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Restauranteur Blog

Increase sales by adding Ecommerce to your restaurant website and selling gift cards

Vincent Gisriel - Monday, November 26, 2012

Every restaurant constantly strives to increase sales and improve marketing strategies to become more profitable. One way to increase sales with very little investment and minimal effort is to establish a gift card program for your restaurant. Gifts cards can drive up sales in down times and introduce a new stream of clientele to your restaurant. This allows your regular customers a way to advertise all your hard work and hospitality throughout the year by treating their family or friends to dinner at your restaurant. They say that word of mouth is the best form of advertising. But how about word of mouth and a sample of what your restaurant cooks and serves everyday? According to the National Restaurant Association, approximately 78 percent of Americans say that they would like to receive restaurant gift cards or certificates on gift occasions.

Many of our clients that have a gift card program run it from the hostess stand. The customer comes in, asks to buy a gift card and the hostess must track down a manager to complete the sales transaction. We offer an easier solution that can increase sales when your customers visit your restaurant’s website. Every website platform that we sell here at Restaurant Website Platform has an E-Commerce shopping cart built into the back end. Not only can your restaurant sell gift cards online, you can create an online store to sell items to promote your brand. Some restaurants decide to sell something as simple as a specialty salsa or even T-shirts and hats.

The E-Commerce shopping carts that we build in our platforms support a wide range of payment gateways in the United States and can be customized to connect directly to your local bank account. Our system can connect your restaurant with payment gateways such as PayPal, Google Checkout and Authorize.net. Every transaction that is made in your online store can be synced to QuickBooks Web Connector (version 5 or later) to help you with your accounting structure.

By setting up a powerful online store that has Search Engine Optimization built in, your restaurant can sell products or gift cards with inventory management. Your office can easily maintain a history of orders and even offer bonuses for customer loyalty and repeat purchasers. These customers are also automatically attached to your E-Mail marketing database and can be included in direct marketing campaigns. Every online order is linked to the unique customer record in the Customer Relationship Management (CRM), that we wrote about last week.

Restaurant Website Platform has integrated an E-Commerce shopping cart as part our “all in one” business solution. We believe that Electronic Commerce should be utilized by all of the restaurants that we serve and not be sold as an upgrade. In the end, our job is to make sure your restaurant will continue to grow and increase sales every year.

How a restaurant can benefit by integrating a Customer Relationship Management database into their Website

Paul Starkey - Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Restaurant Website Platform is a hosted all-in-one solution for the management of websites for the restaurant industry. We offer a new approach to running the day-to-day operations for your restaurant website. RWP is not simply a website, it is an online business that has a better understanding of your website visitors and guests that interact with your restaurant. A major feature of RWP is the built-in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system.

The CRM framework helps restaurant owners manage customer contact details, past form submissions, e-mail subscriptions, online orders, and more all from a centralized Admin Console. In the restaurant business, it is important to appreciate every guest that chooses your establishment and never take their loyalty for granted. In the end, the Customer Relationship Management database is designed to help you intelligently market your restaurant brand and increase the level of customer service you provide to your diners. Get a real-time view of your customer activity by tracking customer interactions with the restaurant website and saves that information into a database. Although the e-commerce platform and e-mail marketing features are extremely impressive, it is the CRM that pulls all the data together.

The extremely successful CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group based out of New York City and author of "Setting the Table", Danny Meyer admits that his success has come from understanding and learning as much information as he could about his customers. Meyer has stated that when computers were introduced into the restaurant industry, he was rebellious. He was lucky to be surrounded by a very talented group of managers that quickly convinced him otherwise. Mr. Meyer used technology to gather information about his customer's dining and spending habits to provide a better form of hospitality to his customers. There are many features that Restaurant Website Platform has designed to be crucial to helping restaurants and the Customer Relationship Management system is just one of them.

For the next several weeks, we will showcase our wide range of features that can be applied to making sure a restaurant never gets in the weeds with their website. We will pick one feature each week and break it down in simple, easy to understand language and how it relates to the restaurant industry. So stay tuned and we promise to be here to help.

RWP launches a new website for Rivers at The Watergate

Paul Starkey - Monday, October 01, 2012

Rivers at the Watergate hired us to build a custom designed platform to revamp the style and exciting vibe of the restaurant under new management and direction. We dropped the browns and oranges and choose a much brighter & user friendly design that would actually help them drum up business. The old website had a link to Open Table that had never worked, so we decided to put a link on every page. Our employers are extremely satisfied with the new design and we get to brag about being hired by the Watergate. The management staff at the Rivers will now be able to edit their menus, manage the private events department online and change the daily specials in house. Our Content Management System is extremely easy to use and we can train your staff in just one visit. Here are two screen shots of before and after of Rivers at the Watergate, you be the judge on which website invites you in and makes you want to book a table.

RWP chosen to redesign Rivers at the Watergate restaurant website

Paul Starkey - Saturday, September 01, 2012

We have just been hired by the restaurant Rivers at the Watergate in Washington DC to redesign a custom built website for them. If you would like to see what a bad restaurant website looks like, look no further than riversdc.com. The current design is outdated, drab, and not attractive at all. The major difference between this website and the ones that we build at RWP is the ability for you, the restaurant owner or manager, to edit basic information like the menu or special events. RWP is not only a web design studio, it is a complete business marketing solution. Our team have and still works in the restaurant industry, so we understand your business.

We are honored to have the opportunity to revamp this iconic and historic location. Last month marked the 40th year anniversary of the Watergate break in. In the famous words of Richard Nixon, "I am not a crook", and here at RWP we will always be upfront and honest about our low prices for our pre-built and custom designed websites. Stay tuned to see what we turn the riversdc.com into as we use our custom built platform design and marketing strategy.

Introducing the Restaurant Website Platform

Paul Starkey - Tuesday, August 21, 2012

We have spent five years developing the Restaurant Website Platform. But what does that really mean?

Well, it wasn't a full and constant five years. Between working as bartenders, servers and even dishwashers, that left limited time to develop our website platforms for the restaurant business. In 2007 we established a website design studio called Sprout Creatives that grew organically by word of mouth. Our secret with Sprout was to keep it simple, pay attention to our customers and constantly educate ourselves in this ever changing industry.

This year we started working with Adobe and we have now been able to assemble all the ingredients to help your restaurant. Restaurant Website Platform is unique because each and every website we design, has experienced restaurant people involved from start to finish. We also have experienced web developers so we can provide you with the best functioning websites around. The features that come with every website business solution that we sell are specifically designed for the restaurant industry. We will work diligently and listen carefully to our customers and constantly set the bar higher each and every year.

Who better to serve your website needs than people who understand the restaurant business? We will use our blog to give YOU, the restaurant owners and managers ideas on the how to help increase your covers and excel at hospitality through the Internet.