Summary (TL;DR): In this article, we are going to explain how to create a Restaurant website. We’ll go over things like the best website-building platforms for building a Restaurant website, what pages to include, and the steps to building a website.
In the bustling culinary world, having a well-crafted restaurant website can be the secret ingredient to success. It's not just about having an online presence; it's about creating a digital platform that tantalizes the senses, reflects your restaurant's ambiance, and most importantly, makes it easy for food lovers to explore your menu, make reservations, and get a taste of what they can expect when they walk through your doors.
This article will serve as your step-by-step guide to building a restaurant website that is as appealing and inviting as the dining experience you offer.
What is a Restaurant Website?
A restaurant website is a dedicated online platform that showcases a restaurant's offerings and services to potential customers. It's not just an online menu; it's a virtual extension of the dining experience. It often includes features such as online reservations, delivery or pickup options, digital menus, and customer reviews.
The website may also highlight the restaurant's ambiance through photos or virtual tours, share the story of the restaurant or its chefs, and provide details about sourcing and ingredients.
Special events, promotions, or new menu items can also be featured. An effective restaurant website is designed to entice potential diners with a taste of the restaurant's cuisine and atmosphere, while also providing practical information and services for convenience.
What Should a Restaurant Website Include?
1. A Homepage
The homepage is the main page of a website, and it serves as an entry point to the site’s content. For this reason, it’s one of the most important pages on your website.
Since it’s the first page your visitors will see and as it sets the tone for the rest of your site, it’s prudent to consider its design, your branding, and how it will be represented, including colors, fonts, logos, and taglines.
With a well-designed homepage, you can create a positive first impression and encourage visitors to explore your website further.
A homepage usually contains the following elements:
- A site navigation menu with links to important sections and pages that will allow users to easily navigate your website.
- Call-to-action buttons (CTAs) that will be clearly visible, with a clear call-to-action text that will encourage users to click on it and perform the desired action, like, for example, signing up for a newsletter or making a purchase.
- Many homepages contain a hero section to immediately catch the user’s attention and nudge them towards performing a certain action.
Note: Common Ninja has a wide selection of call-to-action buttons that you can easily add to your website.
2. An About Us Page
Another important page to have on your website is the “About Us” page. This page is crucial to establishing credibility and building trust.
The about us page often contains information about the organization, its mission, its history, and the people behind it, enabling users to establish a connection with the company and learn more about the organization and its values.
Note: Common Ninja has a great selection of widgets that can enhance your “About Us” page.
3. A Contacts Page
A “Contacts” (or a “Contact Us” page) is another, very important page to have on your website. It provides visitors with a way to get in touch with the website's owners or administrators. Typically, it will include contact information about the business (like a contact email address, phone number, and physical address), as well as a contact form that a visitor can fill out and send to contact the website’s owners.
This page helps to further build trust, improve user experience, and enable other businesses to contact the website owners regarding open new business opportunities.
Note: Common Ninja can improve how users contact you via a free and easily customizable Contact form.
4. A Header & Footer
Headers and footers have become an integral part of website design, and anyone building a website should add them to their website.
Having a header and a footer on your website will improve navigation, create a consistent look, support your branding, provide important information, and improve conversion with CTAs.
The header typically includes branding elements (like the colors, logo, company name, etc.), and navigational menus (to other pages, login options, etc).
The footer will also include branding elements, as well as links to other pages, but its design enables adding more links, CTAs, and other information, in an organized and aesthetically pleasing manner.
While the above elements are true for all websites, a Restaurant website requires a few more elements.
Make it easy for customers to book a table directly from your website. This could be done through a simple contact form or through a dedicated reservation system. Include information about your opening hours and any booking policies you have.
A picture is worth a thousand words, especially when it comes to food. A gallery page with high-quality photos of your dishes can entice customers to visit. You could also include photos of your restaurant's interior to give a sense of the ambiance.
Events and Specials Page
If you host special events (like live music nights or wine tastings) or have regular specials (like a happy hour or a Sunday brunch), dedicate a page to this information. Make sure to keep it updated with the latest events and offers.
Online Ordering Page
If you offer takeout or delivery, provide a page where customers can place their orders directly. This could link to an external delivery service if you use one.
Show off positive reviews from happy customers. This could be reviews left on your website, or you could link to reviews on external sites like Yelp or TripAdvisor.
This page can address common questions or concerns that customers might have. This could include information about dietary restrictions, parking facilities, or your policies on large groups.
Note: Common Ninja has a great FAQ widget that you can use for this purpose!
A blog or news page can keep customers updated on the latest happenings at your restaurant. You could share behind-the-scenes stories, introduce new menu items, or discuss upcoming events.
How To Create a Restaurant Website?
Step 1: Choose Your Website Builder
There are lots of available website-building platforms today. How many you ask? Well, there are well over 200 website and e-commerce builders.
Clearly, not all are on the same level or for the same purpose, but the sheer amount is both fascinating and scary. Fascinating because it means that there’s a lot to choose from, and scary because there’s too much to choose from.
Luckily, there are around 20 that truly stand out in terms of the features they offer, how easy it is to use them, and their prices. We have a great article about the best website builders out there that you should definitely take a look at.
Great Website Builders for a Restaurant Website
While the above gives you a broad overview of website building, here are some website builders that could be great for building a Restaurant website:
Known for its beautiful, professional templates, Squarespace is an excellent choice for restaurants that want to create an aesthetically pleasing website. It offers restaurant-specific features like menu designs, online reservations, and even online ordering for takeout and delivery.
Wix is a versatile website builder that offers a wide range of templates, including many designed specifically for restaurants. It also offers features like online reservations, online ordering, and a powerful set of SEO tools.
While Shopify is primarily an e-commerce platform, it's a great choice for restaurants that want to offer online ordering and delivery. It can handle large inventories and sync with various POS systems, making it a good choice for larger restaurants or chains.
Choose a Hosting Plan (Optional)
Depending on what website builder you chose, you may have to get a hosting plan separately. We have a great guide on the top 10 hosting providers available on the market. Mind you that many of these offer the option to get a domain name, too.
Choose a Domain Name (Optional)
Depending on what website builder you choose, and on what hosting plan you choose, you may have to get a domain name separately.
Step 2: Start Designing Your Website
Choose a Template (Optional)
Some website builders offer pre-made templates that you can choose from for specific website types. This is a great way to save time on design.
Choose Color Schemes
Color schemes are super important in website design and branding. They're not just for show—colors can really affect how we feel and react. If a brand chooses the right colors, it can guide our eyes where they want, make us feel a certain way, and even get us to take action.
This is where color theory comes in. It's basically the science of how colors work together and how they make us feel. For instance, blue usually makes us feel calm and trustful, red stirs up energy and passion, and green symbolizes growth. So, when a brand chooses colors that match its vibe and the feelings it wants to evoke, it can really boost its recognition and trust with customers. Super cool, right?
Font pairing is like the secret sauce in website design and branding. Just like colors, the fonts you choose can really set the mood and deliver your brand message. You've got to think about the vibes different fonts give off. A fancy script might feel elegant, while a bold, all-caps font can scream confidence and power.
The trick is in finding fonts that complement each other without clashing or looking too similar. That's why we do font pairing. You want your headline font to grab attention, but it needs to work well with your body text font, which should be easy to read. So, for instance, you might pair a decorative font for your headers with a simple, clean one for the body text. Get it right, and you're on your way to a website that looks super professional and keeps your visitors reading. It's a bit like a good music duo—each part's got to be good on its own, but together they create a whole new level of awesome!
Add a Hero Image
The hero section of a website is like the opening scene of a movie—it sets the stage and grabs your attention. It's that first big chunk you see when you land on a website, often with a big image, a catchy headline, and a call to action. It's there to quickly show you what the site or the brand is all about and, hopefully, make you want to stick around.
Choosing the right elements for your hero section is key. A stunning image or background can draw people in, while a powerful headline can spark interest. Then there's the call to action, which could be a button or a link, nudging you to do something—like shop now, sign up, or learn more. So, think of the hero section like your website's elevator pitch. It's got to be punchy, engaging, and super clear about what's on offer. If it's done right, it's like a friendly welcome mat that invites visitors to come in and explore more.
Calls to Action (CTAs) on a website are like your friendly tour guides. They tell you where to go next and what to do. You'll often find them as buttons or links with words like "Buy Now", "Sign Up", "Learn More"—you get the idea. They're super important because they help guide your visitors and encourage them to take the actions you want them to.
But here's the thing: all CTAs are not created equal. A good CTA is clear, concise, and compelling—it tells you exactly what you'll get and why you should click on it. And where you place them can make a big difference, too. You want to position your CTAs where they'll be noticed, like in your hero section, at the end of a blog post, or even in a pop-up. So, think of CTAs as your website's friendly nudges, steering your visitors in the right direction and getting them to engage, interact, and hopefully, become customers. It's like having a good salesperson right there on the page.
Step 3: Publish The Website
When you are done setting up and designing your website, publish it. And that’s it.
How To Enhance Your Restaurant Website?
Enhance Your Website With Powerful Widgets
While many of the website builders we recommended are great for building your Restaurant website, they are somewhat limited in the features and tools they offer, and, in a competitive world, every additional feature that you can add to your website can be a game changer.
That’s where Common Ninja comes in to save the day.
Common Ninja offers an extensive, ever-growing collection of professional and reliable widgets that will help you save time and money and improve your website beyond what your current website-building platform offers.
Common Ninja’s widgets are free, fully customizable, perfectly responsive, and easy to use (just check our YouTube guides), so be sure to check them out, and greatly improve your website.
Content is an important part of any website, no matter what niche it’s in. Content can include anything from text, images, videos, and other media that informs, educates, or entertains the audience, and we highly recommend that you add good content to your website.
It is crucial for several reasons:
- It provides value to visitors — good content, can provide value to users, whether these are guides, service or product comparisons, tips, tricks, or other equally helpful content.
- It builds trust and credibility — by creating good, well-written, and well-researched content, you can increase trust in your brand and improve its credibility.
- It improves SEO: Search engines like Google prioritize websites with high-quality, relevant content, so by creating content that includes relevant keywords and provides value to your audience, you can improve your website’s search engine rankings and drive more traffic to your website.
- It drives conversions — well-written content that addresses pain points, with strategically placed CTAs can drive conversions, such as sign-ups, purchases, or inquiries, up.
- It establishes your brand’s voice and identity — the content on your website is an opportunity to establish your brand’s voice and identity. Consistent and high-quality content can help your brand stand out and create a memorable impression on your audience.
Optimizing a website is essential for improving its visibility on search engines, increasing traffic, and improving the user experience. Here are some effective ways to optimize your website:
- Remove unnecessary distractions
- Improve page speed
- Optimize for mobile
- Optimize forms
- Write good copy
- Write good CTAs
- Define and communicate your value proposition
- Localize content
Promoting a website is essential for increasing its visibility and driving traffic to it.
It requires time & effort, and here are some ways that can help you promote your website:
- Social Media: Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram are great for promoting your website, building a following, and driving traffic to it.
- Email marketing: Building an email list is an effective way to promote your website, reach your audience directly, and keep them updated on your latest content or products.
- Paid advertising: Paid advertising through platforms like Google Ads or social media ads can help you reach a larger audience and drive targeted traffic to your website.
- Collaboration: Collaborating with other websites in your niche can help you gain exposure, drive traffic to your site and improve your SEO via backlinking.
- Incentives: Offering incentives like discounts, free trials, or giveaways can attract new users to your website and encourage them to share it with others.
Building a compelling restaurant website is an art that marries functionality with creativity. It's about creating a digital space that tells your restaurant's story, showcases your culinary masterpieces, and provides a seamless user experience for your customers. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can create a website that not only stands out in the crowded online food scene but also drives traffic to your restaurant and boosts customer engagement. Remember, your website is the appetizer to the main course that is your restaurant, so make sure it leaves your visitors craving for more.