Let’s face it, people aren’t looking in the yellow pages anymore for restaurant recommendations. When diners are looking for new restaurants to eat at, they’re going to the internet to find them, which is why it's so important for restaurants to have an online presence.
When placing an online order, a patron is more likely to use a restaurant's website than a third-party site like EAT24, according to Toast. You’ve got to make a good first impression with your site and make sure it’s easy-to-use and navigate. Customers are going to base their decision on whether or not they want to eat at your restaurant by looking to see if your website is modern or a mess.
You want to have a website that makes people flock to your establishment, so how do you get started? In this article, we’ll show you how to create a stunning restaurant website that will help fill your restaurant with happy diners.
Purchase hosting and install Wordpress.
First you’ll need to purchase and setup the website itself. It might seem complicated to build a website but it’s really not. There are so many affordable hosting sites and website software options you can use to create a gorgeous website without ever touching code.
Step one is purchasing your domain and choosing a hosting site. I recommend using Wordpress for your site, so you’ll need to choose a hosting site that’s compatible with it. Siteground is a great one to go with when starting out. You can get both your domain and hosting with this option and it only costs around $4 per month.
Once you’ve purchased your domain and hosting, the next step is to download WordPress, which is very simple. After you sign up with Siteground and login for the first time, you’ll see a popup appear when you visit the customer area, simply click on the WordPress icon to download and that’s it, now you can start setting up your restaurant website with Wordpress.
Pick a beautiful restaurant theme.
There’s no need to spend a bunch of money on a website designer when Wordpress offers a big assortment of beautiful themes.
Choose one of the themes specifically for restaurants. Choosing one of their niche themes is the best choice because the layout will include many of the features you’ll need and it will be easier to setup than a general theme with too many options. After choosing a theme, you’ll be able to fill out the pages with your information including your home, contact and about us pages including your address and hours.
When people are out and about in the city and looking for a place to eat, they’re going to be using their phones so it’s important to choose a Wordpress theme that is mobile friendly as well.
Here are some stunning restaurant templates you can download for free:
Add an online menu.
When people are looking for somewhere to eat they usually want to check out the menu first, which is why you need one on your website and not just at your restaurant. Some restaurants choose to add a menu on their website as a JPEG or a PDF but this is a huge hassle for customers and usually doesn’t look great either.
It’s recommended to use a Wordpress plugin like Restaurant Menu by MotoPress. It features a clean responsive design for proper mobile viewing, as well as the ability to separate the menu into categories, add images and there are even delivery payment methods that can be incorporated, too.
People eat with their eyes first, so be sure to incorporate stunning photography of your delicious food throughout your website and on your online menu as well.
Create an online reservation form.
The ability to have customers book reservations right from your website is not only super convenient for them, but also for you. Instead of having to answer phone calls all day or go through emails, an online reservation form does all the work for you. Customers can easily book a reservation with you wherever they are.
The Restaurant Reservations plugin for WordPress is free, easy to install and allows you to quickly confirm or reject reservations, send out custom email notifications and automatically block reservations when you’re closed.
Keep it updated.
Another important aspect to remember is that you always have to keep your website updated. That means if they are any changes to your menu or changes in your hours, you’ll need to make updates for those changes to give customers accurate information about your restaurant.
WordPress also requires a lot of maintenance as there are always new updates to both the site and plugins. You might want to consider getting a webmaster to manage your website maintenance to ease some stress. Webmasters can also update your content for you, make sure your server is running smoothly, ensure your website stays online and that it stays protected against hackers.
Your restaurant’s website needs to make a great first impression because a lot of time it’s the first thing customers will see before they ever step foot inside your restaurant. Now you know how to create a stunning restaurant website that will impress your patrons just as much as your food.