MGH, a marketing communications agency, released the results of a survey it conducted of 1,101 U.S. restaurant goers, ages 18+ who dine in or have takeout or delivery at least once a month.
Nearly 80% (77%) of those surveyed said they are likely to visit a restaurant's website before they dine in or order takeout or delivery. Of that group, the survey found that 68% have been discouraged from visiting a restaurant because of its website and slightly less (62%) said a restaurant's website discouraged them from ordering delivery or takeout from a restaurant.
Sixty-nine percent of those surveyed say the website specifically helps them decide if they want to dine in at the restaurant, while 43% visit a website to help decide if they want to order takeout or delivery from a restaurant.
While not caring for menu items is still the main reason those surveyed (65%) are discouraged from visiting a restaurant, other factors are also important. About one-third have been discouraged from visiting a restaurant because the website was difficult to navigate (33%), menus were difficult to read (30%) or websites looked old or out of date (30%).
When ordering food for takeout or delivery, those website factors become even more important for diners. 44% have been discouraged to order takeout or delivery from a restaurant because the website was difficult to navigate, 36% because the menu was difficult to read and 35% because the website looked old or out of date.
Surveyed diners also noted the importance of mobile-friendly websites when ordering food from a restaurant. In fact, 56% of surveyed diners say that mobile-friendly websites are very important and 36% say they have been discouraged from ordering food from a restaurant because the website wasn't mobile friendly.
Photography also plays a key role. 45% of surveyed diners say they specifically look for photos of food when visiting a restaurant's website and 36% say the food photography is what discouraged them from visiting a restaurant.
Taking a closer look at responses from Gen Z and Millennials:
- Nearly 60% of 18 to 24-year-olds (59%) and 55% of 25-34-year-olds specifically look for photos of food on a restaurant's website.
- 50% of 18-24-year-old diners and 44% of 25-34-year-olds who say a restaurant's website has discouraged them from visiting the restaurant say it's because the food photography was not enticing.
- And 49% of 18-24-year-olds and 41% of 25-34-year-olds who order takeout or delivery say a restaurants website has discouraged them from ordering food.