When you have your local regulars who pop in every day for a quick pint or bite to eat, it can feel like your pub website isn’t really needed. Or, if you’re already too busy running your pub to give your website a second thought, it’s hard to imagine that setting aside time for your website is going to be worth the investment.
But, did you know a website can increase your pub’s online presence while saving you time in your day-to-day work?
We’ll go through some good website examples, showing you nine FAQs that your pub website can answer (so you don’t have to!).
What makes a good website? Pub FAQ checklist:
1. What time is your pub open?
Opening times are incredibly important for pubs, or any brick-and-mortar business, as the last thing you want is for someone to make the journey only to be met with a “Closed” sign.
By putting your opening times on your pub website, including whether you’re going to be open on national holidays, guests can find the information they need without ringing ahead.
2. How can I get to your pub? Is there on-site parking?
After opening times, the location of your pub is also crucial. While your regulars may know the way to your pub like the back of their pint-drinking hand, some guests may be new to town or only visiting for a classic pub lunch on their weekend away.
By giving them your address, a map, and any other relevant information—such as whether you have parking on site—new people will be able to find your pub without calling up to say they’re lost (or going to another pub entirely).
3. Can I book a table at your pub?
Booking functionality is one of the best website features a pub website could have. In a recent survey carried out by Brew on the behaviours of pub-goers in the UK, 81% said they would book a table via the website rather than a telephone call.
In fact, over half of respondents said that it was six months or more since they’d made a telephone booking. So, not only is a booking feature one of the most important aspects of a pub website, but it may deter customers if they can’t book online—and can you imagine the amount of phone calls if everyone started ringing up to book instead?
4. Does your pub have any offers?
Offers are another incentive for someone to visit your pub and ahead of their visit, guests are likely to check your website or social channels for any offers they can get their hands on. If you rely solely on in-pub POS to build awareness of these offers, you’re likely to get all kinds of questions about terms and conditions, or in the worst-case scenario, have to disappoint someone who is trying to use a voucher or offer in a way that isn’t valid.
By having any offers displayed clearly on your website, along with the small print of when and how they can be enjoyed, you won’t have to spend time answering these questions or upsetting guests.
5. Does your pub have a vegetarian or vegan menu?
We won’t lecture you on whether you should have vegetarian or vegan options on your pub menu, although you might be missing out if you don’t, but we will recommend that you at least make it clear on your website whether you have these options available.
Imagine a large family booking all taking their seats on a busy Sunday only to leave after discovering there’s nothing on the menu for little vegetarian, Timmy. Not only will that pull at your heartstrings, but you’ll have to take the time to cancel their booking, ring up their tab, and watch your biggest table go empty during the Sunday lunch rush.
6. Alexa, show me a [occasion] menu in [location]
Another area where your website can save you time is with the power of organic marketing via organic search engine optimisation (SEO). The best pub websites keep key phrases in mind when building their website pages, factoring in key occasions and phrases that potential guests may be searching for, reducing the amount of marketing you may need to do elsewhere to get your tables booked.
For example, local searches around Mother’s Day may look like this:
- Mother’s Day in Birmingham
- Mother’s Day afternoon tea in Birmingham
- Mother’s Day menu in Birmingham
- Mother’s Day lunch in Birmingham
- Mother’s Day dinner in Birmingham
Well, you get the idea… By using the right wording on your website, guests can find your pub for key occasions and events before your competitors, helping you reach business objectives without having to constantly ask your patrons, “So… any plans for Mother’s Day?”
7. Can I watch the Premier League matches at your pub?
Another big traffic driver for pubs is sports fixtures, and this could be the make-or-break for groups of sports fanatics deciding where they’re going to watch a match with a meal and a few pints.
If you do show sports in your pub, make sure your website has all the info someone might need, from the sports channels you have, the big fixtures you’ll be showing, and the amount of TV screens available.
Not having this information on your pub website is a bit like scoring an own goal. You’re going to have to work twice as hard to even the score when the phone is ringing off the hook about the next Premier League match.
8. Is this a dog-friendly pub?
If you think upsetting sports fans could be dangerous, try telling a guest that their beloved pet isn’t welcome in your pub. Not fun.
Whether your pub allows dogs or not is up to you, but your website can save you the time and the guilt, while we’re at it, of turning away a customer and their furry family member.
9. Does your pub have a garden area?
There’s nothing the British public love more than soaking up the sun, however rare, in the garden of their favourite pub. Make sure this information is on your website, ideally with a few nice shots—or even a video, if you’re feeling creative—to really sell in the atmosphere and draw people to your pub.
If you don’t have a beer garden, this is also equally important to mention on your website, once again saving you the time of that phone call or turning away guests as they walk through the door, suntan lotion in hand.
Need a time-saving pub website?
If reading through this list has you wishing you had a pub website that could handle all this (and more) while saving you time in your day-to-day pub operations, you’re already in the right place.
Get in touch and let’s chat about how we can build or improve a website that gives you enough time to enjoy running your pub.