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The food business is a highly competitive market where the struggle is real but being triumphant makes everything worth it. Though that has pretty much always been the case, much newer development is the boom of online eateries. Thus, as customers gravitate towards digital services, it’s important for business owners to consider their restaurant’s web design.
Establishing yourself as a food joint often requires a bit of imagination. Even if you’ve worked out the menu, there’s still a lot to be done.
This includes designing your brand, crafting delivery and payment systems, and striving for overall customer satisfaction. For virtual enterprises, that also includes favorable search engine ranking and social media recognition.
But on top of all that, you need to balance actually running a restaurant with all the marketing that comes with a proper digital portfolio. The best practice here would be to seek services or agencies that specialize in hotel and restaurant web design.
But outsourcing your web design needs doesn’t mean that you don’t get involved yourself. For the sake of your business, providing your constant input and declaring your vision are vital steps.
Restaurants Web Design – The Recipe for Success
If your restaurant doesn’t have a website yet, it’s not too late. As long as you believe in your product and have faith in the market, your chances of making it are great. That being said, navigating the digital realm as a business takes time and patience, with a healthy sprinkle of ingenuity.
Each restaurant has its own unique way of reaching its target audience. But as a general rule, the following ingredients are key to launching just about any online food service.
- Main website design (homepage, menus, etc.)
- Booking Options
- Online Orders
- Food Delivery Systems
- Online Presence
- Web Maintenance
Like any recipe, you may add seasoning to spice up this list as you please. For the most part though, these are crucial for the foundation of your restaurant’s web design. On that note, let’s understand in some detail how you can go about each of these steps.
Website Design and Layout
This isn’t the most technical aspect of mobilizing an online service, but it’s an important one, nonetheless. Think of an online, virtual restaurant like an actual brick-and-mortar establishment. When someone lands on your website for the first time, it’s like opening the doors to a new place.
As with foot traffic, web traffic only comes when you’ve made a good first impression. But on a webpage, you don’t have a waiter or maître d’ to welcome guests.
What you do have is the front end of your digital business which you must shape and design to make it look just as inviting and worthwhile as the real thing. And for the sake of your restaurant, web design expertise will go a long way.
Tell A Story
A website allows restaurateurs to let potential customers know a little more about themselves. This is where the “About Us” section and landing pages will help. You can inform people about your business background, what inspired you to sell food, and much more. Some chains could even add catchy slogans to their front pages, but a personal touch wouldn’t hurt.
Not just that, but you can opt for visual storytelling with a portfolio with images of your business, staff profiles, and pictures of the food you serve.
A Visual Treat
Restaurants are well-known for using color schemes and vibrant branding to their advantage. From the contrasting black and white interiors of contemporary cafés to the darker shades found in fancy gourmet suites, along with the strangely hunger-inducing combination of red, orange, and yellow favored by many fast food joints.
Similarly, your web pages need to look just as fantastic as part of your branding. Depending on the atmosphere you’re going for, you can choose from trendy options like minimalist, sophisticated web design, or something as over-the-top as your menu, speaking of which…
Depending on the theme of your restaurant, you’re free to choose whatever cuisine your items you serve. But with menus, the concept of less is more is an important one. But that’s not to say that you shouldn’t serve a variety of options to your patrons.
What that means is that stuffing your menu pages with an endless grocery list of items isn’t a smart decision. Instead, you should categorize your various dishes and orders as that works better for a restaurant’s web design. This is the kind of thing that the dropdown menu was made for.
Plus, even a limited selection of dishes will work just as well with the right presentation and suitable pricing. Rather than force customers to choose from dozens of choices, present them with a well-made, easy-to-read list full of delicious-looking food and irresistible deals and packages.
As society becomes a haven for multiculturalism and inclusion, it’s better to allow people from all backgrounds to avail your service. One way to do this through your restaurant website is by enabling translation options for web pages.
This is possible through professional tools and methods that interpret website text in English, French, Italian, German, Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Spanish, and others. This ensures that the language barrier is no longer a hurdle to your business.
Online Booking Systems
Reservations are a mainstay of the service industry, whether you’re planning a doctor’s appointment, spa date, or indeed if you fancy Indian food for dinner on Saturday.
Booking a table ahead of time is a must for many, whether or not it’s a special occasion. But doing so on the phone isn’t something everyone wants to do. A growing trend is to therefore prepare a convenient, user-friendly mechanism for reserving a spot.
If like many small or medium-sized businesses do, you have chosen WordPress for your website, there is no shortage of booking plugins to choose from. With those, not only can you enjoy a fantastic restaurant web design experience, but you can add all types of features to your site.
These include customizable selections for guests, a calendar for monitoring table availability, adjustable pricing, keeping records, and much more. Many WordPress plugins allow staff members to block reservation requests outside office hours to prevent overbooking.
With web-driven business models, restaurants today do well even without traditional in-house dining. Turns out that the option to order food online and have it delivered or picked up via takeaway is one that many prefer due to just how effective and easy it is.
However, to enjoy this awesome luxury, you need a pretty good layout and system that allows users to make orders with minimal to no issues.
Why You Need WooCommerce
Earlier we mentioned how WordPress is great for an appointment or booking-based services thanks to its convenience and many handy plugins. Luckily, it also has the right solutions for ordering systems.
Specifically, using the e-business plugin WooCommerce for designing ordering systems is a great step in revamping your web design. It’s easy to integrate into your website and allows near-endless customization based on your needs.
The process might be a bit technical, which is why you’ll need to hire professional designers to fully integrate this extension to your site.
Basically, WooCommerce allows users to curate product tables, connect it to each item on your menu, and streamline your ordering pipeline to fit your preferences. That way, you can enable users to filter and select dishes or deals in desired (but manageable) quantities and select a date and time when the order is to be provided.
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The great thing about WooCommerce is that, while modifying your online restaurant, web design experts can add a local or credit card-based payment gateway to the website as well. This is great for customers that don’t want to use third-party gateways like PayPal.
If they don’t mind those options, WooCommerce helps you integrate them as well. Alternatively, you could provide a cash-on-delivery option to consumers too.
In food delivery, allowing users to list items for an order is just half your job done. You also need to get it to them in time. But if you’re a small business, investing in your own delivery team is a time-consuming and not particularly cost-effective tactic.
A far better option is to partner with existing agencies that mobilize mapping-based delivery services for restaurants. Depending on where your nearby customers are located, there might be a few to several delivery providers in the area.
For ideal results, look for services that will be the most widely available. Go for delivery apps that are recognized for their services, like Deliveroo, Uber Eats, or the many divisions owned by Just Eat Takeaway. Select three or four choices and incorporate them into your website.
Once your customers have finalized their order, they should be presented with these delivery options which they may opt for as they please. And all this with minimal effort and maximum benefits on your end.
People are increasingly preferring the use of phones to make all their reservations or order food online, and most restaurants know this. Hence, your website needs to be optimized for phone use as well as Desktop.
You can even invest in developing your own app if needed. In any case, your restaurant’s web design approach is no good if you focus all your attention on Desktop devices.
Whenever a new restaurant opens for business, the first step is to usually print truckloads of flyers and distribute them to every nearby corner of civilization. But thanks to TV ad campaigns, larger competitors make this approach a bit more difficult.
So rather than waste your resources on printing expenses, you need to redirect your funds to a more effective marketing tactic. And if you’re operating a digital service, the answer is simple: social media. Opening a Facebook or Twitter page is free, as is the case for YouTube, TikTok, or other networking accounts.
Brochures will likely end up in the trash before getting to your customers. But incorporating social media into your restaurant’s web design is guaranteed to boost your business prospects by exposing you to a much wider and more sustainable customer base.
Get to Know Consumers, And They’ll Get to Know You
Social networking platforms aren’t just a space for advertising. They give businesses a chance to actually engage with their audiences. By hiring an expert social media director, you can attract viewers’ attention through memes and other online trends to market yourself as a relevant business.
This allows you to find the right set of people as your customers and improve your standing as a web-based enterprise. In return for their attention, you may offer discount deals and promotions via these channels.
Of course, due to the sensitive nature of what goes on in social media, it’s better to hire an expert who is more experienced in this area. Other than that, these sites are the perfect avenue to display your menus, share slogans and stories, and respond to reviews or complaints.
The internet is a place where trends and guidelines change like the tides. If you’re operating a functional food business through the world wide web, it’s important to keep up with these changes. Websites have to keep up with all manner of updates, upgrades, and renewals.
This includes monitoring links and pages for bugs, replacing outdated plugins, changing menus, assessing complaints, layout modifications, and much more. However, for restaurant owners, this is not a task to be handled directly as they might have too much on their plate.
Instead, restaurant web templates and website maintenance are services that agencies such as WeLoveWeb can help with for a reasonable price. That way, you have the time to deal with the more hands-on aspects of your restaurant while your online needs are seen by skilled experts.
Food has always been an excellent way to connect with people. That’s why the appeal of restaurants and food-based services has always been strong. But as people move towards the internet for availing their services, restaurateurs are provided with an opportunity. And to seize a chance like this, they need to design the perfect websites.
Restaurant web design takes a lot of dedication and creative thinking before achieving results. But if you manage to run things well, even a mid-level food joint can garner enough traffic to be recognized as a serious industry contender.
But without professional help, this takes time and drains resources in the process. To make sure that your website gets results fast, you need to find the best e-commerce and restaurant web design solutions that money can buy. With that and everything that we’ve just discussed, it won’t be long before you relish the sweet taste of victory.