Having a website for your business is no longer a option – whatever your business, you will need to create a website.
A website is great for your business – you can use it to promote special offers, show your menu to prospective customers and show off about great reviews.
Having a website is no longer the expensive option it once was. Yes, you can spend an absolutely fortune on having a flashy site with loads of interactive features that are updated every five minutes, but this is rather unnecessary. You can have a relatively simple website that has been designed with your business in mind without spending much money.
Create Your Own WebsiteThere are many ways to create a website. If you are a bit of an online whiz (or even just a little bit of an online whiz) there are plenty of ‘off the shelf’ website options that can be bought for between £100 and £200, including domain name and hosting. You then just manipulate the templates with your own content.
You can actually spend even less than that if you are more capable with HTML (the common online programming language). You can buy books like ‘HTML for Dummies’ that talk you through creating a simple website in very easy steps.
The key is to design your restaurant website to match your capabilities – it is far better to have a very simple website that you are able to make look good rather than attempt an all singing, all dancing website that you manage to make look unprofessional and poorly designed.
You don’t need to have loads of information. Just a home page, a sample lunch and dinner menu and a directions/contact us section will suffice. If you like, you can add in a page that you can update with news and special offers and perhaps some information on your suppliers.
People do like to see the prices on your menu and a couple of vegetarian dishes, so make sure these are clear. You will also need to put that it is a sample menu and prices are subject to change – you don’t want someone travelling for hours to get to you for a particular dish only to find it not on the menu that night.
Paying For a WebsiteIf you do not want to, or are unable to, create a website for your restaurant yourself, there are a number of ways it is possible, without breaking the bank. If you have children, or nieces and nephews, ask around if they or any of their friends could create a website for you. As long as you are clear about what style and content you want, you should be able to maintain control.
You could also ask at your local IT college – they are always keen for a live project to work on. You may either get a student able to create it or one of the tutors may offer it as a sideline business.
Once you have your website, use the Internet to promote your business, from joining food forums to using Google advertising.