In today’s techno-centric culture, you simply must have a business website, no matter how small or “local” your restaurant business is. Consider the fact that the Yellow Pages (yes, that big book that you use to swat flies) has even gone the way of the web. Just as you wouldn’t dream of operating a restaurant without having a telephone number, you shouldn’t miss the boat when it comes to having a business website. Here are some great tips for how to incorporate a website into your restaurant marketing efforts:
The makings of a good website. You don’t need fancy graphics and a complex sitemap to have a good website for your restaurant. Really, you just need to incorporate some basics into your web design to have a site that can effectively speak for your business. At the very least, you should include details about your location, contact information, hours of operation, pricing, and menu items. Ideally, you can also use your website to spotlight members of your team, express your philosophy, detail the history of your business, and show web surfers what your restaurant looks like.
Promotions. You can use your restaurant website to promote upcoming events, seasonal menu items, and special discounts. By highlighting promotions on your site, you encourage your customers to check in regularly for updated information. This is a great way to stay in regular contact with patrons who may otherwise slip off your radar.
Reservations via the website. Most people these days use the Internet to decide on everything from which family practitioner they take their children to to which restaurants they eat in. You can offer them a major convenience (and snag those potential customers who may be just “shopping around”) by allowing them to make dinner reservations via your online interface.
Include your URL on all of your marketing materials. Once you have your website up and running, you need to put it to work for you. That means spreading the word. The best way to make people aware of your website and inspire them to pay a visit is to include your URL on everything from business cards to menus to signage. To really impress patrons with your modernity, incorporate QR codes into everything related to your restaurant; one quick scan from any smart phone will deliver customers straight to your website.
As you can see, there are many exciting ways you can use the web to improve upon your restaurant marketing efforts. Try not just one, but all, of these methods to get the most out of your business website.
About the Author: Brian Rage recently opened his own restaurant. He set up his new restaurant point of sale system, created stunning elegant menus, and finally had his website designed to match his theme. Talk to a marketing expert if you aren’t sure how to create or run a website.
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