Your recipe for effective restaurant webdesign

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We take a look at restaurant website design best practice tips, and some examples to inspire you


In this day and age, a quality website is something that restaurants simply can’t afford to be without.

Word of mouth will only take you so far; you can have a killer menu, friendly staff and a beautiful restaurant, but you’ll never get the volume of customers you deserve if your web presence is weak.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that it’s also really easy and affordable to create a restaurant website that you can be proud of.

Read on for our tips for restaurant website design best practice, including six excellent examples. Alternatively, simply fill in the form at the top of this page and we’ll match you with the best agency to build your website from scratch, or take your existing one to the next level.


Restaurant website design best practice

Follow these top tips for a restaurant website that looks great and gets people through the door:


1. Include your menu

Let’s be honest; when we sit down in a new restaurant, we may appear to be browsing the menu, but chances are we already know exactly what we are ordering.

Why? Because from the moment our other half/friends/family suggested going for dinner, we’ve been scrutinising the restaurant’s online menu, pinpointing exactly what we fancy (and looking forward to it all day).

Like it or not, researching menus online is a huge part of modern restaurant culture. Yours needs to include prices, be easily accessible, and always be up-to-date – otherwise you’ll face some very hangry customers!


2. Don’t forget about mobile

Over 60% of all searches are carried out on mobile, and it’s thought that this percentage could be as high as 81% for the restaurant sector.

Your restaurant can have the most stunning, creative interface, but it doesn’t mean a thing if your users’ mobile experience isn’t up to scratch. Think mobile first: make sure your site translates as well onto mobile as desktop, if not better.


3. Include a gallery

A picture is worth a thousand words, and that’s particularly true when it comes to food. Include a gallery of your best-looking dishes, and/or embed your Instagram images on your homepage.


4. Make yourself easy to find, and to contact

You’ve reeled customers in with your wonderful menu and mouth-watering imagery, but what do they do now? If a customer can’t easily find your contact information, address, and how to book a table, then all your hard work has been for nothing.

We recommend that you include a Google Maps plugin to show exactly where your restaurant is, and definitely include your address, email and phone number. If you can accept bookings online, that will give you a huge advantage as people are increasingly reluctant to make phone calls.


5. The experience starts here

Why do people eat in restaurants? A key reason is the delicious food – but what makes sitting in a restaurant different to ordering a takeaway?

Eating in a restaurant is an experience.

And that experience starts when a potential customer lands on your site. You need to wow them, to communicate your restaurant’s ethos and vibe from the word go. That means a web design that’s functional, yes, but which also has some pizzazz.

So this is the theory behind great restaurant web design. Now let’s take a look at some restaurants that have absolutely nailed it.


Examples of great restaurant websites

These websites have harnessed the power of the best practice tips above to create mouth-watering, effective websites. If it’s inspiration you’re after, look no further:


1. Dishoom

Restaurant website design Dishoom

Why we love it:

Dishoom is a classy yet understated restaurant with a rich history. Their website reflects this perfectly. The muted colours complement the restaurant’s ethos, and the use of long scrolling is the ideal way to tell their story. The navigation at the top makes it really easy to find a menu and your closest restaurant, and to then book a table.


2. Hoppers

Restaurant website design Hoppers

Why we love it:

This screenshot of the Hoppers website really doesn’t do it justice. Hoppers is a restaurant serving food inspired by Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu, and from the second you land on their site, it’s a unique experience.

Scroll through the rustling jungle leaves to find all the key things you need to know, including location, cuisine and images. You can easily book by clicking the prominent button on the left, although the menu itself could be easier to find.


3. The Old Bicycle Shop

Restaurant website design The Old Bicycle Shop

Why we love it:

The Old Bicycle Shop is a small, down-to-earth cafe/restaurant in Cambridge. Their restaurant ticks all the right boxes: mouth-watering imagery (as part of a video montage!), a clear path to their menu, and plenty of points to book a table. We also love how they’ve included their contact details as a frozen pane across the bottom of the screen.


4. Other Side Fried

Restaurant website design Other Side Fried

Why we love it:

The owners of Other Side Fried are no fools. They know customers land on their website craving some greasy goodness, and they (virtually) serve it right up in HD format. They then go on to tell you where, and for how much, you can get your hands on the good stuff. It’s simple, it’s effective… and it’s made us really, really hungry.


5. Franco Manca

Restaurant website design Franco Manca

Why we love it:

Franco Manca is an independent pizza chain with over 40 restaurants in the UK, but you wouldn’t suspect that when you first click onto their website.

Why? Because they’ve worked really hard to keep that wholesome, ‘Italian-restaurant-next-door’ look, and to stay true to their humble Brixton Market roots. Their homepage is playful, automatically loads your nearest restaurant, and includes plenty of references to the restaurant’s story and ethos.


6. Ceviche

Restaurant website design Ceviche

Why we love it:

Ceviche’s website is as fresh as their food – that’s to say, very. Their amazing food photos are perfectly complemented by a refreshingly simple design. In one quick glance, we can see Ceviche’s location, where to book or browse the menu, and the kind of food we can expect. It’s a stripped-back recipe for success.


Next steps: finding a designer

Now you’ve got an idea of how your ideal restaurant website should (and could) look, it’s time to find the people to make it happen.

Expert Market works with a number of experienced web designers who can turn your big ideas into reality. Simply fill in this short form with your basic requirements and we’ll match you with the best agency for the job.

In the meantime, why not take a look at the best small business web designers, or how much you can expect your website to cost.

Dan Barraclough

Dan’s a writer for Expert Market, specialising in a range of cool topics. He loves web design and all things UX, but also the hardware stuff like postage metres and photocopiers.

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