Dining out is an experience. A restaurant website is often the the first stage of that experience.
For the restaurateur, it is critical that the website encourage patrons to visit the restaurant.
The objective of the restaurant website should be two-fold:
- Show off the enticing array of food
- Make it easy to find necessary information
Here are some critical elements of a restaurant website:
- Professional photography
- Short and compelling copy
- Quick access to location, phone number and hours of operation
- Easy-access to a menu
- Online reservations (if applicable)
- Social media buttons
The following is a selection of 25 professionally designed restaurant websites to get ideas flowing. Bon Appétit!
1. Olive Garden
The Olive Garden’s use of a slideshow that fits the width of your screen is an excellent method of bringing the cuisine front and center. Current specials are listed – another tactic useful in driving more hungry customers through the door. There’s no need to draw up Google Maps to find the nearest location, as an overlayed map provides that necessary info for you right on the homepage.
Restaurant websites don’t have a lot of information to get across. You can usually expect a menu, social buttons, contact info, and an online reservation tab if it applies. Marie Catribs does a great job of parlaying this information, while paying thorough attention to the branding.
An overhead shot of a table setting, complete with restaurant cuisine sets the tone for the Nuevo-Aurich website. You can almost taste the food!
4. Ruby Tuesday
The photographer took advantage of the light available to them in these shots for Ruby Tuesday. Clearly, this is someone who understands the capabilities of the camera and lens they’re using. If you don’t have a large budget for photography, don’t fret. A basic understanding of photography essentials will go a long way.
5. Pic Fresh
Looking for a delicious lunch on the go? Pic Fresh features a wide array of sandwiches, wraps, salads, and more front and center on the family-owned businesses’ website. Clever use of navigation allows the customer easy access to what they’re looking for.
Backyard Burger’s website illustrates how displaying the food front and center is a simple and effective way in garnering the attention of customers. The steel gray elements add the sense of these burgers being grilled in in your own backyard. A soft gradient in the background drives this point home.
The rich design of the Charlie Brown’s Steakhouse website is a perfect compliment to the philosophy of the business – which is to provide great food, exceptional value and friendly service to each and every customer they serve.
Once again we see how photography is a huge player in the overall design of a restaurant website. Tortillaz Grill uses this to their advantage in providing a full-screen slideshow of some favorite dishes. The call-to-action to “Order Now” is well defined. The company also relays its social responsibility and grants easy access to social networks, allowing you to stay up-to-date with the latest news.
9. Red Robin
This restaurant chain made famous for its gourmet burgers makes it easy for customers to find a chain nearby. Prominent calls-to-action include “Get a Gift Card” as well as easy access to social media accounts. A slideshow featuring the current specials dominates the page, giving customers a sense of what’s in store for them.
10. Ali Baba
The website for a Mediterranean cuisine restaurant takes visual cues from Middle-Eastern design and presents them in a fresh, modern format. The striking, professional food and lifestyle photography draws everything together nicely. This site makes it very easy to find and view the menu.
A table grounds the elements visually on this rich website for 28Thiers. This richness is extended to the subtle gradient effect in the typography, high quality photography, and the curved navigation which adds a sense of elegance to the composition.
13. Giraffe Cafe
This website has some original, hand-drawn elements set as a nice backdrop against the modular grid. The design gives the impression of a fun, cosmopolitan atmosphere to the cafe.
Sophistication and elegance are a few words that come to mind upon viewing the La Porte Saint Claire website. The trend of showing full-screen food photography is also applied throughout this flash-based site.
15. La Maddalena
The non-conventional layout is what adds to the interest for the La Maddalena restaurant website. Use your mouse to navigate through sections of the website for an interactive experience. The warm textures add a natural, hand-crafted touch, while large scale photography stands in stark contrast and adds a layer of sophistication.
This clean layout feels elegant while large photography of the restaurants cuisine draws the visitor in. Customer testimonials and a photo and video gallery complete this personalized experience of Kuleto’s.
17. Cafe Paradiso
A warm, laid back feel is generated from the website for Cafe Paradiso – a vegetarian restaurant in Ireland with an emphasis on top-class food in a casual atmosphere.
18. Mellow Mushroom
From the tongue-in-cheek illustrations, the copy, and the hand-illustrations dominating the homepage, every element on this website is a nod to the pizza restaurants mission: to provide patrons with an experience filled with colorful art, eclectic music and food that comforts your soul. The website provides easy access to social networks to allow you to stay up to date with the latest news.
Mood-setting rustic Italian elements take center stage on this website for Pizzeria Napolicentrale. The horizontal navigation is set against a beige-patterned backdrop which adds enough visual interest but doesn’t overwhelm the text.
From the unique mascot logo and bold heading, to the custom footer, the website for Farinella Bakery packs alot of personality. Menu items are magnified when you roll over them, making it a pleasant, user-friendly browsing experience.
Culinaria is another example of excellence in food photography. The modern, clean website showcases photography with the popular depth of field technique trendy among food photographers.
22. Auberge de lill
An upscale modernist feel is achieved on the website for Auberge de lill. The restaurant took full advantage of great food and lifestyle photography in portraying the business in a professional and positive light. This full-screen photography commands your attention when browsing throughout the site.
This cozy design makes you feel at home at this dualing piano bar and restaurant. Details, like the lighting up of the logo upon rolling over it add to the personality you’d expect from this establishment.
24. Pizza Express
Customer-approved testimonials highlight the homepage of Pizza Express, a restaurant inspired by the taste of real Italian pizza.
25. Lou Manalti’s
The textures and warm tones used on the Lou Malnati’s website are a nod to the rich history of this Chicago pizza establishment. A home-grown feel is apparent throughout the site, and lends a sense of trustworthiness to the business with multiple locations throughout Chicago.
For a restaurant, the website is often the first impression. A good website design means it won’t be the last impression.
Incorporate the ingredients outlined in this article and create your own mouth watering website .