The restaurant business is one of the most difficult industries out there. The statistics on restaurant success aren’t the best nationwide. This can be attributed to many different factors, but it’s about getting customers through the door for a great dining experience. One of the best ways to do this is through online marketing.
There are a couple of different approaches restaurant owners can take to their restaurant’s website. Two of the most general approaches can be boiled down to simplicity vs. information rich. Going in one direction or the other might be a matter of personal taste and choice.
There is no specifically designed formula for success in designing a restaurant website. There are time-proven strategies that apply to either a simple or more complicated approach. Creativity is essential for restaurant web design at all levels. How food and drink look plays a role not only in real life but also online.
Good restaurant websites make finding information as easy as possible. Normal things like location, hours open, contact info, and the menu are standard. Keep the site easy to navigate with clear buttons, like a reservation button, social media links, and menu choices. A call to action for a restaurant offer is another simple tactic web design marketers might use to engage with potential customers.
The most successful restaurant websites use high-quality visual content to get ahead of the competition. A beautiful website can be the difference between potential customers and actual orders being taken in the dining room. Bright colors with crisp lines and visually stunning effects are of higher priority in this field of web design. Color palette needs to be concise and well thought out, matching the photography.
Pictures are the real strength of a restaurant online. High-quality photos with proper focus and cropping will be a major selling point for potential users. This also goes for potential video content as well. Hiring a professional photographer or videographer will make your website stand out from others. When the ice cream looks mouthwatering, it is hard to resist a visit.
Making sure the website is mobile-friendly also makes a huge difference. People are often on the go when looking for new places to eat. If your website doesn’t have an equally functional and beautiful mobile design, this could impact your bottom line. However, this doesn’t mean you must sacrifice the full-screen user experience.
With the focus mostly on visual content, you’ll want to make sure that the text and copy on the website are very concise. Pick fonts that match the restaurant’s vibe to help convey some expectations for your restaurant. The overall theme is important when you want to reach people quickly. You want to match the real-world restaurant to the online marketing.
Of course, no website is complete without proper SEO or search engine optimization. Adding the appropriate tags and metadata to pictures and pages is absolutely necessary if you want your restaurant to be searchable. And descriptions for menu items or other important aspects of the restaurant will be just as necessary. Even if you think something is a given or understood, it might not be.
Building a restaurant and being successful is, no doubt, difficult. Restaurant website design doesn’t have to be nearly as difficult, and a good design can help increase the chance of success. Focusing on all the good things your restaurant offers and serving it up to potential customers online can be very beneficial. And by using a professional restaurant web design company, you can achieve your goals.
Take a look at some of PMI’s restaurant webdesign projects: