Angry Olive Consulting's Founder and Best Served Creative’s CHO, is a restaurant and hospitality industry leader with over 25 years of experience including consulting, project management, restaurant operations and talent acquisition. His education includes a BA in Psychology and History from the University of Wisconsin along with a JD from Hamline University School of Law.
Andrew was born and raised in Milwaukee, WI, and currently resides in Denver with his wife Jody and their dog Cooper. Andrew is a Past President of the Board of Directors for the Scleroderma Foundation – Rocky Mountain Chapter.