The voice on the other end of the line was cheerful, courteous and helpful, with only a slight hint of accent betraying an Asian heritage. “We are open seven days a week and are happy to welcome you.” Along with describing a few of their specials, the woman became a pleasant and personable introduction to my upcoming lunch experience at Kambie restaurant.
I was planning a lunch at the Chinese and Szechuan restaurant to write a review for Metro News here in London. It is a very enjoyable place with flavourful food and good prices especially for traditional home-cooked food, but I needed background information to flesh out research for the column.
Finding Kambie online was challenging because they do not have a website.
For a business that does everything else so right – the food is good, service is friendly, price is decent – it is strange that their basic marketing was lacking. Fortunately the restaurant was recommended to me from a friend for had it not, I might not have ever learned about it. No Yellow Page ads, no flyers, no ‘official’ online presence.
Sure, they have a good presence from social media sites like Yelp and Restaurantica, and the submitted reviews are overwhelmingly positive, but as a source, the information I required was missing, inconsistent or contradictory. Social media reviews can be submitted by anyone, subject to incredible manipulation, and no one is responsible for vetting any content. Most of the restaurant profiles do not even have their hours of operation. In fact, several sites even have the incorrect address. I was perplexed as to why they did not have their own site for no other reason than to set the public record straight as to their basic business information.
You can never let other people speak on your behalf.
This was the lesson I took away from this particular instance. It is simply a matter of fact that today it is essential for a business to have their own online profile. Connect it to social media, even better. The barriers and investment to do so are much less significant than even a few years ago, while the costs – especially in terms of lost revenue — of not having your business promoted well online are extraordinarily high.
Fortunately, affordable website development options, such as ForestCityWeingart and others, can help provide small business owners with an affordable way to get themselves online and speaking for themselves. Kambie’s owner was friendly and pleasant to speak with; her restaurant should also have its voice heard with the same charm but for 24 hours a day to potential customers searching for a good Chinese restaurant. And no one can do so better than herself.