Building the perfect website design for your restaurant may seem like a daunting task. Crafting the perfect restaurant website design does require a bit of know-how, perseverance and a whole lot of trial and error.
But in the end – finding the perfect website design for your restaurant can help your business stand out in the crowd and generate a buzz like never before!
Here at BrandBlast We’ve Crafted Restaurant Website Designs
Having had the pleasure of working with many restaurants throughout the years – from larger brands to smaller, localized joints; we’ve had the opportunity to hone in on what it means to have a powerful, user friendly restaurant website design.
We understand the objectives and goals of a restaurant website design in a way that allows us to craft them into personal, unique solutions for restaurants around the globe.
1. Understanding Why Someone is on the Website
For starters – why would someone be visiting your restaurant website in the first place? They’ll usually fall into one of these three categories for being on your website:
New local customers who haven’t visited before
Out of town customers who aren’t familiar with the area
Understanding the needs of these groups when building your custom restaurant website design is crucial to the success of your restaurant online.
First time customers are often shopping around for a place to eat in advance – they’re comparing the various other restaurants in town to yours online. If they’re a tourist – they’ll most likely be on a mobile device in a hotel. Which means that having a responsive (looks great on every device) website design is crucial for your business.
If they end up visiting your restaurant and enjoying their experience – you’ve just won repeat business or a referral. Meaning it’s obvious how your website is a vital component to your restaurant’s marketing strategy – just like your location and street presence.
Returning customers will probably be looking for the fastest path to a menu, directions or phone number to place a take-out order / make reservations. Making sure that information is quickly accessible and not buried behind multiple pages and clicks can dramatically increase the usability of your restaurant’s website. (Remember the 3 Click Rule)
2. Imagine Your Website Visitors are Actually Visiting a Physical Place
Restaurant owners understand the importance of ambience when it comes to their physical location. Clean tables, adequate lighting and a welcoming environment is crucial to creating a good customer experience. Your restaurant website design is no different… when someone goes to your website they’re visiting the digital representation of your restaurant.
They most certainly will judge the quality of your food, location and service based solely on your restaurant website design… (it’s harsh – but 100% true)
Your website is often times your customers’ first impression of your entire business – ensuring they have a pleasant experience is crucial to getting their business.
…and even though no book should be judged by its cover – you will have a competitive advantage if you accept this fact and work with it to utilize it to your advantage.
(If you look more put together than your competitors – visitors will have no choice but to check you out!)
3. Use Professional Grade Media in Your Restaurant Website Design
High quality media is one of the best tools in your digital marketing tool belt. It can say a lot about your restaurant’s quality, services, staff and price range. Put a large photo front and center, ideally as the background image of your website’s header (see BattleCat Coffee Bar)
If you have a boutique storefront in a nice area of your town – don’t be afraid to show that off and use it to your advantage. If your restaurant looks its best on the inside – use interior shots of your restaurant. If your space isn’t the best looking but your food is beautiful; leverage that instead. If you have a warming staff, nice kitchen and process – feature behind the scene shots of your restaurant to drum up attention.
If you’re feeling extra adventurous – use videos of your foods being prepared. However; you shouldn’t have a video simply for the purpose of having a video! Opt for the highest quality visuals that produce a specific emotion / action for the best appeal-ratio.
4Rivers is a perfect example.
Use the strongest media first – then continue with more on down the page. The best restaurant website design will highlight multiple subjects – street appeal, interior, plating, chefs etc…) as they appeal to different types of customers.
Utilizing high quality photos and videos of your foods doesn’t have to be expensive! You can start creating right from your cell phone! (Or task a staff member with documenting content for use with your restaurant’s digital marketing)
4. Create a Clear Message About Your Restaurant
A clean, concise and direct message is important for search engines but also important for telling people about your restaurant’s mission and service.
Different people respond to different types of info – while high quality images will appeal to most visitors – you shouldn’t neglect visitors who favor reading. Having both visual and textual info will engage both sides of the spectrum and leave the strongest impressions to those visiting your restaurant’s website.
5. Using Multiple Appeal-Angles
An appeal-angle is simply the path that you’re taking to appeal to a certain customer persona. These are the different demographics within your customer base.
In the body of your website’s homepage (below the introduction) you can get more detailed about your restaurant.
Follow these advertising principles to create multiple appeal-angles:
Appeal to Service – many people respond most to speed of service or price of a meal
Appeal to Emotions – is your food locally or ethically sourced? How to you treat customers? Family friendly?
Ideally; you should use multiple appeal-angles within the body of your website’s design to resonate with all the different customer personas.
6. Showing Your Human Side
Integrity and authenticity are extremely important because they are very valuable to restaurants, especially. And for good reason… it’s a reactionary movement responding to all the more shallow brand identities in the last decade or so. Show customers how you came to do what you’re doing – how did you start your restaurant? What makes it special?
You don’t need to write an intense ‘What Makes Us Special’ or ‘Our Start’ story page – those are often times awkward and difficult to create. Instead; talk about topics like:
When you launched
Where your food comes from
How is your food prepared
Where you got inspiration for your menu items
Who’s your head chef
Who the core team is
Providing more details will undoubtedly separate you from the competition. Giving more value to the overall restaurant website design process.
Should You Hire Someone for Your Restaurant Website Design?
Everyday we get inquiries from restaurant owners asking if hiring a website designer for their restaurant website design is the best move. The answer is always different – because it completely depends on the level of involvement you’d like to have.
Obviously a website designer (at least a good one) will take your objectives and desires and transfer them into the design that compliments what your website NEEDS.
A matter of time is also very critical when making this decision.
Do you want to be involved in every aspect from arrangements to underlying code? Or would you rather leave it up to a professional to handle all the grunt-work for you so you can keep doing what you love to be doing – running your restaurant?
If it’s the latter, it’s highly suggested that you source your restaurant website design from a seasoned professional – like BrandBlast! A professional website designer will create a beautiful website that boasts all the important functionalities intertwined with your input closely in mind.
If not – there’s no better time to start learning than now! It’s definitely a difficult process – however it’s extremely rewarding to craft everything yourself.
Our team has spend decades studying, crafting and perfecting our website design process – you have the same opportunity to do so yourself if you’re up for the task.
*Whether you decide to hire a developer for your restaurant website design or take it on yourself – this applies to you; “If you don’t have time to do it right – when do you have time to fix it?”
Learn more about our restaurant website design services now and see how BrandBlast can help boost your restaurant like never before with our premium website design services.