An informative, well-designed restaurant website can attract new customers and help you rank in online search results for location, price, or cuisine-based searches.
Despite the growth of social networks and mobile apps like Yelp, having a website should still be your highest priority. There are many reasons that potential customers visit restaurant websites, including checking the menu and pricing, getting location and contact information, researching the interior and dining experience, or making a reservation.
Because of this, your website will serve as the hub for your digital presence and marketing efforts.
What Content Should My Restaurant Website Include?
A famous designer once quoted, “Content precedes design. Design in the absence of content is not design; it’s decoration.”
This is true for website design, regardless of industry. Before looking into how to build your website, you should know what will be on it.
Here’s what content your website should (at least) include:
- Menu with pricing. What do you serve and how much does it cost?
- Location and contact information. Where and how can your customers find you? Link your address to Google Maps.
- Hours of operation. When are you open? This information may make or break a customer’s visit, so don’t make them guess or waste both of your time by calling.
- About page. Some restaurants opt to tell their story to connect with customers and set them apart from the competition.
Your website should also reflect the ambiance and aesthetic of your restaurant itself.
Use high-quality photos of food and restaurant interior to give customers an idea of what to expect when they visit.
Four Important Website Design Components
Building a website isn’t easy. Thankfully, there are many site builder tools available no matter your budget. But not all platforms are best for a restaurant website.
Restaurant sites are different than retail websites or blogs because they’re typically static (unlike a constantly-updated blog), but are still content and image-focused.
When building your restaurant website, it’s important to keep an eye out for a few specific components that will help your website and restaurant succeed (and make your life easier).
Here are four things to look for:
Responsive website design is a fancy way of saying “can be read easily on a smartphone.” Every website should be designed for mobile, especially websites.
Consider this: It’s 6:00 p.m., after a long day at work, and you’re looking for a place to eat with colleagues. What do you do? You hop on your phone and search for a spot that sounds yummy. If you come across a website that’s hard to read or doesn’t even load (What is this, 2007?), you’ll most likely move to the next restaurant in the search results.
Don’t let your website be the one that’s skipped over by hungry patrons! When building your restaurant website, ensure it’s optimized for both desktop and mobile use.
Easy to update
Your restaurant website may not be posting new content as much as a blog, but it should still be easy to update and change.
If your restaurant holds special events, changes their menu often, or simply wants to spice (pun intended) it up a little, make sure that your website builder allows for easy updates. As a small business owner, we know you don’t have time to learn code or even communicate changes to a third-party agency or freelancer.
Make your life easier by choosing a website design and builder that’s easy to update, so that when you change up your menu, it’ll be easy to communicate to consumers.
Drag and drop design
A drag and drop design process will also help simplify building your restaurant website. Between your menu, images, logo and restaurant branding, location and maps, social links, and other web content, your site will have a lot information to share with visitors.
Instead of having or hiring someone to code your website, opt for a site builder that helps you organize all this information. A drag and drop design process will simply ask you to upload any external content and place it on the website. Some builders also have pre-designed restaurant templates that optimize your information based on other successful websites.
Your restaurant website should be mostly focused on content — your menu, restaurant story and information, and images of your food and dining experience.
When building your restaurant website, look for a builder that places emphasis on this content and makes it easy for your site visitors to find it. Ensure that your site menu is easily accessed and that there are plenty of places for high-quality photos.
Over to You
There are many site builders available to help you with the web design and creation process. Check out Squarespace, Let’s Eat, Bento Box, and WordPress for easy-to-build restaurant websites and popular templates.
Your restaurant might exist and succeed through in-person experience, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t need a digital presence. Nowadays, the majority of consumers are researching and making purchase decisions online before visiting stores and restaurants. Creating a successful restaurant website will help your location compete online, too.
Looking to digitize your scheduling and team management system, too? Homebase is an great option for team scheduling, timesheets, payroll exports, POS integrations, and mobile app management. Match the convenience and simplicity of your restaurant website with an employee scheduling software that makes your life easy, too.