As a restaurant owner, you’ve gotten accustomed to being a jack of all trades, and “do it yourself” is probably your mantra. And for many small business owners, that kind of thinking pays off in the long run, as doing things yourself can cut costs and make your business run more smoothly. However, where online branding and the world of the internet is concerned, there are a few key places where calling in an expert is a smart idea that will pay off dearly.
Online branding is one of the most important things for your to keep in mind if you want your restaurant to be successful. More and more customers will be getting their first impression of your establishment through your web presence instead of through an actual visit to your brick and mortar location, so making sure that your online branding is in check means making a good first impression on potential future customers. Which is why, for some areas of your online presence, calling in an expert is a smart business move. Here are the three areas of developing your online presence where calling in an expert’s touch is a good idea.
1. Website Development
With so many “build your own website” templates out there, it might be tempting for you to set aside a few weekends and figure out how to make your own site. But the facts are, a site designed and built by a professional web developer is almost always going to look and work better than anything you can put together on your own. Think about it like you would your kitchen: yes, your servers could probably figure out how to make some of the most popular dishes on your menu if you left them in front of the stove for long enough, but that’s not their area of expertise, and a meal cooked by your head chef is always going to taste better than an impostor’s attempt. You have lots of skills as a restaurant owner, and if building websites isn’t one of them, that’s ok.
A professional web developer’s touch will mean that your site is more stable, and more reliable in the future. When built right, your website will be able to function without much or any attention, so investing in a web developer who can do it right the first time means your site won’t be a recurring headache. And many great features that can make your website stand out, like well linked contact pages and other coding intensive offerings, will be easy work for a professional developer but a huge task for a novice trying to wing it. By investing in an expert for your web development, your online presence will have a more functional and reliable hub, which is invaluable in establishing your online branding.
It’s been said a million times here and other places, but it remains true: a picture tells a thousand words. Good photography of your restaurant and food will convey a lot more about your business and offerings than words ever will, and the photography that you use to establish your web branding is one of the most important factors there is developing your online presence. The photographs you use in your social media profiles, on your websites banners, in your emails, and in everything else you do on the internet, are very very important in establishing your brand and making your restaurant successful in the digital age. And ultimately, you can’t expect to take the best, top notch, professional photographs yourself. Which is why it is a smart idea to invest in a professional photographer to make sure your restaurant’s visual components are in line.
3. Graphic Design
Even if you have a very well built and reliable website, and lots of great photos to use from your professional photographer, putting it all together can be overwhelming. And things like logos, illustrations, and other visual components can be hard to come up with and figure out how to do right on your own. Which is why it is a great idea to consult with a professional graphic designer as you get your website’s branding in check. Your online presence is as much about looks as content, and a good professional graphic designer will make your website look better than you ever could. Again, this is all about specialization: a graphic designer has devoted their life to knowing exactly how and why things look good together, and will be able to see and do things that you simply can’t.
Overall, your online branding is one of the most important things in establishing your restaurant’s success. And while you can do a lot yourself as a small business owner, there are some important places where you should check in with an expert. Web development, photography, and graphic design are all areas where an expert’s touch are invaluable.
Rafi Cohen, a graduate of Baruch College & Brooklyn native is the Co-Founder @ Orders2me, an online ordering platform that gives restaurant owners all the features they need to grow their business in the digital age.
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