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When customers come into your brick and mortar restaurant, you’re ready to welcome them with open arms. From your engaging staff and delectable dishes, to your signature ambiance – customers can clearly identify your restaurant’s brand. But with modern dining, your physical location is not the only way potential diners learn about your restaurant. So how can you extend your brand to the digital world?

At our Restaurant Dive ‘Ask Me Anything’ Webinar, experts discuss how restaurants are expanding their digital footprint and gaining more customers by leveraging all of Grubhub’s products. Watch the replay of our webinar to learn how to tackle creating an eye-catching restaurant brand for the digital realm. Hear from our panel:

  • Chris Trani, Grubhub Manager of Operations who helps restaurant owners navigate their online ordering experience.
  • William Ezekowitz, Grubhub Senior Product Manager who owns Grubhub Direct Starter.
  • Samantha Ullrich-Mack, Restaurant and Hospitality Marketing Consultant who has helped many restaurants build their brand.
  • Muhammad Akbar, owner of Naan’n’Curry restaurant in San Francisco since 2002.

Take a look into just a few of the questions our experts explored during the webinar:

What are the benefits of having a restaurant website that’s cohesive to your brand, and has the latest functions available to optimize conversations?

Online ordering is more crucial than ever. Grubhub estimates that 40% of orders in 2023 at restaurants will be online. While enlisting the help of third-party delivery apps like Grubhub attracts curious customers, establishing a full online presence for your restaurant includes creating a branded website. The perfect recipe for converting hungry potential customers into satisfied diners is to have a website that clearly directs customers on how they can place an order.

“When customers are looking for a restaurant, the first thing they will do is Google that restaurant,” William said. “They can find reviews and check out your restaurant online. That’s why one of the most important things a restaurant owner can do is have a website.”

How can my restaurant stand out in a saturated market?

Making your restaurant stand out starts having an online presence and then implementing marketing strategies to make your online presence known. Your restaurant’s online presence should include a website, online ordering platform and social media accounts to make your business discoverable.

“Exposure is key,” Chris said. “Having really attractive photos and linking your website to social media, Google Business and anywhere your restaurant is online should be done.”

Once your online presence is established, you need to market your business to make customers aware of what you’re serving. That’s why Chris turns to Smart Promotions to help restaurants reach new customers and build loyalty.

“With Smart Promotions you can attract new diners and retain existing diners,” Chris said. “You can also use Smart Promotions to increase your average ticket size by encouraging diners to add more to their order to get a discount.”

What are the best actions my business can take to promote and attract customers to my ordering site?

The most important way to promote your restaurant ordering site is to make it easy to find online.

“Your restaurant’s ordering site needs to be discoverable on the internet otherwise it might as well not exist,” William said. “The thing that gets the most orders is hosting an ‘order online’ link on your website. That’s where you’re getting a lot of traffic.”

You can also integrate your online ordering link into your Google Business profile so that customers will be directed to your ordering link when they search for your restaurant. William suggests using your restaurant’s customized Direct website as your online ordering website so that you can receive commission-free orders directly from your patrons.

How can my restaurant staff engage and develop relationships with our customers?

Developing a strong relationship with your diners means prioritizing their dining experience. Check in with your customers to get feedback on your cuisine, service and ambiance. Muhammad, owner of Naan ‘n’ Curry, puts his biggest focus on the product: his food. Without mouthwatering dishes, it’s likely customers will not return to your establishment. Once you get diners hooked on your food, the next step is to encourage loyalty.

“Having access to customers has been phenomenal to me,” Muhammad Akbar said. “Grubhub Direct has let me send promotions to customers and do marketing without an extra third-party charge. These things have been very helpful with engaging with my customers directly and running engagement programs to keep them coming back.”

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Learn how to expand your dining room – digitally

There is more to explore when it comes to expanding your digital presence, and our panel dished out exclusive advice for restaurants. Watch our Ask the Experts: The Direct Path to a Digital Restaurant Presence webinar to learn about the proven and practical digital marketing strategies restaurant brands are deploying today. Our experts discuss the future of digital marketing for restaurants and how you can develop an online presence that will boost diner conversion.

Cooking up a successful digital presence isn’t done without online ordering. That’s why restaurants turn to Direct, a commission-free, branded ordering site available at no additional costs. Direct restaurants who have linked their Direct site on their website typically see 72x more average daily orders than those who have a website and do not link to Direct. 
Ready to build your digital presence? Partner with Grubhub today.