10 Reasons Why Your Restaurant Needs a Website

The modern business must have a Web presence that communicates its brand and basic information to target audiences.  Despite that 89% of Internet users research restaurants online, thousands of restaurants still have little or no online presence. It’s essential that restaurants develop and maintain a basic website.  You may say that your business does not need a website, that it’s too expensive or you don’t have time to create or maintain it.  But when the purpose of a website is to deliver value to your customers, who in turn generate business, a website is essential.  In the same way you satisfy customers when they visit your restaurant, you should satisfy their informational needs online.  For the restaurant owner or manager, there are many benefits of having a website.  Here are a few:

1. To generate awareness, exposure and extend your brand. Your website lets people know who you are and gives potential customers a feel for your restaurant, menu and atmosphere. You also have the opportunity to demonstrate to customers why your restaurant is the right choice for them.  Remember, first impressions count.  A smart, simple design will help you convey the professional-yet-appealing image you want.

You have options when it comes to creating a website.  The least expensive method is to (of course) do it yourself.  With some software, a reference guide or two, and your dedication, a person with basic computer skills can have a simple website up within a week or less.  You may also decide to use a single provider who can handle everything from domain registration and renewal to hosting, site design, development and maintenance.  Be sure to ask them if they use search Engine Optimization best practices when they build their sites and if they will help improve the search results placement of your site once it launches.

2. To provide basic information such as hours of operation, payment methods, and location. While you most likely aren’t available 24 hours a day to answer these questions, your website, aka your ‘virtual storefront,’ is always there to address visitors’ questions.

3. To enhance your competitive advantage. There is a good chance that other restaurants in your area have websites and are luring your potential business because they can be found more quickly.  Many potential customers like to “comparison shop,” researching several restaurants online before making a decision about where to eat.   Without a web presence, your restaurant may no longer be considered an option for them.  You may also miss out on being listed in local online directories that feature your competitors.Before building your website, it is a good idea to check out what your competitors are doing online.  It’s a great way to get inspiration and ideas and think about ways that you can differentiate yourself.  

4. To improve internal efficiency and customer service. Does your staff repeatedly get bombarded by the same requests over and over again?  A great way to cut down on time spent fielding issues is to publicize that information on your website.  Rather than having a potential customer call for driving directions to your restaurant, they can be downloaded by the customer from your website, saving time and hassle for both your staff and the customer.

5. To promote products or services. Many restaurants offer products or catering services in addition to their general restaurant operations.  But many of your customers don’t know this!  Assign prominent areas of your website to address the full breadth of your restaurant’s offerings and you will build greater awareness and generate more business.

6. To publish timely content such as events or promotions. What do customers love?  They love a good deal or promotion.  When you publish simple promotions, such as a downloadable coupon on your website, it keeps your restaurant at the top of your customers mind, and keeps them coming back.

7. To serve the press. In addition to serving customers, your website functions as a public relations tool.  With tight press deadlines, media professionals writing about your restaurant need things like high-quality imagery and text about your restaurant.  By making this information available on your website, you can make lives easier for the press and increase your chances of free media publicity.

8. To build a relationship with customers. A website is a great place for capturing customer feedback through comments and surveys. In addition, a clean website with regularly updated content and promotions is a place where customers return again and again – just like they will return to your restaurant.  You can cultivate and maintain a one-on-one trusting relationship by publishing a regular email newsletter that offers unique, interesting content and special deals to your subscribers.

9. To save you money. Having an online presence 24 hours a day is less expensive than printed advertising, TV Spots, mailers and nearly any other form of promotion.  And unlike the aforementioned materials, websites can be updated as often as you like.  The only type of promotion you’ll need once your website is launched is…promoting your website! 

10. To increase your business. Despite economic difficulties, customers still are going out to eat.  They are just being more careful and analytical in their restaurant selection.

As you may realize, a website is not something that you simply publish online and then ignore for several years. The Internet is ever-evolving and new opportunities, from online and mobile ordering to more sophisticated marketing ideas come up almost daily that can benefit your business.  It will benefit you in the long run to invest in your restaurant’s online presence and keep tabs on innovations and trends in restaurant website design. 

Graphic Design – Designing For the Short Term Memory

Think differently.

Start by changing the way you think about the word “simple.” Simplicity is not easy. Simplicity is innovative. It is more challenging and takes more discipline than the “kitchen sink” theory of design. If applied correctly to your brand strategy, you can say more with less.

5 key advantages to simplicity in design and messaging.

1. It is easily recognizable.

2. It is memorable.

3. It reduces visual and emotional tension.

4. It is easy to understand.

5. It allows for a direct, coherent, consistent message across all brand channels.

Take advice from the experts.

Marissa Mayer, Google’s director of consumer Web products, sums the importance of design simplicity excellently:

“Google has the functionality of a really complicated Swiss Army knife, but the home page is our way of approaching it closed. It’s simple, it’s elegant, you can slip it in your pocket, but it’s got the great doodad when you need it. A lot of our competitors are like a Swiss Army knife open-and that can be intimidating and occasionally harmful.”

Google stays true to the equation: Robust Product + Simple, Direct Presentation = Success.

Test your brand.

An easy way to evaluate the effectiveness of your marketing materials is to sit down and look at them briefly. Skim them. Don’t spend any more time than you would as a consumer looking at someone else’s materials for the first time. Now step away. Read a chapter in a book. Go on a walk. Do something distracting. Then sit down and think about your materials. What do you remember? Is you message clear? Is your design consistent? If you have trouble remembering your colors, focus or message, others certainly will too.

Work / Life Balance – Are You in Control?

Do you have balance in your life? Do you work too much or play too hard? Is it simply a matter of choosing between the different dimensions of your life? Making that "either / or" choice and calling it balanced? When you think about the dimensions of your life, do you think of the different roles that you must play in life? More often than not, we think of ways to separate our roles, employee at work, mommy and daddy at home, community activist or Little League coach in the community. The funny part about this is that all of these roles represent who we are. Our roles grow out of our values, principles and life missions and become the channels through which we live, love, learn and leave a nationality.
So what's the answer to achieving the balance we seek? According to many of my clients and most people "time" – or lack of it – is the main culprit: "If only I had more time, I could do everything and put my life into a perfect balance." While time management can be a serious issue, it does not have to be a barrier to happiness. Not putting the effort and commitment into establishing a clear path to your mission, vision and values ​​are greater obstacles. The issue is not balance; it's establishing priorities. Priorities do not bring perfection into your life but they do help you to gain better control over life's issues.

George Bernard Shaw wrote, "If you take too long in deciding what to do with your life, you'll find you've done it."

What can you do differently to begin to establish your priorities around your personal values ​​to feel satisfied at home and at work? Try these exercises to focus your career planning and life thinking – yes, you have to do the work to get to your goal!

1. Write down your ten favorite activities, the ones without which your life would feel robbed. Does your career choice allow you to do your favorite activities on a regular basis?

2. Write down the top five goals you want to accomplish in your career. (Think money, fame, impact, contribution and more.) Your selected career must enable you to reach these goals.

3. List everything you'd like to do in your lifetime. These lists can run several hundred items. Does your chosen career choice allow for the accomplishment of your dreams or are you just dreaming?

You are the steward over your time, talent and resources. Now is the time to begin to balance between your inner life and your outer desires. Synergy or balance comes when living, loving, learning and leaving a legacy grows together.

Learn Japanese – Your First Trip to Japan

Learn Japanese easily! When you first visit Japan, people will probably ask you if you’ve been there before. You’ll want to tell them, “It’s my first visit to Japan.” You’ll also want to be able to ask others whether they have visited Japan before. Once you get past this step, it’s critical that you know whether to use formal or informal Japanese. And, you’ve got to use them both correctly. This Beginner Japanese article teaches you how to use hajimete (“for the first time”) and other important words you’ll use when you talk about your first trip to Japan. You’ll also find an indispensable review of Japanese formal and informal speech and an explanation of when to use each one. Don’t miss the awesome chart and practice sentences in this Beginner Japanese article!

Vocabulary: In this article, you’ll learn the following words and phrases:

moo - “already” (adverb)

tsuku - “to arrive at, to reach” (verb 1)

okiru - “to wake up, to get up” (verb 2)

yoku - “well, very”

tsukareru - “to get tired” (verb 2)

sama - (pol) “Mr.” or “Mrs.”

aruku - “to walk” (verb 1)

hajimete - “for the first time”

nikkei - “Japanese descent”

Burajiru - “Brazil”

umareru - “to be born” (verb 2)

sodatsu - “to be raised” (verb 1)

mago - “grandchild”

Jitsu wa – “the truth is, actually”

Grammar: In this article, you’ll learn the following words and phrases:

Useful Vocabulary and Phrases

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yoku

“well”


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Yoku is the adverbial form of the adjective yoi or ii (“good”), and it means “well, nicely, properly,” or “often.”

*For more information on adverbial form see Nihongo Doojoo: Beginner Series Season 4 Article 5

For Example:

  1. Yoku dekimashita.
    “Well done!”
    Literal translation: “Could do well.”
  2. Yoku tabemashita.
    “( I ) ate a lot.”
    Literal translation: “Ate well.”

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nikkei

“Japanese descent”


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The first Chinese character means “sun, day,” or “Japan.” The second Chinese character means “lineage, system,” or “group.” When the name of a country follows, it refers descent. However, it is nikkei that describes Japanese descent, not nihon-kei.

  1. Correct: nikkei Burajiru-jin
  2. Incorrect: nihonkei Burajiru-jin

For Example:

  1. Nikkei peruu-jin
    “Japanese Peruvian”
  2. Mekishiko kei amerika-jin
    “Mexican American”
  3. Furansu kei kanada-jin
    “French Canadian”

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umareru – “to be born”

sodatsu – “to be raised, to grow up”

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The particle de follows the place one was born or raised. Check the usage in the examples.

For Example:

  1. “I was born in Mexico.”
    (Watashi wa) Mekishiko de umaremashita.
  2. “I grew up in France.”
    (Watashi wa) Furansu de sodachimashita.
  3. “I was born and raised in Japan.”
    (Watashi wa) Nihon de umarete, nihon de sodachimashita.
    (Watashi wa) Nihon de umarete, sodachimashita.

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hajimete

“for the first time, first time”


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Hajimete is an adverb, so we generally use it with a verb. However, to mention that it is one’s first time experiencing something, we use the sentence structure “[ noun ] wa hajimete desu.”

For Example:

  1. (Watashi wa) hajimete nihon ni kimashita.
    “I came to Japan for the first time.”
  2. Nihon wa hajimete desu.
    “It’s my first time in Japan.”
  3. Nihon wa hajimete desu ka.
    “Is it your first time in Japan?”

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Grammar Review

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In this article, we are going to learn more about formal and informal speech by reviewing the past tense of a verb.

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“I’m tired.”

Formal:
Tsukaremashita.

Informal:
Tsukareta.

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How to create the formal past form of a verb:

  1. Change the verb into its corresponding -masu form.
  2. Drop -masu and add -mashita.

For more information see Nihongo Doojoo: Newbie Series Style You and Beyond Article 23

For Example:

Dictionary Form / -masu Form / Formal Past Form

aruku / arukimasu / arukimashita

neru / nemasu / nemashita

How to create the informal past form of a verb

  1. Change the verb into its corresponding -te form.
  2. Drop -te and add -ta.

For more information see Nihongo Doojoo: Beginner Series Article 24

For Example:

Dictionary Form / -te Form / Informal Past Form (-ta form)

aruku / aruite / aruita

sodatsu / sodatte / sodatta

okiru / okite / okita

neru / nete / neta

umareru / umarete / umareta

suru / shite / shita

kuru / kite / kita

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Review:

Please rewrite the sentences in informal form.


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  1. Watashi wa Burajiru de umaremashita.
    ___________________________________________________________________
  2. Watashi wa Burajiru de sodachimashita.
    ___________________________________________________________________
  3. Kyoo wa yoku arukimashita yo.
    ___________________________________________________________________
  4. Nihon ni hajimete kimashita.
    ___________________________________________________________________

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Please rewrite the sentences in formal form.

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  1. Kamakura ni itta.
    ____________________________________________________________________
  2. Yoku, neta.
    ____________________________________________________________________
  3. Kinoo nani shita?
    ____________________________________________________________________