Making Your Profits Soar
If you answered “YES” to that question, congratulate yourself. You’re half-way there.
If you answered “NO,” we’re glad you’re visiting our site. Clearly, you’ve seen a few restaurant websites (competitors, maybe) and you’re thinking about the value of websites and web marketing for your own establishment. You probably have questions. We’re here to help. Read on.
Some Beliefs About Websites
Some business owners believe that websites and web marketing are lofty endeavors best left to big businesses that have fully-staffed marketing departments and a huge budget.
Some believe that websites don’t appeal to their customers and community.
Some who already have websites believe that their restaurant website is the only little corner of the World Wide Web where information about their establishment can be found.
More often than not, none of the above beliefs are true
Web marketing for restaurants doesn’t have to be expensive, troublesome, or difficult to maintain. With the online technologies available today, there are more ways to market your establishment than ever before.
If you’ve been in the restaurant industry for any length of time, you probably know these website names fairly well: Zagat, Kansas City Restaurant Guide, Kansas City Dining Guide, Kansas City Menus, Restaurants Kansas City, The Pitch, OpenTable, and Menuism.com.
If you’re a fan of social media, you’ve probably heard some, if not all, of these popular online sites: Twitter, Facebook, Yelp!, BooRah, Urbanspoon, and Citysearch.
The interesting thing to remember is that this is just a sample of the websites and social media outlets that feature restaurant listings and reviews. Again, if you’ve been in the restaurant industry for any length of time, your restaurant is probably listed or mentioned on one of these sites.
Keep in mind, smartphone users are hopping in the cars and using readily-available online resources and applications to make decisions about where to eat… while they’re on the road. Comments and reviews about your establishment play directly into their decision making process.
So, if you haven’t thought about it before now, you might want to start finding out what your customers and your community are saying about your restaurant.
How can you become a part of this worthwhile online community and begin to monitor and/or control the info on these sites?
An excellent question; glad you asked.
On Restaurant Websites
When we approach web marketing for the restaurant industry, we begin with websites. Ideally, a competitive website should have an easily-identifiable name. Generally three pages are all you may initially need: a Home (or Welcome) page, a Contact Us page (with easy-to-use directions), and a Menu page (that may include daily specials). Having contact info and a way for the customer to reach you via phone, address, fax, and e-mail is key. Give them every opportunity to get in touch!
Even a basic site is a valuable tool to reach out to your customers, tell them a little about your establishment, and entice them to try your fare. From a design and content perspective, the site itself should be visually appealing, easy to navigate, avoid clichés, and should offer content that keeps a visitor coming back regularly.
Websites should also be optimized for search engines. Search Engine Optimization for restaurants (SEO) draws targeted traffic to your website and improves your position in the search engine results pages (Google, Bing, Yahoo).
But having a website is only part of the battle. If you don’t keep it current, it’s hurting you instead of helping. Have a hot special? Get it up on the Home page. Throwing a big event? Tell them about it on your website. Adding another location? Great! If it’s not all on your website, you are losing out on a great chance to interest new customers and bring in that traffic. The same goes for restaurant review websites. If you don’t appear on Yelp!, BooRah, Urbanspoon, and Citysearch, you’re losing another opportunity to attract new customers.
Sound like a lot of effort?
It doesn’t have to be. This is where Hawkeye Consultants can help. We know that restaurants make money by having packed tables. We also know that it’s a full-time job. Let us take the marketing workload off your shoulders and help you fill your dining room. At the same time, you can concentrate on running your restaurant and serving your customers.
Let us help your profits soar. Give Hawkeye Consultants a call today!
From QSR Magazine
“Customer feedback found in blogs might reveal key information if you read between the lines…. Filtering through customer feedback on the various Internet blogs and social networking sites such as Yelp, BooRah, Citysearch, and others can be a very time-consuming endeavor, especially if your quick-serve restaurant boasts multiple locations. But reviewing these comments can lead to more targeted information, such as the favorite menu item, most-common dislikes, and the popular customer service aspects and could play a key role in marketing and advertising for the company.”
From the San Francisco Chronicle
“More and more, people are using user-generated reviews to make decisions about where to eat,” Hemmeter [Founder & CEO of E&O Trading Co.] said. “You have people who write fictitious things because they couldn’t get a table. And then you have people who write because they had a genuinely nice experience. All restaurant operators have to figure out how to get in on this online trend.”