build a restaurant website

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Establishing a website for your restaurant is the best way to get your business noticed in the crowded food industry. Whether you’re launching a new restaurant or looking to enhance your existing one, creating a user-friendly website acts as your first impression online. It’s crucial for showcasing your type of cuisine and ensuring customers can find your business easily. A well-designed website not only boosts your online presence but also significantly contributes to the success of your restaurant. Let’s dive into how you can create a vibrant and effective website quickly and without cost.

Why do restaurants need a website?

  1. Attract New Customers: A new website using a clear, engaging layout can significantly capture the interest of potential diners browsing online. It serves as a digital front door, inviting new customers to explore what your restaurant has to offer.
  2. Centralize Important Information: Having a website provides a streamlined way for customers to find important information about your restaurant. A contact page with important contact information, including phone numbers and email addresses, ensures that customers can easily reach out with inquiries or special requests.
  3. Enhance Customer Convenience: Websites allow customers to quickly locate what they need. Important information like restaurant menus, restaurant locations, opening hours, takeout or delivery order, make reservations, etc. could be added to your website, enhancing customer convenience for searching for what they need. 

Two main ways to build a restaurant website

1. Build a website yourself using simple website builder like Menubly

Creating a website with a restaurant website builder is an excellent option for many restaurants, especially if you lack coding or design skills. This method ensures that even those unfamiliar with web development can have a well-designed and informative website up and running quickly.

  • Easy to Set Up: You can create a website and make it live within a few minutes.
  • Cost-Effective: It’s completely free to set up a website with Menubly. There is also no web hosting or domain purchase fee needed.
  • Optimized for All Devices: Your site will be legible on mobile and other screen sizes, ensuring a clean and uncluttered look.
  • While easy to manage, you can only build a simple one-page website. This means having to simplify your content and navigation, placing your most important contact details and information which visitors need to know straight away on a single page.

2. Hire an agency or hire designers/web developers 

For those looking to have more control and flexibility over their site, hiring a professional web designer or a development agency might be the route to take. This option allows you to tailor every aspect of your site, from a beautiful photo gallery of menu items to a separate page for reviews and blogs.

  • Customization: You can make changes as you see fit, ensuring your brand is well represented. You can also opt for your own domain name.
  • Complexity and Detail: Allows for multiple pages, which can include a more complex set of information and engagement tools.
  • Higher Costs: This option is significantly more expensive due to design and development fees.
  • Time-Consuming: A customized site can take a few months to complete, requiring good practice in project management between you and your team.

Both methods offer viable paths to getting customers through digital doors. Whether you choose a simple tool like Menubly for immediate online presence or invest in a custom site for greater brand depiction, your restaurant’s website is an indispensable tool in today’s market.

The benefits of a simple one page restaurant website

A one-page restaurant website offers distinct advantages, especially when simplicity and quick setup are priorities. Below are the main benefits of setting up an one page restaurant website

  1. Creating a simple, one page website can be completed in under 2 minutes, allowing you to quickly make your presence known online.
  2. All essential links, such as your menu, location, social media accounts, online ordering, and promotions, are gathered in one spot. This consolidation means that website visitors can easily access the information they want without the need to navigate through multiple pages. It’s accessible and user-friendly, ensuring a smooth experience for your customers.

  3. With a one-page website, you only need to share a single link in your Instagram bio or other social media bios. This makes it effortless for followers to reach all your online platforms from one central location.

  4. Mobile optimized. Optimized to be added on instagram bio and other social pages. 
  5. An one-page website is completely free to set up with Menubly.

How to create a one page restaurant website for Free with Menubly?

Creating a one-page restaurant website with Menubly is straightforward and free. Here’s how you can get started:

Step 1 – Create a free account on Menubly 

  1. Visit the signup page on the Menubly website.

  2. Enter your email address and password, then click the ‘Get started’ button
  3. Enter your business name.

Step 2 – Choose your website URL

  1. Go to Mini Website tab.
  2. Enter the URL you’d like to have for your website (e.g. https://www.menubly.com/theswintonhouse)
Create mini website - Menubly

Step 3 – Create an online menu for your restaurant

Menubly offers a built-in online menu feature that enables you to easily create an interactive online menu for your customers to engage with. This menu is seamlessly integrated into your website, enhancing the browsing experience for your customers. 

To set up your online menu, please follow these steps:

  1. Go to the “Menus” Tab
  2. Customize your menu by adding categories, listing dishes with descriptions and setting prices. Don’t forget to upload enticing pictures of your dishes too.
  3. Go to “Business Information” Tab to update your business information such as phone number, address, name, etc.
  4. Go to “Branding” Tab to add Logo and Select Colors to Match Your Brand Identity
For more information on how to create an online menu, check out this article
Add item - Menubly
Edit item information - Menubly

Step 4 – Add links to your website

  1. Click on “Add Link” button to add new link (Note: if you have created an online menu in the previous step, it will be automatically added to your mini website as the first link)
  2. Enter the Link Name and URL then click “Create“. For example:
    • Link Name: Book a table via Whatsapp
    • URL: http://wa.me/+16041118045
Add links - Menubly

Step 5 – Add your restaurant’s business information

  1. Go to the “Business Information tab. In here, you can edit the information that will be shown on your website, includes:
    • Place name: your restaurant’s name (e.g. Twilight Tavern)
    • Phone number: your restaurant’s phone number
    • Address: your restaurant’s address. This will appear underneath your restaurant name
    • Header Note: a few informative sentences about your restaurant that will be displayed above the links.
    • Foot note: This note will be displayed at the very bottom of the page, this is good for notes that require less attention from your customers.
  2. Click “Save” after you finish editing
Website business information - Menubly

Step 6 – Edit the look & feel of your website

  1. Go to the Branding tab. In here, you can edit the look & feel of your website, including:
    • Theme color
    • Add Background color or image (a large image that will be used as the background of your website, like the example below)
    • Text color
    • Add header image (a large image that will appear on top of your website, like a cover photo.)
    • Logo image: your restaurant’s logo
  2. Click “Save” after you finish editing

How to promote your restaurant website?

Promoting your restaurant website effectively is essential in the digital age to connect with more customers. Here’s how to amplify your site’s visibility.

  • Feature Your Website on Social Media: One powerful method is placing the URL in the bios of your social media accounts. This ensures the link is accessible and drives traffic directly from social platforms. Additionally, link to your social media from your website to create a seamless connection between them.
  • Optimize for Search Engines (SEO): Implement search engine optimization strategies to improve your website’s visibility on Google. Key practices include using high-quality images, adding eye-catching visuals to your homepage, and ensuring the content management system like WordPress supports SEO efforts.

  • Email Marketing: Integrate your website with email marketing tools. Use pre-built templates to send out newsletters that feature links to your latest menus, promotions, and the ability to manage reservations or even order directly from the site.

  • Ensure Visual and Functional Appeal: Make sure your website is loaded with eye-catching graphics and the right font sizes that enhance readability on smartphones and other devices. Double check that customers can book a table right from your website, read reviews, and see high-quality images of the food you serve.

By incorporating these strategies into your marketing strategy, you’ll ensure your restaurant website not only attracts visitors but also entices them to engage with your content and services effectively.

Tips for creating your restaurant website

Creating an effective restaurant website involves careful planning and attention to detail. Here are some crucial tips to ensure your site attracts and retains customers.

  • Prioritize Your Homepage: The homepage is always a good starting point. It’s where you make your first impression; you only have one chance to capture interest. Ensure it clearly shows the most essential information you want customers to know.
  • Use a Reliable Platform: Tools like Menubly and Wix offer user-friendly features that help you create and manage a beautiful site. Even if you’re new to website building, it’s still worth going through the tutorials to learn how to create an engaging web presence.
  • Include a Functional Footer: Always include social media links and basic contact information in the footer of your website. This makes them accessible from every page, enhancing user experience.
  • Ensure Easy Navigation: Make sure your site allows customers to place orders or reservations effortlessly. Your website should be easy to navigate, ensuring that visitors can find what they need without frustration.

By integrating these tips, your restaurant’s website will not only be visually appealing but will also provide the functionality that users expect in a digitally connected world.

Frequently Asked Questions about creating a restaurant website

1. How much does it cost to make a website for a restaurant? 

The cost of building a restaurant website can vary widely. Using a tool like Menubly is completely free and is a great option for those on a budget. However, if you choose to hire a web developer or agency, costs can start from $5000, depending on the complexity and custom features you require.

2. Which website builder is best for a restaurant? 

There are several website builders available that can suit different needs. Well-known platforms like Wix and Webflow offer great flexibility and features. However, Menubly is specifically designed for restaurants, making it an ideal choice as it targets the specific needs of this industry with dedicated features and functionality.

3. Do you need technical skills to build a restaurant website?

No, you do not necessarily need technical skills to build a restaurant website, especially if you use a tool like Menubly. These tools are designed to be user-friendly, allowing anyone to create a professional-looking site without coding knowledge.

The Bottom Line

Creating a robust online presence with a restaurant website is always a good practice in today’s digital landscape. A well-crafted site shows potential customers exactly what your restaurant has to offer, helping you stand out from the competition. By using intuitive tools like Menubly, you can manage your content effectively, ensuring that your offerings and services reach your target audience efficiently. Remember, the key to a successful restaurant website lies in its ability to attract and engage visitors, turning them from casual browsers into loyal customers.