If you own a restaurant and you don’t have a website yet, you might be wondering – Do I really need one? If you ask us, the answer is a definite yes, but don’t just take our word for it.
According to Tim W. Knox, founder and CEO of four successful technology companies, “Yes, if you have a business, you should have a website. Period. No question. Without a doubt.” But why are experts like Knox so adamant about businesses (including restaurants) owning websites? The answer’s quite simple really – we’re smack dab in the Information Age.
There’s a real need for businesses need to go online these days, because: (1) The Worldwide Web is becoming a big part of our lives, and (2) The Internet is an efficient marketing tool that is cost effective and has the potential to reach millions, all around the globe. According to a survey by Nielsen, in Malaysia alone, the Internet racked up RM1.8 billion worth of online sales in 2010, a figure that’s expected to triple in 3 years time! Despite statistics such as these, some business owners still make the mistake of thinking that you only need a website if you’re selling products online, says Knox, but this isn’t true.
A presence on the Web, explains Knox, gives your business greater ‘online visibility,’ which in turn enables customers, as well as potential partners and investors to find you. Some of you may be asking, “What’s online visibility?” Well, a website allows you to share your menu, showcase your specialties and services, as well as discuss what sets your food and eatery apart from the rest. Call it self promotion, but a website means that you’re out there and you want to be noticed.
Even if we can all agree on the fact that a website’s a definite must for the restaurant of today, you should note that not any old website will cut it. For a website to be effective, it has to be well-designed and professional. It should also be easy to navigate and have fresh content. If you consider the fact that most people will Google you before they drop by your restaurant, a website has got to make a good first impression too. Even big companies can make the mistake of having poorly-designed websites, and needless to say, customers can be easily turned off by stagnant content and pages that are difficult to get around.
So, let’s get back to the main question - Does your restaurant really need a website? Well, if you don’t want to lose business to others who do have one, then yes, you need one. Even if you don’t see the benefits immediately, you definitely will in the near future.