Our web development firm has worked with many restaurants, bars, and chefs throughout the years. We know how tight margins can be, and how fickle diners can be. We decided to put together this Restaurant Website Design Checklist together so that when you are building your website, or working with a developer or designer on your website, you know exactly what to ask for.
If you are wondering what to include in your restaurant website, don’t worry. We will break down the basic elements of good restaurant website design, but we go beyond the basic because your customer’s digital experience gives potential customers a glimpse of what they should expect at the restaurant. Consider the following restaurant website design tips to build a successful website.
15 Elements Every Restaurant Website Needs
FULLY RESPONSIVE SITE
There are many reasons why you will need a fully responsive restaurant design. Amongst them are:
- People search for restaurants on mobile more than desktop (for example, at 4:30 when they’re getting ready to leave work) so you need to make sure your site is easy to use and navigate on mobile devices and smartphones.
- By going fully responsive, you will have only one site to manage as opposed to one desktop version and one mobile version.
- Google now indexes website’s mobile versions first, so you definitely want to prioritise this if you want a chance at ranking on search engines on mobile web searches.
ADD A MAP
Most restaurants are brick and mortar businesses. This means that people need to be able to find your restaurant and how to get there in order to become customers. This is why it is so important to not only include your address, but also a map so that people can easily find you. We like using Google maps due to their ease of use. Here are the items you need to ensure you include on the site along with your map.
- Street Address, City, State, And Zip
- Search Function
- Public Transport Instructions
html responsive MENUS
Sounds pretty basic, but you want to make sure you have your menus on the site. The big reason why we added this almost obvious item here is that you will want to make sure you can easily update your menus as needed. You may be tempted to ask for a solution that allows you to upload a PDF of your menu, but this can have big disadvantages in the long run.
- While Google is getting better at “reading” PDFs, it is much better at reading HTLM which will give you a better chance to rank on Google for the dishes on your menu.
- PDFs can be slow and even if your site is amazing, if your customer’s phone is not optimal, the experience for them will be slower.
- PDF menus load with small font making it harder for diners to read the menu, they will need to make the image larger, as opposed to having the information cleanly and easily available.
Our goal at Binary Bits is always for our customers to make a profit. We put conversions first. For restaurants, this can be either walk-ins, reservations, or online ordering. If you order online ordering, work with your developer so that this is prominently displayed on the site and easy to use by your clientele.
Reservations are key to a restaurant’s bottom line. Along with Online Ordering, a simple and easy to use reservation system is key to a restaurant’s profit. You can build your own, or you can implement systems such as OpenTable, The Fork, or the many others that are currently out there.
GIFT CARDS & MERCHANDISE
Gift cards and merchandise are great ways for your restaurant to earn additional revenue. Gift Cards are excellent since the money comes in before the customer ever does. And mercy can be great for those super fans and super loyal customers.
Loyalty programs are a fantastic way to earn repeat customers. Create a simple popup for website visitors asking them for their email to join the loyalty/rewards program. Immediately give them a small but enticing reward, and use this as an email collection list so you can remarket customers.
We still haven’t invented smell-o-vision, so the next best thing is images. Create a nice image gallery to showcase your food, interior, staff, and customers.
PRO-TIP: Ask your web developer to optimize those images. Although images are a must for a restaurant website, they can significantly slow down the site, so you will want to make sure your developer puts a solution for this in place.
Use your about us page not only to tell your story, but to include those search terms people will use when searching for restaurants like yours. Highlight all those things that make you special while giving Google the answers to the questions diners in your area are asking.
Accessibility is a must for your website. When you work with your web developer on your website (or your SEO) ask him or her to make sure that things such as the following are taken care of:
- Your images contain alternative text.
- That forms have labels that allow screen readers to interpret and interact with fields on your forms.
If you are sick of review sites controlling search results when people search for your restaurant name + reviews, then you need to get in the game and this is a perfect way to give you a chance to control the narrative.
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS
Your clients will connect with you in all sorts of ways, make it easy for them by adding your social media links to the footer of your site.
SOCIAL MEDIA FEED
Add a feed for the social network you are most active on. It is most likely that you will update this daily, and this way, you won’t have to update your site on a daily basis.
This is another great way to increase your profit margin. If you host events such as wine tastings, Mother’s Day brunches, etc…make sure you prominently display these on your events calendar.
Do you offer daily specials? Happy hour? Bottomless brunch? Then, create a deals page and showcase all your deals along with the details attached to them.
I hope you get a lot of great tips on the must have elements of a restaurant website. If you are feeling overwhelmed and would like to have someone build your restaurant website, contact us. We have plenty of experience. Check out our case studies below, or click the window above to contact us for a free consultation.