Dining out is an experience that often starts with a prospective patron visiting a restaurant website. If you own or manage an eating place, it is therefore critical that you get your restaurant website design right: thanks to the Internet now more than ever consumers have an availability of choice never seen before, including when they eat out, and marketing correctly your restaurant online can have a direct impact on its revenue.
As a digital marketing agency for restaurants, we have worked with many clients in this field and we have contributed to the success of several dining establishments across the UK. Based on our experience, we have identified some important elements restaurateurs shouldn’t ignore when designing a website for their restaurant.
By visiting your restaurant website, your prospective patrons can get an idea of the type of restaurant they may eventually decide to visit. Low-quality and unappealing imagery will make them think of low-quality food and an unappealing environment, therefore you definitely want to avoid this. You can give a first good impression by providing a website that visually conveys in the best possible way what you have to offer.
Having a good layout is an essential requirement for any type of business website, including restaurants. You can give your website visitors a taste of your restaurant’s atmosphere by choosing each visual elements accordingly. Replicate the look and feel of your restaurant by selecting a matching colour palette; when it comes to typography, use serif fonts to convey the feeling of a traditional and familiar environment or sans-serif if you want to showcase your place as fresh and stylish. We design the best restaurant website templates for our clients by customising the choice of visual and typographic elements according to the look and feel of their restaurant.
Using professional photos is definitely the way to go to showcase your offer and wow your website visitors with quality images of mouth-watering dishes in your menu. You could use stock photos for this, but by hiring a professional photographer you can provide an even better experience because you will be showing your online visitors exactly what they will find in your restaurant. A photography professional can help you with producing not only photos of dishes on your menu, but also shots of the restaurant itself.
As we have just seen, a restaurant website’s success heavily relies on imagery to convey its atmosphere and grab the interest of a visitor. But let’s not forget – once you have attracted the attention of someone interested in eating at your restaurant with appealing imagery, you also want to enable them to take action.
Showing off your delicious food with images is only half of the job: one of the main sections of your site should definitely include the restaurant menu with all the food and drinks you serve, pricing included. You may choose to include the option of providing your menu as a downloadable document as well, but remember to keep it up-to-date with your current offer at all times.
Ensure your prospective patrons will be able to find your restaurant: not only your website should include its address, but also a map and possibly details about how to get there and parking options in your area – if your restaurant location has a car park, you should definitely include this information.
People should be able to easily get in touch with your restaurant for any further information they may want to ask. Your main contact details – especially your phone number – should be visible not only in the contact page but ideally on every page of your restaurant website. You should give visitors the option to make a reservation via email or – even better – via a dedicated section including a contact form on your website. Similarly, you should also allow your patrons to place orders online if this option is available.
Your online presence goes beyond your website: more than just passive consumers, customers play nowadays an active role in the success of the businesses they interact with by leaving feedbacks online.
We recommend that you look after your online reputation by claiming and monitoring your profiles on social media or websites where web users can leave reviews such as Trustpilot, Yelp or TripAdvisor. Reply both to good and bad feedbacks, either by saying thanks to those who had a good experience or by appropriately handling complaints. You can obtain feedbacks directly from a contact form on the restaurant website and add relevant external links if you want to encourage your clients to leave a review on specific platforms.
You can find restaurant website design ideas and inspiration by visiting some of our clients websites. See how we have applied the above tips for Frankie’s, an American style burger joint, or an Indian restaurant like Azeem’s, with more recent examples including The Noodle Sing and Chickadees. If you are looking into building a new website for your restaurant, our digital marketing agency will be happy to provide its expertise. You can take advantage of our Free Website Health Check for a feedback on how your restaurant website is performing, or feel free to get in touch with us to discuss your project.