You have just decided to take your restaurant business online but you have no idea how website development for restaurants works. This is a matter of concern, isn’t it?

Fret not! The web developer will take care of most of the things when you will share your business needs and goals. Still, you do not want to be kept in the dark because the website is where your existing and potential customers will interact with you online.  

We are here to guide you through every step of the restaurant website development process so you can create an effective, engaging, and modern website that delivers.

Purpose of Restaurant Website Design

A website serves as the information hub of your restaurant where your potential customers can learn about your brand and history, make reservations and purchases, access offers and discounts, and review your cuisines and services. 

A website is actually considered an extension of your restaurant itself. It deals with your customers just as diplomatically as you would in person. So, you should invest significant time and effort to leverage the benefits of an official website for your business.

Why Restaurants Need Web Design

About 59% of diners decide to check out the online presence of a restaurant before going to eat there. So, you can say restaurant web design is a smart way to ensure that people feel interested in your services.

In other words, it won’t matter if you provide an amazing dining experience if your website design is so poor that it can’t attract new customers at all.

DIY vs Agency-Based Restaurant Web Design

You can build your own restaurant website or hire a website design agency. Both options have their own pros and cons. You have to weigh all of them against your budgets and other business aspects to decide which way you want to go.

DIY Approach

If you want a cheaper, easier and flexible way to make your own restaurant website, you can use free website building platforms like Wix, Squarespace and WordPress. You can have more creative freedom this way and create a custom restaurant website out of the standard templates to your liking. Also, if your website requires any change, you can quickly make it happen. 

However, it’s time consuming and can take a lot of hours away from other important areas of your business. Also, if you’re not good at designing, your site can look unprofessional or just as typical as any other restaurant website online. As a result, it won’t be unique at all. 

Restaurant Website Design Agencies

There are many restaurant website designers nowadays. Their specialty is that they are trained to build restaurant websites only. You can hire one and get your restaurant website done professionally.

Since they are professionals, they’re going to build a smart, unique and captivating website for you that you couldn’t possibly do on your own. This will save you both time and scope to take care of other essential aspects of your restaurant business.

More importantly, these agencies also offer proper SEO marketing techniques which will rank your restaurant website higher on search engine results.

Needless to say, restaurant website developers are really expensive to hire. They can take some time to build your website too since they’re not in an exclusive contract with you and may have to spend their time and resources elsewhere. On top of that, since they will probably take total control of your project, you may not be able to get involved in the creative process yourself.   

We still recommend that you contact a reliable restaurant web design company. Although it will cost some money, we can guarantee you their genuine effort to develop your restaurant website, which will definitely prove beneficial for your business in the future. 

Website Development for Restaurants: Step-by-Step Guide

1. Choose a Restaurant Website Builder

You need a content management system (CMS) for hosting and managing your site, especially if you’re building the site yourself. If the CMS is effective enough, you won’t have to know a great deal about coding. 

However, choosing the right CMS is what matters the most. You can use a restaurant website builder, which is a web design platform specialized in making sites for restaurants only. 

Here are some of the most popular restaurant web builders for you here:

  • Bentobox
  • OpenRest
  • Toast

Using a platform like these is convenient because they offer features, layouts and tools specifically tailored to restaurant businesses and you can be very creative with them.

However, if you prefer generalized website builders and then customize them according to your restaurant theme, we’ve got some popular options for you here as well-

  • Wix
  • Squarespace
  • WordPress
  • Weebly
  • GoDaddy
  • Square Online

These systems don’t operate to build restaurant websites exclusively but they contain themes and plug-ins specific to restaurant business. All you have to do is tap into their resources and create something special.

You have to use these sites also if your business is more of a catering service since there are no catering website builders available online.

2. Pick a Theme

Choosing a theme for your restaurant website is crucial. Many business owners overlook this aspect of their design and expect organic traffic from their online presence. But it’s not possible. Without an eye-catching theme, the visitors may not even care about your food quality. 

There are some things you have to consider first-

  • For theme selection, you have to understand what your brand really offers and present that with a unique style on your site. If you’ve borrowed the idea from somewhere else, your entire effort will be deemed unoriginal and uninspired.
  • Make a list of features you want to include in your website. Don’t keep adding unnecessary stuff. Keep the relevant features on the homepage since it’s the page where most impressions are made.
  • Make sure the design is responsive. Most of your audience online are primarily mobile users. They want an easy-to-use interface to engage with businesses like yours. So, focus on delivering the best user experience (UX) possible.
  • Colors are important as well. If you want to be visually appealing with your menus, select appropriate colors for your site. Don’t mix them up excessively. Pick a single dominant color consistent with your business theme. Then make a color palette from that. You can also use contrasting colors to highlight special features and sections.

3. Register a Domain Name

A domain name is just as important as your site itself. A unique and easy-to-pronounce domain will be effective in promoting your brand.

Follow a couple of guidelines to optimize the performance of your domain.

  • Use your original restaurant or brand name in the domain so that people can recognize and find you easily.
  • If the name has been taken already, keep it still and add something relevant with it, for example, the location of your restaurant (NYC) or your signature service (tea).
  • You can get your domain for free from the sites we’ve listed earlier but they are less secure. We recommend that you buy a good domain and hosting.
  • Avoid using words that are difficult to spell or remember.
  • Don’t add special characters unless you have to as a last resort.
  • For extensions, you can consider using the top-level ones such as .eat or .kitchen.

4. Prepare Your Content

This is the most important step by far. You know your branding and your services the most. So, make a decision on which features you’re going to present on your site. We’re going to look at the must-see types of content in detail that you should include in your restaurant website in a later section.

However, you may have already guessed what features we’re talking about, for example, your menu, offers, discounts, online purchase options, reservations, opening and closing time and so on.

5. Design the Website

After all the planning, it’s time to finally design your website. If you’ve handed this project over to a restaurant website designer or agency, you can skip this step and focus on somewhere else.

If you are doing it yourself, research about restaurant website development in depth. You have to be aware of the niche you’re in. Look at the industry and find out what’s working for the giant brands. Analyze your competitors as well. You don’t have to copy designs from them but you can implement your ideas based on this information.

Above all, your top priority should be your customers. Give them what they normally expect. Make a user-friendly website. Don’t forget to make it accessible from all types of devices; mainly mobile. Keep the features attractive and relevant.

A website design for restaurants should be compatible with the business itself. For example, if you have an elegant restaurant catering to a high-end society, you’ll require a glamorous site whereas a family restaurant doesn’t need more than a simple and interactive design.    

6. Regularly Update

If your website is not following the latest trends or not even updated regularly, it will create a terrible impression on the online community. So, always keep in touch with the CMS or your agency to figure out how the site can be improved. If you’re running it yourself, always keep your customers posted about new offers and attractions.

Essential Features for Restaurant Web Development

As an owner, you have to ensure two things. First, you have to bring in new customers and then turn them into return customers.

People are always looking for restaurants nearby all over the internet. To be appealing to the new customers, you should stand out with your online presence. If your site remains like any other restaurant website, they’ll not choose you. They should find all the necessary information about your restaurant and the unique offers you’re providing at their very first look on your website.

For these new potential customers, you have to include the following features-

1. A Warm Welcome

Treat your website like it’s just another room at your restaurant. You want your customers to feel at home in your restaurant, right? So, make a user-oriented website.

Greet your customers as you would if they came to your restaurant for the first time.

Tell them about yourself and the inspiration behind starting this restaurant. If it’s a restaurant run through generations, mention your family legacy. If it’s brand new, let them see how serious and sincere you are with your vision and your customers.

Usually, a restaurant “About Us” page contains such inspirational messages.

2. Menus

The primary reason behind people searching for new restaurants is that they want to eat healthy and have fun!

So, the first piece of your business should be putting up your menu on the website. Don’t upload the menu as a PDF file because people get annoyed when downloading them. Keep it on an accessible page so that everyone can find and see the food options easily.

Segment the dishes in separate sections such as starters, salad, main course, drinks and desserts. Highlight the special items and those in high demand to captivate your audience’s attention. Adopt digital menus to present your most mouth-watering dishes in a fantastic way.

Focus on the technical aspects as well. According to Restaurant Traffic Statistics, the text aligned to the far left or far right is more readable. Use a font and a color that are easy on the eyes.

It goes without saying that the menu has to be up to date and the pricing has to be accurate.

3. Address

If people don’t get to know where you’re located from the website, it means they’ll get demotivated to find anything out any further. So, write your address on the site and make it easy to find. You can link out the Google map location to ease it for the customers.

4. Contact Information

You have to include active phone numbers and e-mail addresses for immediate contact. Don’t put numbers that are not working or have a bad network coverage.

5. Open Hours

State the time period you’re open every day. You can also add if you have special openings or weekend deals in this section.

6. Social Media Links

For your online popularity to grow, social media is an important tool. Don’t sit back after building a website. You should nurture this online presence and the best way to do so is creating social media profiles for your restaurant.

Connect your social media pages to the homepage of your website alongside contact information. People are more active in social media nowadays and so there’s a huge chance that they’re going to reach out to you through your social media entities and promote your business by sharing there as well. 

7. Images

You should include high-resolution images of all your palatable dishes and drinks to visually satisfy your customers.

If you’re offering a calm and relaxing environment, you can add pictures of the interior of your restaurant and some stunning views through the windows to convince them that they’re going to be pampered here.

8. Mobile-friendly Design

We’re asking you over and over again to make your site mobile-friendly because most developers miss this very important detail during restaurant website creation. Without a mobile-specific design, there’s a high probability that most of your potential customers are going to turn away from your services.

9. SEO

When you’re getting your website built by an agency, they’ll definitely optimize your site for search engine rankings. But if you’re building the site yourself and have little to no idea about what SEO is, you should consult with an expert and invest time and resources in that.

SEO is the most powerful and surefire digital marketing strategy to ensure that your site is getting noticed by a large number of people. So, don’t sleep on it!

After covering all these basics, you should now try to achieve customer satisfaction with your dining services and convince them to not only try your restaurant again but recommend it to their friends and relatives as well. You have to spend a significant time to enrich your features even further to retain your customers.

10. Online Reservation Methods

Your customers will want to know if they have to book a table in advance. So, clear up any confusion regarding reservations on your website.

Include a widget or a link on the site through which your customers can directly and easily book reservations online.

11. Takeout

You should always put customers’ needs first. Many people now want to have the luxury of enjoying restaurant cuisines sitting back at their own home.

So, if you don’t have one already, install a plug-in or create a page for online order and payment methods on your website. You can partner up with a food delivery service to make it easier for your favorite customers at home!

12. Gift Cards

From time to time, you can arrange give-aways, discount coupons and gift cards for the engaging customers. This will create a stronger relationship and earn more trust from them.

13. Events

Dedicated customers will start relying on you for everything. So, if you run campaigns or special events, you can promote those on the homepage of your site, for them to notice right away. They’ll keep this in mind for the future and may appear with a large population.

You can also rent your restaurant and services for different day-long events and programs. In that case, you should include a tab for booking and payment on the site and make sure that it’s visible enough for the browsers.

14. Positive Reviews

Link your Google Business Profile or Yelp sites and ask customers to leave you an honest review. You can then highlight the most positive and promotional reviews on your website. You can also try to collect testimonials from your regular customers to put up on the site.

You can maintain a more transparent personality by opening up the option for people to review your services directly on the website.

These simple practices will encourage more casual viewers to at least try your restaurant. The rest is up to you!

15. E-mail Marketing & Newsletters

Email marketing is an old but useful digital marketing technique while newsletters are effective in keeping users updated and attached with a product. If you combine both these approaches, you can get an amazing result!

When you send newsletters to some select customers, it increases their values and so they feel empowered and encouraged. In turn, they’ll frequent your restaurant more and let others know about you as well.

Keep an option open for customers to sign up for monthly or bi-monthly newsletters on the site. Offer exclusive discounts or some other lucrative meal packages for new subscribers.

Send them occasional discounts, offers, and tips through emails. For a more personal approach, you can categorize your customers based on age and other information. For example, you can keep in touch with them by sending them birthday cards and special coupons whenever convenient.

16. Loyalty Programs

Finally, you can launch a loyalty program for your long time customers and make it a distinct feature of your website.

You can announce that a meal or an appetizer is free for them if they purchase or order items online for a certain amount of times first. This sort of incentive will help keep your existing customers as well as bring new ones.

Honor your customers and help them see that you do care!

17. Videos

A short video about your restaurant, where you and your staff are giving an overview of your restaurant, or a sneak-and-peek on your special recipe in the kitchen, can grab more attention than pictures.

18. Blogs

You can comment on your objectives for this restaurant, give a preview of an upcoming hyped item on the menu and many more by publishing blogs on the site.

19. Career Pages

If you’re short of staff, post a job vacancy on site to look for candidates from amongst the interested netizens.

20. Catchy Background

As a part of your UX design of the website, you can consider appealing visuals and elements to get hold of the browsers’ attention for a longer period of time.

Fundamental Pages for Website Development for Restaurants

Website development for restaurants can take a lot of effort in organization. By organization, we mean how the pages of a restaurant website are designed.

Each page should contain relevant and unique content.

1. Homepage

Homepage is the most important page on a website.

People usually don’t want to spend a lot of time reading through a long article during the day. They look for the gist of the information and move on.

In restaurant websites, it’s more applicable. When people are searching for restaurants, they’re hungry and obviously not in the mood for a long description of your restaurant. They want the exact information they need.

So, when designing the homepage, get to the point of your restaurant. Put your clear logo up and highlight your brand name in the heading section.

Add what your restaurant is all about in the form of a tagline or simple words. For example, if you’re offering Italian cuisines in a foreign land, write “Authentic Italian Delight.” You don’t need to go about your origin story on this page at all.

You can make the homepage visually attractive just like your restaurant exterior. In a way, the homepage serves as your door to the restaurant before the customers come to your real door itself.

2. Menu Page

Ideally, your food menu should be the top priority because you’re running a restaurant. People will often visit your site only to know about the dishes you’re offering.

So, keep your menu clean and simple. Separate them by sections and put the correct price by the side.

The menu button should be present on the homepage where everybody can easily see it and navigate through.

3. Reservations

For reservations, it’s not always necessary to create an entire page. You can include a wide button on the homepage for customers to click on and book a table directly from the website.

4. Contact Info

This one is important for networking and communication. Provide detailed contact information such as phone number and email address on this page and add your location, opening hours, and social media accounts alongside. If you have a newsletter, you can add a subscription button here as well.

5. About Us

The “About Us” page is important for an overall background of your business as we’ve mentioned before. It gives your customers an anticipating feeling for the guest experience they’re about to have.

Usually, you can add-

  • Who you are as a brand
  • When you started
  • Where your food comes from
  • What your specialty is
  • Your secret recipe
  • Inspiration behind your menu
  • The head chef
  • Rest of the staff

At the end of the day, it depends on your niche and how your customers perceive you as a restaurant brand.

6. Blog

A separate blog section can contain blogs you’ve written for the site.

7. Online Delivery

If your takeout option is available, you can dedicate a page to online order and delivery. Here, the customers can choose an item, order, pay through the available mediums, assign a delivery person or organization and track the order.

Final Thoughts

If you think website development for restaurants can be scary, you’re probably right. Our article here is not going to decide how easy or hard it is. Rather, we’ve discussed how important it is and how we should handle the job.

It’s better if you hire a professional agency to develop your restaurant website but we’ve also mentioned the resources and platforms that you can use to build the site yourself.

A restaurant website should have some distinct features to stand out from the competitors and survive in the industry. We have suggested the most fundamental strategies to install the features and organize them across web pages.

But we are not the ones actively promoting your business- your customers will be. So, design your website around their expectations because they are all that matters.

Once you’ve started listening to your loyal customers, you won’t ever have to look back, we promise! 


No, there are restaurant website builders like Bentobox and OpenRest and general website builders like Wix or WordPress that you can use to design a restaurant website without any programming knowledge.

You have to choose responsive designs, optimize images for mobile screens and make the site compatible overall for smaller viewing during UX designing.

You can take professional pictures of your best items, name them with special remarks and attach a tasteful description of the recipe to highlight the food.

You should link out a Google or Yelp rating site in your homepage and highlight earlier reviews. You can personally ask them to review also if they don’t feel uncomfortable with it.

Hiring an agency is more expensive than building a restaurant website on one’s own. Even then, the price varies based on the location, niche and industry demand of the business.

You can evaluate how your restaurant website is doing in terms of bringing in organic traffic and conversion rate using Google analytics and other online website analysis tools.