People Must Eat

This summer,¬†Richmond’s restaurateurs will have an opportunity to attract a new clientele composed of football fans visiting the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center. The Redskins have told Richmond to plan for as many as 10,000 daily visitors to the training camp during its three week run, potentially yielding 200,000 visitors during what is traditionally a slow period for local business. The challenges of marketing to a fast moving group of tourists and day trippers are a little different from what we’re used to in Richmond, and the web will likely be a big part of any successful plan. Below are some of the ideas Richmond restaurant owners may want to consider now if they want to be competitive during Redskins Training Camp in July and August.

Mobile Access

As the web developer of the training center site, Free Agents Marketing is anticipating that at least 50% of web visitors this summer will be using phones and tablets rather than traditional PC platforms, so we’re developing a site that displays cleanly on mobile devices. If your restaurant’s site does not display well on mobile devices, it will be more difficult for visitors to evaluate your offerings, which will make them less likely to visit. There are essentially two options for mobile site display:

  • a separate, stand-alone mobile site
  • a responsive site that will alter itself to display well on any screen or device

The site for the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Center will be responsive, but a mobile site may be a quicker and cheaper option for small business. Check with your web provider to see if they can help with this. If help is not available, please contact us and we will provide a list of local small business web developers.

Menus

Many restaurants save themselves time and effort by uploading a PDF of their print menu to the site, rather than maintain a separate web version. There are drawbacks to PDFs, though:

  • PDFs don’t consistently display across all web browsers
  • PDFs don’t reformat for phone displays
  • PDFs don’t contain navigation links for the rest of your website

The best way to show potential customers your menu is to display it as a web page, not a PDF.

Phone, Hours and Location

Please don’t hide these on interior pages. Your phone number, hours and address are the first things people want to know! They should be plainly visible on the front page of your site. Also, is your restaurant kid friendly? We expect that a lot of families will visit the Training Center and finding suitable accommodations and entertainment for kids will be a priority for parents.

Local Business Directory Listings

Visitors who are not familiar with the area are likely to use their mobile phones to find local restaurants. Make sure you have claimed your restaurant’s listings on sites such as Google+ Local, Yahoo Local, Yelp!, Facebook and Foursquare, and have populated those listings with information including hours of operation, types of food available, kid friendliness and specials. Claiming listings is quick and easy and can quickly boost your local search performance and benefit your business all year.

Sponsorship and Advertising

We will be announcing our sponsorship and advertising process soon, which will enable restaurants to place ads directly on the training center website. However, restaurant owners may also consider Google Adwords and Microsoft’s adCenter product to reach potential customers whenever they conduct restaurant searches on Google, Yahoo or Bing.

Conclusion

Bon Secours is proud to contribute to Richmond’s economic success and hopes to see the business community reap huge rewards from the Training Center.

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