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How to Build a Restaurant Website

Make a great first impression with an amazing restaurant website and get patrons in the door with these tips and best practices.

Today, a website for your restaurant is as important to your business as the secret recipes that make your menu stand out. The bottom line is that every restaurant needs a beautiful, eye-catching, and easy-to-navigate website.

According to Google, 89% of dining research is performed by mobile devices before someone visits a restaurant. This means customers and potential customers are searching for you, looking at your menu, wanting to make reservations, or even buying a gift card while on the go using their mobile device. If you don’t have a restaurant website, potential customers can't find you.

You might be thinking, “How do I create a website for my restaurant business?” It’s easier than you think. Make a good first impression with a well-designed website and people will start walking through your door.

How to choose the right platform for your restaurant website

Lucky for you, there are many website-building platforms with awesome marketing resources like Mailchimp’s Website Builder to help you every step of the way. These platforms feature easy-to-use templates that allow you to customize a beautifully designed site that is search-engine ready, user-friendly, and easy to navigate for both you and your customers. They also offer helpful tools like email marketing benchmarks and statistics by industry, as well as tips and guidance in marketing for restaurants.

Let’s take a look at why restaurant websites are an important part of your strategic business plan. Restaurant websites:

  • Demonstrate that you are professional, relevant, and serious about your business. Customers will get to know you and trust you.
  • Share helpful information like menu items, specials, hours of operation, location, phone number, email address, social media links and more.
  • Show beautiful, mouthwatering photos and descriptions of your menu items.
  • Generate new customers who are using mobile devices to find you and other restaurants in the area.
  • Showcase your personality, what type of food you make, reviews of past customers, frequently asked questions and other helpful information about your restaurant.

It’s important to realize that all website builders are not created equal or cost the same. Keep in mind that how your website works on the back end is just as important as how it is designed. You should select a platform that you can easily and intuitively change on your own.

In addition, if your website builder is free, make sure you know all the costs involved so there are no surprises after you sign on the dotted line. Take a look at things to consider before selecting a website builder.

Is it easy to update?

Running a restaurant business changes all the time. Your website builder should give you the power to change the content whenever you need to. This includes an easy-to-use platform to log in and add content like photos, specials of the day, new products, featured events, price updates and other information.

Is there a set up charge and monthly fees?

Make sure you are aware of all the costs and fees included in the website builders you are considering. Many offer you the option to create a free website and make it extremely easy with templates and designs. Keep in mind that they are free, but could include hidden costs for maintenance, website hosting, and other features.

Is it mobile friendly?

Make mobile-friendly a top priority. As we mentioned above, most consumers are researching where to eat nearby by using a mobile device. The best website builders are mobile-friendly. This means your web design for restaurants must look as beautiful and work as seamlessly on a small cell phone and tablet, as it will on a bigger desktop computer. If your website isn't mobile friendly, loads slowly or is difficult to navigate, your potential customer will go to another restaurant website.

Is it a platform with added features and plug-ins?

It is important to select a website builder that has features you don’t need now but may need in the future. This way, instead of starting from square one every time your business gets bigger, you can quickly add new features and plug-ins you need and get back in the kitchen.

What to include in your restaurant web design

Moving on to the fun part of building, designing, and branding your website. Your brand is the look, feel and image you’ve already created for your restaurant. This should stay consistent throughout your restaurant website design.

It’s very important that your website looks beautiful, has a seamless customer experience and stays true to your brand. It's all about a positive user experience. This is a balance between design and effectiveness because your website might be the first impression of a future customer. You want to make sure it conveys the atmosphere, ambiance, and personality of your restaurant. That way, when customers see you online or visit you in person, they will recognize you on a visual level. Creating brand guidelines that include:

A logo is a graphic or symbol that helps customers identify and recognize your brand and business. Famous logos include Apple’s white apple, McDonald’s golden arches, Facebook’s blue and white F, and Nike’s famous swipe graphic. When you see any of these images, you instantly recognize what company they represent.

If you don’t have a logo yet, ask a designer to help you create one. Then begin to add it to your restaurant website, signage, menus, advertisements, and social media platforms to build brand recognition. You can also find inspiration on graphic design platforms like and design your own using their easy-to-use, free templates.

Original photography

Take photos of menu items, closeups of delicious food, happy team members, smiling customers enjoying their meals, and other original photography for your website. Some website builders have professional stock photos that you can use. These come in handy for some content but using originals is preferred.

Original photos are more personal, show your personality, and community, and are one more step in building your brand and image. You don’t have to have fancy cameras and equipment. Today’s cell phones have amazing cameras and editing features for novice photographers.

Consistent color palette

Color is a very important part of effective brand guidelines. Select a color palette for your logo, your website design, and all content that you produce to promote your business.

If you have a family-friendly ice cream restaurant, the colors should be bright and cheerful pastels. If you have a formal, elegant, upscale restaurant, your colors should reflect a classy, more subdued palette. Website builders like Mailchimp and others have pre-designed color palettes and themes created by expert artists and designers to simplify the process for you.

Complimenting fonts

There are thousands and thousands of type fonts available online. A font is a set of characters with a variety of sizes, colors, shapes, and designs. Fonts include letters, numbers, symbols, and punctuation marks. There are fancy fonts, traditional fonts, cursive fonts, and easy-to-read fonts, you get the picture. Just like we explained for selecting colors, the fonts you use should remain consistent for both on and offline content. This includes headlines, subheads, and body text. Select a font family that is easy to read and fits into your brand.

Personality with eye-catching graphics

Graphics are special effects you use on your website that add personality and style. Graphics include embedded videos, arrows and symbols, stickers, emojis, diagrams, and other visually appealing images to your restaurant web design. Always stay consistent with your brand guidelines and select graphics that complement your brand. Graphics can be powerful when used properly. On the other hand, they can also distract from your message, so it is wise to avoid overusing them.

Your website is a business partner that will work for you 24 hours seven days a week and then some. Every piece of content on your website will help your customers to get to know you, even when they aren’t in your restaurant. Create a website that includes valuable information and pages, so your restaurant website will always work for you.


This is the first stop on your customer’s website experience. It’s your first impression to make a lasting impression. This page needs to grab their attention and represent what your restaurant is all about. Use to-the-point headlines, eye-catching photographs, and other content that wants to make them stay and learn more. Always include a call to action that directs them to take the next steps and go to another page of your site.

About page

This is a very important page of your restaurant website. It's your opportunity to tell your story…the who, what, where, why, and how you started your business. This is where you explain why you are different from other restaurants and why customers should do business with you. Include a call-to-action button to direct them to learn even more. For example, direct them to your menu or a landing page that shares a recipe or tip.

Photo Gallery

This is a page where your restaurant can shine. Include photographs of your delicious menu items and customers enjoying your restaurant. This will inspire others to visit and experience your restaurant too.

Contact Page

This page will share your address, phone, email, and social media platforms. It is also a way for them to contact and communicate with you.

Mailchimp is here to be your website design partner and has all the marketing and email resources to bring your delicious food establishment to the forefront! Let's get started now.

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