Website versus Facebook Page
Hello. If you’re reading this, then welcome to the Big Flavour blog! We’re delighted you took the time to stop boy. As you can see, this is our first post but rest assured, there is plenty more to come. This will be the first in a series where we will address the most common questions we are asked when we talk with bar owners and restauranteurs. To kick things off, we thought we would give you the Big Flavour take on a classic - “Why do I need a website when I already have a Facebook page?”.
Before we dig a bit deeper, it is important to clarify that a Facebook page is arguably just as important as a website. Facebook has revolutionised the way in which brands and businesses interact with people. As a business owner, it gives you a platform upon which your loyal customers can engage with your brand, and more importantly, a platform upon which you can engage with them. However, the ability to create and manage a Facebook page free-of-charge entices many business owners into overlooking a website. Why should you pay money for a website when a Facebook page appears to tick all the same boxes?
The answer is control.
Your website will more often than not provide potential customers with their first impression of your restaurant or bar. Think of it as your virtual shopfront. In reality, you wouldn’t open a restaurant or bar without investing in attractive branding and signage. The same principle should apply to your online presence. Ensuring that each potential customer that searches for your business is presented with a well-designed, well-built website will allow you to control that all-important first impression. Showcasing the experience one of your customers will have when they choose you over a competitor is a key part of this. Unfortunately, Facebook does not provide the creative scope or flexibility to do this.
"But I don’t have a website and the restaurant is doing well”, we hear you say! It is true that some restaurants and bars can survive thanks to word-of-mouth; a personal recommendation from a close friend is gold-dust. However, around 80% of people who hear about “the most amazing wee restaurant in the West End” from their colleague they sit next to at work will go on to do more research before choosing whether to take them up on that recommendation. Indeed, over a quarter of potential customers say that they would look for the bar or restaurant's own website to help them make their choice. Typically only 3% of people use social media to search for information about a local restaurant or bar. This means that without a website, people may struggle to find your business online.
When browsing to find a place to eat or drink, a good website can be the difference between a customer deciding to book a table, and that same customer going elsewhere. A website allows restauranteurs or bar owners to display all the information potential customers should know before booking. Upon landing on a website, a user might see menus, opening hours, events, and special offers. Clearly structuring this information will allow that customer to make a quick and easy decision as to whether they book or not. This brings us nicely onto our final point…
Any good restaurant or bar website worth its salt will give its users the option to book online. In fact, 67% of users see this as standard for any restaurant or bar and would prefer to book this way than over the phone. In addition to this, we typically find that around 14% of reservations are made outside of business hours. An online booking system meets the expectations of the smartphone generation whilst mitigating the need to have a member of staff on-hand to take reservations over the phone when you might be busy, or closed. This will allow you to increase reservations, fill your restaurant, and ultimately grow in the long-run.
We believe that no matter how big or small, every bar and restaurant should have a website. Substituting a website for a Facebook page is a false economy, saving you money in the short-term but losing you money in the long-term. With a website as your online shopfront, a Facebook page can be used to grow your audience; engage with loyal customers; amplify the reach of your brand; and ultimately drive more visits and bookings through your website.
It is important that you own your brand online - a website is the key to this. If you are interested in finding out more about how a website can help drive more business for your bar or restaurant, feel free to get in touch to organise a chat. Alternatively, you can visit our page to find out more about how Big Flavour Marketing can help.