Do you know that most decisions to visit a restaurant are made spur of the moment and on the fly? And that the vast majority of potential customers will check out your website before deciding to come to your restaurant? This is why it’s so important to have an attractive, informative website, one that customers can easily find online when they’re sitting in the car searching for a place like yours. That’s where food domain names come into play.
The first thing diners see
A domain name is your address on the web. Many times, it’s the first thing a prospective customer sees about your restaurant. So one of the first and most important decisions a restaurateur must make when building or rebranding their website is choosing a domain name.
Whether or not people like, remember or share your web address may depend on this single choice.
There are a few obvious pitfalls to avoid. A domain that’s 57 characters long? No — nobody will type it in correctly. Using dashes? Another no-no. Who can remember where they go? Remember, once you buy it, that domain is yours — there’s no “Oh I registered a typo of the name I want. Can you fix it for me?” So choose carefully.
The biggest obstacle many restaurateurs encounter is finding out the domain they want, or think they should have, has already been registered by someone else. Don’t be discouraged if this happens to you. In fact, digging deeper can actually lead to a better domain name and, ultimately, better search engine rankings. As you probably know, the search engines control how many people see your website.
Fresh-from-the-broiler food domain names
So what factors should restaurants consider when choosing a domain name for their website? Most people agree that the most desirable domain extension is .com. It’s the most common, and the one that the majority of diners will expect. That being said, if the .com you want isn’t available, that doesn’t mean there isn’t another domain name that can work for you. Thanks to the new domains, there’s a good chance you’ll find an even better one.
Now restaurant, cafe and pub owners have a number of food domain names to choose from. Take .restaurant, for example. Or .cafe, .kitchen or .pub. And that’s not even counting .pizza. It’s a veritable buffet.
Go ahead, search for food domain names for your business
A dash of this, a pinch of that
Incorporating the type of food you serve within your domain name can increase the chances you’ll find a good one available. For example, instead of TheOrchidRestaurant.com try searching for OrchidThaiAustin.com. Or try OrchidThaiAustin.restaurant — that’s even more likely to be available.
You’re more likely to find OrchidThaiAustin.restaurant available for purchase than TheOrchidRestaurant.com. Because .restaurant is a new domain, there are still tons of good names open.
Is your establishment known for a stand-out dish or particular cuisine? Register separate domain names for those, then forward them to your website. Customers will end up on your website, regardless of which web address they use to get there.
As in cooking, simple is often best
You want your web address to be easy-to-remember, so try to keep it as short and simple as possible. Long domain names are difficult to remember, challenging to type in without a misspelling, and hard to recognize at a glance. While it may be tempting to describe everything about your restaurant in your domain name (BestCalzonesLasagnaTortaRustica), it’s far better to use your words sparingly and create a domain name that’s easy to remember.
Avoid the temptation to describe everything about your restaurant in your domain name. Short and sweet is best.
In addition to hyphens, which are generally associated with spam or otherwise unscrupulous websites, you should also try to avoid using any numbers in your domain name. Many restaurants, however, have numbers as a part of their name. If this is the case, using numbers as a part of your domain name is OK as long as the total domain name isn’t too long or complicated for the average diner to remember.
One domain name comes free with GoCentral Website Builder. Or you may buy a food domain for an additional fee.
Don’t neglect the finishing touches
If you choose .restaurant for your primary web address, you might want to buy up the matching variations of .cafe, .kitchen or .pizza. You should also think about purchasing the predictable spelling variations and misspellings of your primary domain name.
The reason? Competing restaurants could potentially buy up iterations of your domain name and redirect those domains to their own websites. Although this is underhanded, it’s not illegal unless you happen to hold a trademark. Needless to say, allowing someone else to buy similar domain names could negatively impact your ability to fill seats in your restaurant. They’ll all be going to your competitor.
Savor the sweet taste of success
Because your domain name will serve as your online address (potentially forever), choosing one is serious business. Take your time and check out your options, including the new food domain names. Narrow your list down to a few good ones, then ask friends, colleagues and family members which is the most appealing. Do your homework and you’re sure to end up with a domain name that will actually fill more seats.
For a complete list of the food domain names open to you, read our blog post “Great domains for restaurateurs & others in the food and hospitality industry”.
Get tips on bringing local customers in your door — check out our checklist!