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The Basics of French Restaurant Website Design

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Your website is an important liaison between your restaurant and its patrons. When people visit your website, they generally know what they're looking for, and they want to find it without aggravation. French restaurants are presumed to offer attentive, skilled service and have an air of class, style, and refined taste. These expectations carry over to your restaurant's website. To bolster your establishment's image, your website must be user-friendly, informative, and visually attractive.

Basic Design for an Elegant Restaurant

The style, class, and taste associated with French restaurants should carry over to your website. Loud colors and obnoxious fonts quickly shatter expectations of elegance. A black background with white lettering is a safe, standard color scheme. Shades of gray or a burgundy reminiscent of France's prized wines are other good background options. Cursive fonts are common on French restaurant menus and websites, and they add a touch of class when legible and large enough. Graphics add flavor to a web page, and are handy for breaking up lengthier blocks of text that online readers find unappealing. Use high-quality graphics that fit the image and character your restaurant portrays.

User-Friendly Layout and Navigation

Many restaurant website visitors seek basic information, such as your hours, address, phone number, or which credit cards you accept. This information, as well as other details like whether your restaurant is a BYOB or cash-only, an email address, and if reservations are necessary or recommended, should be easily found together on one page, probably your home page. Depending on the length and number of menus, you may want individual pages for each, or one page for all; either way, make links to lunch, dinner, brunch, dessert, wine, and other menus obvious. Build separate pages for other services, such as catering or private party rentals. Display the main navigation menu prominently along the top or left side of all pages. Refrain from using French text on your website beyond the menus. While it may seem cute, it will confuse or annoy many site visitors.

Grab Attention Right Away

Put something on your home page to distinguish your restaurant from the competition and seize attention. Photographs of your restaurant's food are effective, assuming the food looks fresh, lovingly prepared, and delicious. Pictures of your restaurant can be a nice addition if you have noteworthy atmosphere and dècor. Although it adds expense, this facet of your website calls for a professional touch. Hire a photographer to properly light and capture your food and restaurant, and use the pictures throughout your website.

Avoid pasting a pack of customer testimonials onto your landing page; they are overused online, and web readers are likely to skip them and even doubt their authenticity. If you have (or can arrange for) one brief, particularly flattering quotation from a famous or trusted source or a strong professional review, you can certainly display it proudly on the front page.

Add Interactivity

Extend the association of top-notch service with a French restaurant to your website. Include a page or two that allow patrons to interact with the restaurant. Enable the public to submit feedback about their experiences via email or online form. This demonstrates an interest in customer satisfaction, and can be a valuable tool for improving your business. Programs are available that facilitate taking reservations online, too. Of course, only add interactivity if you are willing to consistently and closely monitor it and respond to it.

Written by: Jon Mohrman