Best Restaurant Websites
What makes the best restaurant websites?
More and more people are eating out at restaurants which is great news for business owners! But with so many options available for consumers to pick from, how can you ensure that your business stands out?
With how easy it is to search for nearby restaurants, it is now more important than ever to have a strong website to really grab the attention of viewers. While you no doubt have the ability to meet their needs, effectively communicating it to the public may seem difficult. A lot of blogs on the internet provide decent website ideas and they may be easy enough to execute. However, we believe it is more important for you to dig deeper and understand the underlying factors that go into designing the perfect website tailored specifically for your business.
We like to keep it simple when setting general guidelines for restaurant website design and it is very much focused on trying to understand what the consumer is looking for when they google “restaurants near me.” People want instant results and information when looking at a restaurant website. Information such as menu items and locations should be immediately conveyed to the user upon accessing your website.
There are several aspects to consider when designing a useful and attractive restaurant website. None of these can work in isolation and must be considered holistically when contemplating the design of your website.
Restaurant Imagery - Use Big Images of Food
As a restaurant, most of your website should be large, attractive imagery which entices the viewer to come to your establishment. Maybe you have a very unique destination you want to show off, or you offer live entertainment. Whatever it is, a picture is worth a thousand words, especially when trying to convey your unique value proposition to potential customers (bonus: this applies to all websites- not just restaurants).
Scoma’s in Monterey does a great job of utilizing large imagery to convey the uniqueness of their restaurant. The home page photo instantly shows off their beautiful location and is visually very attractive. Their homepage design is simple, clean and easy to gather information from. For an added bonus, you could probably guess what kind of food they serve, based on that photo alone- two birds with one stone, and a visually simple and attractive website.
With one small image which hardly conveys anything about the restaurant, the site is just not visually attractive. The mobile site does a better job of presenting information but the lack of imagery is still present. You want to try and make their mouths water when they visit your website. Don't tell them what you offer- show them.
Check out some of the websites we’ve made for clients which use large imagery!
Featured images of food: You deserve to show off your amazing food. Not only does it look visually appealing, but it also immediately conveys to the viewer what to expect from your restaurant. Mouthwatering, large photos go a long way in attracting customers. And yes iPhone cameras are amazing now; but maybe consider hiring a professional- composition is everything!
This restaurant has an image of their food on their homepage- which is a good start. However, it lacks large imagery which immediately captures the eye of the viewer (remember how everything is supposed to be considered holistically?). Instead, they are easily distracted by the outdated format and how everything blends together. The food presented on your homepage should pop out and be appetizing! The picture on this website lacks any contrasting colors or texture.
Berry Divine’s homepage opens with a large, colorful, birds-eye picture of their Acai bowls. The composition of the photo makes it so that you can see all the subtle ingredients that go into making one of their bowls, whereas a side shot would have likely just shown the base ingredient- in other words put thought into how you present your images, it can make a world of difference! You can see the texture in the fruit and the contrasting color really grabs the attention of the viewer. Their homepage is simple, providing easy access to the menu, locations and more information about what they offer.
Easy access to the menu: One of the first things a customer is going to look at on your website is the menu. Thankfully, almost all restaurant websites we’ve encountered have some form of a menu available on their website. However, not all of them are easily accessible or particularly ‘easy’ on the eyes.
This menu is too cluttered and is not easy to glance over. Most customers who look at your menu online are probably just looking over it to see what you offer. Also, the conditions (!,*) by the options add another layer of confusion to the menu.
The one redeeming quality of this menu is that it offers an abundance of information to the viewer- if they want to read it. Ideally, there should be a balance between readability and details. In this sense, pictures with brief descriptions will provide your customer will all the information they need.
Chick-fil-A does an excellent job of providing the customer with just the right amount of information on their menu options. Their menu combines the other aspects we talked about like large imagery which immediately conveys to the customer what they offer and further entices them with mouth-watering pictures.
Berry Divine also does an excellent job of showing off their delicious Acai bowls. The photos allow customers to get an idea of what the bowls contain and there is more detailed information available in the margins, if they want.
If your restaurant has more than one location, it is important to make that clear to your customers. Again, the name of the game is quick and easy access to information because you only have a short period of time to capture the attention of your audience.
P.F. Chang’s homepage is quite cluttered which makes it difficult to find information easily. For a large chain like this, it is even more important to make the locations easily accessible. With so much going on and none of the main links being anything particularly useful, the webpage forces the user to spend a few more seconds finding their nearest P.F. Chang’s.
We prefer having a locations tab up top which directs the user to a very clean and easy page with simple links to their preferred location.
Upon clicking on their desired location, more detailed information about the branch is presented.
So you’ve followed all these guidelines and have a stellar website created for your equally beautiful restaurant- but the jobs not done yet. Getting search engines to rank (or place) your website at the top of a search engine results page (SERP) is a practice known as search engine optimization (SEO). One of the best things you can do to help boost your ranking is by providing quality content on your website- which shouldn’t be a problem if you follow the guidelines we listed here!
However, this is just scratching the surface of SEO. If you want to learn more about how to make your website stick out, you can visit our blog, or contact us today to learn how we can help you build the best website for your business.