Your restaurant website is your new front door.
That's why it's so important to create a website that is informative, engaging, and visually appealing.
Your website should showcase your restaurant's unique personality and offer visitors a glimpse of what they can expect when they dine with you.
- "A well-designed and optimized restaurant website can help you attract new customers, boost your online visibility, and drive more traffic to your restaurant." - Saif Alnasur, Growth Manager at Eat App.
The good news is that you don't need to be a web, graphic designer, or developer to create a great website for your own restaurant business.
There are many easy-to-use website builders available that can help you create a professional-looking website without any prior experience.
What's the reason behind a restaurant website?
A restaurant website is a digital storefront that allows customers to learn about your restaurant, make reservations, buy gift cards, and find information about your events and experiences.
It is not an online menu or brochure, and it should not be a substitute for your Facebook page. Instead, your website should be an extension of your restaurant, providing a similar level of engagement and answering the questions that your guests have.
Here are some specific purposes of a restaurant website template:
- To generate leads and bookings. Your website should make it easy for customers to find out more about your restaurant and make a reservation. You can do this by including clear contact information, a reservation form, and a menu.
- To promote your brand. Your website is a great way to tell your brand story and showcase your unique personality. You can do this by featuring your food, your team, and your philosophy.
- To drive traffic to your social media channels. Your website should include links to your social media profiles so that customers can follow you for the latest news and updates.
- To provide customer service. Your website can be a valuable resource for customers, providing them with information about your hours of operation, your menu, and your location. You can also use your website to answer frequently asked questions.
5 Easy steps to create a restaurant website
Your restaurant needs a new website now. New and existing guests expect to find you online. Whether you're opening a new restaurant online or updating an existing website, here are 5 basic steps to get started:
1. Decide on a website-building platform
A content management system (CMS) is a software application that allows you to create and manage your own website without any coding knowledge. CMSs typically come with pre-made templates that you can customize to fit your needs.
When choosing a CMS for your restaurant website, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Your budget. CMSs can range in price from free to hundreds of dollars per month.
- Your technical skills. Some CMSs are more user-friendly than others. If you're not comfortable with technology, choose a CMS that is easy to use.
- The features you need. Consider what features are important to you, such as the ability to sell online, take reservations, or manage a blog.
Once you've chosen a CMS, you can start building your website.
The process will vary depending on the CMS you choose, but most CMSs will allow you to add content, change the design, and manage your website settings.
Here are some of the most popular CMSs for restaurants:
- WordPress: WordPress is the most popular CMS in the world. It is free to use and has a wide range of features and templates.
- Wix: Wix is another popular CMS that is known for its user-friendly interface. It offers a drag-and-drop builder that makes it easy to create a website without any coding knowledge.
- Squarespace: Squarespace is a more premium CMS that offers a wider range of features and templates. It is also known for its mobile-friendly design.
- Joomla: Joomla is a free and open-source CMS that is known for its flexibility and scalability. It is a good choice for restaurants that need a lot of features and customization options.
- Drupal: Drupal is another free and open-source CMS that is known for its security and performance. It is a good choice for restaurants that need a high-traffic website.
- GoDaddy: GoDaddy Website Builder is an editing and publishing tool that helps you create a website and is reported to be good for beginners. It has a built-in editor that you use to add images and text, and it helps secure your domain name.
No matter which CMS you choose, make sure to read reviews before committing to one. This will help you choose the right CMS for your needs and budget.
2. Establish a website domain name
Your domain name is the address of your website on the internet. It is the part that comes after the "www." in the URL.
For example, our domain name is italianrestaurant.com.
Since your restaurant or bar already has a name, we suggest you use that name as your domain name. This will make it easier for customers to find your website.
You can register a domain name through a domain registrar. There are many different domain registrars available, so compare prices before you buy.
We also suggest you pay for your domain name instead of using the free one that comes with most web-building platforms. The free domain names are often long and complicated, and they can make it difficult for customers to remember your website.
All of the platforms in Step 1 allow you to purchase a domain name. The cost of a domain name varies depending on the registrar and the length of the domain name.
3. Create your content
This is where the fun begins! Website content is the words and images that you use to tell your restaurant's story and convince visitors to take action.
Whether it's making a dinner reservation, purchasing a gift card, or prepaying for an experience, your website content should be clear, concise, and persuasive.
Here are some of the must-have website content for restaurants:
- Homepage: Your homepage is the first thing visitors will see, so it's important to make a good impression. Include a clear call to action, such as "Make a Reservation" or "Learn More."
- About Us: This page should tell your restaurant's story and introduce your team. Share your unique selling proposition (USP) and what makes your restaurant special.
- Menu: Your menu should be easy to read and navigate. Include high-quality photos of your food and clear descriptions of each dish.
- Contact Us: Make it easy for visitors to get in touch with you. Include your address, phone number, and email address.
- Blog: A blog is a great way to share your restaurant's story, showcase your food, and connect with customers.
- Reviews: Social proof is a powerful tool. Encourage customers to leave reviews on your website.
- Reservations: Make it easy for customers to make reservations online.
- Gift Cards: Sell gift cards online so customers can give the gift to your restaurant.
- Delivery: If you offer delivery, be sure to include this information on your website.
These are just a few of the must-have website content for restaurants. The specific content that you need will depend on your business and your goals.
But by creating clear, concise, and persuasive content, you can encourage people to take action and become customers.
More on this topic below.
4. Get ready to design your website
Now that you have your content planned and your domain name secured, it's time to build your website. You can either hire a web designer or developer to do this for you, or you can do it yourself using a content management system (CMS).
If you decide to do it yourself, there are many different CMSs available, such as WordPress, Wix, and Squarespace. Each CMS has its own strengths and weaknesses, so it's important to choose one that is right for you.
Once you've chosen a CMS, you can start building your website. The process will vary depending on the CMS you choose, but most CMSs will allow you to add content, change the design, and manage your website settings.
When designing your website, it's important to keep mobile users in mind. More and more people are using their smartphones and tablets to access the internet, so it's important to make sure your website looks good and functions properly on all devices.
Here are some tips for designing a mobile-friendly website:
- Use a responsive design. A responsive design means that your website will automatically adjust its layout to fit the screen size of the device it is being viewed on. This ensures that your website looks good and is easy to use on any device.
- Use large fonts and images. People using mobile devices often have smaller screens, so it's important to make sure your text and images are easy to read.
- Avoid using too much clutter. A cluttered website can be difficult to navigate on a mobile device.
- Make sure your website is fast. People using mobile devices are used to fast-loading websites.
5. Make sure to keep your website up to date
Once your website is up and running, it's important to keep it updated. This means adding new content, such as images, menu items, and events, as they happen. You should also check with your CMS and web-building platform regularly to see what updates are available.
Keeping your website updated is important for a few reasons. First, it shows potential customers that you are active and engaged.
Second, it ensures that your website is up-to-date with the latest information about your restaurant. Third, it can help to improve your website's ranking in search engines.
Here are some tips for updating your restaurant website:
- Add new content regularly. This could include new menu items, photos of your food, or information about upcoming events.
- Keep your website design fresh. If your website looks outdated, it will make potential customers less likely to visit.
- Check for errors. Typos and grammatical errors can make your website look unprofessional.
- Back up your website regularly. This will protect your website in case of a disaster.
- Use analytics to track your website traffic. This will help you see what content is resonating with your audience and make informed decisions about what to update.
What important information should your website include?
Remember, you're already an expert on your restaurant. You know your menu, your hours, and your location inside and out. But do you know what your customers are looking for when they visit your website?
The best websites are the ones that answer the questions that people are asking. If your website doesn't have the information that people are looking for, they'll just go back to Google and search again.
So, when you're creating your restaurant's website, think about what people are searching for. What are they hoping to find? What questions do they have?
Once you know what they're looking for, you can make sure to include that information on your website.
Here are some questions that potential customers might have:
- What kind of food do you serve?
- What are your hours of operation?
- Do you have a liquor license?
- Do you offer delivery or takeout?
- What are your prices?
- What are your reviews like?
- What are your specials?
- Do you have any upcoming events?
- How can I make a reservation?
By answering these questions, you can make sure that your website is a valuable resource for potential customers. This will help you attract more visitors and convert them into customers.
New and first-time customers are searching for a place to eat, and they are likely to compare your website to other restaurants in the area.
That's why it's important to make your restaurant menu on your website stand out, look professional, and provide the information they are looking for, such as your opening hours, how to book a table, and the type of food you offer.
Returning customers are on your website to make a reservation, buy a gift card, pre-pay for an event, or order takeout. This information should be easy to find and not hidden behind too many clicks.
Your website is no different from your physical restaurant space. Imagine if someone had to walk around your restaurant for 15 minutes before someone greeted them, or if they ended up in the kitchen when they were trying to pay the bill.
The same care that went into planning the guest experience and functionality of your restaurant should go into your website as well.
Straightforward navigation is always more user-friendly than complex and difficult. Anything that confuses a guest will lose that guest.
Start by thinking about the problem you are solving for guests. They are probably hungry. How can you show them that you provide the guest experience and food that they are looking for?
What other elements should you include on your website?
The pages of your website contain the content (and reservation links) that visitors will see. Only include pages and elements that add or improve the customer's overall experience.
The homepage is the first page that visitors will see, so it's important to make a good first impression.
The homepage should include the following information:
- The name of your restaurant
- The type of food you serve
- Your business hours
- A call to action, such as "Book a Table" or "Learn More"
Booking a table online is the best way to get new and returning customers through your door.
With Eat App, you can easily add a "Book a Table" button to your homepage, so guests can make a reservation without having to leave your website. Eat App platform also allows you to customize your reservations, let guests choose add-ons, and even pre-pay to avoid no-shows. Your team will be able to manage reservations and other important tasks in one platform.
Here are some of the benefits of having a "Book a Table" button on your website:
- It's convenient for guests. They can make a reservation on their own time, without having to call or email you.
- It's efficient for your team. You can manage reservations from one place, and you'll never have to worry about double bookings.
- It can help you increase bookings. Studies have shown that restaurants with a "Book a Table" button on their website get more bookings than those that don't.
If you're looking for a way to make it easier for guests to book a table at your restaurant, then adding a "Book a Table" button to your website is a great option.
The contact page should include your address, phone number, email address, and social media links. You can also add a newsletter signup form to this page.
The "About" page is where you can tell your restaurant's story and share what makes you unique. This is a great place to include information about your team, your philosophy, and your commitment to quality.
Here are a few ideas to start your "About" page:
- Your story: Share how your restaurant came to be. What inspired you to open it? What makes your restaurant unique?
- Your food: Where does your food come from? How is it prepared? What are your signature dishes?
- Your team: Introduce your team members and their roles in the restaurant. What makes them passionate about your food?
- Your values: What are your core values? How do they manifest themselves in your restaurant?
- Your commitment to quality: What steps do you take to ensure that your food is always of the highest quality?
- Your vision for the future: What do you hope to achieve with your restaurant?
Header and Footer
The header and footer are elements that appear on every page of your website. This means that they appear on every page of the website, making it easy to navigate between pages.
The header typically includes the website's logo, name, and navigation menu. The footer typically includes the website's contact information, copyright notice, and social media links.
There are two main types of headers:
- Standard header: This type of header displays all of the website's navigation links across the top of the page.
- Hamburger menu: This type of header is a more compact option that displays a small icon in the top corner of the page. When clicked, the hamburger menu opens to reveal a list of navigation links.
The footer can also be customized to include different information. Some common items that are included in the footer include:
- Contact information (address, phone number, email address)
- Opening hours
- Social media links
- Copyright notice
It is important to place the most important information in the footer, such as contact information and opening hours. This way, visitors can easily find this information without having to scroll back to the top of the page.
Website optimization for restaurants
To set your restaurant website apart from all the others out there, you need to give it the same respect and attention that you give your food and the guest experience at your business.
Here are some tips:
1. Keep mobile users in consideration
Creating a mobile-friendly website is essential for any serious restaurant owner. More than half of all web traffic comes from mobile devices, so if your website is not optimized for mobile, you are missing out on a lot of potential customers.
To make your website mobile-friendly, you need to simplify your content and navigation so that it looks good on smaller screens. You also need to make sure that all of your text is legible on mobile screens.
The good news is that most web-building platforms have built-in mobile optimization features. This means that your restaurant's website will automatically look good on all devices, including desktops, tablets, and smartphones.
However, it is still a good idea to go over your website and make sure that the content is optimized for mobile users.
You can use this tool to check if your restaurant website is mobile-friendly: https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly
Here are some additional tips for creating a mobile-friendly restaurant website:
- Use large fonts and images that are easy to read on small screens.
- Avoid using too much text on a single page.
- Use a simple navigation menu that is easy to find and use.
- Make sure your website loads quickly on mobile devices.
- Test your website on different mobile devices to make sure it looks good and functions properly.
2. Make use of the website "fold"
The fold is the part of a web page that is visible without scrolling. It's named after the days when newspapers were folded in half, so passersby could only see the top half of the front page.
The top half of the front page had to grab their attention, or they would not stop to buy the newspaper.
The same is true for your restaurant website. According to recent studies, the first 10 seconds of a page visit are critical to grab a reader's attention. This means that you need to put the most important information and a call to action (CTA) in the fold.
A call to action is a piece of text that tells the reader what you want them to do. For example, CTA might say "Book a table now" or "Learn more about our menu."
But the fold is not the only thing that matters. You can also use the rest of your website to tell a story to your audience. As they scroll down, they can learn more about your restaurant and what you have to offer.
This will help you guide them to the CTAs and make it clear what should come next.
So, what should you put in the fold? Here are a few ideas:
- A clear and concise headline that tells the reader what your website is about.
- A high-quality image that captures the attention of the reader.
- A strong call to action that tells the reader what you want them to do.
- A short description of your restaurant and what you offer.
- A link to your menu or contact information.
3. Add social media links to your footer
Your footer is a great place to add links to your social media profiles. This gives you a chance to connect with your customers on a more personal level and showcase your brand on other platforms.
When adding social media links to your footer, make sure to use clear and concise text labels so that visitors know where they are going. You can also use icons to represent each social media platform.
Here are some tips for adding social media links to your footer:
- Use relevant and up-to-date links.
- Make sure the links are clickable and easy to find.
- Use consistent formatting for all of your links.
- Consider using social media icons to make your links more visually appealing.
You can also use a social media widget to add your social media profiles to your footer. This is a more visual way to represent your social media presence.
Once you have added social media links to your footer, be sure to link back to your website from your social media profiles. This will help to drive traffic to your website and keep your social media accounts active.
4. Check your website loading speed
Website loading speed is the time it takes for a website to load completely after a user clicks on a link or enters the address in the browser. A slow-loading website can lead to high bounce rates (visitors leaving the site after viewing only one page) and lost sales.
There are a number of things you can do to improve your website loading speed, such as:
- Optimize your images: Images are often the largest files on a website, so optimizing them can have a big impact on loading speed. You can optimize images by reducing their file size without sacrificing quality.
- Minify your code: Minifying code removes unnecessary whitespace and comments, which can also help to improve loading speed.
- Use a content delivery network (CDN): A CDN is a network of servers that deliver website content from the server that is closest to the user. This can help to improve loading speed for users in different parts of the world.
- Use a caching plugin: A caching plugin stores a copy of your website's pages in the user's browser. This means that the pages don't have to be reloaded every time the user visits your site.
If you are using a content management system (CMS), such as WordPress, there are often plugins available that can help you to improve your website loading speed. Check with your CMS's documentation or help center for more information.
Here are some additional tips for improving your website loading speed:
- Use a lightweight theme.
- Avoid using too many plugins.
- Keep your website code up to date.
- Use a reliable web hosting provider.
5. Feature high-quality images on your restaurant website
High-quality images can make a big difference in the success of your restaurant website. They can help you to:
- Attract attention: When people visit your website, the first thing they will see is your images. If your images are high-quality and visually appealing, they will be more likely to stay on your site and learn more about your restaurant.
- Create a positive impression: Your images can help to create a positive impression of your restaurant and its food. They can show off the quality of your ingredients, the creativity of your dishes, and the inviting atmosphere of your dining room.
- Increase sales: High-quality images can help to increase sales by making people more likely to order food from your restaurant. They can also help to boost your online presence and attract new customers.
Here are some tips for featuring high-quality images on your restaurant website:
- Use professional-grade cameras and lenses: This will ensure that your images are sharp and clear.
- Take photos in natural light: This will give your images a more natural and appealing look.
- Edit your photos to improve their color, contrast, and brightness: There are many free and paid photo editing tools available.
- Choose images that are relevant to your restaurant: This could include photos of your food, your staff, your dining room, or your surrounding area.
- Use a consistent style throughout your website: This will help to create a cohesive and professional look.
6. Add your menu to your website
It's tempting to upload your menu as an image or PDF file, but this is not ideal for mobile users. They will have to zoom in and out to read the menu, which can be inconvenient and frustrating.
Instead, you should type your menu into your website.
This will allow the menu to automatically resize for different devices, making it easy for everyone to read.
Here are some tips for adding your menu to your website:
- Use a clear and concise font that is easy to read.
- Use large font sizes, especially for mobile users.
- Use short descriptions for each menu item.
- Use images to illustrate your menu items.
- Make sure your menu is easy to find and navigate.
You can also use a menu plugin to make it easier to add and manage your menu. There are many free and paid menu plugins available, so you can find one that fits your needs.
Quick tips for writing website content for restaurants
1. Create relevant content
When people visit your website, they are looking for information about your restaurant. What kind of food do you serve? What is your atmosphere like?
What are your hours of operation? Make sure your content answers these questions and provides other relevant information that would be helpful to potential customers.
2. Write with your readers in mind
Use language that speaks to your guests and makes them feel like you are writing directly to them. Use words like "you" and "your" instead of "we" and "I." This will help to create a more personal and engaging connection with your readers.
3. Create powerful headlines
Headlines are important for two reasons. First, they help visitors quickly scan your website and find the information they are looking for.
Second, they can help to improve your website's search engine ranking. When writing headlines, make sure they are clear, concise, and relevant to the content of the page.
4. Keep it brief and relevant
People are busy and they don't have time to read long, rambling articles. Get to the point quickly and make sure your content is relevant to the topic at hand. Use bullet points and lists to break up your text and make it easier to read.
5. Correct any spelling errors
Nothing will make your website look more unprofessional than a bunch of spelling mistakes. Before you publish your content, be sure to proofread it carefully. You can also use a free grammar checker like Grammarly to help you catch errors.
How to advertise your restaurant's website
Once you have created a website for your restaurant, it is important to promote it to drive traffic and attract new customers. Here are some tips:
- Use your restaurant newsletter to drive traffic: Include links to your website in your newsletter.
- Direct your social media audience to your website: Include links to your website in your bio and posts.
- Optimize your website for search engines: When people search for restaurants online, they are likely to use keywords related to your business.
- Run paid ads: Target your ads to people who are likely to be interested in your restaurant.
- Get listed on online directories: Provide accurate and up-to-date information about your restaurant.
- Attend industry events: Have business cards and brochures with your website information.
- Partner with other businesses: Choose businesses that are complementary to your own.
Must-knows for creating a restaurant website
When creating a great restaurant website name, it is important to keep your guests in mind. Here are some must-knows:
- Focus on the user: Think about what your guests want to know, not just what you want to tell them. What kind of information will be most helpful to them?
- Make it mobile-friendly: More and more people are using their phones and tablets to access the internet, so it is important to make sure your website is mobile-friendly.
- Keep your contact information up-to-date: Make sure your website has your contact information, such as your address, phone number, and email address. This information should be easy to find and should be updated regularly.
- Use a reservation system, like Eat App: A reservation system can help you manage your bookings and ensure that your guests have a table when they arrive.
- Promote your website: Let people know about your website by promoting it in your marketing materials and on social media.
- Keep your website updated: Make sure to update your website regularly with new information, such as menus, events, and photos.
- A restaurant website is an essential tool for restauranteurs.
- It should be visually appealing, easy to navigate, and provide visitors with information about your restaurant.
- It should include a clear call to action and be mobile-friendly.
- Use high-quality photos and optimize your website for search engines.
- Track the performance of your website.
What should be included on a restaurant website?
1. An About Us page for a restaurant
2. Briefly describe your restaurant's history, what makes it unique, and why customers should patronize it in the opening paragraph. Talk about your food in the second paragraph.
3. Thirdly, describe to the customers what they may expect from your restaurant.
What kind of website is one for a restaurant?
A restaurant website is a commercial website that seeks to inform visitors about the restaurant's food, services, setting, and other amenities. It also offers driving instructions to the restaurant.
Why is it crucial for restaurants to have an appealing website?
Why It's Important to Have a Website for Your Restaurant. Any firm can promote its goods and services on a website to generate inquiries, execute orders, and handle other commercial operations. Customers therefore go to a restaurant's website to find things to eat.
Can I add a "book now" button to my Wix website?
Yes, you can! Get set up in 5 minutes and start taking bookings for your venue. Manage your reservations on the go on your phone, tablet, or your laptop. Click here.