When you’ve got a business based on something so evocative and photogenic as delicious cuisine, the intricacies of your web presence are made somewhat simpler. Ensuring that you display your mouth-watering creations should be enough to gain a decent level of interest. Having some basic restaurant website features such as the ability to book a table or give feedback on your experience will also help.
But some restaurants seem to do these basics better than others. Here are five of the best restaurant websites on the internet, and what makes them so good.
Italian burger house Fud has taken the above food photo idea and ran with it in a perfectly simple – but ridiculously impactful – way. Their simple one page website design is decorated with close-up images of their burgers that are oddly, almost disconcertingly, stunning. Whether it be the clarity, the focus, or the content of the images, it’s hard to tell; they just work.
Teaming these photos with the simplicity of a one page design makes for an elegant, minimalist solution to the restaurant website question.
Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken
Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken is a small operation that boasts just two locations in the US, but their website is one that a multi-national colonel-owned fried chicken restaurant would be proud to call their own. Blue Ribbon have managed to combine a contemporary, social focused website layout with a beautiful vintage styled design that plays off it beautifully.
Combine all this with stunning fried chicken photography (a mixture of both professional shots and user generated content from their Instagram account) and you’ve got a recipe for fried chicken website success.
Lunita, a neighbourhood restaurant found in Toronto, Canada, has made an art form of stoking a potential diner’s hunger by visiting their website. On loading the page, you’re greeted with a close-up shot of an organic pizza, and the only way to get away from the mouth-watering sight is to scroll down, through even more shots of Italian foodstuffs.
The great thing about the Lunita website is the way the food photos seem to roll past as though you’re driving by in a car. They’ve played with the perspective to make the background images as impactful as they possibly can. And it’s worked.
Once again, they’ve made full use of the free material supplied by diners via Instagram, with a devoted gallery section that has been vetted extraordinarily well.
The branding of Yoghurt Labs is art. The name conjures images of beakers, Bunsen burners and scientific study, and the website plays on these themes beautifully. While most of the websites above have been reliant on stunning photography, Yoghurt Labs has attacked their website design differently, using an infographic approach to teach customers how their yoghurt creating process works.
The homepage offers a step-by-step instructional on how to make the perfect custom yoghurt, and an “equation of the month” – a featured yoghurt recipe – is displayed on the homepage. The Yoghurt Labs website is simplicity at its very best.
Speaking of simplicity, no restaurant website does the simple quite as strikingly as Huxtaburger. A homepage that consists of “Huxtaburger: Hot Beef, Cold Beer“, and a total of three buttons in Menu, Stores and Order, it has managed to remain perfectly functional despite the heavy self-imposed limitations. The lack of text is teamed with a bi-color design – a simple red and blue – and no images to speak of save for the company logo.
Rather than run with the popular scroll down layout, Huxtaburger have decided to make use of the East/West space, offering their menu items on one side and their store locations on the other. It’s a fun use of space that offers a simple point of difference to almost every other restaurant website.
There’s no foolproof recipe for the perfect restaurant website design, but you do want it to reflect your dining experience. If you’re a fun restaurant, make it fun. If you’re a homely restaurant, make it homely. But more than that, you’ll need to ensure that it is impactful.
Whether you manage that through photos, layout or branding is entirely up to you.