Designing Restaurant Websites

Local restaurants can serve as a major source of revenue for start-up web designers. If you’re embarking on your first restaurant site design though, there are a few things that you should know. In this article, we’ll learn by example as we take a look at lots of mouthwatering food and restaurant websites. By examining what these designers got right, you’ll help ensure your own success in this area. Meatball Web Blog here will discuss different aspects of designing restaurant websites. For professional web design services instead, please visit Design Toronto Web for a professional mobile website.

Importance of Photography when designing restaurant websites

photography for designing restaurant websitesIf you’re working with ugly food shots, you’re doomed from the start. As a visitor to a restaurant website, an user’s primary interest is very likely going to be food. You have to sell me on the product, and photography is the way to do it. The trick is, food photography is very difficult, so you can’t take the cheap way out here. Poor food photography can do more harm than good. Your job as the designer will be to convince your client to really invest in some professional photos if they don’t have some already. If you’re also a professional photographer, this could even earn you a few extra bucks.

Importance of restaurant atmosphere when designing restaurant websites

When you think about the visuals for the site, you might be tempted to think purely of food. However, the secondary attraction for a restaurant, is the atmosphere. I can get a great burger anywhere, but I want to eat a burger in a place that’s awesome!

There’s so much uncertainty involved with trying a new place to eat. If you can really get a feel for the place on the website, then you will feel more confident in your decision to eat there. From a practical standpoint, it’s often the case that one photo of the atmosphere and decor gives you a good idea for the general dress code of the place.

Leverage textures and colors found at the restaurant in designing restaurant websites

texture while designing restaurant websitesA powerful tool that you have at your disposal when designing any food-related site is texture. Top designers in this niche use tons of realistic textures throughout their sites. Maybe use the texture of tables, or straw basket used to server bread or anything else unique to the restaurant as your background images throughout the website.

The choice of colors is extremely important for food websites. Color helps set the mood and enhances the enticement. Don’t be afraid to use bright colors and always pull right from the food when possible to tie everything together nicely.

Create custom menus when designing restaurant websites

Do not just scan a restaurants menu from the printed version. Create a menu specifically for the website. The menu should be awesome and easy to use three column system to narrow down your choices. First, you choose your meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner, etc.), then a category and you’re presented with the options within that category. Make it easy to refine your selection or change things up.

If you want a simpler route, check out Santino’s Catering. Their web menu uses the metaphor of a print menu, but it still uses live text and is formatted for the web.

Rules of thumb to follow when designing restaurant websites

Remember, when designing restaurant websites, you should always carefully consider the goals of the average user.

For a restaurant, you can pretty much guarantee that the visitors will want a few specific pieces of information:

  • What do they serve? (menu and graphics)
  • How much does it cost? (menu)
  • What is the place like? (graphics and video)
  • Where is it?
  • Can I order or make a reservation online?
  • What’s the phone number?

The basic contact and ordering information is a primary concern that we haven’t touched on. I’m a firm believer that contact and location information is an extremely high priority for a restaurant’s site, so this information should be on the homepage in a prominent location.

Also remember, today’s websites must have responsive mobile web design. People are often on the road and looking for restaurants to visit on the cellphones. Make sure you present the website nicely so they are enticed to visit such place.