Keeping It Simple: Your Tearoom’s Basic Online Presence

Emerald Necklace Inn’s website immediately provides important details on its Home Page header and within one click on its Tea Room Menu page.

As today’s consumers increasingly rely on internet technology to research and select their dining choices, a tearoom’s online presence needs to be poised to capture their attention.

Though customers seek afternoon tea as an occasion steeped in history, tradition and a relaxing pause from busyness, ironically, most will seek the instant gratification of online research to select and arrange this experience. Consider this: 79 percent of U.S. smartphone users turn to their phones to meet their needs in what Google calls “I-want-to-go moments,” according to a 2016 report from Google and research firm Purchased.

Over the past two years, as we have researched afternoon tea venues across the Unites States to form our state afternoon tea directories, we have seen that a tearoom’s online presence can be many things: from nonexistent to elaborate, from outdated to active on social media, from aesthetically simple to sophisticated and from convoluted to user-friendly.

From our conversations with tearoom owners, we have heard frequently that among their many talents—delicious cooking, efficient foodservice, interior decorating, gracious hosting, the list goes on—computer technology may not be one. Fortunately, one does not have to be a website developer to satisfy potential customers’ informational needs, you just have to give the people what they want.

The Flour Box Tea Room and Cafe uses its Facebook “About” page to share a tea menu, website, email, open hours and reservation details.

What do they want? Accurate details! Where do they want it? In plain sight.

The longer it takes potential customers to click through your website or search your Facebook posts to get the information they seek, the likelier that they will be interrupted or abandon their interest in your business. The goal is to minimize the number of steps necessary to plan a visit to your tearoom.

Below is a checklist of fundamental details we often see missing or out-of-date throughout our tearoom Internet research.

Because Facebook is the dominant social networking site, this list assumes your tearoom or teahouse has both a website and Facebook page. If you can check off this list, you have a basic online presence that will enable your potential customers to choose you for their next teatime.

Of course, your tearoom could do much more (a topic for another day) or even less with its online presence. For example, for a non-technical person, is a business website necessary when a Facebook page is fairly simple to set up and maintain? According to BrightLocal’s 2017 Local Consumer Review Survey, there is a 17 percent decline in the number of people who visit a business’ website after reading positive reviews. Indeed, customers could satisfy their search needs at a tearoom’s Facebook page that follows the checklist below to provide the basic information tea-goers want to find online.

About Angela Renals

Based in Atlanta, Georgia, Angela created Destination Tea (www.destinationtea.com) to make the afternoon tea tradition better known and more accessible to all generations. She compiles and maintains Destination Tea’s state afternoon tea directories with browsable maps and sortable listings of prices, teatimes and reservations details. Angela also shares what she learns about afternoon tea history, traditions, news and venues in Destination Tea primers, blog posts, reviews and Facebook updates.