Besides just the hiring and training of new waitstaff and dealing with the stress of bills and permits, opening a new restaurant comes with a large amount of decisions that need to be made. One of which is the creation and maintenance of your business’s website and online presence. Here we have provided you with a list of proactive tips to help you through the process of planning your new restaurant’s new website.
Get control of your domain name. Your domain name is an integral part of your business identity. You need to be sure that it is purchased in your name, and that you are the administrative contact for the domain name. You must also make sure that the username and password are selected by you and are filed away safely. If in the future you decide to redesign your website or change web hosts you will need access to your domain name, so it would be more convenient to have the domain name registered to you rather than what could become a former employee.
Hire a professional. In an effort to save a few bucks, many new restaurant operators may turn to a friend or acquaintance to help get their website up and running. However, once your website has launched this could leave you in a difficult position. More often than not once your website launches, you’ll likely be on your own to keep the page running and updated. If this is the case, make sure you have been properly trained, and have plenty of time to manage your website. Consider hiring a professional webpage designer from the start who can respond to support issues in a timely manner, and possibly save you time and money in the long run. If you do decide to allow an employee to manage the website updates for you, be sure to remain involved as well. Restaurants tend to have high turnover, and you’ll want to be sure that someone is able to manage the restaurant website at all times. A dedicated restaurant website is essential for providing important information to potential customers such as conveying that a restaurant is in fact established, and the proper branding for your business. Cut432 of Delray Beach, Florida, for example, not only provides their story, hours, and a dinner and cocktail menu on their website, but also a page to make online reservations and take a virtual tour of their modern steakhouse on their sleek, minimalistic webpage.
Utilize Facebook. Facebook is usually the first step for growing an Internet presence for new restaurants. It’s free and it’s where the people are, so naturally, it’s a great tool for getting your name out to potential customers. After opening day however, much like the website, restaurant operators usually find themselves too busy managing the daily operations to manage both a virtual and a real world reputation and what was intended to be one facet of their online presence, turns into their sole online presence. As a marketing tool, Facebook is too important to be looked over, but it certainly should not be your only marketing tool.
Don’t overdo it. While it can be tempting to create an account for every social media outlet when launching a new restaurant, over-committing yourself to so many sites can be a bad thing. Prior to getting started, make sure you have an associate who is capable of managing these accounts. Otherwise, you could inadvertently ignore questions from customers, overlook valuable feedback, or end up with an inactive blog. Neglected social channels can turn off new patrons, alienate fans, and convey an inability to manage your business. You should consider creating one social page at a time, building a routine and then adding new channels as you become accustomed to handling them. Moreover, you want to be sure that the social media platforms you use are appropriate for your business.
Remember mobile. According to Venturebeat.com, mobile visitors now account for about 50% of all restaurant website traffic. If you are working with a professional webpage designer, be sure to ask how they plan to approach your mobile website and ask to see samples. Once you hear the words “responsive design” in the explanation, you know you are good to go.
A properly created and managed online presence can lead to a significant boost in profit. For more tips on managing and developing your online presence, please read the following Source1 posts: