Your restaurant's website serves as its virtual home and online welcome mat, and its appearance can give potential customers a glimpse of the dining experience you offer. Even if your restaurant serves amazing food, has stunning decor, and provides excellent service, an unappealing website could turn off potential customers.
To attract customers to your restaurant, your website needs to have a thoughtful design and provide easy access to important information. This guide to restaurant website design will cover everything you need to know to create an amazing restaurant website on a budget.
The Importance of Your Restaurant’s Website
It may surprise you to learn that 89% of diners research a restaurant's online presence before choosing where to eat. That's why it's essential for your restaurant's website to provide potential customers with all the information they need to make an informed decision. This includes practical details like location and Wi-Fi availability, as well as specifics about the dining experience such as the menu and interior photos.
Your restaurant's website should be considered an extension of the customer experience. If your site fails to convey the same level of care and attention to detail as your dining experience, it could potentially deter customers.
Having a website for your restaurant website is crucial for several reasons.
- It helps establish your business and its online presence.
- It makes it easier for people to find your restaurant online.
- It allows customers to view your menu and showcase your food items.
- It also caters to online orders and delivery, making it easier for customers to order and enjoy your food from the comfort of their own homes.
- It provides an opportunity for you to market your brand and showcase your unique identity in a way that reflects your business vision.
Recipe for a Good Restaurant Website
In any successful restaurant marketing strategy, a good website serves as the anchor for promotional efforts, such as email marketing campaigns and social media posts. By sharing updates like dinner specials or revised hours, you can keep your customers informed about what's new and exciting.
To help you build an effective restaurant website, here are eight valuable tips:
1. Know your Audience
To create a successful restaurant website, it is crucial to have a thorough understanding of your audience. Your design choices should be influenced by the needs and desires of your target market.
For instance, if your audience has a higher budget, you might choose traditionally luxurious colors such as gold, deep purple, and royal blue. However, understanding your audience goes beyond visual choices; you must also consider how diners engage with your online presence.
2. Keep it simple
Simplicity is key when it comes to designing a restaurant website. Avoid clutter and make sure that the website is easy to navigate. The following components are essential for a restaurant website:
- Contact information (including phone number)
- Hours of operation
- How to reserve tables or order takeout
- Information about special events
Before including the story of your restaurant or information about the founders, ensure that everything on the list mentioned earlier takes priority and is highlighted.
3. Use high-quality photos
Savoring food is a sensory journey that involves not just the taste but also the smell and sight of the dish. Although you can't capture all of these aspects in a photo, using high-quality images can certainly help.
In addition to showcasing the menu items, it's also crucial to include photographs of the restaurant's interior and exterior, which can give potential customers a sense of the ambiance. This is particularly important as the atmosphere can greatly influence the dining experience, whether it's a romantic dinner or a casual lunch meeting.
4. Write a concise and appetizing menu
Use concise and appetizing names for menu items and avoid overloading their descriptions with adjectives. For instance, instead of calling it just a “cheese pizza," try something like “four-cheese, thin-crust pizza, baked in a wood-fired oven".
To make your menu easily discoverable by search engines, publish it in HTML format directly on your website. While you can still offer a PDF version for printing or display purposes, having an HTML version on its own page will help hungry customers find what they want more easily.
Don't clutter your menu with too many options and keep it visually appealing with well-organized sections and clear descriptions. Providing a search function can also help customers find their desired items quickly.
5. Build on a responsive design platform
Functionality and aesthetics are the core of good website design, especially for restaurants. A well-designed restaurant website should have intuitive site elements, such as call-to-action buttons like “Book a table" or “Make a reservation" prominently displayed. This intuitive experience should remain consistent across all devices.
Responsive design is a critical feature that top restaurant website builders should offer.
6. Include social media integrations
To maximize the impact of digital marketing, it's important to integrate social media with the restaurant website. One way to do this is by including the restaurant’s Instagram feed, which creates a positive feedback loop between the website and social media accounts.
This seamless integration encourages customers to move between platforms and increases exposure to the restaurant's offerings. For example, a customer might discover a daily special on Instagram and then head to the restaurant's website to make a reservation, or they could see photos of menu options on Instagram after reading about them on the website.
7. Get Serious About (Local) SEO
To attract potential customers searching for nearby restaurants online, it's crucial to optimize your website for search engines. A domain name that includes the restaurant name and location can improve its visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs).
For better search engine optimization (SEO), utilize basic SEO tools like Google Search Console to identify keywords that the website can rank for. Incorporate these relevant keywords in important places like page titles, H1s, and body copy, including the location and type of cuisine to help searchers find the restaurant easily. These small tweaks can boost the website's search engine ranking and attract more traffic.
8. Perfect the landing page
The landing page of a restaurant's website is equivalent to its digital storefront. It's crucial to be strategic with design choices on this page. For instance, incorporating a background video of chefs preparing a popular dish can provide an immersive experience to customers. However, it's important not to overload visitors with too much information. Instead, guide them with high-quality content and clear branding that accurately represents the restaurant's menu and style.
What It Takes to Create a Successful Restaurant Website on a Budget
Creating a restaurant website can seem like a daunting task, especially when you're on a tight budget. However, with the right approach and some careful planning, you can create a beautiful and functional website that attracts customers and boosts your business. Here are some tips to help you create a restaurant website on a budget that works:
1) Choose the right platform
Creating a stunning website for your restaurant has never been easier. With so many affordable and user-friendly platforms available, building a website has become a breeze.
However, if you're looking for a hassle-free solution, look no further than Restaurantify! Our team of experts can create a professional website tailored to your restaurant's unique needs and personality. With all the necessary features, including online ordering and reservation systems, your customers will be able to access your restaurant with ease. Don't settle for a mediocre website – let Restaurantify take your online presence to the next level!
Platforms like this offer pre-designed templates that you can customize to fit your restaurant's style and brand.
2) Self-hosted WordPress
Option two is WordPress, which has come a long way from its origins as a blogging platform. With WordPress, you can not only create essential pages like About Us, Location, Contact, and Photo Gallery, but you can also publish blog posts, which allows you to continually add content to your website and build your online presence.
WordPress offers a broader selection of mobile-responsive restaurant themes, each with its unique design. With the use of plugins, you can take control of your marketing and add features like online reservations, ordering, and menus, and even set up an online store to sell merchandise. Additionally, you can install unique SEO plugins to optimize your site for search engines.
3) Make it mobile-friendly
In fact, a majority of internet traffic comes from mobile devices, so having a mobile-friendly website is not just important, it's necessary. A mobile-friendly website ensures that potential customers have a seamless experience browsing your menu, making reservations, and finding your location on their smartphones or tablets.
It also helps with search engine optimization (SEO) since Google prioritizes mobile-friendly websites in search results. Therefore, it's crucial to choose a website design that is responsive and adjusts to different screen sizes, ensuring that your website looks great and functions well on any device
4) Optimize for search engines
Make sure your website is optimized for search engines so that people can find you online. Use keywords that people might search for when looking for a restaurant in your area.
To further optimize your website for search engines, consider adding relevant meta tags and descriptions to each page, using header tags to organize your content, and ensuring that your website has fast loading times. It's also important to have a clear site structure and easy navigation, as search engines value user experience when determining rankings.
In addition to on-page optimization, building quality backlinks to your website can also improve its visibility in search engine results pages.
5) Keep it up to date
Your website should be up to date with your menu, hours, and other important information. Update your website regularly to keep customers informed and interested.
In addition to updating your website with menu changes and hours, consider adding seasonal specials or promotions to keep customers engaged. You can also showcase customer reviews or testimonials to build trust and encourage new customers to visit. Regularly updating your website with fresh content can also improve your search engine rankings and drive more traffic to your site.
Remember, creating a restaurant website doesn’t have to be expensive. With these tips, you can create a beautiful and functional website that helps your restaurant succeed. And don’t forget to promote your website to attract customers and grow your business.