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13 Tips to Create long-lasting Restaurant Web-Design

At Nimblechapps, we design and develop websites for multiple industries by incorporating conventional advertising principles with experimentation, user psychology and behavior analysis to ascertain the optimum methods to push goals for businesses digitally. If you are looking to design a website for a restaurant or a cafe, you will need to determine what it should look like for your users, the information that is vital for them and what do you want them to do on your website. 

When designing a restaurant website, it is crucial that you select the layout, colors and fonts depending on how it should make the users feel. That is because it will affect how the users feel about your website. It is important to offer a solid first impression so that users will decide whether or not they want to give you their business.For a restaurant to have a competitive advantage over other restaurants, it is important to have a well-functioning website. In these testing times, more people are insisting businesses to have an online presence. 

Now, when it comes to a website there are two types of websites: one is an informational website and the other is a website that offers online orders. For informational websites, you can use website builders like Wix, SquareSpace, Duda, Weebly and more. And for online orders, you can make use of Wix, Shopify or Square Online. In this blog, we will cover some of the key elements of restaurant website design and share some vital tips to create a long-lasting responsive website design for your restaurant. 

How can you make your restaurant website stand out?

If a potential customer or existing customers visit your website, it should be easy for them to swiftly find the details of your restaurant and menu, contact you via phone, email or social channels and get an idea about your restaurant offering. A simple yet clean design can enable your users to fulfill all of these things.

It is possible that you have multiple goals for your website along with certain ideas that you want to execute as a part of your integrated marketing plan. In essence, these objectives will actually work on the experience you provide to your customers. For instance, if your objective is to enable online ordering through the website, the user experience you provide will impact more orders positively. However, if you are looking to increase more visitors in-store then the user experience will have to be tweaked to encourage more users to visit your restaurant in person. 

Every restaurant website is unique because of their individual business model and goals. But there are some standard elements that you should consider and we will discuss that in this post. With the help of these components, you can work on providing a better user experience that aligns with your marketing goals. 

What are Website Content trends to follow?

As a restaurant owner, you are always looking for new ideas to market your restaurant because you are in search of new customers and keep them coming back for your services. You would like to have a competitive edge over your rival restaurants and show users what makes your restaurant special. You can include a blog on your website that displays information about the kind of food you offer along with pictures and awards & recognition if you have got any. 

When you are offering online orders or encouraging customers to visit your restaurant, you will need to include pictures of your restaurant , your kitchen and the cooked food.These days, it is beneficial to include video testimonials of some of your customers or a video of behind the scenes with your staff to help users understand the culture at your restaurant. 

What are the most effective color combination to use for a restaurant website?

The right colors can affect the diners’ mood and it can make them calm, excited or hungry. Similarly, colors are extremely important for a restaurant website too as it affects the response rates and text readability. If you are unsure about the use of colors in your website, a good place to start is to include the colors that match your restaurant decor so it will be good for your branding. 

Now, as you are running a restaurant, your focus should be on colors that generally help to improve the user’s appetite. For example, you must avoid using colors like black and purple as they are hunger suppressants. Instead, you can use colors like red and yellow which makes the customers excited and hungrier. Some of the most popular brands like McDonalds, KFC, Pizza Hut etc all follow the same model. There is no guarantee that it will work but it will be a good start if you are not sure. 

Tips to Create a Long-lasting Restaurant Web Design

Now, we will talk about some of the most effective tips to create engaging restaurant web design. 

1. Understand The User’s Reason To Visit Your Website

Before you begin, it is important to understand why the user is on your website and most probably, they will come under these categories:

  • Tourists from out of town
  • New local customers
  • Existing customers

You must think about these three types of visitors when you are building your website.

reason-for-website

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Tourists are generally looking for some new and trendy places to eat before they visit the town. It is highly possible that they will be evaluating your website with other eateries in the city. If they are a tourist, they would mostly be on a mobile which means that a mobile responsive website is vital to grab their attention. If they decide to come to your restaurant that means you have won a new customer and may also get a referral. 

So, just like the location of a restaurant, a website is crucial for your overall marketing strategy. An existing customer would mostly be looking for the shortest path to a menu, directions to the restaurant or a contact number to place an order or make a reservation. You must ensure that all the information is easily available and there should be no need for multiple clicks. 

2. Select Suitable Design Elements

The color, font and the design of your website should amplify the restaurant vibe and something that you would like to show to the world. For that reason, choosing a quirky font means that the restaurant is trendy and updated. Apart from that, a calmer font, color scheme and design means that the restaurant is laid back and casual. For instance, if a restaurant does well to include a lot of different fonts like for the brand name, page title and menu then it is doing a great job. Use of multiple colors in different elements of the website like the header, footer etc can reinforce the design. 

3. Presume the User is Visiting Your Restaurant

As a restaurant owner, you are well aware of the importance of atmosphere in your physical store. This includes having clean tables, vibrant colors, dynamic lighting and a calm and welcoming atmosphere. The website is quite similar to having a physical store and restaurant owners should keep this in mind when designing their website. When someone visits your website, they are entering your digital space and will most likely judge the quality of your food and service depending on the look and feel of your website. Your website presents the first impression of your business so it is important to keep it perfect at all times. If you have a great website, you will have a competitive advantage over other restaurants competing with you.

4. Use High-Resolution Images

High-resolution images are a very helpful tool in your marketing inventory. It speaks a lot about your business, atmosphere, food, staff and overall style quotient. It is best to include a large image upfront as the background image of your introduction. If you are located in a nice neighbourhood, you can choose to use an image which depicts that. If the outer location is not pretty, you can use the image of the interior. If your restaurant is not good looking but the food is great, you can also include food images. Moreover, if you have good staff and a beautiful kitchen setup, you can feature some behind the scene images too. 

restaurant-image

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If you are looking to go above and beyond, you can use a video of your food being prepared. Though, try not to include a video just to include one. Look to add high quality visuals that offer the best appearance. When adding images, look to add the strongest images first and then follow it up with more pictures on the lower end of the page. You don’t need to invest in high-quality photographers and it doesn’t have to be an expensive affair. It is ideal to put the dish in the lightbox before taking pictures on a smartphone camera for great results. 

5. Be Clear About Your Food

A crystal clear message about your offering is crucial for search engines and at the same time informs the visitors about your business mission and food. Various people will have a unique experience and respond to distinct kinds of information. It is a given that high resolution images are visually appealing to website visitors but you should avoid ignoring textual readers. Including both visual and text based information will engage a wider audience and cast a solid first impression. 

It is quite common to indicate the type of restaurant setting you have along with the kind of food that you serve. These things are quite basic but often forgotten by business owners. You have about three seconds to grab a user’s attention and if you are able to show them a stunning image along with basic information about the restaurant, then your restaurant will have improved sales.

6. Use More Than One Visual Appeal

On the home page just after the basic introduction, you can include an elaborate description of your restaurant. It is ideal to follow the basic advertising principles of various types of appeal like:

  • Emotions – are you locally and ethically sourcing your ingredients?
  • Utility Appeal – Most users respond to the service speed or value for money for their meal.

Preferably, you should try to include different types of appeal in the body of the website to connect with diverse personalities. 

7. Illustrate That You Are Human

Legitimacy is exceedingly treasured currently in advertising and it is for a solid reason. It is quite a regressive approach to follow outdated brand principles from a decade ago. You must show the visitors about your existence and what makes you stand out. There is no need to add a “What Makes Us Different” section to compulsively prove to them that you are different. You just need to add details like:

  • When and how you were founded
  • Where do you source your food from
  • How it is cooked
  • How did you get inspiration for your menu
  • Information about your head chef and staff

Offering more information about your brand will definitely help you create a distinct image without trying excessively. 

8. Appropriate Format For Your Menu

Your menu will eventually become one of the most visited pages of your website. For that to happen, it should be engaging, dynamic and quite easy to navigate. To design an impelling menu, you will need to type the dishes on the website. By doing so, the details can be scaled and parsed on multiple search engines. To make it easier for the mobile users, try to publish the menu on a single page which does not require any clicks to navigate. 

What you need to understand from this experience is that you should never upload a JPG or PDF. That is because the content will be difficult to read on a mobile or tablet. Moreover, because an image or a PDF is difficult to index, including them on your website will hamper your website ranking. 

9. Location Details and Operation Hours

A first time user will most likely want to know about the location of your restaurant, the operation hours and also the directions to reach your restaurant. Hence, if you are looking to enhance your chances of getting and converting clients, these details should be easy to access from your website. New age restaurants now add a digital map and a marked location with the help of Google Maps. 

contact-us

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You can also contemplate adding a mobile number with proper tags so that the customers can get in touch with you if and when they need it. But, where do you fit this information on your website? Well, you can create a separate “Contact Us” page and include it in the “About Us” section of your website. 

10. Link Your Instagram To Display Pictures

You want the visitors to come to your restaurant for a dine-in experience. Hence, you have to grab their attention with the images of the food that you serve at your restaurant. By linking your website to Instagram, your instagram grid will be directly displayed on your website. This can be easily managed by adding a plugin or getting it customized by a website design company

link-instagram

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Sharing high-quality images of the dishes you have on the menu are critical to draw customers to your restaurant. It is easy to add a description of each item that users can see when they hover on the image. Moreover, you must add regular posts so that the users can have something new to see whenever they visit your website. 

11. Track Your User Behavior

How can you ensure that your website is actually doing well and generating enough sales? It is not easy for a restaurant because the ultimate conversion is through dine-in and phone calls. It is not possible to track walk-ins and for small businesses, call tracking is an expensive affair. The least you can do is to track visitor data on Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools. Try to ensure that you have a low bounce rate and the users actually stay on your website when you work so hard to bring them to the website in the first place. 

12. Set up Social Channels

Ensuring your business is well represented on various social media channels will generate direct sales from these channels and also help you organically rank higher on Google Search results. 

  • You must ensure that your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc are branded well and feature quality content just like your website.
  • Try not to post only when you are about to close, else the users will have no motivation to follow you.
  • It is important to link all social channels back to your website.

13. Hire a Website Design Company

Restaurant website design seems like a lot of work and we understand that if you are a small business, it is difficult to have enough resources to handle everything. This is where a professional web design agency can handle everything from taking high quality images of your restaurant and the food to building a dynamic website that wins new users and enthralls existing customers. 

Final words

Having a flawed website design can hamper your business. So, if you are planning to show your restaurant as an exquisite dining experience, your restaurant website design should be of superior quality too. Always remember that the first impression counts and once an opinion is formed, it is difficult to change their minds. Hence, it is imperative that you take enough time to design your website or get help from an experienced web design services company. 

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Dhruvil is a marketer for Nimblechapps, an app development solutions company joining December 2014, based out of Sydney, Australia. He has worked briefly as a Branding and Digital Marketing Manager before moving to Australia. At Nimblechapps, he worked on Social Media Marketing, Branding, Email Marketing and Blogging. Dhruvil studies Business at University of Western Sydney, and also handles Operations for the company in Australia.