Cafe & Restaurant Website Design Tips

Website design inspiration

Getting a website off the ground may not be the first priority for coffee shops, restaurants and bars but it’s not something that you can sweep under the carpet for long. It can be a great way to build anticipation before opening, as well as driving in traffic once you are. More importantly, there are some surprisingly wide reaching consequences of your website. It forms the centre of your online presence, so even if your customers first look at Google Maps or TripAdvisor, your website is still going to be key.

There are many different approaches to building a website for the hospitality industry. Both in terms of visual style and also the functionality that it provides. This will depend on what sort of business you have. Do you offer super modern experimental cuisine? Is it a fun and casual family setting? Do you offer take aways or group bookings? All these things can have an impact on your website’s design so here are some of the key things to look out for if you’re on your way to a new website.

Photographs first

From the super minimal to the fully corporate, modern website designs always rely on powerful imagery. This could be pictures of the food and drink you serve, showing off your friendly staff or trying to convey the ambience of your premises. With computers and phones have big screens and fast internet connections there’s no excuse not to instantly convey what makes your business special through photographs. But it may take a little planning to get this right. In fact, before you even start building the website you’ll want to have a chat with your website design team about what you have in mind. You may need to take new photos in order to get the most out of your pictures online and if you haven’t had proper photos taken before, now is certainly the time to get some sorted.

There are several aspects of using pictures in website design that may not be front and centre during a normal photo shoot. You don’t need to worry so much about the digital format or file size, that stuff can be sorted out later, just make sure the photos are high resolution. However, you do need to have a think about what is in the photos and how it’s displayed. Here are some top tips:

  • Make sure the pictures you get taken will work for this sort of widescreen display on computers, so a variety of landscape and portrait aspect ratios for all photos would be a great help to ensure you can display the best photos on sliders and social media assets.
  • You also need to have a think about what that picture will say about your business. If it’s a fancy picture of a cocktail but 90% of your business is from day time coffee and brunch, is this giving the right impression? Is the focus on food, drink, socialising, music events?
  • On top of this, you may wish to display text over the top of the image. Have a think about the range of colours and brightnesses in the image. White text stands out on a dark background and vice versa if the background is both, neither colour text will be legible.
  • For a high resolution screen, the images will need to be at least 2,000 pixels wide if you want to use the photo full width. This is a good ballpark to aim for.

How will your website drive sales?

Your website is a marketing tool. Just as the sign outside your shop front is, or your menu or your Facebook account. It’s easy to spend all your time worrying about making it look cool but it still needs to give people the information they need when deciding where to dine. It’s important to have a think about how people may find your website and what they may be looking for.

  • Make sure your site is linked up both ways, added to your Google Maps listing and TripAdvisor account and featuring reviews from as many sources as possible. Links from your website to all your social accounts are essential. Do what you can to display online reviews and rating from these site too.
  • Keep the essentials covered. Basic info like your menu, location and opening times need to be super easy to find and see on all devices. Is someone going to download the 10 megabyte PDF file of last summers menu on their phone? Hopefully not. Find a simple way to get the most important information for your customers available and accessible to desktops and mobiles.
  • SEO matters for your restaurant website. This is what determines how high up in search engine results that your website and Maps listing appears. You won’t get any visitors to your nice new website unless people can find it.
  • Think about the other functionalities that can make life easier for you and your customers. Integrated booking systems if you take reservations, live calendars if you do events, quick and easy takeaway systems, linking up to Deliveroo or Uber Eats. Coffee shops and bars are now enabling customers to order drinks via apps to save time and pick up on the fly. If your business offers a service see if you can make life easier by digitising it through your website.

Website are inescapable. They are an absolute necessity these days. So it’s important to ensure that yours has the best when it comes to both form and function. And it doesn’t have to be difficult to achieve this. We offer a range of flexible web design packages for restaurants and cafes, to help you find an affordable solution to your online marketing. Get in touch to talk to our experienced design team today.

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