11 Restaurant Website Features You Need in 2024

Having a restaurant website in 2024 is a non-negotiable for food and beverage businesses.

We won’t sugarcoat it: competition is fierce, with 45% of surveyed restaurant operators expecting more intense competition this year and beyond. And profit margins remain razor thin, with 38% of operators not turning a profit last year due to rising food and operational costs. 

With all that doom and gloom, attracting new diners—and delighting recurring ones—is a top priority for restauranteurs like you. And that attraction starts with a website. 

Luckily, we’re ready to help you create a stellar site, and walk you through the complexity and decisions that come with building one.

Why does a restaurant need a website?

Websites are the foundation on which marketing strategies are built. That’s no different for restaurants, bars, breweries, and any other food and beverage business. They serve as the primary digital hub through which all other marketing and promotional campaigns flow—from social media to paid advertising to email marketing. 

To put it bluntly, websites matter to customers. 77% of surveyed restaurant goers say they’re likely to visit a restaurant’s website before deciding whether to dine in or purchase takeout from that location. Alarmingly, 70% of those same respondents said that a restaurant’s website has discouraged them from visiting in the past. 

The purpose of a restaurant website.

A great site isn’t just meant to check a box: it plays an integral role in bringing customers through your door.

Your restaurant’s site is meant to:

  • Attract customers by raising awareness and credibility.
  • Ensure the business is findable through online searches and maps listing.
  • Showcase the restaurant location(s), themes, ambiance, and experience through images, video, and text.
  • Share the food and drink menu so that potential diners can decide if your restaurant is what they’re craving at that moment.
  • Enable automated sales through online ordering and self-serve reservations.

How restaurants are incorporating technology.

Restaurant management is becoming increasingly tech-driven. Like so many other industries that rely on in-person experiences, this is in part due to the fast pivot that they had to make during the COVID-19 pandemic toward order-only and no-contact deliveries.

It’s how they’ve become smarter, more data-driven, and more efficient in the face of rising food and labor costs and shrinking consumer spending due to inflation.

According to a report from Restaurant365, a significant portion of restaurant operators are actively investing in new technologies and platforms in 2024. And a lot of that integrates directly into their website.


  • 31% plan to implement online ordering.
  • 24% plan to implement mobile ordering.
  • 14% plan to implement online reservations.
  • 38% plan to implement online loyalty programs.

These tools are all essential for streamlining operations, scaling customer experience and service, and ensuring that the restaurant can operate effectively on numerous fronts. A website sits at the center of this tech renaissance, integrating all of these platforms together into a cohesive experience. 

Additionally, restaurants have begun to collect and leverage data from their websites and integrated platforms to help drive their marketing strategy, improve customer loyalty, and optimize operations. Again, as the central hub for these efforts, the website is essential for collecting customer data that can then be analyzed and actioned. 

“With so much competition in the industry today, restaurants need to start building relationships with guests before they sit down or place their order and be sure they have the systems required to deliver on those promises and grow the bottom line.”

— Katie Fairchild CMO, Restaurant365

What makes a good restaurant site?

While everyone’s restaurant site is going to be different, there are some common variables that you should prioritize. We’ll get into specific features and content in the next section, but first let’s look at some high-level priorities for any restaurant website builder.

Must-have website priorities.

  • Mobile optimization. Roughly 63% of Google searches occur on a mobile device in the United States. In particular, Gen Z and Millenials use mobile devices for online shopping and reservations way more frequently than they use desktops. Because of this, mobile optimization is a must-have for your restaurant website. It needs to be fully responsive and provide a seamless user experience on-site and between integrated apps. This means ensuring you have an easy navigation, quick load times, and phone-friendly website features like click-to-call and mobile ordering.
  • High-quality visuals. Restaurant-goers want to learn about your restaurant’s vibe and ambiance before heading out for their meal. Professional, high-resolution photos of your restaurant and food are a great way to showcase what you have to offer on your site. This should be authentic—no stock images!—so that your customers can get a true sense of your dining experience. 
  • A great brand story. Who doesn’t love an interesting origin story? Guests sure do, which is why taking the time to tell a story about who you are, what your passion is, and how your business came to be can go a long way to enticing new customers.
  • Comprehensive and up-to-date information. First and foremost, your restaurant site is a hub to communicate essential information that your potential guests will need to know before their dining experience. At the minimum, you should include your address, contact details, hours of operation, and a detailed, searchable menu. 
  • Search engine optimization. In addition to being a communication hub, your site is also a business generator. SEO—or search engine optimization—is a critical part of driving awareness and business to your website. Your site should have a dedicated SEO strategy, with properly optimized content to make your business findable by local searchers. 

11 key restaurant website features for 2024 (with examples).

Here’s a list of 11 must-have features of a restaurant website in 2024—with screenshot examples from our favorite sites. 

1. Contact info and hours.

All restaurant sites should include clear and easily-accessible contact information. This includes your phone number (with click-to-call options for mobile users), email address and, if applicable, a chatbot or contact form that customers can use for after hours questions. This ensures that customers can easily reach out for inquiries or reservations.

Want to avoid a ton of phone calls—or worse, missed customers? List your hours of operation to manage customer expectations and prevent frustration from visiting during closed times.

Tip: If you have multiple locations, like the example below, be sure to include contact information for all restaurants. 


Clocktower Brew Pub

2. Location and directions.

Your restaurant site should make it as easy as possible for diners to find you. Include an embedded map with clear directions to the restaurant to help customers find the location easily. 

You should also ensure that your locations are listed on Google My Business, with a verified address, description, and proper tagging. This ensures that when people search for your location, or for a restaurant serving a specific type of food, you show up on the map. 

Tip: Include a “Get Directions” link next to your location information that opens Google Maps with directions from the user’s location to your restaurant.

The Works

3. Menu.

People go to restaurants for the food—and drinks. Sure, there’s the social part of it, and possibly some trendy status-symbol connected to certain restaurants. But the food and drinks are at the center of any dining experience.

The menu, of course, is where that experience starts. It’s why this is the primary focus for most people starting a restaurant business.

Regardless of your restaurant website ideas, every site should have some kind of menu. Upscale, Michelin star establishments may pare down their menu because of how often it rotates, and to create an air of mystery about the place.

But most restaurants should have a comprehensive, searchable online menu that allows customers to browse your food, dietary options, and prices. This makes it easier for diners to make a decision about your restaurant over another. And it’s essential if you hope to offer online ordering.

Popular menu tools for websites include Upserve by Lightspeed, MustHaveMenus, Square for Restaurants, and SinglePlatform

Tip: Make sure to include a legend and tags that specify things like whether the food is spicy, vegan, vegetarian, nut-free, and so on. 


4. Events.

If your establishment hosts regular events or promotions, your website is a great place to showcase those. Create a dedicated events calendar and promotion page to showcase what’s going on, and how guests can take advantage.

LouLou Santa Monica

5. Reservations.

Reservations are a critical business driver for many restaurants—especially those that have a particularly high volume of guests. Giving visitors the option to book a specific time, on a specific day, greatly improves their dining experience and allows you to carefully tailor your staffing levels to meet demand.

An integrated reservation system simplifies the booking process, and can integrate with your other systems to help you with employee scheduling, inventory management, restaurant budgeting and more. 

Popular platforms for integrating reservations onto your website include OpenTable, Resy, Yelp Reservations, and Tock.

Benoit Paris

6. Gift card purchasing.

Who doesn’t love an additional revenue stream for their business? That’s exactly what offering gift cards via ecommerce purchase on your site unlocks. It creates a new gift option for your guests’ friends and family, and it gives you the ability to sell future inventory. 

Gift cards are also a great way to encourage your loyal guests to share their favorite dining experience with others, exposing your food and atmosphere to more potential customers.

Offering gift cards for purchase online provides an additional revenue stream and allows loyal customers to share their favorite dining experiences with others.

Popular tools for selling restaurant gift cards online include Square, Toast, and Gift Up!

Boston Pizza

7. Loyalty program offering.

Similar to gift cards, integrating a loyalty program encourages repeat business by rewarding customers for their continued business. Typically, loyalty programs are facilitated through physical cards on which visitors can collect points based on their purchase amounts. 

Today, restaurants can also manage loyalty programs through their websites by allowing users to sign up for an account. They can then use this account to make online orders or in-person reservations, both of which also accumulate loyalty points. 

Popular platforms for restaurant loyalty programs include Punchh, FiveStars, and Loyalzoo.  


8. High quality photos

Restaurant website design relies heavily on visuals. As mentioned earlier, professional, high-resolution images of your food, ambiance, and restaurant setting help potential visitors imagine themselves at your restaurant, enticing them to join the experience.

George Toronto

9. Online ordering

Like with gift cards, online ordering is a major additional revenue stream for your restaurant. During the pandemic this was pretty much the only revenue stream that restaurants could rely on (apart from gift card sales). 

Companies that offer take out and delivery should seriously prioritize their online order experience. It should be user friendly, include a full searchable menu, and offer a variety of online payment options. 

Typically, restaurants would install an online ordering tool to sit on top of their existing website to facilitate the front- and back-end logistics associated with food delivery. Popular platforms include Toast, Square, ChowNow, and BlueCart.

Joe’s Italian Kitchen

10. Links to social accounts

Buzz doesn’t just come from your restaurant website. Social media plays a big role in restaurant marketing, helping you directly connect with customers and potential diners. 

Users can interact with you, ask you questions via chat, and share their experience at your restaurant. In return, you can use social media to share updates, specials, events and content to keep your followers engaged. 

Because websites and social media are so entwined, it’s important to include links on your website to your social media profiles. Also be sure to include share links to your event and promo content so that users can spread the word on their own channels. Don’t forget to add website links to all of your social channels as well. 

11. Customer reviews and testimonials

Diners love to read and write restaurant reviews. It’s a major way that restaurant-goers learn about new establishments and decide on where to go for their next meal. Collecting and integrating customer reviews and testimonials onto your site is a must. 

Start by setting up popular review platforms like Google My Business, Yelp, social media, and TripAdvisor. Actively encourage guests to share reviews on these platforms, and respond to their feedback. Share the best of the best on your website to entice future guests to join the party. 

How to build a restaurant website: the basics. 

We’ve covered why you need a restaurant website, and what should be included. Now, let’s talk briefly about how to actually build one. 

You can build a restaurant website in a few different ways. First is to build it yourself, or you can outsource it to an agency or freelancer to build for you. Both options have their advantages. 

For those looking to build their own websites, we recommend starting with a DIY platform like Wix, Squarespace, or WordPress. These are popular CMS platforms that allow you to build completely customized sites or start from a pre-built template. They’re easy to use, and offer drag and drop interfaces that allow you to carefully create a site that matches your vision. 

When you’re building a restaurant website, you want to include many of the features we discussed in our restaurant website examples above. These platforms also offer integrations with third party tools to display menus, reservation forms, online ordering, and more. 

  • DIY is a great option for restaurant owners on a tight budget, and who want to build a basic website to start their marketing journey. For more advanced websites, outsourcing to an agency or freelancer might be a better option.
  • Agencies are able to create more customized and sophisticated websites that are closely aligned with your brand and goals. They incorporate all website best practices mentioned earlier, including SEO, mobile responsiveness, and site speed optimization.
  • Outsourcing to a professional is likely an ideal option for restaurants with a more ambitious vision for their site, or those that want to be able to scale comfortably as the business grows.

To begin the process, we recommend first outlining your business goals. Make sure you’re clear on those, and that you understand the role of a website in meeting those goals. Outline your must-haves from your site, and determine if this is something you can build in-house, or if it’s best left to an outside agency. 

Need more time to market? We’ve got you covered.

Running a restaurant business is hard, even for the ones that make it look easy. But when you have the right suite of tools to help with day-to-day tasks like hiring, onboarding, and payroll, it can all seem a little less daunting. It even has time clock features so you don’t have to worry about keeping track of which kitchen staff are showing up late or running into overtime.

Give yourself more time to work on turn-the-dial activities like marketing strategies by letting Homebase help with the rest. It’s an app that’s easy for you and your team to use, keeping everything organized and up-to-date so you can run your restaurant like a champ.

Glossary of restaurant website terms.

Before we close, here’s one last thing: a list of website terms you’re likely to hear in your travels, with an explanation of what each one is.

CTA (Call to Action) 

A CTA is a prompt on a website that encourages users to take a specific action, such as “Order Now” or “Make a Reservation.”

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

SEO is the practice of optimizing a website to rank higher in search engine results pages, thereby increasing traffic from potential customers.

Website navigation

Website navigation refers to the system of menus, links, and buttons that help users find information and move around a website.

User interface design (UI)

UI design is the process of designing the visual layout and interactive elements of a website to ensure it is aesthetically pleasing and easy to use.

User experience design (UX)

UX design involves creating a website that provides a positive, efficient, and enjoyable experience for users. It focuses on usability, accessibility, and overall satisfaction.

Responsive website 

A responsive website automatically adjusts its layout and content to fit different screen sizes and devices, providing an optimal viewing experience.

CMS (Content Management System)

A CMS is a software application that allows users to create, manage, and modify content on a website without needing specialized technical knowledge.

Restaurant website FAQs

What is a restaurant website?

A restaurant website is the website that represents your restaurant online. It serves as a hub for all important information your guests are looking for, like your menu, contact information and location, hours, online ordering, and reservations.

How do I create a restaurant page?

You can build a restaurant website through several methods:

  1. DIY: Build your own restaurant website using online tools, which can be a cost-efficient method to create a basic site.
  2. Agencies: These can integrate more sophisticated options that reflect your restaurant brand, while optimizing for search engines and ensuring your website is easily accessible through mobile.
  3. Outsource to a professional: The most customizable experience, this option works best for restaurants looking for an ambitious site.

How much does it cost to make a website for a restaurant?

Some DIY website builders have free plans, but most require payment for advanced and impactful features. Expect to pay up to $39 a month depending on your choice of website platform and customizable plan. Agencies and professionals can be contacted for quotes based on the scope of work to create your restaurant website.

Why does my restaurant need a website?

In today’s digital market, having a restaurant website may be the difference between whether or not a customer chooses your restaurant for their next meal. Restaurant-goers nowadays usually use restaurant websites to look up the menu, location, hours of service, and to book reservations. Without all the features of a restaurant website, your business may miss out on vital traffic. Your restaurant website is also a great place to feature events, marketing, special promotions, and a loyalty program for return customers.

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