Should a restaurant have a website or is a Facebook page ok?

2 min read

Nowadays it’s tempting  for a restaurant just to stick up a Facebook page and think, “I won’t bother about a proper website”.
Yes, Facebook is a quick solution and you should have one (and you can take online bookings from there via simpleERB!)  but you shouldn’t go without a proper website for too long.
The reasons why you shouldn’t are stated succinctly in this CopyBlogger piece with the most salient point being:

“If the only place you can connect with customers is on your Facebook page, you essentially work for Facebook.
And they can (and do) change their terms of service whenever they want, without asking you, in a way that can create massive tumult for you. They can also delete your page just because they feel like it. They owe you nothing. And they’re too big to care about your problems. If the only place you get traffic is Google (either through organic search or pay-per-click), you work for Google. If 80% of your new customers find you on Pinterest or LinkedIn, you work for Pinterest or LinkedIn.You have a much better option. You can rely on yourself, and use Facebook and Google and Pinterest as outposts to support your business.”

You should not rely on Facebook or any other social media source to be ‘found’ on the internet. You need to have a website that you are in control of, that you can update and that will still get found even if Facebook ceases to exist. These sources are fantastic for promoting and marketing your business and pushing traffic to your website but they should not be seen as ‘your website’.

Email addresses

CopyBlogger is talking about general businesses when they reinforce this point saying:

“There are three assets you should be building today, and should continue to focus on for the lifetime of your business:
1) A well-designed website with your own hosting account.
2) An opt-in email list, ideally with a high-quality autoresponder
3) A reputation for providing impeccable value
These things are the equivalent of buying your building instead of renting it.”

As a restaurant point number 2 would read:
“Get the email addresses of all your customers when they dine and have a good Customer Relationship Management system”
simpleERB makes it easy for you to collect customer emails and to have them in a place where you can easily use them to construct email marketing campaigns, free of charge. This means you own the marketing and you’re in charge of how they’re communicated with.