Easy Restaurant Website Design
Tips for designing an easy-to-use website
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In any business, the first impression on potential customers is arguably the most important marketing moment. It colors people's reception of everything that follows. The restaurant business is no exception. Today, the first impression is often made not in person or in-house, but with your website. Follow these easy restaurant website design tips to ensure your online presence is working to attract new patrons and keep existing ones happy.
Make Basic Information Easy to Find
People on your website typically want to see basic information right away. Design your website so the important details about your establishment are readily visible on the home page. Include your address, phone number, email address, and hours. List what days you're closed, along with your hours. Note whether you are cash-only, or what credit cards you accept if you don't take all the major ones. Clearly identify yourself as a BYOB if applicable. If you charge a corking fee, customers appreciate knowing that, too.
Design the Website to Complement Brand
Loud colors, animations, flashing images, silly fonts, and other cheesy or tacky attempts to grab attention are off-putting. They make your website unpleasant to read and alienate customers. However, in moderation, some of these design choices may suit a children's restaurant. Tailor your website to reflect the characteristics you attribute to your establishment. Think of website design as part of your restaurant's dècor. Subtle colors, standard legible fonts, and user-friendly layout are generally best. If you design your own website, always get outside opinions; fresh, uninvolved eyes see things much differently than you will after immersing yourself in the project.
Make the Website Easy to Navigate
Opt for multiple pages. This prevents clutter and complication. Several pages allow you to sell yourself better and to employ more search engine optimization (SEO). Run your navigation menu along the top of every website page, or down the left side. At minimum, there should be links to your home page and menu pages. If you're willing to invest in professional photographs, a page showcasing impressive-looking dishes is a strong way to entice diners. If your restaurant offers a variety of services, such as more than one daily meal, weekend brunches, private parties, catering, baked goods or other sales, office lunches, or others, one or more pages highlighting these services is helpful.
Differentiate Your Restaurant from the Competition
Your website doesn't have to be just a place to list your hours and menu. Look at it as a marketing tool. Engage readers with something more intimate about your restaurant or staff. Describe your food in ways that appeal to the senses. Have your chef write up a few paragraphs about the process of designing specials or your most popular dishes. Create a staff recommendations page. Devote pages to your unique or specialized foods and beverages. If your restaurant is guided by a philosophy, explain it. Gather a few supportive quotations from trusted, well-known local personalities. These and other features establish a stronger relationship with the public and make your restaurant seem more welcoming and personal.
Written by: Jon Mohrman