Are you a small business owner with a restaurant website?

mobile device user

Many customers will visit your restaurant for the first time today. You plan to offer them warm hospitality, exceptional service and a menu with organic and locally grown produce. But did you realize that many mobile device users will also visit you for the very first time today – through your website?

Have you considered what their experience might be like?  It might go something like this:

Let me introduce myself. I am a  mobile device user and I am just about to visit your website.  I heard that you make special accommodations for your gluten-sensitive and vegetarian customers, so I am hoping that your website will accommodate mobile device users like me.

In town for an appointment, I’m going to first grab some lunch, maybe a ham grinder with provolone cheese. But the glare from the midday sun makes it difficult to see my cell phone screen. I am searching for a restaurant downtown and spot your listing. I  tap on your link.

glare on cell phone

Notice that I said tap and not click. That’s because I don’t have a computer mouse. I can’t click. So I must tap on the screen. That’s a no-brainer… I know. But have you really thought about how hard it can be to get around a website without the ease of a mouse?

One second. Two seconds. Three seconds. Still waiting for your website to come up. My cell phone is much slower than my home computer. Four seconds. Five seconds. Six seconds. Ah there we go. Seven seconds.

I see a miniature version of your website on my tiny screen. It’s a big disappointment!

Your website is not mobile friendly. I will have to pinch and zoom with my fingertips to read your lunch menu.  I’m also fumbling with your navigation buttons. They are so small.  I can’t tap them accurately. 

Hmmm. Maybe I’ll call instead. I am checking for a phone number.
That should be easy enough to find. Or maybe not.

eating a grinderSo onto the next restaurant I go. One second. Two seconds. Three seconds. I’m in. Excellent. I can read the screen, tap the buttons and find my way to the MENU. Great. There’s the ham grinder I want with fresh baked bread, secret sauce, provolone cheese, tomatoes, lettuce and olive oil.

And look… I can make a reservation from my phone. This is so easy. I am on my way right now. They are waiting for me.

Unfortunately, you lost a customer today without even knowing it. You didn’t even get the chance to offer me your exceptional service or locally grown produce. Luckily, your gluten-free customer comes in often. You are happy to accommodate his special needs. But there will be more visitors like me in the near future.

Imagine the day when more mobile device users visit your restaurant website than desktop computer users. That day is coming. Visitors to a mobile unfriendly website will simply leave for a competitor’s website. That means decreased sales for your restaurant if you haven’t embraced mobile.

So hopefully, the next time you see someone on the sidewalk grab their smart phone or iPad, you will recognize them as a potential customer. You will be ready to greet them with a mobile friendly restaurant website, accommodate their special needs and provide them a nice hearty lunch.

Sincerely, A Mobile Device User