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7 Essentials A Restaurant Website Must Have

Rainbow grilled cheese! Of course, I’m kidding, but it’s not a bad idea to have a special or hidden menu item to create a cult following.

1. Mobile design

2008 is the year mobile web design started gaining traction. Google allowed for plenty of time before pushing better ranking for mobile responsive websites in 2013. Congratulations, your website is now a dinosaur if it’s not mobile friendly. And, if it’s serving up a completely different version for small devices vs large desktop screens, that practice ended up being a bad idea for many reasons.

The industry best practice is to have the same version of your website adjust to all screen sizes. Your website visitors should be able to read your website with ease without the need to zoom in on anything, unless its a photo of your delicious food. It should also be readable by screenreaders.


2. Menu (SEO friendly, not PDF)

We see this mistake A LOT. You’re a physical business, you just spent a lot of money and time having your menu printed. Of course you need your menu online so potential customers can check it out and see if anything sounds appetizing to them. Why not just put a link to your PDF menu here?

Think of your users. Take the extra time, or have us do it, to type the menu into your website. PDFs are very hard to navigate and zoom in and out of on phones. They’re also not SEO friendly. Your website visitors will be much happier easily scrolling down in one direction and not having to pinch or size their screen.


3. Hours & Contact Information

This one is obvious but should always be included. These don’t have to be up front and center; the science of web design has trained most of us by now to look in the footer and header (bottom & top) for this type of information.

Be sure to update your hours for holidays, especially if you have a Google business listing too.


4. Location/Map

A nice beautiful map is a great way to show off your location to those who haven’t been to your location yet. Even better is a link to get directions there. At the very least, your users should be able to copy and paste the address into their map app, but we like to make it easier than that.

If your business ever changes location, don’t forget to update map platforms and other stuff.


5. Photos of food and location

Anyone who likes food likes to see pictures of food, that’s how Instagram got popular right? Your business is literally about food, so your food should be on your website. Really good quality photos can go a long way to attract new visitors. By including photos of your location, your further inviting customers to come see you.

All of these photos are on Yelp already, why not take control of your image and brand by adding them to your website. Showcase what you’re proud of.


6. Positive review highlights

Most commonly, your website is focused on reaching more customers. There are likely already reviews on Yelp & Google, but don’t let your website visitors leave your site in search for those. Because, we all know that people are more likely to leave a negative review than a positive review for that one bad experience over the several dozen good experiences. Copy some of those good reviews and put them in your website.


7. Social links

Including your social profiles on your website now adds validity to your business (both for users & Google). You don’t need to have dozens of social accounts, it’s better if you just use the few that you actually use. Keep them active and current. Often times, it’s a free and easy way to reach out to current customers, tell them about specials or up coming events.¬†Facebook currently, is likely to be the best ad spend too.


Obviously, there can always be more, but this serves as a great starting point for small restaurants or those who need a better website strategy.

CJ Jolliff

CJ is one of the co-founders of Infini Systems. His background is in marketing, strategy, branding, and production. He built his first website using Windows Notepad, as part of a 1 credit college course in 1997. He loves people, music, caffeine, flip-flops, golf, pretty much anything with wheels and his family.

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