It’s a bit of a jerk move on my part to speaking loudly and in a yelling manner to potential clients. My subject line of choice clearly indicates that. However, as a foodie & frequent visitor @ food establishments, I’m willing to take that chance for the betterment of my dining experiences! Allow me to give you 1 example, though it’s true for thousands of restaurants around the world.
I live in a resort town (Manchester) in a travel & destination-based state (Vermont). There are only 5,000 residents of the town but there are over 40 restaurants from which to choose a variety of good meals. I’ve eaten @ a good many of them, and am a repeat offender @ a variety too. I was born in 1976 – I remember the days where all you needed was a restaurant’s menu or a good yellow page ad to figure out your plate/food/dining options. The restaurant’s take-out menu is still a tried-and-true method of giving your customers access to different foods. BUT, it’s no longer the first place that millions of people look first.
You see, the Internet has empowered to consumers to no longer have to rely on a physically attached document or book to get the information they want. We (including me) now jump onto our computers or smartphones and look for a restaurant’s website. It’s simply become an expectation that every business, especially service/food/restaurant businesses, will have a website. On that website will be basic information like “Contact Us, About Us, Lunch Menu, Dinner Menu, etc.” Consumers get a more efficient service and businesses have the opportunity to open up their potential customer base.
Only problem? Not all of these businesses are living up to customer expectations. I wish I could count on 1 hand how many of our 40 restaurants that are missing the boat so-to-speak. However, I’d need @ least 2 hands & maybe even the start of 1 foot! Just the other night, I had to pick my son up @ 5:30 & was going to order sushi so we can have some good grub & enjoy music @ our local green in town. 5:00 comes around & I start thinking, well, since there’s no website, I’ll have to go find the menu … but … I couldn’t find the stinkin’ menu. It’s a sushi joint so there are quite a few unknown options on the menu. Who the hell knows what a Green Dragon is unless you can read something that has the ingredients in it??
Instead of being able to have a causal pace to my evening, I had to rush to the restaurant, pick a few items on the fly, grab my son just before 5:30 and rush back to get my food. If they had a website, like every restaurant should, none of this would have happened.
So – Dear Restaurant Owners – do all of us a favor & get yourself a website. Whether we do it for you or not, you’re missing an incredible opportunity. As generations get younger, they will rely more & more on the web. And if ya don’t believe me, go ahead & stay site-less. Watch your customers grow older and more sparse. Sure, people will always come if you have great food. But more people will come if you have a larger presence. W/ over 200 million active internet users in the US, sure seems to me the best place to develop your biggest presence is your website. It’s your real estate to have online forever!!