When deciding on a restaurant to go to, what do you usually do first?
For a whopping 77% of people, they check the restaurant website first before dining in or making an order. And from those people, 60% have been discouraged from visiting the restaurant after checking the website.
While the most common reason is that they didn’t like the menu items, there are a lot of other factors that affected their decision. 33% say that it was because the website was hard to navigate, 30% say that the menus were hard to read, and 30% say that they were turned off because the website looked old and outdated.
As you can see, your restaurant website is a critical part of ensuring your restaurant’s success. Your website is your chance to catch your potential customer’s attention, as well as create a great first impression.
A great restaurant website should not only be visually beautiful and striking, but effective as well. It should be easy for your customers to know about your opening hours, view your menu or create an order.
To ensure that you create the best restaurant website, read on for our tips.
How To Design Your Website
1. Include the important information
Let’s start with the basics first. Your website should contain all the necessary information about your restaurant. This includes the following:
- Your restaurant logo and name
- Operating hours
- Location, map, and directions
- Branches (if you have multiple locations)
- Phone number and other contact information
- Links to your social media account
All this information should be regularly updated as well. You don’t want to annoy your potential customers by having them call a phone number that doesn’t work anymore, right?
Also, your social media accounts should be properly embedded on your website. This makes it easier for your customers to view and follow your accounts. It will keep them updated with the latest news about your restaurant and make it easy for them to connect with you.
2. Have a great menu design
The menu is the most visited page of a restaurant’s website.
Make sure your menu is complete and up to date. Include all the necessary details that your customers might be looking for, such as the price, serving amount, food description, and allergen information.
Some restaurants also add nutritional information to their menu, especially with more and more people being conscious and mindful of their health. Of course, this is dependent on the type of food you serve, but there’s no harm in trying it out. It might help in increasing your revenue as well as capturing a wider audience.
There is also menu engineering, where menu design is optimized to increase profits. It might be worth learning more about that to see if some of the strategies can be applied to your business.
3. Make ordering easy
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, online ordering is now the standard rather than the exception. In fact, it now accounts for 40% of restaurant sales.
If you haven’t adopted an online ordering system yet, now is definitely the time to do so.
There are tons of free and paid online ordering software available that you can use. Look for the one that best suits your business. Of course, you can also easily create an order form in your website builder, or through Google Forms instead.
Whichever tool you use, the main thing to remember is that your order form should be easily accessible and easy to use for your customers.
4. Make the website easy to navigate
Your website navigation is an important factor that affects your sales and conversions. If your customer can’t understand how your website works, they will leave.
Ideally, when someone visits your website, they should be able to find what they need in just 3 seconds.
The good news is, there are many ways to improve the usability of your website.
First, the layout. Stick to the usual and familiar layout that most websites use to make it easier for your customers. This means keeping the navigation bar on top, having the pages and buttons clearly named (“About Us”, “Menu”, “Order Here” etc.), and having your footer on the bottom with your information and social media links.
Your website should be consistent across different pages as well. Use the same color, font, and size. If you align your text in the center, make sure it’s the same for the other pages as well. This makes it easier for your customers to understand and use your website.
5. Optimize your site for mobile
Majority of people use their smartphones instead of their computer or laptop when researching for restaurants. As such, it is important for your website to be usable on mobile as well.
Make sure all your pages, links, and forms are still accessible and readable on mobile. Remember to scale your images as well, so that your images will still be properly displayed on the customer’s device.
Your mobile website should also have a “top to down” layout, since people are usually scrolling when they use their mobile phones. Ideally, all the information that your customer needs should be found by scrolling through your page, instead of having them go back and forth through multiple pages or having them constantly go back to the top of the page.
6. Add images or videos
As the saying goes, we eat with our eyes first. In fact, 45% of people specifically look for food photos when visiting a restaurant website.
Add visually striking photographs of your food to entice your customers. Having more visual content also helps in making your website look more striking and attention-grabbing.
Having videos will also help you stand out. The videos could range from behind the scenes of your restaurant, showing off your new items on the menu, or giving customers a view of your dining areas. You could also use the videos to tell your story, like how the owners started the restaurant, to help build your brand identity.
7. Keep your branding consistent
Speaking of branding, it should be an important factor to consider in your website.
Branding doesn’t end with just adding your logo design on your header, or using your brand colors as a color scheme for your site.
Your website should embody your brand identity. For example, if you have a warm and rustic vibe in your restaurants, you should keep that in mind when designing your website. This means using earth tones such as olive and brown on your site and favoring more rough or raw design elements.
If you have a modern restaurant, using simple and minimalistic designs is the best approach. Use colors like white, black, or gray, and have a clean, uniform layout across your pages.
Remember, your website should always complement your restaurant. Your branding should be seen through the typography, images, music, textures, and text that you’ll use on the site.
A poorly designed website will lead to lots of lost business. Thankfully, there are a lot of ways to ensure your website is striking and appealing for your customers. Make sure to apply the tips above to create a strong web presence for your restaurant.
*This is a guest post by Faviola Publico.