In an owner’s hectic world, changing a website is often the least important task on the list to complete. In a recent email a busy operator claimed she “just didn’t have time” to alter her website and although “Mother’s Day” was still on the front page, people were looking at it. She wanted to know if that would hurt her business.
No. It won’t hurt it. It will kill it.
The perceived value – and that’s what a restaurant is all about – of an outdated website is so completely detrimental to a restaurant it would almost be better to not have one in the first place. Yet, that is a ridiculous option. Customers could assume since the website is stale, so is the food.
A customer’s expectation begins with the first image they see – if you can’t get a simple thing like a website together, how can they excel in food and service?
Of course we as industry insiders know this isn’t completely true, but the customer is blind to the rest of the tasks on the list. The image we project to the public- an updated website, dirty windows, shabby waiters, is a total reflection on our food, service, and ultimate quality. To say it would be better to not have a website rather than to have one that isn’t updated is like saying “we don’t serve dinner anymore because it was just too busy.”
In the restaurant business today, a website is an additional address that you need to have and to update regularly. In a recent article in Asian Restaurant News, Jaime Oikle defined the top ten website mistakes restaurant owners make. The article is a worthwhile roadmap to a successful online presence.
Currently, there are a number of programs on the market that can make site updating easier than peeling carrots- well, almost – maybe easier than a soufflé. If all else fails, have a son or daughter, or even a waiter assist you with the process. It will make your life easier and your image fresh.