Tips from the Best Restaurant Websites

A website is the core of any organization’s online presence. It gives customers a taste (pun intended) of the business through a combination of attractive design and useful information. For restaurants, their website is a reflection of the quality of the food they serve and the service they provide. Your site is a powerful marketing tool and often a prospective customer’s first impression of your brand. As you build or tweak your online offerings, strive to understand your audience - speak to new AND existing customers. Remember that simplicity can be effective and that the true purpose of your website is two-fold: to show off enticing food and to make it easy to find information. Here are some tips from the industry:

Online reservations are a must

Saves time

Allows you to capture customer details - email can be used for future marketing

Ensure a simple process with minimal fields and a space for special requirements

Include your cancellation policy on this page

*Also provide contact numbers for people who prefer to call

Design is key

Display your logo everywhere

Use only professional imagery and easy to read font

Have an organized navigation bar with options for the menu and contact information displayed prominently

Have consistency in the theme from restaurant to website - show the personality of your restaurant

Be sure the color palette complements the restaurant theme and food offerings (i.e. blue for seafood is always a fabulous correlation)

Stay away from Flash – the animation is distracting and not visible on iPad or iPhone

Use responsive design – ensure that the site is optimized for mobile browsing as more than 60% of diners view restaurants on a mobile device


Include an About Us page – share the personality of the restaurant, the history, the personal story behind the business

Place contact details on all pages

Display your location – register with Google Maps and include the map on your website

Have a photo gallery with professional images of spaces, the exterior, staff, and food, but don’t overpack the website with photos; each image should serve a purpose

Consider the integration of clever video to reinforce your brand image

The hours of operation should be easy to find

Have available your menu, but ensure it has a responsive design; no pinching, zooming, or downloading of a PDF should be necessary

Include social media icon buttons and integrate their use for circular traffic to all of your online channels

Provide a feedback button and incorporate reviews and ratings (Trip Advisor, Yelp, etc.)

Promote events and specials

Sell online gift cards - less than 3% of family owned restaurants sell gift cards online vs. larger restaurants that can sell as much as $10,000 worth of gift cards in a single month

This also allows you to collect email addresses for promotions and marketing

Don’t forget to use your social media channels to promote gift card availability

Include a blog – share information about events, feature the chef or another employee, share a featured dish, or offer a Q & A opportunity

Optimize your website for local search using keywords, Google Maps, Yelp, and Qype

Keep the copy short and compelling

Other things to keep in mind

The domain name should be the name of the restaurant or contain the restaurant name

Add your website address to online directories

Include the website address on all print marketing

Make sure your website is easy to update so you don’t have to contact your website designer to change daily specials, promotions, or prices

Use your website to grow your restaurant. Showcase events, promotions, and specials. Be mobile friendly, including the menu and allow online orders. Sell and ship a signature item such as a sauce, dressing, or shirt. Get the most out of your online presence so your website is working for you 24/7.

Once your website is nailed down it is time to start promoting. Our most successful clients for social media promotions, by far, are our restaurant clients. They must have a website to push people to to make this work. People want to find all of the information they need before giving a new restaurant a shot. Let's get your website dialed in and then talk tactics to affordably drive traffic in the door to grow your business. Call us today to get started!