The Best Way to Get (or Build) a STELLAR Restaurant Website

Even the smallest little eatery serving the smallest local area can benefit from having a professional website. But you didn’t get into the restaurant business because you love technology—you’re in it for the food!

We get it. That’s one of the reasons we built aBitNow. We want you to have a super slick, easy-to-use web presence that will make mouths water. And once their mouths are watering, we want those online visitors to turn into real-life visitors.

No matter how good the word of mouth is about your restaurant, we bet you’d still appreciate more business. But other than through word of mouth, where can you find more customers?

On the internet, of course!

Even the smallest little eatery serving the smallest local area can benefit from having a professional website. But you didn’t get into the restaurant business because you love technology—you’re in it for the food!

We get it. That’s one of the reasons we built aBitNow. We want you to have a super slick, easy-to-use web presence that will make mouths water. And once their mouths are watering, we want those online visitors to turn into real-life visitors.

Enjoy an Amazing Website with aBitNow

The way it works combines the best of everything phone apps and websites have to offer restaurant patrons these days—flexibility, efficiency, and convenience. But we go a bit further in a few very important ways.

aBitNow Benefit #1 – You Have Total Control and Making Changes Is Easy

First, we give you total control over your menu and we make it VERY easy for you to make changes any time you want. If you want to run a special, or offer a buy-one-get-one deal, or take something off the menu temporarily, or add a menu item for a holiday or a season (or make pretty much any other change to what customers see), it’s surprisingly easy for even a self-professed “non-techie” to do!

aBitNow Benefit #2 – Your Dishes Look Delish

Second, we don’t just give you an online ordering platform. We give you a beautiful website designed to showcase your dishes the way they deserve to be showcased—with enticing photos and dish details. Your online presence will be more like a high-end website than like a one-size-fits-all mass-produced food delivery platform.

aBitNow Benefit #3 – Your Customers Can Order and Pay Online…and Dine In

Third, your customers will be invited to order online, but not just for delivery or take-out. They can peruse the menu options at their leisure, place an order with all the specifics that would be asked by your best server, and then choose a time to come in and eat. You can plan ahead, and they can skip the wait time when they arrive!

There are several additional ways aBitNow is superior to those other online ordering apps, but this list is a good start.

Tips for Building Your Own Restaurant Website

We think the aBitNow solution is the best—and it’s certainly economical. But if you’re the stubborn type who wants to go it alone and build your own website, here are a few tips we recommend to help you get the biggest and best bang for your buck.

DIY Tip #1 – Make sure your site is mobile responsive.

This is huge, and it can’t be overlooked. What looks good on your computer won’t necessarily look good on a smartphone, and vice versa. What’s more, search engines are notorious for penalizing websites in search results if they aren’t mobile-friendly. According to one online marketing company, more than half of all menu views online are done with a mobile device–35% of views are on a mobile phone and 19% are on a tablet. Making sure your online visitor has a good mobile viewing experience is an essential first step to turning them into a real-life guest.

DIY Tip #2 – Build your menu using HTML.

In other words, don’t just upload a PDF version of your menu or share photos of your menu. You want the words that name and describe your food to be searchable. You want Google, Bing, and other search engines to read your web pages and send YOU as a result to people looking for what you offer. When you scan a menu or take a picture, search engines can’t read the words, and that means you’ll get fewer hits.

DIY Tip #3 – Photos, photos, photos!

Even the most detailed description of your signature dish probably won’t elicit the same physical response (literally!) as a full-color photo that highlights what makes your food special. Fresh produce, juicy burgers, golden brown crusts, and oozy melty cheese are nice to hear about, but when we SEE them? Oh boy…we immediately salivate when we look at a plate of food that calls out to what our taste buds are craving! So don’t skimp on the photos, and don’t rely on your smartphone camera. Hire a good food photographer—or at least do a lot of research about lighting and angles. If your food doesn’t look perfect and irresistible online, you just might lose a new customer.

DIY Tip #4 – Give your customer a smooth online user experience.

We all know how frustrating it can be trying to complete an online transaction only to get stuck in an loop, or search endlessly for a price, or not be able to go back or hit the “submit” button. If you’re building your own website, you have a LOT of details to keep in mind to ensure your visitor completes their order and doesn’t bail out because of frustration or lag time. If you’re not 100% sure the platform you’re using is going to provide a seamless and efficient user experience, it’s probably not worth even going down the road to offer online ordering. You’re better off providing your phone number than sending a would-be customer through a technical maze.

If you’re ready to take your restaurant to the next level, online ordering is the next step. But don’t rely on the big guys who work at volume, sending anonymous drivers to pick up your food and deliver it. Maintain control and use the aBitNow platform to build a website that’s worthy of the food you so lovingly make for your customers! We’ll build your website the way you build your signature dish—perfectly.

Sign your establishment up today and get our special introductory offer for new clients!

How Florida Restaurants Are Bouncing Back With Innovative Technology (like robots!)

The 2020 pandemic brought new challenges to restaurant, hospitality, and retail businesses, but Florida is bouncing back! The challenges aren’t gone, but they’re being faced with commitment, resourcefulness, and innovation…so things are moving in the right direction, and they’re moving quickly!

Customers Are Coming Back

In places like Panama City Beach (PCB), where the visitor and tourism industry are key, savvy businesses employ every solution possible to take advantage of the influx of customers that come to attend events, enjoy the beaches, and soak in everything the area has to offer.

Customers are coming back in droves, excited to be out and about, and happy to do their part to support small biz. Walking around PCB on a Saturday night, you’d never know things had ever slowed down. Crowds of both tourists and locals wait in long lines outside some of the most popular bars and restaurants.

Staffing Is a Challenge for the Hospitality Industry

So, while business is booming, according to some reports, it’s been difficult for some businesses to find people to fill open positions, and that means some restaurants are operating at less than 100% capacity—not because of a lack of customers, but because of a lack of adequate staff to serve them. Some folks receiving stimulus money and unemployment benefits are choosing not to return to their previous jobs or even to pursue any work at all.

Robots to the Rescue?

One restaurant in Hollywood, FL, frustrated by the lack of staff but unwilling to turn away customers, went super high-tech and brought in three robots that take customers to open tables. It sounds pretty cool, and customers might enjoy the novelty of following a robot to an open seat, instead of a human host or hostess…but is it enough to make up for a serious shortage of servers?

What can you do if your restaurant has plenty of customers but not enough staff to serve them?

Do you keep tables out of the rotation?

Do you make people tolerate longer wait times and hope they’ll be patient?

Do you cut the hours you’re open?

Do you hire expensive robot hosts?

Technology Is Bridging the Staffing Gap

One innovative technology platform is providing a solution to the staffing shortage problem. The aBitNow platform from jIT Solutions has a surprisingly simple yet powerful way to address the challenge of serving more customers with fewer staff members (and it’s cheaper than a robot!).

With aBitNow, you showcase your entire menu online and give customers an easy way to place their order and pay for it—before they even arrive. Customers then specify what time they want to either pick up their food or come in to dine at your restaurant.

Slash Customer Wait Time and Turn More Tables

When the customer arrives, they pick up and go, or they are seated at a table you’ve designated for aBitNow customers. These folks ONLY use the table while they’re eating, and then they’re gone. When you consider that typically only about 30% of a customer’s time during a restaurant visit is spent eating, and the other 70% is spent waiting, it makes perfect sense to get the customer in and out as quickly as possible. If you can turn even SOME of your tables 70% faster, what kind of impact would that have on your bottom line?

More Positive Interactions Make Happier Customers and Happier Staff

If you worry that turning tables so quickly might not provide enough of a personal touch and friendly interaction between your staff and aBitNow customers, don’t be. When customers place their order, they can include their name and photo, so your hosts and servers can greet them the very first time as if they’re loyal regulars. You bring them their drinks right away, and tell them how many minutes they’ll wait for their food. The personal interaction between your well-trained staff and the hungry customer is efficient and positive. The only thing that’s gone is all that time a customer usually spends waiting…to be seated, to order drinks, to get a menu, to get their food, to get the check, and to get their credit card slip to sign.

When you cut the wait time, you increase the percentage of time a customer spends ENJOYING the dining experience, and while that means fewer touches by your staff, it means more of those touches are positive. Happier customers pay bigger tips, and bigger tips make happier staff. It’s a win-win all the way around.

Tech That’s Easy to Use

Reluctant to add yet another technology component to your business? That’s understandable! The great news is that aBitNow is NOT another clunky tech system for you to manage. It’s a streamlined platform that’s easy to learn and easy to use on a simple tablet. Or, implement aBitNow as part of an all-in-one solution, where once an order is placed, there is seamless integration with point-of-sale, kitchen tickets, and server interface. You don’t have learn multiple systems or stress about compatibility, and you don’t have to add yet another tech cost to your monthly expenses. The whole system is easy to learn, easy to implement, cost-effective, and designed specifically to save you time, money, and headaches.

Technology is helping restaurants, retail, hospitality, and events meet customer demand with fewer staff. Robots is one way to go. But we recommend you check out aBitNow and find out what it can do for you.

Sign your restaurant up today and get our platform FREE for 30 days!