Jasmine Rice

What You Need to Know About Restaurant Web Design

Diners do not have tolerance for slow service whether it be in a dining establishment or on a restaurant’s website. Thanks to technology and high-speed internet, people have come to expect service and information to be available instantly.

Visitors to a restaurant’s site will only spend only a few seconds looking for basic information such as address and hours of operation. A clunky site that is slow to load or difficult to navigate could drive away potential clientele.

Read on to learn more about current design trends that turn site visitors into paying customers and why it’s important to pick the right web design agency and the best New Jersey website design company.

Simplicity

When it comes to food service websites, minimal design is key. The online experience should be as simple as the in-person experience. Adding too much website flair such as fancy fonts, downloadable menus, wordy descriptions, and pictures, will slow down page loading speeds and create an experience similar to being hangry aka being so hungry that everything is annoying. It’s like walking into an establishment ready to eat, but the hostess stand is impossible to find. No one has the patience for that when they are hangry!

Restaurants do not need a robust design. Navigation tabs are typically limited to 3 or 4 of the following major areas:

  • Menu
  • Locations
  • Online ordering
  • Catering
  • Gift cards
  • History/About

A location’s phone number, address and hours of operation prominently displayed on the homepage facilitates a seamless user experience for a visitor who wants to dine in or call to ask a live person questions.

Many restaurants are taking a vertical design approach. This means a visitor can simply scroll through page sections to see key information without ever navigating to another page of the site.

Mobile Friendly Menu

The menu is the food industry staple and number one sales tool. Potential patrons often use phones to search online for options, prices, and nutritional facts while planning to visit. Having a mobile friendly menu is critical because negative user experience on a phone or tablet could drive business away. According to socPub, “57% of users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site.”

Most eateries are moving towards simpler templates that work well over multiple devices. Gone are the days of requiring visitors to download a file. Now menus can be viewed within the site’s copy. Plain font and short dish descriptions are sufficient and eliminate the need for long loading times.

Nutritional Information

It seems everyone has a need to modify their food order. “Cheeseburger please, but hold the cheese and onions, add extra lettuce and tomato, no bun, and salad instead of fries.” Sound familiar?

Diet fads, food preferences, and allergies have challenged chefs to expand and reinvent their menu options. Having nutritional information available on the site enables patrons to plan ahead for their visit and reduces the time a server needs to spend answering questions or finding out if a modification is possible.

Online Ordering

Humans are lazy, often opting to sit home binge watching their favorite shows over taking the time to eat out. Let’s face it, going out can suck after a long day. Getting washed up, picking an outfit, driving to a location, waiting to be seated, waiting to be served and driving all the way back home after paying the bill. Plus, it can be a little too ‘people-y’ out there.

Restaurant sites help alleviate the hassle or reduce wait times by offering online ordering. Some companies offer delivery while others prepare orders and have them ready for pick up when the patron arrives. This service won’t replace the wait staff, but it will capture revenue that may not have happened otherwise.

Location Finder

Imagine a group of friends are out at the movies and decide to grab dinner afterward, but are unfamiliar with food establishments available in the area. Nearby restaurants incorporating location finders will show up in Google results when the potential patron searches for local options. Make sure your Google Map and Google my Business listings are accurate!

Social Media

Links to social media sites show consumers where to connect on a daily basis. Social media is the space to share mouth-watering pictures, build a brand personality, answer questions and inform customers about upcoming events. Karaoke and drinks anyone?

marc

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