Did you know that as many as 77% of diners will check the restaurant’s website before ordering from an establishment? It is crucial to get restaurant web design right, with such a high percentage of potential customers being influenced by a restaurant’s online presence and web design.
But what does it mean to create a great restaurant web design? And how can you ensure that your website encourages visitors to become patrons?
Keep reading for our top tips when it comes to creating a great design for your website.
1. Make Key Information Prominent
When it comes to designing a restaurant website, it’s important to think about the user journey. Why has a visitor come to your website? What information are they looking for?
The answer to this question will most often be your menu, opening hours, and contact number. Make sure that this information can easily be found on your website’s homepage. This might be via navigation tabs or links that are clearly visible when a user clicks onto the website.
2. Think About Menu Layout
As we’ve mentioned, browsing the menu is a key motivation for visitors to check out a restaurant’s website. It’s crucial to keep the menu updated so as to avoid disappointment. If your restaurant’s menu changes frequently, it is advised to show an example of the food offered.
Menus should be typed into your website rather than uploaded as an image to ensure easy navigation. This also allows search engines to parse the items, meaning your website will appear in the search results when someone is looking for a specific dish.
3. Include High-Quality Images
Many restaurants choose not to include images of their dishes on their physical menu. However, the same rules do not apply when it comes to restaurant websites.
Potential customers researching restaurants online love to see examples of the food they can order. Pick a few of your restaurant’s dishes that look spectacular and invest in some professional photography to make sure they look as appetizing as possible.
You could also consider highlighting the restaurant’s most popular dishes as a way to entice new customers.
4. Consider the Color Scheme
When designing a website for your restaurant, you should think about the color scheme used. If you have existing branding colors, these should be adopted on your website. If not, our website design team can help you put together the right colors for whatever style of restaurant you own.
For example, a family-friendly diner, an haute cuisine restaurant, and a modern sushi bar would each employ different colors on their website to let visitors know more about the style of their establishment. You want to establish your Brand’s look and feel.
5. What Are Your USPs?
Another purpose of restaurant websites is to convince visitors to eat at or order from their establishment, as opposed to with competitors. A good website design can play a crucial role in driving customers to your door, rather than to your rivals’.
Do this by drawing attention to your restaurant’s USPs (Unique Selling Position). What sets your business apart from the other local restaurants?
If it’s the restaurant ambiance, document this with videos of a typical Friday night. For seasonal produce, let visitors know what you’re cooking at the moment. You can extend your reach on social media with stunning plates of food, and make sure your website also draws attention to the photos of your dishes.
6. Don’t Forget Social Media
All restaurant websites should include links to their social media pages. This has far-reaching benefits that help spread the word about your business and attract new diners.
For example, by directing website visitors to your Facebook page, people will be able to see the positive reviews and photos of people enjoying themselves at your restaurant. It will also encourage current diners to ‘check in‘ online to the restaurant, and share their experience with their social media connections.
It’s also really easy to connect your website to your Instagram feed. Your website will automatically update when new photos are posted to your Instagram, so everyone can see the latest dishes and deals you are promoting.
7. Prioritize Device Usability
One of our top web design tips is to make sure your website is easily accessible across all device types. A large proportion of visitors to your site will be using their mobile phones. They might be walking downtown, looking for somewhere to eat, or out-of-town guests using their mobile from their hotel room.
Your menu should be scrollable (rather than clickable) as this makes mobile navigation much easier. Test your website design across different device screen sizes and ensure that pages load quickly.
8. Tell Your Story
If you’re looking to create the best website for your restaurant, you’ll need to do more than provide browsers with the essential information. Use your website design to tell potential visitors the story of your business: how long you have been running, who the team is, and what the restaurant’s values are.
This can be done via a blog section on your site. Add photos that show the team and the behind-the-scenes process of running your restaurant.
9. Remember SEO Strategies
The final thing that a website for restaurants must do is assist with your Search Engine Optimization (or SEO). This refers to a variety of strategies that help websites rank highly in the organic results of Google and other search engines.
Let’s say someone searches for ‘top restaurants in Ontario’, or perhaps ‘best Italian restaurants in Leamington, ON’. You want to make sure your restaurant is appearing in front of the undecided potential customers, looking for somewhere to eat.
Your website design, including metadata, blog content, and local keywords can all help improve your SEO.
Those Are the Essentials of Great Restaurant Web Design
We’ve now covered all the must-haves when thinking about your restaurant web design. Remember that online perceptions and access to information go a long way to influencing potential customers. A professional web designer can guarantee your website stays authentic to your business.
If you’d like some more information about how our team at Cowlick Studios can help with the design of your website, schedule a free chat with us.