When you think of a great dining experience you may think of delectable food and aromas, an enticing ambiance, and the presence of good company. That is easy to highlight when guests are in your restaurant where they can actually see and smell the tempting dishes, experience the atmosphere, and enjoy the presence of a helpful server.
A good restaurant website design can reproduce those feelings and entice your website visitors to become customers and keep them coming back.
Here are some best practices to include on your restaurant’s website to entice potential customers to make your restaurant their next dining destination.
Custom Logo & Branding
A custom-designed restaurant logo and branding is the best way to differentiate your brand from others. Having a custom logo, color palettes, textures, typography, and brand persona identified in your brand strategy helps you communicate to people who you are and what to expect from you.
Your restaurant brand strategy defines who you are and helps you to be consistent brand story in your restaurant marketing and messaging.
Tell Your Brand Story
Speaking of your brand story, you should include an about page on your website to tell your customers more about your restaurant. People will feel more connected to your brand when they know more about you. Tell your visitors what makes you unique and showcase your passion for the brand.
You can include background information about your chef and tell visitors what inspired the restaurant to open. Was it a visit to a sidewalk cafe in Paris, or your grandmother’s homemade pasta that led to the development of the concept? If you specialize in regional, seasonal, organic, or vegetarian dishes, this is a great place to include those details about your brand.
Restaurant Photo Gallery
They say you eat with your eyes first so it only makes sense that your restaurant’s website includes mouthwatering, high-quality photos of your menu offerings.
You should also showcase your restaurant atmosphere and decor. High-quality photos are important to tell your brand story and to showcase the type of experience your guests can expect when they visit.
Online Restaurant Menus
This one is obvious but you want to feature your restaurant’s menu on your website prominently. According to a recent OpenTable survey, a whopping 93% of people view menus online before dining out so make it easy for them to find yours. Also, 49% of people turn to search engines like Google to seek a restaurant without a specific place in mind.
We recommend your menu be visually placed within the website pages rather than linking to a PDF or image. This provides a much better user experience and allows the search engines to discover your menu. You should also provide dish photos, descriptions, and ingredients of your menu items.
Easy to Find Restaurant Locations
If you build it, they will come. If they can find you, that is. Let your potential customers easily find you by providing location information on your website.
If you have a single location, your restaurant address should be in the footer of your website so that it can be found on every page. You should also include information about the neighborhood you are located in as well as an embedded map on your contact page.
If you have multiple locations, provide an easy-to-use location finder. Users should be able to enter their location information or have the browser detect the nearest location. Each location should include full address, phone number, and hours of operation. If your restaurant offers online ordering, include a call to action linking users to your online ordering platform.
Calls to Action
You will want to make sure that your website visitors can make a reservation, order online, or book a private event. After all, you want your business to make money, right?
Include easy-to-find Calls to Action on your site that allow visitors to easily take action right away by booking a reservation online, ordering from your menu immediately, and finding information about your private event offerings.
Links to Social Media
An excellent way to showcase your restaurant and get people to engage with your brand is to add your restaurant’s social media profiles to your website so visitors can easily find them. It’s a great way for them to see your current menu items, atmosphere, and special promotions along with authentic user-generated content that will entice them to visit your location.
We recommend embedding your most recent Instagram posts right on your website so people can see what your business has to currently offer and to easily make the connection (follow you).
Include your Loyalty Program
According to Accenture, 57% of consumers spend more on brands to which they are loyal. If your restaurant has a loyalty program, you will want to highlight it on your website. This will allow people to discover your offers and sign up to enjoy the benefits.
Be sure to include a call to action to download your app and make it easy for your customers to see the benefits and find answers to frequently asked questions.
Be Mobile Friendly
Today’s diners are on the go and are likely searching for dining options on their mobile device. In fact, 89% of dining research is done by mobile before visiting a restaurant according to Google. Ensure that your restaurant’s website is optimized for phones and tablets so you can capture this traffic and turn your website visitors into restaurant guests who will return again and again.
Designing and developing an effective website for your brand can be an intimidating undertaking. Use this guide to plan for best practices on your website or contact our restaurant website experts to help you launch a successful custom website for your restaurant brand.