The industry is fiercely competitive, with numerous established restaurants operating in close proximity. To survive and grow, your new restaurant has to come up with unique offerings to set it apart from the competition. In today’s digital era, with every business —small or large- having an online presence, your restaurant’s website design will play a vital role in leaving a lasting positive impression on the prospects. Therefore, you need to make sure that your restaurant website design has the potential to capture the essence of your restaurant and appeals to your target audience.

A restaurant website is a virtual extension of your physical location. That’s why it’s equally important for your business’s success. So, you must create an enticing and unique restaurant website design that not only draws onlookers’ eyeballs but also converts them into customers.

To achieve this goal, you must carefully consider every aspect of your restaurant site — from color schemes and widget placement to optimization and information hierarchy; every little aspect matters a lot. In this article, we’ll guide you through designing your restaurant website to appeal to your prospects.

Here Are The Top 10 Tips For Creating a Restaurant Website That Wins Customers

01. Keep The Design Simple

Going for an intricate design with many pages and elements may be tempting. But you risk overwhelming and distracting the clients from the primary purpose of the restaurant’s website, which is to serve delicious food.

Before developing some design ideas, consider the end user and their needs. Whether they are new or returning customers, these are the first things they will look for on the website:

  • The Menu: Clients want to find the menu fast to check the cuisine, the portions, or the prices. They want to see if they like the food and ordering options: dine-in, pick-up, or delivery.
  • Location: Customers want to know if the restaurant is close to their place so they can pop in for a quick visit. Directions, including a map and instructions for the nearest public transport means, are also a big plus.
  • Working Hours: A potential client plans an outing with their friends at a specific hour. They will check the website to see the working hours, and if they can’t find them, they may not go the extra mile and call but opt to choose another place to dine. Ensure the restaurant doesn’t lose clients by making the opening and closing hours visible.
  • Contact Information: Be it a phone number or social media handles, clients must be able to reach the restaurant for information, complaints, etc.

Therefore, you should design the whole restaurant website to help potential clients easily find this information. A one-page template can work great for small and medium restaurants with no second locations, as all the essential details can fit on the homepage.

02. Include All of Your Branding Elements

A restaurant’s website is a big step in making the business well-known. The restaurant owner must provide the website designer with its brand book to guide design choices to achieve this goal.

It should include the colors, fonts, logo, a Unique Selling Proposition, and a short description of the brand persona.

Branding works if the restaurant owner creates a unitary image across all online channels and physical locations. Therefore, integrate your restaurant website design with many branding elements. Then, customers will easily recognize those elements as part of the restaurant’s image anywhere they see them.

Most importantly, ensure the website has the restaurant logo placed strategically at the top left side. This is the spot that visitors see first on any online page.

03. Pick Colors Strategically

You will use colors for the restaurant website design from the brand book. Still, you should explore new color combinations. For example, you can explore contrasting or complementary colors, a shade lighter or darker, or even play on color transparency.

But don’t go overboard. The design shouldn’t include more than five colors. The ideal number would be three, with a background and primary and secondary colors used.

Colors can stimulate appetite, but they can also reduce it.

Here Are The Best Color Nuances You Should Use On The Website To Make People Hungry:

  • Red: Red is the most commonly used color in the food industry because it works. It stimulates and increases heart rate and could be associated with juicy meat, a sweet cherry pie, and more delicious food.
  • Orange: The general rule is to choose colors that can be found in great-tasting food. That’s why orange is a good choice, as it makes you think of fresh orange juice, and blue isn’t because it can’t be linked to many edible things;
  • Green: Green is the perfect choice for restaurants that promote a healthier or vegan menu full of leafy dishes;
  • Black: Black is ideal for fine-dining or upscale restaurants as it correlates with elegance, simplicity, and higher prices;
  • Brown: Brown is recommended for restaurants that use organic products, bakeries, or coffee shops.

04. Create a Responsive Website

Hunger can strike anytime, whether in front of a desktop or when the client only has access to their mobile phone. Customers are used to instant gratification online and will not wait for a slow-loading page. It may even affect the restaurant’s image as an unresponsive website is deemed untrustworthy. Hence, a restaurant website design should work efficiently on any device.

A well-optimized website helps customers find it easier to browse the website. Furthermore, ensure the website is light and loads quickly on desktop and mobile devices. The loading speed also is a factor in ranking a site on Google search results.

Therefore, choose sharp image and element formats and dimensions that load instantly when you open the restaurant website.

05. Integrate Clean Menu Buttons

The restaurant menu should be the focal point on the website’s homepage to encourage conversions.

Here is How To Make The Menu Clean and Visible:

  • Placement: Place the menu button where clients expect it to be in the top right corner.
  • Color: Use a contrasting color to the background so the menu button will pop out. Also, you can add a neon version of the color as a button border to further enhance its visibility.

Moreover, encourage the restaurant owner to let go of PDF menus as it will deter clients and affect their Google ranking. PDF menus aren’t just very slow loaders; they must also be downloaded to view the menu items.

Instead, advise them to choose an online ordering menu that loads instantly when they click the menu button. It has an online ordering system so restaurant clients can order their food directly from the restaurant website.

06. Organize The Information In A Hierarchal Order

For a restaurant website design to be successful, it must offer clients all the answers they seek. It must do so in an organized, easy-to-follow way that keeps the client’s information manageable.

We’ve already established the essential details in the first section: menu, location, working hours, and contact information. The menu and location must be at the top of the page and visible without additional scrolling or page changes. The other two must be reached with minimum effort.

The designers should put themselves in a client’s shoes. Find out what else we want to see on a restaurant website and in what order.

Use This List As a Starting Point:

  • Professional Images: Attract clients with pictures of food, restaurant interior and exterior, team members, and happy clients;
  • Promotions: Now that customers see how delicious the food looks, a restaurant promotion can motivate them to take the final step and order the food they choose.
  • About Us: A few words about what makes the restaurant special (cuisine, origin story, type of ingredients, mode of preparation) will build trust with clients.
  • Social Media Links: Let your clients know what platform they can find the restaurant on.
  • Review Section: Allow customers to share their opinion about the business.
  • Hiring Announcements: Make the restaurant owner’s job easier by allowing them to find new employees directly on their website.

07. Incorporate High-Quality Food Photographs

When deciding where to dine or where to order from, customers will browse numerous restaurant websites, looking at two main things: how the food looks and reviews.

Give visitors a reason to become regular customers by adorning the website with mouth-watering photography they cannot ignore. Then, compile a gallery of the best-looking dishes, allowing people to quickly browse the images to increase their appetite.

You can go further and have the restaurant owner provide photos of the restaurant’s interior and exterior. Also, take some candid shots to create a friendly, welcoming image of the business on the website.

08. Optimize All Content

Creating a restaurant website design is a team effort, as is SEO optimization. The designers, developers, and content marketers must unite to make a restaurant website that will rank high in Google searches.

Here Are The Main Things You Should Implement:

  • Mobile First: Google analyzes the mobile version of a website first, so you should focus on creating a responsive design;
  • Keywords: Insert words and phrases with a high search volume related to the business in headlines, content, and alt text;
  • Optimize Content: Even though a restaurant website should not have a lot of content, the information that is included must be optimized with links, keywords, lists, and guaranteed readability;
  • Schema Markup For Restaurants: It will allow Google to interpret the website elements easier, so they show up with more information in searches.

Ensure your team delivers a top-notch restaurant website that is fully optimized so the restaurant owner has a great starting point for their off-page SEO efforts.

09. Include Links To Social Media

A good restaurant website will offer visitors the answers they seek, guide them to the menu, and entice them to learn more about the restaurant. One way to do so is to include links to all the restaurant’s social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, or YouTube) on the website’s homepage.

Social media helps a restaurant succeed by building a community of loyal customers and reaching a new audience. By constantly sharing quality content, restaurants make patrons aware of their delicious food, great atmosphere, and irresistible promotions.

Give restaurant owners a chance to grow their community by encouraging website visitors to continue their journey and visit their social media pages.

10. Build Trust by Adding A Review Section

The first thing most people do before visiting or ordering from a restaurant is to check its online reviews. Potential clients want to see other clients’ experience with the business to decide if it’s worth their time and money.

There Are Two Ways You Could Integrate A Review Section In The Restaurant Website Design:

  • Link To Established Review Platforms: The easiest way to have reviews present on the restaurant’s website is to link to the review platform where the restaurant owner has an account. You can also include some images of positive reviews to build trust with visitors;
  • Allow Reviews Directly On The Website: It is a bit more complicated for the development team, yet achievable. The only downside is that negative reviews would also be present if not moderated.

After implementation, the restaurant owner can add the website link on the review platforms (Google My Business, Yelp, TripAdvisor, etc.) to help increase the Google ranking.

These are the helpful tips to follow while planning your restaurant website design. Experiment with different designs to know which works for your restaurant.

If yours is a small restaurant in its launching phase, then do not spend overly on designing its website. Instead, you can visit 123WebMobile, a leading marketplace, to start your website design contest for experienced designers.