Sunday, 20 July 2014

New Domain Begins With Launch Of .bar & .rest

New domain names are set to make the food, drink and hospitality sectors more visible online as Nina Koo Seen-Lin discovers.

Drinks and digital speak - two things you wouldn’t necessarily think to come across recently at The Sanderson Hotel. Nevertheless, the hotel managed to combine the two subjects and quite successfully actually. Cocktails made with Beluga vodka were shaken or stirred together and served for the celebration of the newly launched global domains for bars and restaurants: .bar and .rest.

Punto 2012, a Mexican-based company, created the .bar and .rest domains to improve the Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and visibility of bars and restaurants. Services in the food and beverage industry will be able to create their own directory in the crowded .com space and make their businesses hyper clear on the internet.

It makes sense, and it’s a wonder why this hasn’t been thought of sooner. The Generic Top Level Domains (gLTDs) will organize and categorize the Internet like never before and domains can be placed into categories that define what a business is and what services they provide.

The inception of this will evolve the Internet into a broader and easier-to-navigate global landscape. No longer will the dull and excessively used .com or be seen as the only option. Gone will be the days when your friend tells you about a quirky little eaterie with an obscure name that makes it a task to search for online.

Will it work? Time will tell, but from the looks of things it seems positive. Since early June 2014 bars and restaurants have been reserving new premium gTLDs before domains were released to the general public on 14 July. It’s what the company call the “Land Rush” period.

The leading restaurants that have put in bids in so far include Geranium in Denmark, Grub in Los Angeles, and Casellula in New York. Meanwhile, brands such as Harrys Bar, Wynn Resorts and Moet Hennessy have secured names ending in .bar during the exclusive trademark registration period.

“Restaurants, bars and related food and beverage industries now have an incredible opportunity to grab the perfect domain name that defines who they are and what they do,” says Aaron Grego, CEO of Punto 2012. “More descriptive names will give businesses the exposure they need to be found easier online.”

It’s all very exciting and therefore certainly something to celebrate. Thank goodness the Beluga vodka cocktails kept coming in various forms. The most interesting was definitely a Beluga Collins boozy pastille sweet by cocktail confectioners, Smith & Sinclair.

With over 19.5 million restaurants worldwide, with at least 70% using the internet to attract more customers, the demand for more domain names has never been needed more. Also, it’s never been so important to find ways of standing out from the crowd. With the launch of .bar and .rest, the possibility to be searched for easily by hungry and thirsty punters is set to become searchable reality.