How to Create a Restaurant Website – Step-by-Step Guide
It’s hard to imagine a growing contemporary enterprise without a website that provides people with essential information. The same is true about restaurants, cafes, bars, etc. Regarding the current situation, when all businesses are moving online due to restrictions, making a restaurant’s page becomes a must to continue functioning. In this article, we will cover various aspects of how to create a restaurant website. Particularly, we’ll cover the restaurant website design, functionality, and promotion. You’ll find out which design elements can attract more visitors, and how to get people to promote your food website for free willingly. These tips are acceptable for different dining places: cafes, restaurants, bakery shops, coffee houses, taverns, cocktail bars, steak houses, etc.
How to Create a Restaurant Website with Eye-Catching Design
The visual part of a website is definitely the first thing that visitors appreciate. So, spending time making an outstanding design is worth it. Here, we’ll look at the essential steps that will help you launch an incredible restaurant website.
1. Determine Your Website’s Style
Eating out has always been something more than just consuming food. Launching a restaurant, owners think of the tiniest detail to create a unique atmosphere and unforgettable style. Restaurant website design, in fact, is about rendering the mood of your eatery online. For constant clients, your site will be a representation of the place they favor. For those people who have never visited your restaurant, the website is a perfect tool to make the best first impression.
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To create a restaurant website that renders your establishment’s mood, you can look for inspiration everywhere. Particularly, it’s possible to visit your competitors’ websites and note down the elements that you find appealing. Also, you can read about the world’s 50 best restaurants and visit their websites. Yet, keep in mind that being the best restaurant doesn’t necessarily mean having the best restaurant web page. So, listen to your heart to find the most attractive items.
2. Implement Your Brand’s Identity
What makes your restaurant or cafe recognizable is a logo and brand colors. For instance, when somebody mentions McDonald’s, there’s hardly a person who doesn’t remember a red-and-yellow logo of the company. It’s hard to overestimate the importance of the logo, as it will be present not only on the restaurant itself but also on your
- social media pages,
- visiting cards, etc.
Professional logo design service is recommendable if you are just starting your business and don’t have a clear idea of what your logo should look like.
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The color combination that dominates in your restaurant should also be present on your website. So, try to choose appropriate colors for different site parts, such as menus, headers, footers, buttons, etc. They all should look harmonious and reflect your eatery’s style.
3. Choose a Restaurant Website Design
If you worry that you don’t have enough knowledge of how to create a restaurant website, don’t be afraid. There’s no need to create a website from scratch. Even if you don’t have any experience in website creation, you can launch an outstanding site. Just browse the collection of cafe and restaurant templates and choose the one that appeals to you most.
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Ready-made templates take into consideration the peculiarities of different business niches. They contain all the necessary elements for making website launch as easy as possible. At the same time, the restaurant website builder lets you customize the pages, adding your content, and making the site unique.
4. Add Appetizing Photos
As we have mentioned, visual content is a vital part of a restaurant website design. Stylish photos are sure to make a positive impact on visitors. There are several food objects that constantly attract people’s attention:
- nutritious fruits and fresh vegetable salads with oil dressing;
- milk chocolate;
- cakes and other desserts;
- pizza with a lot of cheese;
- fried meat;
- Asian food (sushi, rolls).
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It is scientifically proved that some colors influence people’s emotions and wishes. This observation can help you decorate your restaurant and the necessary knowledge of how to create a restaurant website. Bright and warm colors, such as red, orange, yellow, and magenta increase people’s appetite. They can also make some drinks more popular than others. There are several ways of choosing photos for your website, as well as of getting them.
Take Your Own Photos
This is the best solution you can make, but there are some conditions to meet. First of all, you have to find a photographer to carry out the task. Be aware of using images of bad quality. Blurred, badly resized and cropped, too dark or too light pictures look disgusting. At best, people will be unpleasantly surprised, but more likely, they will be disappointed with your site and leave it forever.
The best advice on how to create a restaurant website with distinguishing photos is to hire a professional. The specialist will create stunning images of your restaurant’s interior, exterior, and dishes. You’ll be able to use the pictures both for the website and for menus or ads.
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Make photos of big plates served with less food than it normally would. The problem is that an overcrowded dish looks less appetizing than a small portion of food. Choose photos with a lot of white space on a plate. Such a ‘frame’ will keep photos fresh and food colors will be tastier. Moreover, photos with white background easily match different website designs, so you’ll be able to re-design your project in the future with the same pictures in use.
Buy Stock Photos
Thus you will save time on taking photos, retouching them, and choosing the best ones. Stock images providers can offer you pictures and vector images of different resolutions, orientations, and categories. To draw more attention to specialty foods and beverages, many cafes and restaurants illustrate their menus with photos. In this case, you should use stock images only if you’re 100% sure that your delicacies look just the same. Many of your clients will make orders by sight. People like the way something looks, and they want to taste it. If their expectations mismatch reality, it will be the last time you see these clients in your dining place.
When you buy stock pictures, you may also be tempted to save some money by choosing low-resolution images. Don’t be a miser! In the short run, you will save several dollars, but it can cost you a lot of money in the future.
5. Organize Your Galleries
Our tips on how to create a restaurant website, besides uploading high-quality images, also include arranging photos attractively. Depending on the style you prefer, you can create different galleries. Furthermore, it’s possible to place sliders and carousels on the page.
Such ways of organizing photos will let you not only demonstrate the real look of dishes on the menu but also attract customers’ attention to special deals. There’s an opportunity to add animation to make a greater effect.
How to Create a Restaurant Website for Ultimate Customers’ Experience
Designing appealing pages is only the first stage of how to create a restaurant website. If your site lacks the necessary functions, customers will leave it. So, now we’ll examine a restaurant website’s functionality that will make clients want to come back to you.
1. Consider Online Booking and Ordering
When creating a restaurant site, it’s important to adjust it to your preferred style of working. Firstly, if your eatery is also working offline, a restaurant website becomes a perfect tool for clients to make a reservation. Afterward, people will come and enjoy their meal in a restaurant at a specified time. In this case, a reservation form is a must-have. You can create different fields in the form to write down the time and other preferences. Online reservation is a powerful customer care tool if it works without fails.
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Secondly, restaurants that mostly work online should pay attention to the functions of online food ordering. Usually, clients need to know:
- working hours when customers can make an order;
- approximate waiting time of food delivery;
- city zones or areas where the restaurant can deliver food;
- the cost of delivery.
For online food ordering, it’s also necessary to have convenient tools for making a choice. Think about:
- product categories and filters to find dishes faster;
- clear ‘Add to Cart’ or ‘Buy’ buttons for products;
- an easy-to-understand shopping cart;
- a reliable payment system.
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Additionally, restaurants can benefit from attention-grabbing ads that demonstrate hot deals and sales. You can give seasonal discounts or advertise special deals of the day, week, or month. Think about adding large banners in sliders or carousels that are sure to grab attention.
Develop Delicious Detailed Menus
A menu is the most informative part for visitors of restaurants’ websites. Consequently, an impressive presentation of your delicacies online will make clients’ mouths water. It doesn’t matter whether you demonstrate the menu for clients only to see the variety or to order the dishes. In both cases, the list of offers creates a positive impression on website visitors.
Online Menus vs. PDF Files – Which Is Better?
Sometimes, restaurant owners let their visitors download menus as a PDF-file. However, knowing how to create a restaurant website that really attracts clients, you won’t choose this solution. Firstly, some customers don’t always trust files online, so they won’t even try to download the menu. Secondly, it takes some time to save and open the file, and people won’t appreciate this. Thirdly, searching for dishes in a PDF-document isn’t as comfortable as doing this with a carefully thought restaurant website design. It is especially true for those clients who surf the website with their mobile phones. Consequently, it’s better to spend time editing and organizing web pages to make a helpful menu than to upload the menu as a file.
Organizing Restaurant Website Menu
Put your restaurant menu directly on your website. Thus visitors will be able to glance over a menu at any time. When you place a menu on the webpage, you can easily update it at any time. Cafes and restaurants often create seasonal menus, vegetarian menus, and special holiday-related offers. These menus should be available just for a short period, after which you can change or remove them at all.
There are numerous ways to organize menus. One of them is creating tabs for different categories and organizing dishes with the help of image galleries in them.
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Besides adding high-quality pictures, it’s advisable to indicate prices so that people would know if your place is affordable for them.
Make Your Restaurant Website Mobile-Friendly
Over the last years, more and more people use mobile phones and tablets to search for cafes and restaurants, as it’s convenient in different cases. For instance, your potential customers can be looking for a nice restaurant being on their way to another city. So, one of the secrets of how to create a restaurant website that functions well for everyone is to choose a responsive design. It will adjust to different types of screens, and all users will see your offers properly. Mobile-friendly websites are necessary for online restaurants that deliver food to customers. People often order snacks or meals via a smartphone, so not having a responsive design means losing clients.
Present Your Services, Special Features, and Team
If your restaurant offers clients more than just the possibility of having a meal, it’s vital to describe available services. When you create a restaurant website, it’s possible to indicate:
- catering services for various types of events;
- private dining and party catering;
- banquets and receptions, etc.
Think about the types of events that customers can organize at your place. State the number of rooms and their capacity. Additionally, provide descriptions of premises and the opportunities for decoration, live band accommodation, firework displays, etc. Certainly, organizing a birthday party celebration for a 10-year-old child will differ from a wedding reception, for instance. Thus, clients will be glad to know as many details as possible that will make the holiday atmosphere unforgettable.
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Besides showcasing the services that visitors can get, it’s essential to introduce your team. Definitely, clients don’t see most of the restaurant staff. However, telling people about your team increases the level of trust. You can introduce:
- restaurant owners and managers;
- chefs and cooks;
- waiters/waitresses, maitre d’hotel, etc.
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Furthermore, it’s possible to link information about your team members to their profiles on social networks. Thus, clients will be able to see the team who works hard for their satisfaction and feel more trust.
Add ‘About Us’ Page
Another secret of how to create a restaurant website that encourages customers to visit you is including the ‘About Us’ page. This website part may seem unnecessary regarding the fact that people search for the site to get an idea of food and atmosphere. Yet, the ‘About Us’ page adds a positive impact on customers, revealing your history. Be frank with your clients, telling them about the difficulties you have faced and the success you have achieved. Similarly to your team’s information, such stories add a personal touch to the company and help retain customers.
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You can also emphasize your restaurant’s atmosphere, commitment to quality, and the unique features that make you different from competitors. Moreover, if the restaurant has various awards or prizes, it’s also possible to state this information.
Helpful Tip on How to Create a Restaurant Website – Specify Contact Information
It’s hard to imagine any website without a Contacts page, and a restaurant website design is not an exception. Adding your contact details is a must for supporting good relationships with clients. There are several important aspects to include on the Contacts page.
Provide Details for Getting in Touch
Firstly, there should be several means of communication so that customers could reach you easily. You can include a telephone number, email, fax, etc. Certainly, your phone will be available for visitors only during your working hours. Thus, giving people the possibility to fill in a contact form and leave a message at any time is also very valuable.
Indicate Your Location on the Map
Stating the address of the restaurant isn’t always enough. To help customers find your establishment easier, you should add a map with a marked location. People will clearly see the location and know how to get there. It’s especially useful if you have a chain of cafes or restaurants, as people can choose the closest one.
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Moreover, marking your business on the map is beneficial for promoting a business, which we’ll talk about next.
How to Create a Restaurant Website and Promote It Effectively
Now, let’s move to the next part of our post – promoting the restaurant through the website. In fact, making customers aware of your establishment through the site has the aim to make your business grow.
Display Testimonials on Website
If you have already got some popularity, don’t hesitate to ask your clients to add a review of your restaurant. Showcasing clients’ feedback on the website makes it more trusted. Take advantage of the ‘Testimonials’ page to display your clientele’s warm-hearted words and frank opinions about your restaurant.
Take Care of Business Listings
To make your business appear at the top of the search engine results, you have to pay special attention to creating business listings. Add the information about your restaurant to major search engines, indicating your website, working hours, contact information, etc.
Afterward, when your data is seen on the maps, people will be able to add their reviews directly in search engines, such as Google. Encourage your clients to write their feedback and add photos taken at your restaurant. This is one of the most efficient strategies for local search engine optimization.
Integrate Social Media to Your Website
Launching a website, remember to create social media pages that represent your restaurant. In this way, you’ll significantly increase your online presence. Moreover, it will be easier for people to spread the word about you. Placing social buttons on the site is not difficult, yet it’s an effective means of social media marketing and branding.
How to Create a Restaurant Website – Conclusion
In short, to create an efficient restaurant website, you have to pay attention to its design, functionality, and promotion. High-quality visuals that reflect your restaurant’s style should be combined with mobile-friendly website design and informative pages. Encouraging people to visit your restaurant online and offline, leaving their feedback, is a sure way to enhance its popularity.
We hope you have gained useful knowledge about how to create a restaurant website. Follow us to get more tips on website design.