Tuesday, November 30, 2010

New Toolbar!

Well you may have noticed the nice new toolbar when you last logged into the site. The new toolbar integrates experience from the shortcomings of the old toolbar.

The old toolbar was a bit large. This made it hard on our customers who had smaller screens. It also limited the number of tools that could fit into the visible toolbar.

When I first created the site my guiding mantra was 'make it simple to use'. The large tools made it obvious that you only had a few choices, which is comforting. However this was done at the expense of actual usability. I think the new toolbar fixes this.

I also moved the Tools, My Tools, Photos, and Add Pages tabs to the top and moved the admin, logout and other controls to the upper right hand side. This made these controls available from every tab. Customers found it confusing that they could only get to the admin link from the tools tab.

Thirdly, I hope you like the new design of the tools and the bar. I tried to bring them up to date while still making it obvious what they do.

The last great thing about the new toolbar is the slider for the photo tray. The old slider was a brown rectangle. Yuck! I had really been wanting to sharpen it up and make it a more obvious slider. Well it is now!

Well I hope you like it! Please let me know what you think. If you have any feedback at all please let me know.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The main reason I started RestaurantZite.

The main reason I started this service was to address a major disconnect between restaurant owners and their website visitors. I try to provide tools that guide restaurant owners to create sites that inform their visitors. Tools that make it easy for a restaurant to stay in a conversation with their customers via their website.

This post explains the pain that many web users experience when they visit a restaurant website:

Friday, September 4, 2009

Dell's guides on how to use Social Media (Twitter, Facebook)

Here are some great guides that again show you how to use social media (Facebook, Twitter etc) as a small business. These are not restaurant specific. But they are pertinent.


It may seem like an overwhelming amount of information. Remember just starting use and understand these technologies yourself is a huge win. Pretending that they have no influence on your business could be a big mistake.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Using Yelp to increase your exposure online.

This is a great video on how to use online services like Yelp to increase your business.


We will have a drag and drop Yelp tool very soon!!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Twitter as a tool to market your Restaurant

Well, I didn't believe this day would come, but Twitter day is here. We have created a drag and drop Twitter tool that allows our subscribers to add a twitter "feed" to their website.

When I first heard of Twitter I was skeptical but I was also skeptical of Facebook and lets face it - I was wrong. Twitter is getting popular very very quickly and offers many simple convenient ways for you to market your restaurant online.

There are three main questions that I need to answer in order to help you take advantage of this potentially potent marketing opportunity.

What is Twitter?

From the Twitter website:
Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?
Essentially Twitter is a constant stream of messages. You as a twitter user can follow any number of people or businesses on twitter to keep up with what's going on for them. Your stream of messages will include messages from all these people.

Conversely when you post a message, everyone who follows you will get that message.

Now the kicker is that twitter is fully integrated with text messaging so you can post your messages from your cellphone. So you can blast out the twitter message
"things are slow tonight: buy-one-get-one-free dinner tonight if you mention this tweet"
at the last minute from your cellphone. That's just plain cool.

You can and should join twitter in your restaurant's name right now at:


How do I use Twitter to market my restaurant?

You can broadcast specials and events out to all your followers instantly on the night that they are occurring.

You can also tweet strange things that happen:
"OMG. I swear my last customer was Elvis himself. Looks good for a dead guy."
Other examples of messages that I feel fellow twitters will appreciate:
"Some lady thought we wouldn't mind if she brought her chimpanzee in to eat with her."
"It's been kinda a rough day. Have a round on me. The next 30 beers are free."

I highly recommend that you read the following article for pointers on how to market your business on twitter:


Mostly it's important not to alienate your potential customers by violating the social standards of Twitter.

How do I integrate Twitter with my RestaurantZite website?

We created a new Twitter tool:

Simply drag this onto your page from the toolbar.

Important: if you do not see this tool please send us an email and we will add it to your website immediately. Please mention the page that you want to add it to.

This will present you with a form like so:

Fill in the form with your twitter username. This is the username that identifies you on Twitter. For example my twitter username is bhauman and you can find my twitter stream at http://twitter.com/bhauman.

Also select the number of your messages/tweets that you want to show up.

Then hit the Save Twitter button and you should be presented with a list of the latest messages that you have Tweeted. Important: if the list is blank you may have misspelled your Twitter username (or you haven't posted any twitter messages yet).

Now you have a list of your latest Twitter messages on your website. The messages that show up are only messages that come from you. None of the messages from the people you follow are shown.

This gives you the amazing ability to add important or not so important last minute messages to your website from your phone.

Also, don't forget to add a heading above your Twitter feed with the Heading tool. Headings like "What's Happening Now" and "Twitter Updates" work great.

Have fun and use your imagination!

Also if you have time, please let us know what you think of this tool and if you have come up with any interesting ways to use it.

Friday, February 6, 2009

A handful of new features

We added a handful of new features over the last couple of weeks, including:
  • Photo Deletion: you can now delete images that you are no longer using to reduce the clutter in your photo tray. You can find this on your administration page (see the blue arrow on the image below).
  • Meta Tags: you can now edit the meta keywords and meta description for your site. This is also available from the the administration page (see the red arrow).
  • Mailing List Download: any collected email addresses can now be downloaded as a spreadsheet for use in other email systems (the mailing list feature is only available to premium sites).

  • More Slideshow Options: A slideshow can now have one to eight images, allowing you to feature a single large image on the page.
  • The max photo size you can upload is now 8 Megabytes!
Stay tuned, we have lots more good things in the works!