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Is a DIY website a good idea for a restaurant?

Sep 13, 2017 | Restaurant Tips, Website Tips

DIYing your website isn’t as bad as you think. I’m saying this because there are certain times where creating a DIY website is the best option for you. You can benefit from a DIY website when you just need to get something up, and how it looks isn’t important, or when you are just starting out and don’t have a clear definition of who you are but you still want to get the word out. Well, if you are a restaurant owner, what I said above simply does not apply to you, especially if you have a physical location. There are some exceptions when it comes to caterers and bakers that are just starting out and just need something up so their customers and get information about them and submit orders. When you set up a restaurant, you are in for the long haul so it is great for your image and reputation when your brand identity is created before you launch or at least within the first 6 months of business.

Let’s begin by understanding what a DIY website is.

What is a DIY website?

A DIY website is a website that puts you, the business owner, in charge of creating a website that fits your needs based on an existing template. Purchasing or signing up for a DIY website means that you are basically in charge of setting up your website as the proposed template. It is a much cheaper option than a custom website because the responsibility is put on you the owner to set up the website while they simply provide you with a platform. To name a few, some the companies providing these types of products are Squarespace, Wix and Weebly. These companies provide good looking website templates but the question is, can you do the work?

Why is a DIY website a bad idea for a restaurant?

1. As a restaurant, you want to provide as much professionalism as you can because you are in the people business. You want to give your customers an impression that you take your restaurant, your service, and your customers seriously. Having a website that is not professionally built gives the opposite impression.

2. Branding is one of the most important things for a restaurant. You want to keep consistency and credibility so your customers make a connection with you whether at your restaurant or online. With DIY websites you miss out on the ability to fully customize your website for cohesiveness with your branding. These websites are not fully customizable because most of the areas that handle the core of websites are inaccessible due to the risk of breaking the website if not handled properly.

3. You also miss out on the key opportunities and strategies a restaurant website design studio would use to make your website a success based on the knowledge of your industry.

4. DIY website companies usually do not provide backups of your website so you are doomed if anything bad happens to your website.

5. There is a lot of wasted time on you, the restaurant owner or your staff because you will need to spend a lot of time trying to make your website as close as possible to what you want. The templates are usually based on a drag and drop type platform making it very easy to use but there is still a learning curve. If you do not have the time or patience for online based tools, this is not for you.

6. DIY websites are usually very general by nature so any type of business can use the template for their website. These websites, therefore, do not focus on the needs of a restaurant. Yes, there are restaurant DIY templates but they usually only provide the look and feel of a restaurant website but not necessarily the functionality that restaurants need for their customers to have a great experience. For example, easy to update menus, unique photo gallery options to display your food, etc

7. It is also very easy to have the same look and feel as other restaurants using the same platform and/or template because most likely they are having a hard time customizing the template to their liking as well.

A custom website, no matter how complex or simple your branding, is the best way to go for a restaurant. Invest in a website that would be the most beneficial to your restaurant than one that is cheaper to build without the necessary tools for success. Unless you, a restaurant owner, are trained and have great skill in the art of web design, development and strategy, leave this part of your business to the professionals like us. We’re here for you when you need us!

Comment below about your experience with DIY platforms whether good or bad for us to start a conversation.