Website Planning & Budgeting

Never put a rotten fish in your customers’ dish.

Before we start talking about the subject, I suggest you to clarify one fundamental thing. Please, answer: do you need a website at all? This is the first question you need to ask yourself! When you are sure why and what you need a website for, think about time you have to spent on it — process could be very demanding. Time issue can be resolved with outsourcing or hiring someone from aside. Of course, this option could bring up money question, but that is the easy part isn't it? Once you are sure you can start planning.

Above all, you need to setup realistic goals for your new internet project. Do not even think about "finding new clients and getting rich thru the web". This is real nonsense and it will never happen just because. But what are the goals then?

For a restaurant website, the primary goal is familiarize a visitor with your facility. By that I mean several things such as restaurant and bar menu, interior, description, testimonials, hours, address with a map. That is the minimum and all in all almost everybody doing the same job. Sounds good? Of course. And cheap. But this is the reason, why many restaurant websites looks like twins. What else could be done here? Numerous things, really.

If you ask me, I would advise you not be as greedy as you really are. Create a page for the chef, especially if you have a good one. Create a small video presentation. Hire a professional photographer and show your visitors what you are going to feed them. More than that create an interactive table map, so any visitor can book a table in one click. Attach your restaurants’ interior photos to the map. Give a visitor some perspective. Impress him. After all that done, finish him with a free dessert. In fact, I can keep on going with examples, but I hope you’ve got the general idea.

Budget of the project will be bigger than a simple WordPress site with a free template. I am talking about custom graphic design and programing here. About hiring a professional photographer. About a person, who will be monitoring online activities and call back visitors, seven days a week. Oh boy, this sounds like it is going to cost you… Really, will it? No. You are a restaurant owner, for god sake! Save your money somewhere else.

In return for your efforts, when you will get a visitor to your site, maybe he will become your customer who thinks, "Hey, look, this guy created a great website for his restaurant. Wow, he cares a lot about his guests"... Alternatively, maybe he will click on the "Order a table" button at your site before he goes somewhere else, or he will see a photo of the dish he was dreaming about… Who knows?

Planning and budgeting part is harder than it seems. It has nothing to do with "I want a website for my business!" It is more about thinking. What to do, what for, why? All we are trying to create here is raising up chances to convert visitors to customers. Needless to say, that properly designed website, professional photos and texts, frequent updates will raise your chances in Google.

To be honest, the restaurant project I brought as an example will cost you around $20 000 in total. It will take time and effort but at the end of the day, you will get a website your restaurant deserve. As I have told in my previous posts, website is your 27/7 office. You would never want to feed a rotten fish to your customers, would you? Same with the website. If at some point, you realize that you cannot afford it — stop. Do it the best way possible or do not even start.

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