Outward Image is uniquely positioned in offering local restaurants a wide array of marketing services, as well as stellar website design. Starting with the website, the sites are very user-friendly as possible, with easy-to-understand navigation and easy-to-read, well-organized menu classifications. And it is just as easy to navigate and read when viewed by a mobile device — and it will render automatically to mobile device without the need for your customers to download a special app. In time, your customers may learn to rely on their phones or ipads to give them the latest menu choices at your restaurant, lessening the need to print expensive paper menus.
It is especially important that your website is mobile-ready, as in it adapts easily to the mobile format, with as little fuss as possible by the user, your customers. Our latest restaurant website was for Phoenix Coney Island. You can see the site by clicking the image to right, or by scanning this code with your mobile phone. View it on your computer and mobile phone to see how the site displays differently. See the new website for Phoenix Coney Island.
Maintenance services are always available at Outward Image for editing your site. However, we realize that many business owners would like to be able to make changes themselves, to save money on editing charges, or simply to have more control of the site in general. Outward Image aims to make it as easy as possible for clients to edit their own sites by designing content management systems specifically for your restaurant, to coordinate easily with any regular marketing programs you may already have in place.
Furthermore, a categorized system is created based on your menu. A post system is created where you can add items to the menu based on category, for instance, “dinner choices”, or “soups”. By using a post system, you simply choose the category the new item belongs, and it automatically is added to the correct page within the website. Similar systems are also created for optional image galleries and Calendar of Events.
We can guide you through social bookmarking — what it is, and what it can do to help your business. Advice is free as any social bookmarking can be handled in house, but low priced plans are available that keep your business visible on a regular basis. These plans would include a schedule of events (holidays, special offers, other news) each month where we would post something about the event, likely related to your business in some way. Typical schedules include postings roughly twice a week, or 8 times a month.
To be successful, any social bookmarking strategy should encourage your customers to “find” you on the social network(s) you have chosen. This can be done by posting this message around the restaurant, printed on menus, table-tent cards, etc. As your social page gains more followers, the messages you post reach more people. The more people see, the more power it has. And the messages can be used for anything you want, from a simple, friendly holiday greeting, or you can post a “Facebook Special”, a special offer only seen by people who Like your Facebook page. But these are just examples, you are only limited by your own creativity.
Many establishments can also use a Calendar of Events on their website, especially if they offer any type of entertainment. But there are other reasons to put up a calendar, it could simply show the weekly or daily specials. With the calendar, you are allowed to enter recurring events, so if you have a regular program of specials by week or month, you can set up the calendar and it will simply run the specials into the future on the right days. And it will stay that way until you decide to change something. And, of course, if you want to add something special just once, that can be done at any time.
Event calendars are an add-on to the base site, but they can be a very crucial is communicating timely, important information to your customers.
If you plan on running an electronic newsletter for your restaurant, there are third-party companies like Constant Contact, for example, that guide you through this process. They charge a monthly fee, and offer templates and other services. Any reputable service of this sort should offer a simple code patch that will allow for the collection of subscribers on you web page. Outward Image simply installs this code patch at no additional charge.
A Newsletter system can also be installed within your site that would contain its own database of subscribers, and allow for the creation of templates based on your branding. There would be an additional charge to install this system, to create the template(s), etc., but there would be no monthly fee associated with this newsletter at all. You would be free to use for as long as the site itself is operational.
Outward Image also provides newsletter design services, where a specific schedule would be set, and we would produce all the newsletters based on your message, and send it out to your list.
Like with the social bookmarking, collecting email addresses for the newsletter will require some effort and/or presence in the dining room. You can simply ask for their email address, or you can offer little perks (10% off your next visit, for example), to obtain their email addresses. This system also has a report mechanism that tells you who actually read your message, or at least opened it.
Please don’t forget that Outward Image can provide a wide variety of printing and design services, from producing menus and table-tent cards, to postcards, posters, and even outdoor banners and stands, all at very competitive pricing. Using one source for web and print helps ensure a certain consistency of branding between the different marketing mediums.