Bad Website Design

5 Problems with your Website and How to fix them

There's no doubt that in today's fully connected age having a good website is critical to getting new customers through your door.

Here are the facts:

According to Deloitte, over 76%of the UK adult population own a smart phone. 95% of these users look for restaurants online using their phone. 90% convert to sales within 24 hours. 64% within 1 hour (figures from a report commissioned by Nielson:

These stats might be a bit hard going, so here's an info graphic to break it down a bit more:

UK Mobile Phone Usage Infographic

This leads us into our first (and probably biggest problem).

1. Your website is not mobile friendly

What exactly does mobile friendly mean? Well... when you look at a website on your mobile phone everything shrinks down, and unless your site has been made to be "responsive" you are going to face one of 2 problems:

a) The site will be too small to read, so people won't bother and/or

b) The site will be too big to show properly on a mobile website

Here's an example of what a site can look like using Goodman Restaurants as an example ( - FYI their site is properly mobile enabled...

Website on mobile - site shrinks and is too small to read:

Mobile Shrunk

Website on mobile - site does not shrink:

Goodman Website - Not Mobile

Website is mobile friendly

Goodman Mobile Site

As you can see the third option is the best and makes for a great user experience.

Solution: if you don't already have a mobile enabled website then you need to get one... there is no other option if you want to get the maximum number of people visiting you.


2. Making it difficult for people to find your contact information

Last year the Washington Post published an article called The Problem With So Many Restaurant WebsitesIn it, the author cites some things people hate and makes the point that what potential customers are looking for is information. Specifically your location, hours, phone number and menu. We're not going to name and shame here, but in a random selection of 20 restaurant websites from Southampton, only 2 had key information like their contact details and hours on every page, and of the remaining 18 less than half made it obvious how to find this information.

Solution: At a minimum have your phone number, address and hours on every page (in the header or footer, but preferably near the top). Also make sure you menu is easily accessible... which brings us onto to problem number 3


3. You only provide a downloadable (PDF) menu

Arrrgghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.... Sorry, but this is such a big problem and costs restaurant and bars £10,000s in lost revenue every year. A large amount of your customers are going to access your website from their phone. Some phones don't allow PDFs, but more importantly most users are uncomfortable downloading a PDF and then having to open it on their phone. On top of that, this takes time... and time is critical here. People do not want to spend long on your website. They are there to access information and make a decision.

So please make this easy for them.

Solution: Here are a few simple rules for a good online menu:

b) Clear menu items (bold)
c) Prices clearly shown
d) Descriptions - optional, but can help if you are doing something interesting with the food
e) Avoid photos for each item - they are best left to other parts of the site


4. No way to book online

Customers want to book, and most prefer to do this online rather than having to phone and speak to someone. Offering this service will get you more customers.

Solution: These days it's incredibly easy to get online bookings in place on your website. There are a number of services (some paid, some free). Here are few of our favorites:




As mentioned there is going to be some outlay for these (Resdiary's starter package is £49 a month for 150 bookings), but it's worthwhile considering how this could benefit you. If having online bookings only gets you an extra 30 covers a month, then you are going to see a positive return on your investment, and given the fact that these platforms actively promote your restaurant as well, you should see that return.

5. Out of date website / information

Your website is your shopfront on the internet. Would you leave your actual building in a state of disrepair, dirty plates on the tables, rotting food on the floor? Unfortunately a great many of our community's websites are the online version of the dilapidated premises. Websites built 7 years ago (or worse still, NO website!), obviously just cobbled together by someone's cousin or nephew who fancied a go at being a web designer.

It's a fact that a having a really bad website will stop potential customers giving you a chance. What is really frustrating it that it is now easier than ever to get a great looking website that works on mobiles and does everything you want without breaking the bank.

Solution: There are a growing number of "self-service" or "diy" website builders in the marketplace which let you create and build your own website. As experts in the restaurant industry, we've created our own specifically for people in the hospitality trade. It's got lot's of "done for you" templates and is as simple as dragging and dropping to create a professional, fully mobile friendly website. Check it out here.


Rob McNicoll is the CEO and Founder of The Restaurant Marketer. With over a decade helping businesses grow, he has added over £16.9 million and counting in additional revenues using his marketing techniques.A sought after marketing consultant and business mentor, Rob's strategies have been implemented in businesses ranging from PLCs to single entrepreneurs. There is one common theme  - these techniques are straight forward, easy to implement and give results.

Rob McNicoll
CEO - The Restaurant Marketer

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