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Is your Website Michelin Worthy? The Beginners Guide
Did your restaurant get into the Michelin guide this year?
If you did, congratulations!
But whether you’re in the guide or aspiring to be, your website needs to look the part.
I will explain exactly why.
I’ve also put together a guide to help you identify just how Michelin-worthy your site currently is.
But first, let’s play a game.
Imagine it’s your birthday next Saturday. You want to go somewhere different and special. You don’t have any recommendations so you do a quick Google search.
You come across these two Michelin starred restaurants and click through to their websites:
Which one are you most likely to book?
I’ll make a bet it was the right one, wasn’t it?
So why were you put off by the first one? Well by nature, people tend to mistrust poor design and will subsequently reject it.
“It takes about 50 milliseconds (that’s 0.05 seconds) for users to form an opinion about your website that determines whether they like your site or not, whether they’ll stay or leave.”
Why your website should look the part
Michelin is all about the high quality dining experience. Customers expect a certain level of experience at every stage and interaction with your restaurant. What many don’t realise is that often that first encounter with your restaurant is via your website.
So if you’re looking to stand out and attract more business online, as well as enhance your reputation, the look of your website is vital and can make the difference between getting bookings or losing out to competitors time and time again.
It’s important to note that even some beautiful websites don’t convert well. In other words having a beautiful design doesn’t necessarily mean more bookings.
That is why good design is just one part of nine we’ve identified to help increase online bookings. If you’d like to find out more just drop us an email.
However, as with all the steps, design is a very important one. So here are the elements you can look for to identify just how Michelin-worthy your website is.
What makes a website Michelin worthy?
First and foremost, your website should have professional photographs of your restaurant and food. These should be taken by someone who knows what they’re doing and can capture the essence of your restaurant. Visitors see quality photographs and link it with professionalism and quality.
The key to looking high-quality is down to simplicity. Creating a simple website is actually easier said than done as most restaurants want to put as much information as they can online. But for the best user-experience it’s vital that they don’t. The key to simplicity is being to the point. A website should avoid all unnecessary pages, links and text. That way, the experience is much calmer, smoother and more enjoyable. Feelings all associated with premium brands.
Colour-use is an easy way to distinguish whether a brand is of high quality or not. We’ve come to expect luxurious brands to use fewer colours, they’re also less likely to use bright colours. A study that looked into watches and cars found that using colours that weren’t too bright correlated with a higher perceived price.
Some people are afraid of white space. They like to fill every available section of a website with content. But high-end restaurants that want to be perceived that way should embrace the white space as it’s linked to simplicity and will ultimately make the site easier to browse.
If you have a menu or offering that’s succinct, it will look higher class, more elusive and therefore more expensive. As any chef will know, when it comes to Michelin, less is more.
Your potential customers are most likely to search for you on their mobile, so make sure your website is designed for mobiles too. Visitors to your site will expect a seamless browsing experience on their mobiles.
A Michelin-worthy website will make it very easy for customers to book a table. The button should be easy to find and the process should be integrated nicely into the design of the site.
What can make a website look cheap?
Fancy or novelty fonts or even ones with a slight serif can instantly bring down the perceived quality of a website.
Stock photos can instantly kill your credibility. It’s so obvious when they’ve been used and your discerning customers are likely to be put off by it.
Have you taken those snaps yourself?? Perhaps with your mobile? DIY photos can look just as bad, if not worse than stock photos. If you’ve done it on the cheap, it will show. So invest in professional photography.
Nothing screams cheap and cheerful than a website full of clutter. They often have lots of text, images, offers and pages which make it look confusing and complicated. Michelin restaurants should avoid this at all costs.
Lots of popups and offers
Ah popups. They distract and interrupt and are not apart of a high-end online experience.
Splash page / intro page
This was predominantly a fad of the 90s where you’d have a ‘welcome’ page with a short message and then an ‘enter here’ button. Unfortunately though I do still see them lurking around even on the some of the nicest restaurant websites. For the impatient they’re a big put-off. For the unsavvy they’re just confusing. So avoid like the plague if you want a high-class browsing experience.
“As aesthetically orientated humans, we’re psychologically hardwired to trust beautiful people, and the same goes for websites. Our offline behaviour and inclinations translate to our online existence.” Dr. Brent Coker.
If your restaurant website ticks more of the ‘cheap’ website traits than the Michelin-worthy ones, you’re likely to continue losing online bookings to your competitors. But by making just a few small design-orientated adjustments to your site you will start seeing a huge difference.
Download our comprehensive beginners guide by filling out your name and email below. It will help you determine just how ‘Michelin’ your website currently is and includes even more ideas to help you transform your website if it’s not quite Michelin-worthy.
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