A website goes a long way to communicate your brand’s messaging. But dated or uninspiring content can quickly lead visitors to think you’re no longer relevant or worse, not open for business. This is especially the case with restaurant websites.
If I visit a restaurant’s site and am unable to quickly find the current menu then I’ll most likely leave that site and look for another restaurant that has their menu game in order. There are many important elements to include on a restaurant website; here are just a few, in no particular order:
Beautiful photography (screenshot from blacksheepbuffalo.com)
This goes beyond just having nice photos of your food. You need to showcase the restaurant’s interior to lure in newcomers. Photography is also important for social media. Facebook automatically pulls in photos from a website anytime someone includes your website’s URL in a status update. You want to make sure that beautiful photos are shared on social whenever one of your fans promotes your restaurant.
Easily accessible menus (screenshot from buffaloproper.com)
We always recommend to our restaurant clients that they upload their menus to their websites as PDFs so that visitors can easily download and view them. This also makes it easy on the restaurant staff when a new menu is needed; they can take the same file that was updated for printed menus and use to generate the PDF for the website.
Keep it clean with social (screenshot from oshunseafood.com)
Showing your most-recent Tweets on your site will only make it look busy and potentially unattractive. These widgets can’t be customized or styled, and as a result, always stick out like a sore thumb. Instagram would be the one exception here as you generally have control over what you’d like to show and how it should be shown. Creating simple, stylized icons for each of your social feeds is always a good start. Make sure to set each link to open in a new window of tab to avoid directing your viewers away from your site.
The almighty-footer (screenshot from bigditchbrewing.com)
I always look in the footer (the very bottom of a website) to find the hours of operation and contact information. It’s pretty standard to have this information listed there as the footer is available on every page on a website. This is also a great spot to include links to your social media accounts and a signup option for your email newsletter.