The internet has revolutionized the way people dine. From the convenience of food delivery to being able to view a restaurant menu straight from its website anywhere in the world, there’s no doubt it’s been a positive driving force behind the success of many restaurants. However, few developments are without a downside.
Shedding the physical limitations to which brick-and-mortar restaurants are accustomed makes online commerce an even more competitive space. Instead of being up against a handful of local restaurants, yours (and its website) is competing with thousands online.
It pays to invest in the best restaurant website designer you can find in order to keep up with the competition.. That said, you may be wondering what makes a restaurant website design company good at what it does.
Website Designer vs. Restaurant Website Designer: What’s the Difference?
Website designers must possess a wide range of design skills to conceptualize and design a website. These web design skills include knowledge of web design programs, industry-related best practices, color theory, and UI design.
The best restaurant website design companies are knowledgeable about restaurant and food industry-related web design trends, tech, and best practices. This experience, knowledge, and skill set differentiates them from your run-of-the-mill web designer, especially when it comes to designing a restaurant website.
The Top Skills to Look For in a Restaurant Website Designer
Restaurant website designers need to possess more than an understanding of web design. They also need to know the restaurant business back-to-front and be passionate about designing websites for businesses in this industry. Here are the top characteristics to look for in a restaurant website design company.
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Experience Designing Restaurant Websites
A top website design company may be experienced in web design. However, it may not be the best fit if it doesn’t have any experience in the restaurant business. Restaurant website designs differ considerably from those of regular business and personal service websites. A restaurant website designer should be on or ahead of any restaurant website design trends.
An Impressive Restaurant Website Design Portfolio
The best restaurant website design agencies have impressive portfolios. Request to see these and browse through them thoroughly. Doing so will help you to gauge the level of a restaurant website design company’s expertise. You may get a better idea of its style and approach to deduce if it is a good match for your project, as well.
A Passion for Food and Hospitality
Many restaurant website designers are both active in and enthusiastic about the food and hospitality industries. When designers or teams are passionate about an industry, it stands to reason they will conceptualize a more relevant and engaging website design. Make sure your design team cares as much about your business, customers, food, and products as you do.
Web Design Proficiency
Website designers and web design teams need to possess a wide range of skills to design a website successfully. Knowledge of key web design programs, best practices, and up-and-coming web design trends is vital. Ensure your restaurant website designer is clued up on all that’s needed to know to bring your website to life.
Knowledge of UI and UX Design
User interface (UI) and user experience (UX) design are the latest trends in website design. A restaurant website designer knowledgeable in UI and UX design, who also applies UI best practices, is a plus. As UI & UX place importance on the website’s usability, these principles can improve user satisfaction and increase your website-generated revenue.
An Understanding of eCommerce for the Food Industry
If you plan to sell food or offer delivery on your website, it’s advisable to partner with a restaurant website designer who has eCommerce design experience as well as expertise in designing online eCommerce sites and apps for the food industry. eCommerce is a highly competitive industry. Restaurant, deli, and food delivery websites also require a high level of customization for their inventory and order pages.
An Innovative, Cutting-Edge Design Approach
The food industry is one of the most trend-inspired businesses. As they say, “people eat with their eyes first.” Besides producing aesthetically attractive food, it’s vital your website also be eye candy. You’ll notice this if you take a look at some of the top food delivery and restaurant websites. Ensure that your restaurant website designer is committed to creating a website that makes customers hungry for more.
Post-Launch Website Support and Maintenance
After the launch of your restaurant website, you’ll still need to take care of it to ensure it operates properly. The top restaurant website design agencies may offer post-launch support and maintenance to their clientele for this purpose. Make sure yours does to ensure your restaurant website runs fast and smoothly, is usable, and remains protected from hackers.
Extended Website Services
Website designers focus on the front-end of website creation, particularly digitally mapping out the aesthetics of your website. However, there are more skills and services required to make a website go live and maintain it thereafter. If your website design company can manage some or all of these additional roles, this can save you time, stress, and money.
Some other services that website designers or web design companies may offer include:
- Website development. After the visual design of your custom restaurant website is finalized, it will need to be developed. Back-end website development covers the coding, programming, and actual creation of your live website. Many top restaurant website design companies design and develop websites for clients.
- Digital marketing and advertising. Once your website is live, you can take advantage of a multitude of tools to advertise it online. Google Ads, for example, can be used to position your services or products on the top websites, browsers, and social media platforms. The best restaurant website design companies may be able to assist with digital marketing and advertising separately.
- Content creation. Before and after the launch of your website, you’ll need to fill and update it with fresh, relevant, and up-to-date written and visual content. Restaurant website content creation isn’t generally part of a web designer’s skill set, but some of the top restaurant website design companies may offer it separately.
- Website hosting. Hosting is an important website service. Without it, your website won’t be accessible online. Though web designers don’t host websites, some may be able to help you sign up with a hosting service that does.
- App development. Many restaurant businesses are no longer just launching websites but apps as well. The best restaurant website design agencies may be able to work on and launch a restaurant app along with your website.
- Cybersecurity. Regular site testing, scanning, and software updates are required to keep your website and its data safe. Some of the top restaurant website design agencies may assist you with your cybersecurity needs.
Restaurant Website Design Best Practices
When designing a restaurant website, a professional custom website designer needs to follow various design best practices. Doing so ensures the website excels when it comes to usability, driving revenue, website discoverability, and competing with other sites. Here are the most important restaurant website design best practices.
Recognizable Restaurant Branding
When designing a restaurant website, the most important visuals to get across are the restaurant’s brand. Brand colors, fonts, graphics, and logos should be cohesive and noticeable on every page of a restaurant website design. Recognizable branding ensures that your customers recognize and remember your brand.
The Right Color Palette
Choosing a color palette for a website goes beyond matching your branding. Specific colors, particularly warm red, yellow, and orange tones, evoke hunger and thirst, stimulating customers’ appetites. That’s why these colors feature in or on many restaurant and fast-food chains’ signage, packaging, menus, and branding.
A Comprehensive, Up-To-Date Menu
The number one reason why most customers visit a restaurant’s website is to check the menu. Ideally, your restaurant website content should include up-to-date pricing, menu items, cooking, and ingredient information. An excellent restaurant website design will also organize this information in an easy-to-navigate online menu format.
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Tempting, High-Quality Food Imagery
If you’re selling products online, your website space is technically your online shelf. As such, it’s important your restaurant website design showcases a lot of high-quality photos of your dishes and food items. Photographs that are accurate and tempting will persuade customers when deciding whether to eat at your restaurant.
Photographs of Your Premises, Team, and Day-To-Day Operations
Adding images of your restaurant locations as backgrounds and on website pages can be beneficial. Upon visiting your website, customers may easily remember your brand and any occasions they have eaten there.
Promotional Restaurant Website Content
Successful restaurants always have promotions and special offers going. If you have a new dish or simply want to offer customers a discount on select options, your website is the place to display this information. An effective restaurant website design should have space to incorporate both regular restaurant website content and limited-time promotional content.
UI and UX Design
Usability is a vital factor when it comes to converting customers as well as generating leads and sales. The best restaurant website designs are as usable as possible, minimizing customers’ stress and time taken to complete website actions. Applying UI best practices results in a straightforward, simple-to-use restaurant website, making it a top priority for the best restaurant design companies.
Mobile-First and Responsive Design
More internet users than ever are now using their mobile devices to shop. For this reason, mobile-first website design is a top website design trend. The best restaurant website design agencies design mobile-first and apply responsive design. Doing so ensures that its restaurant website designs look good on any mobile device.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization is nothing new, but it’s still a very important component of website creation. Relevant SEO-optimized content helps browsers and search engines better rank and display your restaurant website content for online searches. Luckily, most top website design agencies and content creators apply SEO strategies when designing or writing restaurant website content.
Multiple Types of Appeal
Food is certainly an appealing and necessary product, but that doesn’t mean your restaurant website design should stop at utilitarian. Multiple types of appeal is a marketing strategy designed to convert pickier customers by appealing to their emotions or needs.
- Emotions. Appeal to customers by highlighting your restaurant’s best characteristics on your website. Include pages and sections detailing your sustainability model, ingredients’ quality, sources, team values, and your restaurant’s ethos.
- Utility. Appeal to customers by highlighting the efficiency of your restaurant. Include information about how long service takes, peak and off-peak times, and the booking process in your restaurant website design.
Links to Social Media
In this digital day and age, a website is one of many online presences required. It works together with advertising, social media, and other types of internet marketing to reach customers. The best restaurant website designs feature links and even content from its social media pages.
Tracking and Analytics
The food and restaurant industry is competitive, making customer data a valuable resource. A website is an excellent place to collect user data to improve your restaurant’s offerings and website design. Integrating tracking and analytics software and then using this when it comes time to redesign your website is key.
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Custom Website Design
When designing a website, you can easily use free templates or low-code platforms to create a design quickly. However, the best restaurant website designs stand out because of their unique layout. Only custom website designs can achieve this level of uniqueness, which is vital to be competitive in the food industry.
Creativity, particularly design, is a fluid and often subjective profession. What one client or customer may appreciate, another may not. Collaborating with a website designer to create the best restaurant website design for your business is an important step to take.
However, the website design process can be fraught with unforeseen issues. Choosing the best restaurant website design company can help alleviate some of those stresses and problems. Going with a company that’s knowledgeable, experienced, and passionate about designing restaurant websites is best.