Some industries are known for having poorly designed websites. Restaurants are one of them. But why are they so terrible? Numerous reasons exist, but luckily, everything can be fixed.
Excellent restaurant sites are rare. They are never up to date and always have many imperfections. Restaurant chains, on the other hand, have more cautious pages.
Many restaurant websites advertise on platforms such as Happy Tables and Restaurant Engine or Tripadvisor. All of these providers produce a decent search. But many restaurants need more than that.
A Google search for “restaurants near Delhi” (the city where we live) provides a wide variety of results. After excluding TripAdvisor results, we found a wide variety of restaurants. Each restaurant had its own website, each with a different rating.
In such a competitive space, it is important to have a separate website.
Here are ten tips to consider when creating web design:
Tip 1: Use a neutral background-color
The first independent restaurant website I click on is a restaurant I know and it is called Olive Lemon. It is a restaurant of traditional Greek cuisine in Thessaloniki. The body of the main page is bright blue and black, with white in the text that pushes you to read.
Your website will stand out with a bright color like orange or red. There are, however, better approaches. The use of a bright color as a background is never a smart idea.
Most people respond best to light-colored environments, such as white, cream, or light gray. Keep in mind that your site should be legible and you should use bright colors. Clarity is the key.
Adobe Kuler is a very useful tool for colors. We use it every day and I urge you to do the same when exploring color schemes for your restaurant, brand and website.
Tip 2: Do not use the Splash Page
Flash and splash pages died years ago. Make sure visitors click directly to the content.
Put no obstacles in the way of potential customers. Give them what they want right away.
Tip 3: Do not use images unless necessary
Your site is often slowed down by images. This is a huge problem today.
Moreover, images often obscure basic information such as phone numbers and email addresses. You will still be found even if your site isn’t mobile-friendly. Use best practices in this case.
Tip 4: Examine the responsive design
The way users browse the internet these days is completely different from the way they did it years ago. Of the three websites I have visited so far, none had a responsive design.
I am usually out looking for a restaurant when I am looking for one. We don’t plan this in advance. I usually use my smartphone to find a restaurant.
If the user is on the contact phone, make sure the phone number opens the auto-dial panel. Make sure the email address opens a new message and the physical address appears in Google Maps.
You can check what percentage of visitors are coming from mobiles or tablets, using Google Analytics. I will bet it is over 50%.
If images are slowing down mobile users, as well as PDFs that fail to load, why force users to sift through the crap to get the information they need?
Tip 5: Menu in PDF? Forget it!
Asking users to download a PDF file to review the menu is really tedious. People will not be willing to download it, especially if they come from a mobile phone and the PDF is larger than a few megabytes.
Many businesses have used PDF menus in the past to design their menus according to their brand. PDF menus are also difficult to update and cannot be updated once downloaded.
There are many ways viewers can view your menu. A menu should have its own page on the site, look great, and always be current.
Tip 6: Don’t forget TripAdvisor
TripAdvisor ranks top in search results. It is a powerful tool. For many people, this is where the search process begins.
If I can not think of anything, I will go to TripAdvisor and see what is close to me. If your restaurant is not on TripAdvisor, you should.
Some TripAdvisor ideas are:
- I started with some professional photos and uploaded them to the official Tripadvisor page (customer photos are strong, but you do not control them).
- Reply to anyone who leaves a comment, positive or otherwise. This shows that you are willing to listen to customers.
If you show users that you are active and take their comments into account, you are already a winner ahead of the competition.
Tip 7: Limit your social media options
There is nothing more difficult than trying to choose social media for your business. Follow us on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram FourSquare, TripAdvisor, Myspace, Bebo. And the list carries on. And how can you focus on all of this? Can not.
There is probably less than a 1% chance that the public will follow you on more than one or two social networks. Choose the ones that work best for you.
Facebook is self-evident. Being the largest social network in the world makes it ideal. Paid advertising campaigns can also be cheap and extremely effective.
But the rest is subjective.
Some love Twitter, others love Instagram. Pinterest is also a popular choice, especially among women.
Social media can have a significant impact on the success or failure of a business.
Turning social media fans into your own can quickly increase your success. This will attract new customers to try the food in your restaurant.
FourSquare is helpful in putting your business on the map and something I would definitely think about if I ran my own restaurant.
Instagram and Pinterest are mainly about image and photography. If you like to take pictures of the menu, then these are the ones for you.
Tip 8: Say no to the use of automatic music and videos
Either I click on a site and it automatically plays music, or a video the next thing I do is press X and leave.
You often listen to music or watch a movie while browsing. The last thing you want is some automatic music that will interrupt you.
There is absolutely no need for music on your site.
Video I understand. In fact, it is an excellent means of promotion.
If you are planning to use video, do it only on request, not on the page load, nor on the exit page.
Tip 9: Get good-quality photos!
High-quality photos will help your site succeed. With technological advances such as retina screen displays, photography is more relevant than ever.
The visit of a professional photographer to your restaurant will pave the way for you and your business.
In the first place, if the photographer likes your restaurant, you may be able to see their friends on a subsequent visit.
The food should look as good as possible. Professional photographers are currently trained.
You will have a variety of images that you can use. Not only will your site benefit, but also menu designs, social media, etc. A professional photographer will not be cheap, but it is worth it.
Do not underestimate the power of the image.
Tip 10: Make your brand visible
It is usually the colors of the site that influence the rest of the branding. Of course, offers and language are always present in all efforts.
Think about your core values and beliefs and learn how to show your best self.
There are hundreds of tips and ideas to get you started when designing a restaurant website. This article is intended as a starting point, a launchpad if you will.
If you need help, contact us!