When customers decide where to eat, they no longer simply rely on word of mouth, newspaper reviews, or recommendations from friends, family, and/or coworkers. Instead, most people hop online to check out the restaurant’s website, social media, and online review sites such as Yelp. In fact, a recent survey found that 77% of people visit a restaurant’s website before going out to eat or ordering delivery.
This same survey found that 70% of respondents decided to not patronize a restaurant because of a bad website. These numbers demonstrate that it is absolutely necessary to have a website for your restaurant – and that the site must be well-designed and user-friendly. Below, we outline some top tips for developing your own restaurant’s website – and offer a list of 50+ restaurant websites that are truly outstanding for inspiration.
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Must-Have Tips for Your Restaurant Website
There is a lot that goes into web design. While there are many sites that make it easy to build a website (even without coding experience), you will need to spend a fair amount of time figuring out a game plan before getting started. After all, you want to make sure that you include all necessary information and that you set out the information in a way that is easy for users to navigate.
There are certain elements that should be part of every restaurant website. These include:
- Crucial information, such as your address, hours of operation, phone number, and any other contact info that your patrons may need. Be sure that this information is kept up to date so that customers can reach out to you as necessary. It may also be helpful to embed or link to a Google map so that customers can find you easily.
- Your menu so that people can view your offerings before they visit or place an order. Surveys show that 93% of people view restaurant menus online before deciding where they want to eat. By building out a proper menu using HTML (not a PDF link to download) on your website, you may be able to increase our sales. If you have different menus for take-out and dine-in or any special menus, be sure to include those as well.
- Email sign up forms, so that you can collect guests’ emails and stay in contact with them about special events and other news that they may want. While it has become common to communicate with patrons via social media, remember that it is all too easy for Meta, Twitter, or other social media companies to change their systems or even block you from accessing your account. To protect your brand and ensure that you have a way of communicating with customers, it is vital that you collect emails.
- Social media links so that visitors to your website can also view your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and even TikTok pages. While you should still be collecting emails (see above), social media can be a great marketing tool for your business. Putting links to your various accounts directly on your website makes it easy for people to find you.
- Online ordering options that allow guests to purchase take-out or delivery with just a few clicks. Alternatively, if you aren’t setting up your site for direct ordering, include links to third party delivery partners such as DoorDash, Uber Eats, and Postmates.
- Online reservation buttons, if you plan to offer reservations.
- High quality photos that show off your food and your space. Remember: we use all of our senses when we eat, including sight. A professional photographer can take pictures of your menu items to make them look as enticing as possible – so that customers are tempted to order or make a reservation as soon as they click on your site!
- Your story, which gives visitors a sense of your mission, why you make the food that you do, and more. The “about us” section is a great way to ensure that your marketing is cohesive.
- A gift cards and merchandise section so that customers can easily purchase these items directly from your website, instead of having to visit your restaurant or call.
- Loyalty program and coupon information, if applicable. Customers love getting deals, so if you have a loyalty program or offer discounts, be sure to highlight them on your website.
- Mobile optimization to ensure that people can view your website no matter which device they are using. Most customers will be viewing your website on a smartphone – so make sure that they can view it properly!
Now that you understand what elements are essential for any restaurant website, it’s time to get started. Here are our top tips for restaurant website design:
- Think about what you want the website to look like. Will it be bright and colorful? Clean and classic? Spend some time figuring out the overall design, keeping your brand colors and theme in mind.
- Consider search engine optimization (SEO) when writing copy. Be sure to use good headers that are descriptive and tell users what you are selling and how they can get it.
- Consider the “fold,” which is the first glimpse of the website that customers get before they start scrolling. Make sure that this part of your site has catchy headers and relevant calls to action (which inspires viewers to do something such as click on your food menu).
- Create a visual hierarchy that allows you to display content in a way that is clear and effective, with the ultimate goal of leading your customers to certain elements. The most important information should be at the very top – typically your restaurant’s name and the type of food that you serve. From there, you can lead the reader’s eye to links for the menu, online ordering, and/or reservations.
- Keep the content simple, easy to read, and easy to follow. Our attention spans are shorter than ever – so it is important that you don’t overwhelm potential customers with lots of words. Focusing on high quality information will keep visitors to your site more engaged.
- Use high quality photos and videos to highlight your food, your location, and even real customers enjoying your food. Avoid stock photos, which don’t reflect what you are selling.
- Create a FAQ page. Do you get a lot of questions on certain tops, such as allergens in your food? Having a FAQ page can help customers decide whether they want to eat at your restaurant, can explain your business more, and may even cut down on customer questions.
- Consider adding a blog. A blog is a great way to communicate with your customers and improve your SEO ranking. Updating your blog once or twice a week – perhaps with a story about menu specials or where you source a particular ingredient – can help boost your visibility in online searches.
This information can be overwhelming, particularly if you are new to the world of web design. If you need inspiration, check out our list of the best 50+ restaurant websites for 2024!
50+ Best Restaurant Websites
Reign is a fine dining restaurant, bar, and bakery based out of Toronto, CA. The homepage design uses an accordion navigation and sophisticated photos to call attention to each of the three different experiences Reign offers.
The Original is a modern neighborhood eatery serving new takes on classic American menu items. The website maintains the look and feel the physical restaurant has. The site uses a modern font with a classic feel. The 60’s-style illustrations add additional character to the site and the border around the page matches the placemats handed out at the restaurant.
Girl & The Goat
Girl & the Goat offers bold global flavors to both Los Angeles and Chicago. The website features a great navigation sidebar, fabulous photographs, and links that are laid out well.
Bhuna serves up Indian soul food in Portland, OR. The homepage really pops with gorgeous pictures of its specialty dishes against a background that matches the colors of its logo
Sunday In Brooklyn
Sunday in Brooklyn is a neighborhood restaurant serving American staples in Seaport and Williamsburg in New York. The site features simply stunning images and a clean navigation bar.
Bibi Ji offers Santa Barbara residents a modern twist on traditional Indian cuisine. The site brilliantly utilizes negative space to ensure that the page doesn’t look cluttered.
Two Locals Brewing Company
Two Locals Brewing Company is one of Pennsylvania’s first Black-owned breweries – a fact that they highlight in their “about us” section. The order CTA is nice and large to encourage delivery orders.
Chubby’s Jamaican Kitchen
Chubby’s Jamaican Kitchen offers a unique take on traditional Caribbean cuisine. The site features an edge-to-edge photo carousel and top and bottom navigation bars to make the user experience easy to navigate.
The Tailor’s Son
The Tailor’s Son offers a modern approach to Italian cuisine in San Francisco. The site has an unpretentious theme complete with pics of the dishes in the background.
Sona has reimagined Indian fare in New York with an elegant dining experience. The site features an illustration of its storefront that is just as elegant as the physical restaurant to entice users.
Pai is a northern thai kitchen in Ontario. The site has a great color scheme and the photos of the restaurant’s dishes are beautifully staged.
Chuntify offers modern Indian dishes to Berlin residents. The site uses rotating images of its best dishes, complete with descriptions for users who might not be familiar with Indian cuisine. The site has several fun animations from a rising thermometer to swinging peppers and a floating tea kettle. The design is as bold as the restaurant’s flavors.
Eem brings island flavors to Portland, OR. The site is proof that simple designs work. The website is relatively basic and uses background images and minimal text to let customers know what they need to know.
The General Muir
The General Muir is a modern American restaurant inspired by classic New York Jewish delis. This site really focuses on the story of the restaurant, which is great. The homepage has eight whole paragraphs dedicated to the origin story and the founders of the restaurant. If text wasn’t enough, there’s also a video as well. Hearing the origin story of a business can help customers become more emotionally invested in the business.
Pirate’s Bone Burgers
Pirate’s Bone Burgers is a vegan burger joint and they make that very clear in their hero with the Impossible flag visibly sticking out of the burger. Both the menu and the homepage are very simple to easily guide visitors through the ordering experience.
The Gambling Stick
The Gambling Stick is a Southern barbecue restaurant in Nashville, TN. The site is very visual with almost every section on the homepage featuring an image background. The The barbecue photos will most certainly make you hungry.
Chye Seng Huat Hardware Coffee
Chye Seng Huat Hardware Coffee is a coffee shop that pays homage to the hardware stores that used to exist at the location. The site uses a simple grid layout that could easily be adapted to fit any restaurant or food service business.
Blend Station is a coffee shop with several locations throughout Mexico City. What we like about this site is the e-commerce functionality. Blend Station isn’t just selling its coffee in-stores, but is also offering its blends online. 2020 pushed many retailers online and we expect more restaurants to invest into adding more e-commerce functionality into their websites.
High Street Deli
As the name suggests, https://www.highstdeli.com/ is both a market and deli in San Luis Obispo, CA. The large photos do a great job of showcasing the sandwiches. The site fonts and color scheme also match the brand well.
Kokomo offers New York residents delicious Caribbean inspired cuisine. The Caribbean colors used throughout the design are fun and the photo gallery of various dishes is stunning.
Harbinger is a vegetable-focused small plate concept in Des Moines, IA. The hero communicates the plant-based focus with a tree growing around the Harbinger H. The same font used in the logo is also used in the headings throughout the site to tie the brand and the site design together perfectly.
Factory Girl is a healthy breakfast and lunch restaurant in Berlin. The site does have a traditional navigation dropdown, but it also lays out the menu in a visual grid, which makes for a unique user experience.
Meals by Genet
Meals by Genet offers Ethiopian food in the heart of Los Angeles. The hero of the site features the food, the chef, and the restaurant itself to let users know exactly who they’re ordering food from and what they can expect.
Tiki Chick offers Hawaiian cuisine in New York City. The site doesn’t shy away from color and features some engaging animations. We really like the flashing logo in the navigation bar.
The Prince Edward Island Brewing Company
The Prince Edward Island Brewing Company is a brewery in Charlottetown, PE. The hero features a bold picture of beer on a black background for a strong visual impact.
Verjus in Paris serves both English and French customers. We like that the site makes it easy to toggle between French and English on the menu page. It’s something worth noting for restaurants that serve an international crowd.
Sweet Jesus gets straight to the point with all of their cone flavors featured right at the top of the homepage. We really like the dripping font used on the site.
Quay is one of Australia’s most awarded restaurants and the site is also worthy of an award. The site has a very cool loading animation that perfectly transitions to the hero. The modern style and grid layout all work very well together.
Gazzo is a sourdough craft-pizza restaurant in Neukölln. The hero image showcases the awesome pizzas the shop offers. The pink buttons also contrast the white and black design to call your eyes to the desired actions users should take on the site.
China Poblano is a unique restaurant that combines Mexican and Chinese flavors. The site for the restaurant is as colorful and bold as the food served there.
Nour offers a modern take on classic Lebanese flavors. The site has a clean, modern, minimalist design that very much matches the look and feel of the physical restaurant.
Mon Lapin is a wine bar in Montreal. The site uses a great visual trick where wine fills up the page as you scroll.
Elizabeth’s Restaurant offers comfort foods made entirely from scratch in New Orleans, LA. The hand drawn font looks like it was made from scratch just like the food. We also like that the site separates out its weekend and weekday menus for easy navigation.
Isses is an authentic Mexican restaurant in München. Sites usually offer a top or left side navigation. Isses has a unique design where the site navigation is actually closer to the center of the page on desktop.
Hiden plays on its theme of secrecy with a mysterious website that allows you to make a reservation – but doesn’t list the address.
Ruckus is a ramen restaurant in Boston, MA. The site uses a graffiti style font that perfectly captures the street art style of the restaurant’s logo.
El Five is a tapas restaurant in Denver. The site plays with the restaurant’s name, by using a sidebar navigation that counts down from five.
Leo is an Italian restaurant in Brooklyn, NY. The site offers a simple design that works. The hero contains a gallery of great plate shots. Scrolling further reveals an Instagram embed section with even mouthwatering plate shots.
Big Gay Ice Cream
Big Gay Ice Cream has a site that’s just as colorful as the brand name. The site background for the ice cream chain is littered with ice cream cones spanning the full spectrum of the rainbow. The site also uses pictures of its littlest customers enjoying its products to create a fun and inviting vibe on its website.
Anton’s is a nostalgic wine bar in New York City. Most sites utilize top navigation, but Anton’s has a side navigation bar on desktop that mixes things up and makes it easy for users to find what they want.
Fat Cow offers a Japanese wagyu experience that is out of this world. The site takes a minimalist Wabi-Sabi approach that pairs well with its food style.
Thundercut Alley offers craft cocktails and a unique brunch experience in Dublin. The site does an excellent job of matching the colorful alley branding with fun neon light graphics.
Mizlala offers a fresh take on the neighborhood Mediterranean grill. The site also keeps things fresh with a full-photo hero and the unconventional logo front and center.
1751 Sea and Bar
1751 Sea and Bar is a fine dining seafood restaurant with a nod to the Gin Act of 1751, which was designed to reduce consumption of raw spirits. The text, color and photographs work together perfectly to convey an upscale experience. The serif font also works with the 1751 time period in the bar’s name.
Colletta offers Italian American dishes made with fresh ingredients in both Georgia and North Carolina. The site features a clean and modern design and easy to spot buttons for online ordering.
Ask for Luigi
Ask for Luigi is a casual and intimate Italian restaurant. The intimate nature is perfectly captured with a tiny illustration of the storefront in the hero. The unique button designs also create a bit of an old world Italian feeling.
Norman South Yarra
Norman South Yarra is a modern cafe serving all day breakfast and lunch in South Yarra. The site uses an embedded instagram feed to give visitors insight into its offerings and aesthetic.
Fable Ice Cream
Fable Ice Cream is an ice cream shop in Saskatoon, SK. Fable Ice Cream’s site goes all in on its brand identity with beautiful black and white colors and illustrations.
Bottlehouse is a wine bar based out of Seattle, WA. The site features a simple and elegant layout with large images that capture the Bottlehouse experience.
Hai Hai is a Southeast Asian street food restaurant in Northeast Minneapolis. The site has a great pop up that asks visitors if they plan to eat in or order for delivery, and then directs users to the appropriate page.
Friends & Family
Friends & Family is a restaurant, market, and cafe on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles. Friends & Family uses stunning pictures of its dishes and pastries surrounded by a clean, minimalistic design.
Cafe Flora is a cafe and bakehouse based out of Seattle, WA. Cafe Flora uses a grid layout to make it easy for customers to navigate the site.
Biderman’s Deli is a Jewish-inspired deli in Texas. The deli uses pics of its most popular dishes as a background on the main page to entice guests and it’s a tactic that definitely works.
Grey Ghost is a cocktail bar in Detroit that was named after the most notorious rum running pirate on the Detroit River during the prohibition era. The site design pulls from that era with a black and gold color scheme widely associated with that time period.
Ready to Expand Your Branding? We’re Here to Help.
A great website is just one aspect of an overall marketing plan. Another great option to complement your website? Custom printed disposables, complete with your restaurant’s name, logo, and colors.
Budget Branders works with business owners to help them create custom products that work for them. We know that most independently-owned restaurants can’t afford to buy millions of cups, bags, or bowls at once – so we offer all of our products in smaller quantities, and at great prices. In this way, you can brand your products without breaking the bank.
To learn more, submit a contact form or a quote request for one or more of our products. Our branding experts are always available to answer questions. Simply press the live chat button to get started.