Today, customer experience doesn’t start when they enter your restaurant door or premises.  With the help of websites, customers can check a restaurant’s offerings or their basic information without having to go physically to their store.  With the abundance of restaurants that have great websites out there, how can you possibly stand out?  Here are helpful tips before creating anyone’s restaurant website design.

·         Know who could possibly visit your website

In designing your website, one should think of these two questions.

1. What type of users are you targeting?

2. Were you after returning customers or new ones?

If you want to hit two birds at the same time, you may do so but there is a certain focus for each type of customer.  Let’s start with your loyal or returning customers.  They don’t have to check out your About page because they’ve known you already.  Surely, they are on the lookout for the fastest path to order any dish in your menu, make a reservation, or contact info.  On the other hand, new customers are typically just shopping around.  They may be on another website comparing yours with the others.  Most of the time these customers are using mobile phones that is why it is vital for the website to be responsive.  Since they have just learned about your restaurant, you may want to have a landing page that shows off the best images and information they will find.

·         Keep the website professional-looking and neat

With the virus still threatening everyone’s safety, we are hindered from visiting any public place.  With the help of websites, we still get to enjoy what restaurants have to offer.  That is why as much as possible, these websites have to look professional and at their best.  Websites act as a façade or the physical store as well because it will have to reflect on how a restaurant presents their food, location, and the service they do.

·         Use high-quality images to convey the message you want

Everyone is in awe when they see a picture that really tells something.  That is how the images in your webpage should be.  A high-quality photo instantly gets the attention of an audience.  Take a look at the most appealing spots in your restaurant and shoot pictures.  It can be the exterior or storefront but if you have a wonderful interior, you may use that as well.  If either of those doesn’t work, you may consider the food, staff, or the kitchen itself.

·         Have a usable menu

Most of the restaurants’ website design typically focus on their menu online more than the landing page.  Well, it’s another important aspect of the website which needs utmost attention to maximize usability.  There are some don’ts you should be wary of.  First, don’t upload the menu as an image or file.  It will be difficult for mobile users to navigate through it.  Aside from that, it is not SEO (search engine optimization) friendly.  Having said that, it will not generate direct traffic to your website.  It is advised to keep the menu typed out as text in the webpage.  The second is to not separate parts of the menu by tabs or hide some features with the use of clicks.  It will just frustrate the user because they will have to do a lot to see the entire menu.

Another trend we see today is that these menus include pictures.  Yes, actual pictures of the dish or food itself.  Isn’t that exciting?  Gone were the days that typical text with details are the only thing we see.

·         Maintain a uniform theme throughout the website

You’ve got the right photos, videos, branding, and excellent content but your overall theme isn’t uniform – that can be a minimal problem that can be easily fixed.  How do you know what theme to incorporate?  Figure out first the type of restaurant you have.  Second, what type of foods you will offer to the public.  Let’s say you are nearby ashore and you are to sell seafood dishes, one can tell that your website should include a seashore theme.

Creating a restaurant website design can be exciting yet at times difficult if you are going to do it on your own.  This list can be helpful if you are just starting.  There are still more you should take into consideration such as how it can be optimized.  It can be technical and difficult for someone who doesn’t know how optimization should be done.  If you cannot create the website yourself, why not hire eRestaurant Consulting to do the job.  A lot of professional web design agencies or freelancers can offer their services but ERC is a top notch choice in the Toronto and Markham areas.  You will just have to tell them what your specifications are for the website.  They can give you options as well as pieces of advice on what would work best.