Online marketing tools have big value for small restaurant

MustHaveMenus BigUns BBQ Online Marketing Menus

Photo: Thad Allton/The Capital-Journal

When opening a new restaurant, owners often count on friends and family to pitch in and help the business grow. For Big’Uns Grill in Topeka, Kansas, it was an Atwood family affair to launch their new culinary venture. Big’Uns is the first restaurant for brothers Craig and Lee Atwood. Lee is the meat expert; his bbq prowess has been well documented at many Atwood family functions over the years. Craig and Lee’s mother contributed financial support, while their cousin donated time in his welding shop to help them build their own smoker. Lee’s wife, Amanda Atwood, volunteered to do the marketing. In less than 90 days, with no formal training, this modest online-marketing maven created an online and social media presence for Big’Uns Grill to rival that of the big chains.

“Customers need to see our menu online; it’s very convenient for local doctors and busy business owners to check our menu online since they can’t get away from the office,” said Amanda. “It’s great to be able to create and control our own authentic online menu and keep it updated for Facebook, our website, and for printing here at the restaurant.”

BBQ Menu Management

After first creating a Facebook page for Big-Uns Grill, Amanda found MustHaveMenus while searching for a simple way to create and update their menu. She was initially impressed by the variety of templates to choose from and how easy it was to create a custom menu herself. Amanda’s menu can now be found all over the Internet. It’s on Facebook with MustHaveMenus’ Menu App. It’s on Urban Spoon linked to their MustHaveMenus Places page (optimized for mobile devices) and it’s on their own website Bigunsgrill.com. Now whenever Amanda needs to update the tabletop menu, with one click she can sync her changes across all of these websites as well.

“We are confident that our marketing efforts are reaching our local customers in a variety of productive ways,” said Atwood. “With a TV commercial, a strong Facebook following and online menus being updated on key websites, we are well positioned to reach local businesses, consumers and out-of-town travelers.”