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Keep These 9 Best Practices in Mind

(Ad) What’s the first thing you do when a friend suggests going to a new restaurant or bar this weekend? You probably don’t go in person to walk by and check it out—you’re likely heading directly to their website to see the menu, check the vibe, and make a reservation before you arrive.

That’s why your bar or restaurant’s website is so important to get right. It’s not just a place to park your opening hours and a PDF version of an outdated menu—it’s an extension of your brand and a way to win over customers before their next dining or drinking experience has even begun.

In fact, 77% of consumers say they’re likely to visit a restaurant’s website before visiting or placing a takeout order, and 68% have been discouraged from visiting a restaurant because of a poor experience on its website.

But there are so many choices when designing your website—where should you begin? This blog post will cover the best practices you must keep in mind when creating your site, so it shines.

Restaurant and Bar Marketing Overview

Branding is a critical part of any restaurant or bar’s success. But the logistical side, like creating a smooth, easy-to-use platform for making reservations or placing online orders, is just as vital.

Your website needs to cover both uses beautifully to ensure you’re enticing every potential diner or patron who visits it and keeps them coming back for more. It’s the foundation of your marketing and advertising strategy, whether you run a bar or a restaurant.

These best practices, plus the examples of restaurant websites (and a few bars), will ensure that your website is winning over your potential customers.

5 Best Restaurant Web Design Practices to Keep in Mind

1. Keep Your Site Concise And Clear

Your food offerings and photos should tell the story of your site without too many words. Sure, you can (and should) add in some information about how your restaurant came to be and your approach to food, but site visitors don’t want to read only about you—they want to see what you can offer them. Make that clear in as few words as possible, and ensure they can navigate the site, and your user experience will be top-notch.

Source: Levain Bakery

2. Include An Updated Menu

Having an outdated menu on your website shows visitors that you pay little attention to your site, which isn’t a great first impression. After all, the menu is why most of your visitors are coming to your site in the first place. Ensuring you’re featuring what your restaurant is actually serving is a recipe for a better customer experience.

Also, requiring your website visitors to download a PDF menu might not seem a big deal. Still, it appears outdated to many visitors and adds yet another unwanted step to their online experience.

3. Integrate Online Ordering

If you offer takeout and delivery options, you should allow your customers to place orders on your website. 40% of consumers prefer using a restaurant’s website or app to place orders, compared to 11% who prefer third-party apps.

Your takeout and delivery menu should be seamlessly integrated into your site, with as little friction as possible in the ordering experience. You might need to add an extension or an integration with an ordering system to add it to your site, so be sure to choose one that offers a great user experience.

Source: Picco

4. Optimize For Mobile Visitors

We do almost everything from our phones nowadays, including researching new restaurants and bars. So be sure your entire website, from your homepage to your menu to your ordering system, is optimized for mobile browsing.

Mobile optimization means paying attention to how your website performs on all mobile devices, from tablets to smartphones and laptops. Be sure the user interface is friendly, navigable, and accessible for everyone, no matter how they access your food and restaurant website.

5. Create A Compelling “About Us” Page

Your About Us page isn’t optional—it tells the story of your restaurant. After all, you’re not just serving food but also delivering an experience and a story to your customers. Be sure your About Us page tells that story concisely but compellingly, letting visitors know what sets you apart from the other restaurants in your area.

Source: Krasi

4 Best Bar Web Design Practices to Keep in Mind

Most restaurant best practices above also apply to bars, so remember to check those out! Here are a few further bar-specific ones.

1. Keep Hours And Contact Info Updated

There’s nothing sadder than walking up to a bar you were looking forward to visiting and finding it closed—and it’s extra frustrating when their website told you they’d be open. Keep your hours up to date on your site and alert customers to any upcoming seasonal closures or events.

Also, your site should make it very simple for potential customers to contact you with questions. Ensure you don’t have any outdated phone numbers, misspelled email addresses, or broken contact forms, and check back often as part of your website maintenance plan.

Source: Dead Rabbit

2. Add Shopping Options

If you sell any products in your bar that customers love, like pre-mixed cocktails, merch, or gift packages, remember to add them to your website. Letting customers order online can bring you an added revenue source and give site visitors more to explore.

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