By now most restaurant owners have made the decision to publish a website that sits in cyberspace hungry for exposure. And, just like so many other industries, few people have learned the techniques to make a website function properly in order to promote business, excite palates, and get people stoked about eating at the establishment on the site´s home page.
This often has to do with a lack of time, experience, talent, and a belief the web works at all. The World Wide Web is merely a holding area for the real estate called a website. And, just like any other piece of real estate the key is location, location, location.
Unfortunately, when it comes to your brick and mortar location, it is where it is. And, its location and the amount of exposure it gets is directly related to your monthly rent.
That´s not true with your website. With a bit of creativity, ingenuity, and a little bit of time you can take a bottom of the barrel website and move up through the search engines and get more exposure than you would ever imagine. But, you have to work at it. And, while working at it you will also be promoting your business.
We have covered this in the past, but now is a good time to begin thinking of promotional campaigns that will help you get through the slow months. I know, it´s busy now and the slow months are months away, so why think of that today? It´s all about planning.
While you´re busy, get those email addresses from your customers. Put the survey card in with the guest check. Offer a complimentary dessert, the next time the customer comes in if they complete the survey, including an email address, before they leave. You will have to email the complimentary dessert certificate to them, but that´s part of the plan. Get the customer used to getting something, an offer, a discount, a recipe, when you email them.
Once you have accumulated a nice group of emails, think about the newsletter that you will be posting on your website. Set a target date. Begin developing stories to publish about your upcoming catering menu. Discuss the autumn menu with your staff and announce it to your customers through email. If you have a calendar of special events, put it on your website. If you still use those ancient table tents, duplicate them digitally and put them on your website.
Once you get into the habit of marketing to your customers through your email and website program, you will notice a rowing loyalty from your clients. And business will build without costing a lot of money.
And, as you become more familiar and comfortable with the routine, you will see that the half an hour a day you spend marketing to your clients, and their friends and family, increases business substantially.
You are not going to see results overnight, but we seldom do when it comes to advertising. But, you will develop a clientele that looks forward to your information. And, if you don´t have the time to do the project yourself get some help from your kids, your spouse, or one of the employees who would love to pick up some extra cash doing some on-line marketing for the business.
If you could move your business to the best location in your town you wouldn´t hesitate to do it. Think of your website as real estate. It´s time to move it to a better location.