In today’s digital world, restaurants’ websites are just as important as the quality of the food and service they provide. A well-designed and user-friendly website can help you attract new patrons and keep existing patrons coming back for more. According to a study done by MGH, 77% of diners visit a restaurant’s website before dining there or getting takeout. On top of that they found that about 30% of those potential patrons get turned off by restaurant websites if there is no menu on the site, if it is difficult to navigate, or if the website seems outdated. That is a large amount of business your company could be losing out on just because you do not have a good website. If your team is looking for a new website, Compete Now has over ten years of experience in web design. Contact us, or view our portfolio of websites for restaurants to learn more. Now, let’s look at the main components that make up great restaurant websites and discuss how you can implement them to your advantage.
One of the more obvious components of an excellent restaurant website is having the menu prominently displayed. The menu itself should be easy to read, have clear descriptions and prices, as well as high-quality photos of the food if possible (though you should think twice before using Google images on your website)! Having a PDF version of the menu on your website is also helpful so restaurant owners can easily update it when necessary. Below is an example of a restaurant menu from the website we design for Woodman’s of Essex. You will see that the menu is split into multiple categories, which can be accessed quickly from the side bar menu, and that every item is clearly listed along with how much it costs. They also give visitors an option to download the PDF version.
As smartphones are becoming more popular, be sure your website is mobile-friendly. Responsive design guarantees that your site looks and functions properly across a variety of screen sizes, making it more accessible to a wider audience. You’ll see an example of this in the example below of the E.W. Hobbs restaurant that we designed. Another way to make your website and restaurant more appealing to mobile users is to link your social media accounts. Being able to find your Instagram account effortlessly and view photos of your food and restaurant can be a game changer for potential customers. Check out our blog about mobile-friendly element ideas for WordPress for more tips on making your website work well on mobile.
Having an online reservation system does more than just secure a table for customers: It can also benefit your staff. Instead of having an employee dedicate all of their time to planning out and booking every reservation manually, an online reservation service will do the work for you. Customers will also be able to view all available time slots, will receive confirmation so they can be sure their reservation is all set, and can even book reservations outside of business hours. Our recommended online reservation services are OpenTable and Resy. These features allow customers to easily book a table at your restaurant without having to call and they are easy to integrate into your website.
Blogs & Upcoming Events
A blog can help with SEO and keep your clients interested. Here you can share recipes, cooking tips and tricks, behind-the-scenes stories, or special events and promotions that are going on. Regular updates show your restaurant’s continued dedication to the culinary world and attract new patrons.
Functions and Private Booking Information
If your restaurant offers catering or special event services you will want to make sure you have easily accessible contact forms on your website. A simple contact form makes it painless for guests to connect with the restaurant directly and streamlines the communication process, decreasing the amount of back and forth. Every event that your restaurant partakes in is different. With an online form, you can get the barebone necessary details and be able to respond to the interested customer quickly and thoroughly. Panela, a website that we designed for a restaurant in Lowell, MA, is a great example of this:
Contact Information & Hours
Make it effortless for customers to locate you. On your contact page include your restaurant’s address, phone number, even a Google Maps link to help customers find you, and do not forget to add your restaurant’s correct business hours! You can also add a general “Contact Us” form for any specific questions or concerns customers may have.
If your restaurant caters or sells specific food products or merch, save your business and customers time and expand the reach of your physical location with online ordering. A range of our restaurant clients sell products online using features like WooCommerce and Shopify. For example, the Woodman’s of Essex website uses a WooCommerce storefront to sell everything from their merchandise lobsters and other popular food items. For online takeout and delivery orders, we recommend linking to a third party such as Toast. Toast allows customers to conveniently order food online rather than calling in an order and it is easy for customers to use. Cerra’s Market, an Italian grocer, deli and caterer based in Saugus, MA, links to Toast from their website for deli orders, but uses WooCommerce for catering orders.
To summarize, successful restaurant websites include appealing graphics, user-friendly navigation, and convenient features that help improve the dining experience. Your website should reflect your restaurant’s personality and values and leave visitors with a positive image of your business. Your restaurant website can become an excellent tool for enticing, engaging, and serving your clients by adding these components.
Restaurant websites are some of our favorites to create. If your restaurant needs a website, or your existing website could benefit from a redesign give us a call at 617-539-6528 or contact us online today!