A very relevant question that probably has puzzled many a restaurant owner.
In today's connected world a restaurant website is a absolute necessity.
1) It is like free advertising. Newcomers to the area often do a search on the Internet to find restaurants.
2) It is convenient for guests to remember (Have a simple and nice name for the website) if they need to go there.
3) It replaces some of your telephone queries.
4) It can be a selling tool.
5) It can help you get feedback.
Now about what it needs to contain...A basic website should have:
a) The restaurant introduction (cuisine, ambience, history, USP
(unique selling proposition).
b) The location with links to directions from all likely places.
c) The hours of operation.
d) The reservation policy.
e) Menus (Have a simple document that loads fast and in colors that it
can be printable by the guests if needed).
f) Catering facilities.
If you decided to advance another level, you could add...
- Reviews of your restaurant.
- Photo gallery
- Feedback form.
- Marketing tools like email newsletters etc.
Who can do the job ?
Professionally there are many companies that develop websites. On a second level there are several freelance professionals who do
websites. On a basic level it is not too difficult to find a neighborhood friend with some basic web building skills.
Your choice will depend on your budget:(A simple one with 5 to 6 pages may be developed under a $1000, a professional one with a lot of
bells and whistles may cost upwards from $10,000, or a friend of yours could do it for a couple of meals)
After the site is setup putting it on the web and maintaining it you may have to budget for ISP/Web hosting fees and domain name
registration for about $300 to $500 dollars per year.
Disclaimer: The figures mentioned are solely for guidance. Precise rates will depend on a variety of factors and markets and have to be
obtained by the readers.