Word-of-mouth and local advertising are no doubt excellent for growing your restaurant business. However, with the world going digital, chances are your customers, potential and current, would also love to learn about your company online. So many people today rely on the convenience of the Internet for researching their options. The top Google search results tend to be the trusted ones, and the ones who receive the most traffic.
A great website can help define a restaurant business's purpose, and boost the business in many ways begining with displaying details and emphasizing extraordinary features. In order for a website to become widely-used, it should be readily available on the web, easy to navigate, and mobile-optimized. Also building a localized restaurant website is highly recommended as you will want your business to turn up in search queries for good restaurants around the area.
In this article, we will outline the basics you need to build a successful restaurant website.
Elements You Need to Start a WordPress Restaurant Site
Design is just one important consideration in producing a restaurant website. Your website should also deliver all the necessary information about your business and strive to build a positive relationship. Whether you run a buffet, a doughnut shop or a family restaurant, your restaurant website will require a few basic elements for success. The following is a list of pages and features you need to think about before creating a restaurant website.
#1 Develop Connection with Your Story
Stories are very effective, especially the ones about overcoming obstacles. Motivational tales tug at our heart. Restaurant stories can often be as creative as their delicious menu. Give your readers something interesting to let them feel a connection to your restaurant. Create an About page and consider writing an inspirational and compelling background piece about your restaurant. You can also add a photo gallery to display your restaurant’s history and current ambience.
A plugin may also be used to design your About Us page. One of the most creative About Us plugins for WordPress restaurant sites is:
POWr About Us is a cloud-based plugin available for free. You can also edit with this plugin in your live web page. To start with, you need to sign up for a POWr account and then access the entire About Us plugin library. This plugin helps you create a profile for your clients, employees, products and more. Besides adding titles, text, links, social media and images, you can also customize colors, fonts, backgrounds, sizing, and spacing. The 100% responsive page will look amazing on any device.
#2 Show What You Offer
Displaying your restaurant menu on your site is a priority as instead of first browsing around, ninety-nine percent of site visitors hop directly to the menu page of your site to see what you offer. Therefore, your restaurant menu is the showstopper. Make sure your menu is readily available on every device and provides details that readers would like to know.
With regard to menus, the worst thing you can do is create a downloadable PDF version. Rather, make your menu shareable and as interactive as possible, but do not use Flash. Your menu should include:
- Detailed item description
- Food images
- Item price
- Dietary information
- Specials and happy hour
- New introductions
With WordPress, it is often advisable to use a good plugin to build and customize your restaurant menu. Some excellent restaurant menu plugins are:
This plugin offers you seven variations of menu block design layouts, extended menu descriptions, easy translation to any language, easy drag ‘n' drop interface, multiple dish images with a stylish image viewer and a mobile-friendly design variation.
With the Food and Drink Menu plugin, you can create an attractive menu for bars, eateries, cafes and family restaurants. This plugin creates two kinds of post types, menu and menu items. You can setup unlimited menus and menu items with photo, price and extended description for your site. This fantastic plugin also allows you to include guidance, legal disclaimer, and other important notes. With a 100% responsive menu layout, you can use this plugin to display your menu in the sidebar with easily customizable templates.
FoodPress allows you to create appealing boxed-style menu designs with custom category icons and background images visible on hover. With complete documentation and live demo, you can quickly craft simple, creative, and tidy menu designs for your restaurant. This plugin also integrates tons of custom font icons, a cool reservation form, easy reservation management, and many more impressive features.
#3 Restaurant Hours, Contact Information and Location
Strategically placing your restaurant location details at the top of your site is recommended. However, you might also want to add your address details to a dedicated contact page with location map, parking info, and driving directions, if desired. Make it easy for your customers to find the basic information about your business. Email, phone number, fax, and all other important details related to your restaurant should be included on your site.
You can either manually update all the details or opt for a plugin like:
Business Profile is one of the best plugins to display all your contact and other business details on your site. You can include your company name, email address, Google Map with directions, open and closed times, phone number, and physical address. This plugin, however, is not suitable for multiple locations display.
#4 Ordering Food Online
You might also like to have a section on your site where your customers can directly order food online. This functionality will increase convenience and help you build a strong client base. Your customers should be able to view your menu, make their selections, place their order and then either wait for delivery or pick up their purchase from the restaurant. Here is a good plugin that you can integrate with your site and enable your customers to order online.
With Zuppler, your customers can order food online directly from your restaurant, for take-out, dine-in, delivery, and catering. The settings can be customized to match your brand, restaurant and site ambience.
#5 Accepting Reservations
Many guests love the peace-of-mind of securing a reservation before reaching a restaurant so that they do not have to face unavailability issues. Offering booking and reservations capability can add to the success of a restaurant website. However, make sure you keep the reservation process easy and intuitive. If you are planning to include a reservation platform, utilizing a plugin can be an excellent choice. Some of the best plugins available online are:
Restaurant Reservations is a free plugin that allows you to accept guest reservations, and also send customers confirmation or rejection emails with custom notification messages. You can also limit your booking time availability as per your preferences and use MailChimp as an add-on for sending email newsletters.
WP Restaurant Manager or WPRM is a multi-purpose plugin for your restaurant website. It allows you to accept table bookings online and restaurant reservations with a single booking form. This makes the booking system for users quite easy and quick. In addition, this plugin gives you an easy to use interface to manage bookings, including confirmations and rejections. You can also send out custom email notifications, set or restrict booking times, and dates, and much more with WPRM.
#6 Reviews and Testimonials
Many potential customers do like to check reviews when interested in visiting a restaurant. Positive reviews can help inspire confidence in your business, and attract new visitors. Therefore, adding a review and testimonial corner section on your site can be highly beneficial. Visitors love to see the reviews and testimonials that promote your business. A plugin can also be employed for constructing the testimonials and reviews section.
Good Reviews for WordPress is a handy plugin to add reviews and testimonials on your restaurant site. You can easily display them in widgets, posts and pages as well. This plugin also uses Schema.org markup for its review postings to help Google search and integrate your site reviews with their listing.
#7 Social Media Integration
With the increasing inclusion of social media as a part of daily life, it is quite advantageous to market your business via social media platform. Therefore, encourage your visitors and customers to share their experience on their social media profiles such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Request them to “like” and share your specials online and refer their friends. There are plugins available with great social sharing options.
One of the most elegant social sharing plugins, Monarch helps your guests share your restaurant and food images on their social networks. This plugin has multiple placement options including the sidebar, footer, header, floating, pop up and fly-in. You can customize as needed and raise your exposure on social media.
Ultimately though, before selecting any plugins, you should first explore some of the best restaurant themes available online. Choosing the right theme can eliminate the need for a lot of additional software. Many of the features mentioned above are already included in themes that are specifically designed for restaurant or food site development.
MyCuisine is a theme designed specifically to make your restaurant site look and feel great. This theme not only showcases images of your business, but also incorporates many of the features necessary to build an excellent restaurant site.
Demo ThemeDownload Theme
This theme includes some robust features like chef recommendations, business location with maps, contact information, customer reviews and testimonials, and opening and closing times.
WordPress is a wonderful tool for both beginners and professionals in setting up a restaurant website. It offers free tips, themes and helpful plugins to create a smart restaurant site.