A great website can help measurably increase a franchise restaurant’s bottom line. Most of us are used to looking at a standard set of statistics to evaluate websites: numbers of visitors, time spent on site, bounce rate, number of pages visited, etc. While these stats are certainly telling, they can often be misleading measures of success.

Based on our experience designing and developing websites for a number of restaurant chains, we’ve compiled the top 5 key performance indicators we measure as we look at statistics for restaurant websites. Some of these, like total dollar amount per online order, require additional integrations through Google Tag Manager, which we’ve found is well worth the investment as it gives us a much deeper understanding of our audience and how our site is impacting the real bottom line.

We have a deeper dive on best practices for each of our top KPIs, but here’s a good primer on how to look at these statistics and why they matter.

Get Directions Clicks

It’s important to tag any button on the website that allows users to get directions to your restaurant. Clicking a map to get directions is a clear indicator of visit intent. The majority of these clicks will happen on a mobile device, so it is critical your maps and directions are mobile optimized on your website.

Join Mailing List

Email has the highest engagement rate of any marketing communication tool with an average of a 20% open rate (source). Emails are a fantastic way for restaurants to tell their story, elevate their brand, and encourage incremental sales through limited time offers and promotions.

We developed automation systems to save a profound amount of time managing data input at the local franchise level.

Your ‘Join Mailing List’ button should be in your navigation menu and designed in a way that stands out among other navigation buttons. We see a lot of mobile sites with the “Join Mailing List” button hidden inside the off-canvas menu. While this is a more streamlined approach, we’ve seen a 30% uptick in mailing list joins on our restaurant websites when the button remains visible on the header.

Catering Inquiries

Imagine having an added 10% revenue in store before you even serve one customer in your physical location. Catering is a fantastic way to increase same stores sales without increasing overhead. We advise multiple callouts for catering throughout your website – this includes your food menu page, navigation menu, and throughout all other highly trafficked pages.

Local Store Page Visits

If your restaurant has multiple locations, there are real benefits to be reaped by having a unique page and url for each one. While there are numerous best practices to optimize your local pages, start with consistent store information between your local page and all of your social pages. This includes menu, hours, address, etc.

Totals From Online Ordering

We are seeing a quarter over quarter trend of decreasing in-store sales. There are many best practices to help increase online orders, but to get started, it’s critical you are able to measure the value of online orders placed from your website. This includes ability to track online orders on mobile versus desktop, orders placed from local pages versus your primary menu page, and online order values from social ads and paid search ads.

There are a huge number of factors that go into building a successful restaurant website and measuring success beyond this short list, but by prioritizing these statistics, we have seen significant increases in our client’s click rates and more importantly, sales. There’s no magic formula for success, but we’ve found these ingredients often lead to greater success and growth in restaurants and beyond.