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Setting Up Websites for Restaurants
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mr_ks Offline
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Setting Up Websites for Restaurants
I am working on getting websites up for a few local food outlets. The idea is get some customers to order through them and earn a commision much lower than what the larger app companies charge. The websites also have the advantage of being bespoke (branding, pics, promos etc) and being able to collect emails and feedback.

Was wondering if anyone has any experience of this type of business.
(This post was last modified: 08-12-2019 03:45 PM by mr_ks.)
08-12-2019 03:44 PM
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TooFineAPoint Offline
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RE: Setting Up Websites for Restaurants
I have helped dozens of shitty low budget restos set up sites and they fight me every step of the way.

Anyway, this is the best resource you can use to set up a proper resto site (besides the order/payment portion):

https://theoatmeal.com/comics/restaurant_website

For your collecting emails, use Sumo. Or if you are using the Divi WordPress theme, they have a native plugin called Bloom.
08-12-2019 11:25 PM
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mr_ks Offline
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RE: Setting Up Websites for Restaurants
(08-12-2019 11:25 PM)TooFineAPoint Wrote:  I have helped dozens of shitty low budget restos set up sites and they fight me every step of the way.

Anyway, this is the best resource you can use to set up a proper resto site (besides the order/payment portion):

https://theoatmeal.com/comics/restaurant_website

For your collecting emails, use Sumo. Or if you are using the Divi WordPress theme, they have a native plugin called Bloom.

What do you mean they fight you all the way? Also, do you find customers actually use the site to make orders?

Thanks for the info.

It looks to me like this could be a good business given the explosion in online food ordering and the high-rates charged by aggregator apps.
08-13-2019 03:53 AM
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Handsome Creepy Eel
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RE: Setting Up Websites for Restaurants
Small business owners generally have quite an obnoxious approach to going online - being very suspicious of everything, resistant to changes, unwilling to invest into any useful features, etc.

"Imagine" by HCE | Hitler reacts to Battle of Montreal | An alternative use for squid that has never crossed your mind before
08-13-2019 04:12 AM
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mr_ks Offline
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RE: Setting Up Websites for Restaurants
The above is definitely true from my experience with general small business. However, in my area, a poorer part of London, every restaurant/takeaway is using a food delivery app and paying them commission. A few are interested in having their own sites to cut out the platforms as much as possible.

But yeah, small business owners in general are skeptical about websites and often think they can just make a site for free with Wix etc.
(This post was last modified: 08-13-2019 04:24 AM by mr_ks.)
08-13-2019 04:20 AM
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perros Offline
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RE: Setting Up Websites for Restaurants
Godaddy.com
08-13-2019 09:00 AM
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mr_ks Offline
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RE: Setting Up Websites for Restaurants
(08-13-2019 09:00 AM)perros Wrote:  Godaddy.com

Wont work. These types of sites just look cheap and unprofessional. Rarely can this work for decent businessess.

Restaurant ordering needs to be slick and done by professionals as people wont be ordering from an unprofessional looking, slow and clunky site.
08-13-2019 09:21 AM
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Vincent Chase Offline
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RE: Setting Up Websites for Restaurants
Don't overcomplicate it. Just use Squarespace, or a wordpress template on any host which supports it.
08-13-2019 11:54 AM
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TooFineAPoint Offline
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RE: Setting Up Websites for Restaurants
(08-13-2019 03:53 AM)mr_ks Wrote:  
(08-12-2019 11:25 PM)TooFineAPoint Wrote:  I have helped dozens of shitty low budget restos set up sites and they fight me every step of the way.

Anyway, this is the best resource you can use to set up a proper resto site (besides the order/payment portion):

https://theoatmeal.com/comics/restaurant_website

For your collecting emails, use Sumo. Or if you are using the Divi WordPress theme, they have a native plugin called Bloom.

What do you mean they fight you all the way? Also, do you find customers actually use the site to make orders?

Thanks for the info.

It looks to me like this could be a good business given the explosion in online food ordering and the high-rates charged by aggregator apps.

Basically what HCE said.

The website company I worked with did not help with online ordering. But I have heard a lot of complaints about Skip The Dishes, so there is a definitely a market here.

Here are the main roadblocks for you:

1. Resto owner will be incapable of providing a final-draft menu that is not filled with mistakes and inconsistencies.

2. They will want to have all these little add-on options for accessories, dips, sauces, extra plastic spoons, whatever, that will require tons of order customization. Then they will complain about the customization costs, but refuse to just use an existing template that would solve 95% of the problem.

3. They will change the menu and then not tell you. After a few months everything will be out of date.

4. They will change their hours and not tell you. Basic contact info will also go out of date.

I am only talking about the negatives, obviously. If you can come up with a system to make this work two thirds of the time, and just fire the one third of customers that jam up your works, you will be fine.

Do people order online? Not so much for a small biz. They would prefer to call, or to go to a branded "ordering" site like Skip The Dishes, or just to come in, in person.

I always propose baby-steps: get a proper menu online and give a phone number. See if ANYONE calls to order using the online menu in the first month. Then ask the business owner if it will be worth the cost and energy to build the online ordering system.

Do you know what would actually be the most useful service to small restos? You come in, in person, learn their menu, take photos of food, and then properly organize the data and input it into whatever major ordering brand exists in that area. Because that is what they truly need help with: organizing content and taking in-focus pictures, and then keeping it up to date. Of course they THINK they need a custom ordering solution.

* * *

Take this free advice with a grain of salt: do a few resto sites bespoke like you said, then sit down and figure out ALL the overlapping features they request. Next, check out what the two major ordering apps do in your area, and see what the negative feedback is about them. Then just build out your own ordering app that solves the 1 or 2 major issues with the existing app, and charge a bit less, and put all your energy into marketing that. Use the 3 bespoke sites you built as your origin story in marketing -- "I just knew it could be better, so I hand built it... then I thought ALL the London restos could profit from it, blah blah".

These aps have learned that dealing with small businesses is the worst pain in the ass, so they just create a rigid structure and say "use it or fuck off", and they are right.
(This post was last modified: 08-13-2019 04:54 PM by TooFineAPoint.)
08-13-2019 04:48 PM
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mr_ks Offline
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Post: #10
RE: Setting Up Websites for Restaurants
Thanks, seems a possible business if done right and with the right clients. I researched another UK small IT company doing something similar and they seem to be doing quite well.

Most Resto IT companies just sell a template solution so that looks crap to a potential customer. I have seen some decent looking ordering pages from the other company, it seems they are just making money doing sites up with ordering, developing them one-by-one. The food places need to be decent though and doing solid business. I think your right that at the lower end it may not make sense.

Most of my clients are just typical Indian,Chinese food etc so not worried about customizations.

Taking photos, organizing the menu, developing and managing the site would be my job.

GoogleMyBusiness gets a lot views and it can direct customers to a businesses own site, and hopefully getting some decent traffic.
(This post was last modified: 08-13-2019 05:24 PM by mr_ks.)
08-13-2019 05:16 PM
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fktax Offline
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RE: Setting Up Websites for Restaurants
Very easy to rank them in Google. F*cking difficult to make the owners happy. They're too tight and everything you do, no matter the results will have them asking "what am I paying you for?"
08-17-2019 04:05 AM
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