Hospitality Know-how

Everything You Need to Know to Create a Well-Designed Restaurant Website

Find out why it is essential for every restaurant to have an attractive website and how to create one that will inspire your visitors.

Be honest: how many times have you visited a restaurant without checking out the menu and atmosphere online first?

Your guests are certainly no different, as most people like to get a taste of what's on offer and the atmosphere online before visiting a restaurant. For this reason, a well-designed website is essential for restaurants to attract guests and pique their curiosity.

In this article, we'll show you why every restaurant needs a good website, what it should look like, and how to create one. We also offer 6 effective tips to help you get the most out of your restaurant website.


Why every restaurant needs a convenient website

How many guests check a restaurant's website before making a reservation?

According to a study by Lightspeed, more than 80 % of guests visit a restaurant's website before making a reservation.

 

This impressive figure shows how important it is today to create a well-designed restaurant website for your customers. After all, they are no longer looking for restaurants on the street, but increasingly on the Internet.

The benefits of a restaurant website are obvious to your customers: they can find your restaurant more easily through search engines such as Google, and quickly view all important information such as the menu, prices, and opening hours. This makes it easier for them to decide to visit your restaurant.

But it's not just customers who benefit from a website. As a restaurant owner, you can use it to increase your visibility and attract new customers. For example, by taking reservations and orders online, you can take your customer service to a whole new level.

You can also use your website to get direct feedback from your guests and share positive experiences with others. This not only improves your restaurant's image, but also builds trust with your customers.

But that's not all: your home page is full of possibilities. You can also showcase the culinary skills of your kitchen team, offer cooking classes, or even publish recipes and cookbooks. There are no limits to your creativity!

In short, a well-designed website is a must for any restaurant in the digital age. Not only does it improve the guest experience, but it also increases visibility and offers many opportunities to develop and market your restaurant.

How to create a perfect restaurant website

But where to start when creating a website for your restaurant? There are many options, from doing it yourself to hiring an agency or freelancer. To help you weigh the pros and cons for your restaurant, we have summarized the different choices for you.

DIY: Build your own restaurant website

Of course, you can program your own website if you have the necessary programming skills and experience in web design. This option also requires a hosting provider for web space, a lot of time, and regular updates.

Pros

You have full control over your advertising presence: you can customize the design of your website to your liking, independent of design templates, and decide where your website is hosted. With a self-programmed website, you stand out from the competition and radiate originality and uniqueness.

Cons

The time required to learn HTML is usually too much for most restaurateurs. Many restaurant owners find it difficult to manage the additional workload on top of their day-to-day business.

Website builder

A website builder, on the other hand, is ideal for beginners. This is because it does not require extensive programming skills. A website builder is an online software that provides pre-designed building blocks that can be easily assembled and customized by hand. One of the most popular providers is Wix, for example, with over 154 million users.

AI-based website builders have also become popular, making it even easier to create websites. The AI tool asks a series of questions to gather all the information needed to build a website. One example is the AI-based website builder Jimdo Dolphin.

Pros 

A website builder is designed for everyone: the easy-to-use templates and themes make it possible for less tech-savvy people to create a website for your restaurant. In addition, responsive web design is usually included in the modular system, so your customers can easily browse the site on both computers and smartphones without any additional effort on your part.

Cons

Your flexibility is severely limited when using a website builder because you must choose from pre-designed templates. Because the site builder is easy to use, the templates are kept simple, which can limit the creativity and originality of your site.

Content Management System (CMS)

If you are not a programming professional, but have some basic knowledge, you can create your website using a content management system. This software is designed to make it easy to publish content to a website. The most popular free content management system is WordPress: according to W3Techs, 43.1 % of all websites on the Internet run on this provider.

Pros

CMSs offer more design options than website building kits, and content can be updated quickly and easily. And it's free: the only costs are for web space, domain, and other paid extensions.

Cons

Design options are limited by predefined templates, as you are restricted to the features and layouts offered. You are also dependent on your provider for service and updates.

Agencies and freelancers

If you are looking for the easiest and most convenient way to create a website for your restaurant business, consider hiring professional agencies and freelancers. You can find them through search engines, comparison sites, or freelance platforms like Upwork or Fiverr.

Pros

You can have your web design needs met by experts, freeing you up to focus on your day-to-day business. Web designers ensure UX design, strong content, and an appropriate design concept that reflects your restaurant.

Cons

Agencies and freelancers are significantly more expensive than the above options and are only recommended for restaurants with sufficient financial resources or for larger projects.

DF-Artikel Website Restaurant_Übersicht_EN

Essential building blocks for your homepage

To establish your online presence, your website should be comprehensive and contain several subpages – this will leave a positive impression on your potential guests and make it easier for them to decide to visit your establishment. From the home page to the legal notice: here are the ingredients you need to create a well-designed website for your restaurant.

Home Page

The home page is the heart of your website, and the first impression visitors get of your restaurant. Authentic and high-quality images of your dishes or the ambiance of your restaurant can help create a positive atmosphere and invite guests to visit.

Digital Menu

The most important question someone asks when looking for a restaurant is: What dishes can I expect? A well-designed restaurant website should therefore include an up-to-date digital menu with appealing images.

Our Tip 💡 

Avoid using only PDF files and integrate the menu directly into your website to avoid display problems on mobile devices. Offer your guests the option to download your menu.

 

Online Ordering System 

Since the coronavirus pandemic, food delivery services have experienced a real boom and online ordering systems are still indispensable for the restaurant industry. Whether delivery or pick-up, offer your guests the ability to order directly from your website, whether through your own ordering system or by integrating external delivery services.

Contact Information

Make sure your contact information is clearly visible, including your phone number, email address, and restaurant address. Remember to also include a contact form on your website. This will simplify the communication process for your guests and allow you to answer their questions more efficiently.

Locations and Directions

You want your customers to be able to find your restaurant as easily as possible. Set up a subpage for directions to your restaurant. You can enter your address and provide detailed information on how to get there by public transportation, by car, parking options, or integrate Google Maps for better orientation.

Reservations

Give your guests the ability to reserve tables online so they can plan their visit with ease. An easy-to-use reservation system not only helps your guests, but also helps you optimize table occupancy and reduce organizational efforts.

About Us

Use the About Us page to introduce your restaurant, your vision, and your team. For example, tell stories that make your restaurant unique or give your guests a personal behind-the-scenes look.

Photo Gallery

A photo gallery provides additional visual insight into your restaurant, including images of events, decorations, and special offers. Be sure to select high-quality photos to showcase your restaurant in the best possible light.

Blog

A blog can be used on your restaurant's website to post regular updates, share special recipes, or tell other interesting stories about your restaurant that can strengthen the bond with your customers.

Impressum

And of course, do not forget to include your legal notice! This component is legally mandated for your website, particularly in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. The legal notice contains important liability information such as the owner's name and address, contact information, and legal information.

A man sits at a table in a restaurant and looks away from his laptop screen

6 Easy steps to create a practical restaurant website

A well-designed website can attract new customers, retain existing ones, and more. But what steps do you need to take to create a website for your restaurant?

Step 1: Choose the right domain name

Think of your website address as your digital business card: It's often the first thing visitors see about your site. Choose a domain name that is easy to remember, unique, and ideally includes the name of your restaurant. Make sure the name is available and not in dispute.

Step 2: Plan the structure and design

Before you start with the actual design, it is important to plan the structure of your website in detail. Think about what pages your visitors might need, such as menu, hours, reservations, etc. Then choose a design that fits your restaurant's image, is as easy to use as possible, and can be viewed on a variety of devices.

Step 3: Add relevant links and useful features

Your website should not only impress with its design, but also be practical for your customers. Add relevant links, such as to your social media profiles or review pages. Integrate useful features like online reservations or the ability to download your menu as a PDF.

Step 4: Fill your website with text

In addition to the functionality of your website, well-written and short texts are an important part of it. From the beginnings of your restaurant to special menus, wrap your stories in creative text.

Above all, make sure your copy is free of spelling and grammatical errors. This can quickly come across as unprofessional and leave a bad impression on visitors.

Step 5: Use images and videos

A picture is worth a thousand words, and your website is no different. Your homepage should feature high-quality photos of your food and your restaurant. You can also use short videos to give a sneak peek into the kitchen or special events.

Just make sure all content is high resolution and well lit. Or hire a photographer to take some quality photos of your food and space for your website.

Step 6: Integrate ratings and reviews

In the hospitality industry, customer opinions are worth their weight in gold. Encourage your visitors to leave ratings and reviews on your website or other platforms. Positive feedback can persuade potential guests and increase your credibility. You can also post reviews you receive on other platforms on your own website.

Step 7: Include your social media profiles

According to 2024 Social Media Usage and Growth Statistics, an incredible 72.5 % of the total U.S. population uses social media. Therefore, it is crucial to integrate social media to promote your website and connect with your guests.

Create a profile on popular platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Tripadvisor. Then link your social media profiles to your website and regularly share updates, photos and special offers to increase your reach.

→ Transform Your Restaurant with These Essential Social Media Strategies

Step 8: Use SEO factors

For your website to be found by others, it is important to optimize it for search engines like Google. There are several SEO factors that can help your restaurant rank higher in search results and generate.

First, you should include relevant keywords in your copy to increase your visibility. These are keywords that your target audience frequently uses when searching for restaurants on search engines. Be sure to strike the right balance here: if you use the keywords too often, it can have a negative impact on your website.

On the other hand, it is important that your website is optimized for local search queries to rank higher in local search results. You can do this by including information such as address, hours of operation, and contact information on your website.

Restaurant website: creating your digital identity

A well-designed website is essential for any restaurant today and is one of the most important marketing tools in the restaurant industry. It makes it easier for guests to decide to visit your restaurant, increases visibility, and offers a wide range of marketing opportunities.

From planning to implementation, there are many ways to create a restaurant website today. Designing a well-organized website is no longer rocket science, but important elements such as a digital menu, reservation options, and an About Us page should not be overlooked.

With careful planning and search engine optimization, your restaurant's website will become an effective marketing tool that will attract new diners and inspire returning visitors.

→ Marketing for Restaurants: The Essentials for More Success

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