Not long ago, I was talking to a gentleman about how to put forth an online restaurant directory, but also have a counterpart, perhaps a trifold brochure that people could leave in their kitchen, or next to their phone. It would list all of the restaurants, and the phone numbers for take-out or delivery. Why you ask? Well, it’s simple, because in your community you want your businesses to succeed, and you want people to shop locally. Okay let’s discuss this for a few moments if we might.
First, different states have different rule. Some states charge sales tax if you are eating at the location, but not if you take it to go. Other states don’t make that distinction. If you are building a “shop local” restaurant directory, you’d prefer people to go out to eat so the city gets the sales tax revenue which can be used for the park and recreation district, the libraries, and other important city services. But, you also want jobs and businesses which make money.
A healthy and vibrant business your trusted directory community usually has the wherewithal to support the local sports teams for youth sports, and give items for silent auctions for various nonprofit groups. If they are making money, and you are helping them earn a profit, there will be money left over for the other community affairs. Now then, what is the best way to develop a solid platform online which would include a shop local restaurant directory?
Interestingly enough, there are many ways to do this, and there are several add on modules which have mapping applications to help you. If someone is interested in going to a restaurant, they need to know where it is, how to get there, and have a phone number in case they have any questions. People would also like to know the hours of operation, but you have to be careful with this because the hours change, often without notice, and that no one updates the directory. This becomes a huge problem, it’s why so many directories online fail to meet the test of the consumer or customer expectations.
One of the best things you can do is have each restaurant owner make modifications to their page, perhaps their specials, pictures of their meals, or changing hours. Sometimes businesses fail, and no one comes to delete that business or restaurant from the directory. This aggravates consumers, so any directory you make either physical such as the trifold brochure I mentioned, or an online version must be kept up-to-date. In the case of a physical one, you should date it at the top so everyone knows it’s old an attempts to pick up a new one ASAP after a long period of time.