Stop Trying to Build Your Own Restaurant Website
Some Projects Aren’t Meant To Be DIY
I’m going to try to convince you that building your restaurant website isn’t a do-it-yourself task. That you should outsource it. And that we conveniently offer this service.
But truth be told, I’m a proud member of the DIY brotherhood (or sisterhood). Over the past few months, I’ve taken on a major paint project, tried to mimic HGTV’s style of home photography, and changed the starter in my car. With a technically-inclined husband by my side, a good dose of can-fix-anything genes from my father, and God’s blessing, what could stop me?
Well, nothing did stop me. Let’s do this? I did. I had to make a few extra trips to the home improvement store. I witnessed a professional photographer take 10 minutes to do what I’d spent two weeks trying to put together. And the starter? Still cranking (contented smirk).
While I’m proud of most of the DIY notches on my belt, I can look back and see what I didn’t do while I spent all that time playing Property Brothers (and mechanic). Writing, refining my marketing skills, getting new clients – all critical elements in growing our business.
Restaurant operators, you know where this is headed. Whether your restaurant is in survival mode or advancing toward culinary royalty, don’t you have about 50 million other things to do than to try to build and maintain a restaurant website? And by you I mean you-Owner, you-General Manager, or whoever else you have back there whose job title is something else other than Web Designer.
The restaurant industry facts and testimonials that I found to support my argument are so intimidating that I doubt foodservice professionals need much convincing at all.
You Don’t Have Time To Build A Website
The Bureau of Labor Statistics gently estimates that foodservice managers work 50+ hours per week. Thrillist contributor Dan Gentile gathered direct feedback from some restaurant owners who pin the harsh reality somewhere between “an 18 hour day” to consuming “every waking moment you have.”
That time is juggled between trying to deliver great food and service, managing staff, and keeping reins on all the factors that could potentially sink the business. While there is some discrepancy on the restaurant failure rate, industry pros agree that the percentage is high. There’s also a general consensus on what areas should be mastered to prevent disaster.
Restaurant consultant Brandon O’Dell lists these critical factors: having a unique selling point, menu size and focus, business management (sales, labor, cost of goods, P&L), pricing strategy, marketing, and negotiation skills.
Celebrity Chef and “Restaurant: Impossible” star Robert Irvine adds that restaurant accounting should be properly maintained so that figures and costs of ingredients are up-to-date.
Industry veteran and hospitality researcher H.G. Parsa, Ph.D. points out that restaurants need sufficient capital – not just for the build and opening – but to sustain for 3 to 6 months with no paycheck. Parsa adds that since restaurants have low fixed costs (easy entry) and high variable costs (high maintenance), “…somebody has to closely watch what’s happening. Because of that they have to be in the business every day, seven days a week.”
Whew. Sounds like you have a lot to do.
Become A Master Of Your Own Trade
RestaurantOwner.com founder and president Jim Laube warns that “one of the main occupational hazards of owning a restaurant is getting buried in the minutiae of daily operations.” He details how restaurants can go from good to great when owners take a more strategic and supervisory approach to running the business.
“Here the owner of the restaurant…is overseeing and directing the operations, financial and marketing activities, but is not directly involved in the ongoing daily work in these areas,” Laube notes.
This principle not only applies to owners but to other staff members whose roles involve making the restaurant great. Whether you’re the chef, general or assistant manager, staying focused on your area of expertise will improve your restaurant’s chances of survival and lasting success.
While muddling through daily minutiae and wearing multiple hats may be the reality for many small business owners – restaurant industry or otherwise – we can all aspire to greatness by eliminating some of the miscellaneous DIY and developing a more laser-like focus to our respective trades.
Become a master in the foodservice industry by managing your restaurant’s success factors without losing sight of your true calling. Approach financials, operations, and marketing from a zoomed-out perspective and keep your eye on the big picture.
5 Benefits Of Outsourcing Website Design And Maintenance
Notice that these benefits don’t just relate to outsourcing website design but to ongoing maintenance as well. How many companies paid thousands of dollars for a new website that’s now sitting outdated? Hello mobile revolution.
That’s actually the first of the 5 benefits of outsourcing:
1. Your restaurant website will keep up with the Internet. An ongoing relationship with a website designer will enable you to make changes as technology and consumers’ online habits evolve.
2. Your restaurant website will keep up with your restaurant. When you make changes to your menu, add new locations, or run promotions, your website should reflect these updates right away. It shouldn’t be a static brochure with outdated menu prices and no interactivity.
3. Your restaurant website will look professional. Restaurant expert Lorri Mealey argues, “You wouldn’t paint the sign on the front of your restaurant yourself, because it would look unprofessional and not a good representation of your business. The same idea applies to websites.”
4. Your restaurant website will survive technical problems. On the Internet, stuff happens. Websites go down, hackers hack, developers push updates, Google issues new SEO rules, etc. Even if you find time to customize a DIY website builder, you won’t have time for the unexpected changes and challenges.
5. Your restaurant website won’t bankrupt you. Outsourcing can be affordable (hint, hint). And in a rapidly evolving atmosphere with some degree of uncertainty, a low setup fee with monthly billing is a better fit than high upfront costs with no flexibility for change.
Are you ready to spend less time trying to be a web designer and more time mastering your own trade? Read about our Website Design and Maintenance Service and turn yours over in 3 easy steps.