Restaurant Website Design Trends: Our Favorites
If your restaurant doesn’t have a website yet, it’s high time you had one! Even if you have one, you’ll need to keep it updated and in sync with the latest website design trends. If this sounds like something you need to know more about, this article is what you’re looking for.
In this day and age, having a top-notch restaurant is not enough. More and more people search for restaurants online before actually dining in. This means that your website itself will need to convey to these potential customers that they will have the best experience in your restaurant.
This is why you need to be thoughtful when you choose your design. Yes, what you offer is what will attract people in the end. But if they don’t like your website, they won’t stick around long enough to find out more.
The focal point of your website should be your menu, of course. And having a wide variety and some exquisite dishes is a fantastic accomplishment. But you will still need to present your restaurant in such a way that people will want to know more and find out for themselves.
So, What Restaurant Website Designs Are Trending?
We’ve become so used to scrolling down pages, especially on mobile. So it seems like common sense that websites need to adapt to offer the best user experience possible. Instead of having separate pages for everything that can be accessed through a separate menu, you have everything on one page. You can combine different features and make different pages for more specific information on a subject. The main point is that all the essential details are on the main page.
Using Parallax scrolling can enhance the user experience on desktops or laptops. However, it’s just a visual effect. When you scroll down the page, the background moves slightly slower than the foreground— giving off a 3D impression. Many tools can help you set up the best WordPress website design, so you don’t have to do it yourself.
One-Page Website Pros:
- The vertical design encourages visitors to explore your website in a natural way.
- You needn’t over-stuff information “above the fold” in the top section of your page.
- Longer pages with more content can lead to higher website ranking.
One-Page Website Cons:
- Not all browsers can accommodate Parallax scrolling.
- Since the visitor is scrolling down your page, the order in which you display your information will matter.
A good example of a one-page restaurant page is Risotteria Melotti. As you scroll down their page, you find all the necessary information to decide whether this restaurant is what you’re looking for.
The Hamburger Menu
Using a hamburger menu cleans up your website navigation. However, you should be aware that some users aren’t familiar with it. This type of menu became popular on mobile websites, and it’s become more commonplace on desktop websites.
However, since most people look up restaurants on their phones, many still opt for the hamburger menu because it effectively condenses relevant information in one place.
Try to be careful about what information you put there. It could be your contact details, an overview of your menu, or specialties. You need to plan carefully what you will include.
Pros of a Hamburger Menu:
- These menus declutter your design.
- They make information always available to the user.
- Hamburgers are perfectly suited for mobile.
Cons of a Hamburger Menu:
- Not everyone is familiar with these website menus.
- You’ll need to carefully consider the information you include.
- Apart from consistency with the mobile version, it’s not as effective on desktop.
As you can see, you might be tempted to use this menu to list everything on the website. This instinct isn’t wrong per se, but it can be a little overwhelming. And, if your design is one-page, then it’s not necessary. You could use the menu to put a “pin” on only the necessary information you want your clients to see at all times.
You can consider cinemagraphs as a “live” photograph. Usually, it’s still an image, but with an element that has been edited to move repeatedly. They’re generally in GIF format, and they give your visitor the impression that the image is moving.
Cinemagraphs create an excellent opportunity to showcase something you’re proud of. Is your restaurant famous for a dish? You can make a cinemagraph with the food steaming or of the most popular beverage pouring. Let your imagination go crazy with this one!
These elements can immerse the visitor in the atmosphere of your restaurant. Is it a dynamic setting? Or is it more relaxed, perfect for a dinner with the parents? There’s so much information you can convey in this simple yet striking design element.
Pros of a Cinemagraph:
- They add a little dynamism to your website, without being overwhelming.
- You can showcase your most vital feature.
- The gif format shouldn’t slow down your website
Cons of a Cinemegraph
- You’d have to be careful with the rest of your design, don’t over clutter it
- You have to be extra careful that your photo is representative and attractive.
Ingenuity and boldness don’t always mean photographs. Fonts can drive your website just as well. If used correctly, a creative font, combined with some representative photos, can bring out your restaurant’s personality. Fonts also provide an extra opportunity to call out the parts of your website you want users to see. You can use contrasting colors, sizes, and styles to help customers distinguish between your menu content and your contact details.
The biggest problem here is that it’s easy to get carried away with fonts. Consistency is key, so the best advice would be to create a style sheet (or have professional help!) from the start and see which font goes where.
You can even go for handwriting fonts, as long as they can be easily read. Anything with a human touch will create more warmth and feeling to your website. You can even try testing fonts on friends and family, seeing which they find most pleasing.
- Fonts provide a simple way to convey your restaurant’s personality.
- You can utilize fonts to highlight important information.
- Using fonts doesn’t require the time and effort to create illustrations.
- Using too many different fonts on a page creates clutter.
- “Creative” or stylized fonts aren’t always easy to read.
- If you’re not careful, fonts can easily overpower your images.
A good example of font choice is Block16. They used a complementary font with a video. But, perhaps the most critical aspect is that they’re consistent—as you scroll down their page, you’ll see these same font styles used throughout the site. At the same time, all information is easy to read and easy on the eyes.
Brilliant Hero Image
The brilliant hero image is very similar to the cinemagraph, except it is static. These images are usually large banners that showcase a restaurant scene or signature dish. The idea is that the viewer gets an initial sampling of your restaurant, grows curious, and wants to see more.
Photographs can make or break your website. So you should invest in some professionally taken photos for your pages. They should highlight your food and capture the feel and atmosphere of your restaurant.
The hero images enable you to showcase your signature dish or beverage. It should show the main reason people come to your restaurant.
- Visual engagement.
- Showcase your best features and atmosphere.
- Get the attention of your visitor.
- Using high-quality images can slow down your website.
- Photographs need to be professional.
- Poor choice of image can be detrimental.
Look at Catch restaurant. You instantly get that they pride themselves on using fresh fish. Going through the whole website is an experience in itself. So, if you have three free minutes, we highly recommend you get some inspiration.
Paired with rich photography, illustrations can benefit your website. Illustrations are a versatile visual element that can provide a shareable image on social media.
You can either incorporate illustrations into your photo images or on their own—as long as they’re cohesive. All you have to do is make sure that everything has the same overall feeling and color scheme.
Also, you shouldn’t use illustrations just because they’re fun and look good. They should serve a purpose, like emphasizing something or creatively adding new information.
- Illustrations are fun and playful, easy on the eyes.
- You can successfully underline some ideas with them.
- They can make a design come together.
- Illustrations can slow down your website.
- It’s easy to overload your website with illustrations
- They need to be cohesive with the whole theme of your website.
A fantastic example here is Le Mugs. They smartly use illustration, playfully displaying their menu. Just like with Catch, their whole website is an experience, so we recommend you take a peek here, too.
Interact with Your Visitors
Instead of waiting for your customers to pick you, why not interact with them? You can quickly do so by integrating online ordering systems or taking reservations online.
You could even display the estimated wait time for a table. Anything that gives your customers an easy way to directly interact with your restaurant from your website.
Do you have a feature that you’re proud of, like being contactless? This can be a nice way to showcase this. Another nice idea is to add buttons next to your email address or phone number. This makes it easier for people to contact you and find out more.
- The direct actionable nudge visitors decide to choose your restaurant.
- Because it’s easier, customers are more likely to contact you.
- You can provide valuable information for customers in a memorable way.
- Too many interactive elements can clutter your website.
- These features can increase loading times.
- If you have the information you need to update frequently (like seasonal specials or services) you may need some help to update them.
This Pastaria has two different locations. When you go to their website, you can choose which location you’re interested in. It smoothly communicates with the visitor, while also letting them know their choices.
Flatten Your Design
We get why this point might not sound like good advice. Nowadays, we’re all focused on finding new ways to pop out. Color explosions, dynamic videos, brilliant photography—they’re all fantastic. The problem is that everyone’s doing them.
This type of design focuses more on simple colors and shapes. By no means does this mean boring. It’s just the illustration of the “less is more” saying.
Using a low-pizzazz design helps the visitor focus on what’s important: what food you’re offering and what they can expect from you. If this fits your personality and resonates with your visitor, that’s all that matters. We know you have a gorgeous website, so don’t take this the wrong way: the goal isn’t to keep visitors there forever — it’s to get them off your website and into your restaurant or order widget!
- Clean, minimalistic designs can be more relaxing to view.
- They help visitors focus more on the information without distractions.
- In a crowded landscape, it’s a way to stand out!
- The design should match your personality.
- It’s easy to go wrong with this design and be too skimpy.
- Minimalist designs leave no “bells or whistles” to hide behind; you have to make ensure your visuals and content are both strong and functional.
Let’s look at Fox in the Snow. Clean design, easy on the eyes, accessible menu to the side. Everything you need, in reach. Even if the website doesn’t have a lot of glitter, it still offers an enjoyable browsing experience.
All restaurants are unique. Your restaurant’s website should reflect the atmosphere around it. Your site is like your business card—people can gain myriad information in a quick glance.
With that in mind, you should find a trend that suits you. Don’t just hop on a flashy bandwagon because other people are doing it. Visitors can detect insincerity and you’ll turn them off. Offering your website page the same special touch as you would your best dish will serve you well with your customers.
Want to learn more about how to create a Restaurant Website? Read our article below
About the Author
Dan has hands-on experience in digital marketing since 2007. He has been building teams and coaching others to foster innovation and solve real-time problems. Dan also enjoys photography and traveling.