October 5th, 2012 • Posted by Rachel Prewitt • Permalink
For the longest time newspapers,
magazines and radio have been the most popular mediums for consumer
to connect with their favorite restaurants and brands. In the last
decade, however, more and more people have been connecting through
digital media. According to OLO
founder and CEO Noah Glass, restaurant owners
have been spending too much of their budget on traditional media,
while they should be embracing the digital revolution to improve
sales. You may have thought about hopping on the digital bandwagon
before, but hesitated because you either didn’t have the time or it
all seemed too intimidating and overwhelming. Have no fear—CoverBoom
is here, and we make it easy peasy!
We’ve helped more than 4,000 local
and independent businesses nationwide sell over $140 million online
with our cutting edge Custom Marketing System. It does it all. Not
only can we can help grow your brand, but we will help drive more
traffic to your website and restaurant by writing compelling content
for your email campaigns, promotions, blog articles and social media
posts. In addition we will give you the ability to sell instant gift
certificates and make
online reservations, thanks to our partnership
Rezbook. Still not convinced? See it for
yourself at our demo
We’ll take care of the marketing, so
you can focus on running the restaurant. If you have any questions or
would like to discuss your custom marketing plan, give us a call at (800) 940-0451.
We’re always happy to help.
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September 19th, 2012 • Posted by Rachel Prewitt • Permalink
Ask any customer and many will tell you how much they hate looking up their favorite restaurants online only to be greeted with a "Content Loading…" page, followed by a flashy website that makes them watch a "short" animated intro, accompanied by elevator music. Anytime a customer finds a site like this, they are more likely to hit the Back button or close the page altogether and never return, rather than sit through and watch the five-second, animated intro. Although many web designers may try to talk you into using Flash on your website, it’s best if you keep the Flash as a food-frying technique only.
One of the biggest reasons to avoid Flash is because search engines can’t read that type of content, making your website virtually invisible. Not only is your Flash website less likely to show up in search results, but search engines are more likely to blacklist your website, because they can only read keywords and not the actual content on a Flash website. Although, Adobe and Google have made some developments to make Flash files easier for search engines to read and index, Google can still only partially read and index the content on your website, while other search engines won’t be able to understand your Flash content at all. This is a huge problem, because if customers can’t easily find you online, you lose potential business.
Another reason to consider not using Flash on your website is because your customers are using more than just a computer to access your website these days. They want to look up your menu and hours of operation on their smartphones and tablets. This is a problem for Flash websites, however, because most mobile web browsers don’t support Flash and can’t display the website at all. More and more people are looking up their favorite restaurants on mobile devices and if they can’t load your page because you have a Flash website, they’re just going to move on to their next favorite restaurant that they can access.
Now, we’re not saying that Flash is 100% bad. We’re saying a website made 100% in Flash isn’t good. A website decked out in Flash has its limitations and could impede potential business. If you like Flash, use it sparingly, but keep in mind that not even Adobe, the company that created Flash, has a Flash website.
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September 6th, 2012 • Posted by Stephany Toman • Permalink
Providing consistent, stellar dining experiences is what you strive to do, right? But once you've pleased your patrons, another step remains. But first, some framework.
What your diners leave behind, in terms of reviews in all those places designed to gather them, matters. A lot, as it turns out. A recent Mashable article elaborates. Referring to a recent UC Berkeley study in which the power of Yelp's reviews were the focus, 'The study shows a half-star improvement in ratings can increase a restaurant's business during peak dining hours by 19%.'
19% is nothing to sneeze at, but the freaky part about it, is that some restaurateurs, knowing how important reviews are, attempt to game the system by leaving their own reviews of their own establishments. While desperation has certainly been behind more than one bad decision throughout history, going to the place to create false reviews has a bigger downside than could possibly justify the act to begin with.
As it turns out, those review sites? Are really smart. In fact, if any one of the Big Three - UrbanSpoon, Yelp, or Trip Advisor - suspect a review is false, they'll remove it, and they make make a much broader sweep with others they feel are also false-sounding...which means subjectivity will be exercised on their part that may adversely affect you in a much bigger way. If that isn't enough to dissuade, know that prospective diners are also smart. They know a preponderance of profusive praise is most likely not real. Real reviews are genuine in feel and sound, like something any one of use would write after visiting your restaurant.
'Really nice wait staff. Perfectly grilled steaks. Ridiculously rich chocolate mousse! And the setting is really 'Old Italy meets downtown Denver'...We'll definitely be back!'
'Wine steward really knew his stuff. Recommended the absolute perfect cab to go with the chanterelle stuffed filets. Garlic sauce to die for. A little disappointed by the very small creme brulle, but it was delicious if scanty. Overall, 4 stars."
'If the blue cheese burger hadn't saved the day, I'd be inclined to avoid this place due to noisy, crowded waiting area/bar, but the wait and noise were well worth the amazing eats!'
People aren't always happy, and it's important that your reviews reflect reality. Face it, not everyone is 100% happy all the time, and an occasional less than stellar review only adds necessary color and balance to the entire picture being painted of your restaurant.
So what can you do to garner reviews?
Claim your profiles! Always make sure your profile is current on all of the review sites. There's nothing worse than an outdated profile, an extreme example of which would show your wrong address or phone number!
Ask for those precious reviews! Link to review sites from your web site, and encourage your site visitors to take a moment to leave their reviews where they count. Sites to link to: UrbanSpoon (the #1 used dining directory by people on the move), Yelp, Trip Advisor. Also, sending out an email expressing your thanks to your diners is always a great reason to reach out! And politely requesting they take the time to leave a review (via a link you've included for their convenience in your email), can help generate fresh, honest reviews that result in the thing you care about most - butts in seats.
Reviews do matter, and you have the power to make sure yours are both numerous and relevant. Now get busy!
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