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The Rise and Fall of the Redacted Grill

The Rise and Fall of the Redacted Grill

Depending on the list, restaurants are always found in the top 5 Google searches, generally at #1. Bars are always in the top 10. Combine the 2 with a non-responsive website and you have a recipe for failure.

The Rise and Fall of the Redacted Grill

The (Redacted) Grill opened and closed much faster than your average restaurant. With a soft opening at the end of February 2017 and a grand opening in April 2017. It closed it’s doors the first week of February 2018, a few weeks shy of it’s one year anniversary. Now we all know that approximately 70% of new restaurants close before their 5th year, but this was just one block from the downtown business district, a 3 minute walk from the new Marriott Hotel, with plenty of free parking. good food, live music with a dance floor….

What Happened?

Let’s look at some facts.

In Spring of 2015 Google boosted all sites that passed their mobile-friendly test (and downgraded non-responsive sites) in the search returns, stating that here in the US, mobile phone searches had eclipsed desktop/laptop/pad searches.

In late 2017, an estimated 74% of all Google searches were on phones.

Restaurants are always in the top 5 of all Google business searches. In October 2017, they were #1, and bars were #6 and bars with live music at #11. But the website for The Redacted Grill was…

  • Not Mobile-Friendly – I tried it on a Samsung and and LG – And it failed the Google test site.
  • Not Connected to Social Media
  • No Event Calendar 
  • No Online Menu

I showed the owner his website on my phone and he told me that the “I chose that company because they were the cheapest”.

And I couldn’t make him understand how important a mobile responsive website and content marketing is to the food industry.

The Rise and Fall of the Redacted Grill

The Rise and Fall of the Redacted Grill

According to the latest study from research firm Chadwick Martin Bailey, restaurants are the most searched industry by consumers through both mobile applications and browsers.

The study, which was compiled through the feedback from 1,497 consumers who own a smartphone, found that 81% of consumers have searched for a restaurant on a mobile app and 92% through a mobile web browser in the last six months, outperforming other highly searched industries, such as entertainment, retail outlets, hotels, and personal services.

92%

And, 75% say they choose a restaurant to dine at based on those mobile search results.

Additionally, 63% said they would not visit a restaurant that didn’t have an online menu.

The Rise and Fall of the Redacted Grill

Now there may be a whole host of other problems that cropped up at the Redacted Grill. But they had location. They had a much larger building than most of their competitors in a 5 block downtown area. They had better Google and Facebook ratings than most other restaurant/bars in town.

But none of that brings you new customers if they can’t effectively use your website on a phone.

Bottom Line:

If you own a restaurant, you’re probably already aware that the way customers are finding your business online has changed quite a bit in recent years. You really can’t expect it to do well with a very poorly designed website that is a hot mess on a mobile phone.

It’s also important for a business owner to realize some truths.

  • It’s not 2005. You need more than just a website now. You need a digital marketing plan.
  • And even if you don’t use social media, your potential customers do.

Today, word of mouth only takes you so far. 

Once you get your website launched, do not make the mistake of dusting off your hands and thinking that you are finished. If you want to be truly successful online, you are going to have to do more digital marketing efforts than just a basic website.

Web It 101 has clients as far away as Asia, to California, New Hampshire, to Texas to Florida, as well as walking distance from our office. 

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