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How Boutique Hotels and Restaurants can Write Engaging Web Copy to Increase Online Bookings

restaurant web copy

Tantalising menu? Beautiful, boutique accommodation? Michelin star calibre chefs? Awesome! But does your website wording cut the black truffle mustard?

Your website is usually the first port of call for potential customers. For this reason, your copy needs to be as delectable as the dishes you create and the pillows you plump – delicious, inviting and irresistibly moreish.

Not only a powerful tool in converting browsers into paying customers, your content is a valuable extension of your brand.

Here are our expert tips for creating crisp, compelling culinary and hotel marketing web content:

An awesome opener

Your homepage is your visitors’ first taste of your offering. Whether you provide an exquisite dining experience or five-star hotel stay, it’s important to encapsulate your service in one or two short attention-grabbing sentences.

The Hand and Flowers restaurant’s homepage wording is simple and straight to the point: ‘The Hand & Flowers pub, the only UK pub to be awarded two stars in the Michelin guide. Located in the beautiful Georgian town of Marlow, serving award winning food in warm and welcoming surroundings.’

Whilst Heston Blumenthal, proprietor of the Fat Duck at Bray, opens his website with the curiosity-rousing: ‘Book your seat to begin your journey’ – perfectly in keeping with his imaginative, playful menu.

Think about your offering and what you want to convey. If it’s slightly unusual – quirky, imaginative wording gives a sense of what to expect. If it’s fine dining or luxury accommodation – create a clear, concise opener highlighting your ranking, location and food or accommodation style.    

Tip: If you offer an award-winning experience, say it! This raises expectations and makes booking even more tantalising.

Menus to tickle taste buds

Your menu should be beautifully presented, easy to read without downloading, quick to scan and whet the appetite of your online visitors. Plus, always, always put your reservations link within easy reach of the menu.

Keep dish descriptions brief but with wording that packs-a-punch. Think vivid and visual.

Take the sample menu by Fera at Claridge’s. As well as unusual dishes, such as pineapple weed ice cream, descriptions bristle with enticing adjectives:

  • ‘Torched and cured’ Cornish mackerel
  • ‘Butter poached’ lobster
  • ‘Meadowsweet’ raspberries

Bring dishes to life with evocative words to describe the cooking method – such as ‘braised’, ‘poached’, ‘steamed’ or ‘torched’.

Also, where appropriate, mention ingredient’s origin or special treatment, for example, ‘Welsh lamb’ or ‘beer-fed beef’, is much more tempting than stand-alone ‘lamb’ or ‘beef’. It also distances your food from normal restaurant fayre.  

Tip: Don’t over-egg the pudding. Long-winded, hyperbolic text is a turn off – apply adjectives sparingly.

Room descriptions to dream of

Room descriptions play a vital role in securing reservations. Along with great visuals of the rooms, draw out the unique and luxurious aspects of your accommodation in the text.

What do your rooms offer that no-one else has – a stunning sea-facing view? Fluffy feather and down duvets for the best night’s sleep? Free-standing bath in the bedroom? Rainfall shower for a monsoon-like showering experience?

Take the Goring Hotel in Belgravia. Each suite has its own personalised room description – highlighting aspects from marble bathrooms to stocked decanter bars and personal footmen – all designed to achieve the end goal: booking.

Tell your room’s story so that web visitors can imagine themselves there.          

Tip: Bullet points are your friend. Help visitors scan pages quickly by including short, snappy bullet points of your restaurant or room’s best features.   

Font fails

Although a teeny-tiny detail, your website’s font reflects your brand values and has a strong impact on visitors’ perception. Avoid anything too chunky, quirky or swirly.

Simple, clean fonts from the sans-serif family, such as Helvetica and Raleway, work well for contemporary restaurant and hotel websites. For more traditional, fine dining restaurants and hotels, Lavanderia’s grace and elegant characters are ideal for website headings and menu cards.

Tell your story

Visitors are excited by visiting luxury restaurants and hotels because they offer something different, something indulgent, something they can tell their friends about.

Ensure your unique story has a place on your website.

If you have an award-wining chef on-board, include a short profile about their career and achievements. If you use super-fresh seasonal ingredients sourced direct from a farm or kitchen garden, dedicate some text to tell visitors about it. If the building you occupy has historical significance let web visitors know. If your business started from smaller, humbler beginnings, highlight it.  

Telling your back story not only provides information but helps build an emotional connection with your audience, making your brand more memorable and meaningful.

Good website copy is so vital to the success of a restaurant or boutique hotel website in terms of bringing in bookings, we’ve incorporated it as one part of our 3 step web design process. The whole process is designed to double your online bookings in 90 days or less. If you’d like to find out how we can help your business, contact us here »

We have a whole heap more tips just like this to help boutique hotels and top restaurants make the most out of their websites so they really start working for them. Just enter your name and email below if you’re interested in receiving these straight to your inbox.

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