August 21, 2008

Website Offers Service Cheer for Restaurants ; Restaurateurs and Diners Can Get 24-Hour Attention With Welsh Online Service

By Sion Barry

AN ONLINE restaurant marketing concept is being launched next month aimed at giving customers greater information on eateries.

The website, Whatsforfood. com, has been designed for the hospitality industry to help restaurants attract customers who enjoy dining out and improve customer loyalty.

Ospreys rugby player Steve Tandy and business partners Ian and Neil Vaughan have developed the site to bring together Welsh restaurants and diners in one place on the web.

The Whatsforfood.com service offers diners a new way to book restaurant reservations 24 hours a day, according to dining preferences.

It will be a destination for consumers to research and find their ideal restaurant, combining it with the ability to search, find and book a restaurant of their chosen cuisine, read menus or get the latest special offer vouchers. The site will also include a user community of recommendations and reviews.

Restaurateurs will be able to select a customised web address through the Whatsforfood platform and instantly create a website under that domain name.

Included in the annual fee, Whatsforfood.com provides all web hosting and content creation tools, with business information automatically pulled and updated from its Whatsforfood.com website listing on to a separate website.

Mr Vaughan, Whatsforfood .comtechnical director, said: "The internet and online reservations now are becoming the most powerful marketing tools available to restaurant owners today.

We work with each restaurant to build and manage their online marketing campaign and website through our service to ensure they can reach these consumers in today's difficult trading conditions.

"Empty tables lose money. We understand that and we're here to help. Our goals are simple: to help restaurant owners increase their number of customers and market their businesses better online, while providing a place where diners can go to find great deals at high- quality restaurants, especially during the credit crunch.

"We're excited with the response in our launch city of Swansea which has been overwhelmingly positive with 20 top restaurants already on board, including The Towers, La Tasca, CJ's and Papa Sanchos, and we're looking forward to offering the service to diners and restaurants around Wales.

"Whatsforfood.com represents the next logical step for the restaurant industry, which helps restaurateurs harness the full power of the internet. For a long time we've been able to search for our hotel rooms and airline tickets, or research if the hotel is suitable and make a booking, but still its very difficult to find comprehensive coverage of dining options in the towns and cities in Wales."

Sales director Mr Tandy said the website will give restaurateurs the ability to better direct resources and target customers.

He explained: "This service comes as a direct result of feedback we've had with restaurateurs, more than 80% of whom have difficulty updating their existing website. Our instant website service will give restaurateurs the option of a professional website that they can easily update without the need of a web designer, together with a business web address to complement the website on the whatsforfood.com website.

"So many dining out sites tend to be London-centric or limited in what they display to the diner, but whatsforfood.com will give equal exposure to venues throughout Wales and contain detailed information on every aspect of each venue to help take some of the guesswork of choosing a restaurant away by providing menus, customer and critic reviews, customer ratings, special offers and discount vouchers.

"In these difficult economic times, we believe every restaurant should have a professional-looking website, which makes all the difference in succeeding in today's environment."

(c) 2008 Western Mail. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.