6 Restaurant Website Must-Haves in 2023 & Examples

6 Restaurant Website Must-Haves in 2023 & Examples

June 27, 2023

As a restaurant owner venturing into the world of website development, creating a visually appealing and functional online presence is essential. A well-designed website can attract potential customers, showcase your culinary offerings, and streamline the reservation and ordering processes. Based off our experience at Chowbus – working with thousands of restaurants over the years– here are our recommendations for the key components that can make your restaurant website truly outstanding.

1. High Quality Imagery & Visually Striking Design

A visually pleasing design that reflects your restaurant's theme and branding will captivate visitors, leaving a lasting impression of your establishment.

We really like the homepage style for Bibi Ji, a Santa Barbara based trendy Indian restaurant. Upon landing on the website, you immediately feel a nice blend of fun and high quality, budget-friendly dining. 

bibiji-restaurant-website-indian-cuisine Medium

2. Clear Website Navigation

Ensure your website is easy to navigate, with intuitive menus that allow users to find essential information effortlessly.

This navigation bar from Kokomo from NYC is a great example of a simple, straightforward navigation. Less is more! Having a blue header with white text on top also makes this navigation easier to use, versus having the text sit on top of a background image.

simple-restaurant-website-navigation-kokomo-nyc Medium

3. Responsive Layout for Desktop & Mobile

Optimize your website for mobile devices to accommodate the increasing number of users accessing websites through smartphones and tablets.

Marlowe in San Francisco does a great job making sure their menu looks good on laptops and mobile devices. See screenshots below! You can see how the menu layout changes and still looks great on smaller screens! This is easier said than done.

desktop-website-for-restauraunt-marlowe-sf Medium
mobile-website-for-restauraunt-marlowe-sf Medium

4. Restaurant Menu Showcase

Display your menu prominently, using enticing images and detailed descriptions to whet visitors' appetites.

Bhuna Indian Soul Food does this well by having their menu pdf above a gallery of high-quality dish imagery!

restaurant-website-menu-pdf-bhuna-indian-food Medium

5. Diner Social Proof and Reviews

Showcase customer testimonials, reviews, and ratings to build trust and credibility, encouraging potential customers to dine at your establishment.

Franklin’s BBQ in Austin TX highlights a catchy quote from local news coverage! You can do something similar if you have local news coverage or just use a catchy quote from a customer.

restaurant-review-quote-on-website-franklins-bbq Medium

6. Restaurant Specials and Promotions

Highlight any ongoing specials, promotions, or upcoming events to entice visitors and foster repeat visits.

Take a page from this restaurant, The OG in Denver, that has a page dedicated to promotions! They have fun with it and call it the ‘Happenings’ page.

promotions-web-page-for-restaurant-og-denver Medium

7. About Us and Storytelling

Connect with potential customers by sharing your restaurant's unique story, history, and features, creating a personal connection that sets your establishment apart.

The OG Denver also does a great job with their ‘Our Story’ page. We recommend doing something similar and also make sure to add a photo of your founding team – ideally they’re smiling!

our-story-web-page-for-restaurant-og-denver Medium

Additional Must-Haves for Restaurant Websites:

  1. Contact Information & Location

  2. Link to Your Social Media (make sure you’re marketing your restaurant instagram!)

  3. Use an Online Reservation system to stream-line bookings and link to it in your navigation

  4. Use an Online Ordering and Delivery provider, such as Chowbus, and link to it in your navigation

Ready to Build? 

By incorporating these key components into your restaurant's website, you can create a visually stunning and user-friendly online platform that captivates visitors, drives reservations and orders, and ultimately enhances your restaurant's success in the digital realm.

Remember, a great website not only looks visually appealing but also provides a seamless user experience, enticing visitors to explore further and take action, such as making a reservation or placing an order. Invest time and effort into building an outstanding website, and you'll reap the rewards of a strong online presence for your restaurant.

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