In the modern marketing landscape, it’s difficult to stay in business without an online presence. While Instagram in particular has taken the food and restaurant communities by storm, it’s still important to have a website to serve as your restaurant’s official home on the internet.
Fortunately, website design platforms like WordPress, Squarespace, and Wix are lowering the barrier to entry to web design. With simple, user-friendly website platforms at your disposal, all you need to do is pick the right template and customize it to showcase your brand and attract diners.
In this guide to restaurant website templates, you’ll learn why your restaurant needs a website, what costs are involved, how to build a website, what elements to include, and the 15 best templates for restaurant websites—including our top picks from WordPress, Squarespace, and Wix.
Why Your Restaurant Needs A Website
Your restaurant needs a website. Now, more than ever, diners are discovering restaurants online rather than through other means. In fact, 45% of diners check a restaurant’s online presence before deciding where to eat. If your competitor has an informative and easy-to-find website and your restaurant doesn’t, you could be missing out on a lot of business.
Not convinced? Here are three more reasons why restaurants need websites:
- Information: An active Instagram presence is great, but can’t replace a website. A website lets you publish information about your restaurant—menu, contact info, hours, etc.—that you’d be hard-pressed to fit into your Instagram bio.
- Control: As long as you continue to pay for your domain and website hosting (more on this later), you own your website and the content that you publish on it. If Facebook decides to shut down Instagram, you will no longer have access to your followers. Having a website gives you control over the information that you share with the public and who you can reach.
- Search engine optimization (SEO): People are searching for the best restaurants in your area on Google. Having a website will help your restaurant show up at the top of search engine results, which translates to more web traffic and more business for your restaurant.
When it comes to restaurant websites, you have to get online or get left behind!
What It Costs To Build A Restaurant Website Using A Template
You don’t need to hire a web developer or hold a degree in computer science to create and maintain a website. Platforms like WordPress, Squarespace, and Wix bundle web hosting, design, content creation, and content management and make it easier and more affordable than ever to build a web presence.
With low profit margins, restaurants don’t have a lot to spend on web design. Fortunately, you can build a website for less than you might think. Here’s an overview of the main costs associated with building and maintaining your own site:
Domain - Domains, or web addresses, can be purchased very affordably from websites like GoDaddy and Google Domains. For example, grilledcheesepalace.com is currently available for $12/year.
To keep domain costs low, look for a web address that hasn’t previously been owned. If someone else owns a domain you want, you’ll need to negotiate an offer to buy it from them. Instead, try adding your city’s name to the end of the domain (ex: grilledcheesepalacenyc.com), or opt for a less conventional domain extension (.net, .cafe, .pizza, etc.).
Squarespace and Wix offer their customers free domains.
Hosting - When you pay for web hosting, you’re paying to store your website’s content and data on a remote computer server so that your website shows up whenever someone enters its URL into their browser.
Hosting is included in Squarespace’s and Wix’s subscription fee, whereas WordPress users will need to purchase hosting separately. Bluehost and Flywheel provide web hosting starting at $4/month. More expensive options will provide more bandwidth and better technical support.
Design - While there are some free WordPress templates, known as “themes,” available, you’ll want to spend some money to get a quality template for your restaurant. The templates we list below go for $49-75.
Wix and Squarespace users can access respective template libraries for free.
Total costs - It costs between $109 and $363 annually to build and maintain a WordPress website. Squarespace users can expect to spend between $144 and $480 each year on a website, while Wix users will spend between $168 and $480 annually.
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How To Build A Restaurant Website In 6 Easy Steps
Now that you understand why your restaurant needs a website and know how much to expect to spend on this project, it’s time to get to work! Follow this proven website building process for a stress-free experience.
- Conduct competitive research. Collect examples of your favorite restaurant websites and note which elements you like and why. If you have a strong negative reaction to a website, make a note of that too. This exercise will help you design a good-looking, user-friendly website.
- Draw a wireframe, or simple sketch, of what you want your website to look like and what elements you want to include on it.
- Choose a WordPress template (or SquareSpace, Wix, etc. template) for your restaurant’s website. Find one that’s as similar to your wireframe as possible.
- Customize the template with elements of your restaurant’s visual branding: colors, logo, etc.
- Create and upload website content. Content (see our checklist in the next section) informs customers and helps your website show up on search engine results pages. One of the simplest ways to incorporate SEO on your website is to include keywords that incorporate your restaurant’s name, the city that it’s in, and the type of cuisine it serves (ex: Taco Time Chicago Mexican restaurant) throughout the written content.
- Publish your site!
You can take your restaurant’s website from idea to finished product in a matter of days.
Elements To Include On Your Restaurant’s Website
Include these key elements to make sure that your restaurant’s site is informative and gets customers in your seats.
- Menu: Transcribe all of your menus (lunch, brunch, dinner, drinks, happy
hour, dessert, etc.) on your website. Text versions are preferable to PDFs as PDFs aren’t always mobile
- Contact information:
- Phone number - Hyperlink it so that
people can call your restaurant with one click from their smartphones.
- Address - Hyperlink your business address to Google Maps so that people can get directions more easily.
- Reservations information - Include a phone number or embed your reservation software’s widget.
- Social media links - Include a call to action to encourage website visitors to follow your restaurant on social media.
- Online orders: Embed your online ordering software directly onto your website, or link to your
page on Grubhub, Seamless, UberEats, etc.
Your restaurant’s logo
Photos of your dishes, space, and staff
Videos showing off your restaurant’s experience
News coverage of your restaurant
Blog - Share updates about the restaurant’s menu,
staff, events, etc.
- About page: An about page lets you tell your restaurant’s story and bolsters the brand.
- Careers page: Use this page to attract star talent by showing off what makes
your restaurant’s culture and benefits unique. Hiring the right team starts with finding
people who align with your core values. Use your careers page to display those values.
With all of these pieces in place, your website will help you attract and inform customers and talent!
The 15 Best Restaurant Websites Templates
From a dining room to a website, design can convey a lot about a restaurant. Even with the right content, a website is no good if it looks like a middle school HTML coding project. Start off on the right foot by customizing one of these restaurant WordPress templates, Squarespace templates, and Wix templates.
5 WordPress Restaurant Website Templates
This WordPress theme comes with seven preset demos that you can use as templates for your site. The demos include a cafe, luxury restaurant, Asian restaurant, and others so that you can get started quickly and customize your website in record time.
The Elegant Cafe demo demonstrates what kind of a website a cafe might have this WordPress template. The static menu on the left hand side differentiates this theme from many others available.
This restaurant WordPress template is very flexible thanks to its customizable drag and drop capabilities. You’ll have unlimited options when designing your site.
Jevelin’s “Foodie” demo shows what a menu, reservation widget, and photos would look like on a restaurant’s website.
This template makes it easy to display multiple menus and showcase your restaurant’s events. Its e-commerce capabilities help you process online orders without going through a third party platform.
Spoon’s demo exhibits how you can show off your restaurant’s menu, events, news, and people through beautiful design.
This template’s demo can be installed on your site so that your restaurant’s website can look as close to the demo as you’d like. A great perk of this restaurant WordPress template is the food icons that you can use throughout your site.
The NUVO demo displays classy in-door dining and menu items on the website.
This mobile-friendly, SEO-friendly single page theme has lots of layout options. Its appointments widget is ideal for reservations.
The Confucius demo showcases what a Chinese restaurant’s website might look like with this theme.
5 Squarespace Restaurant Website Templates
This sophisticated template creates a full screen site without scrolling. The ChowNow plugin makes it easy to process online orders.
Paris restaurant Marie Suzy used this template to create a website that is as elegant as the restaurant.
Basil lets you tell your restaurant’s story through multimedia content blocks.
New York’s Little Tong Noodle Shop uses this simple template to show off its beautiful fare through photos.
This minimalist website template features a color block frame that adds a funky touch to any site that uses it.
Los Angeles’ Honey Hi keeps things low key with a yellow border that matches its hero image.
Squarespace’s Hunter template enables scrolling websites with large content blocks. You can show off your food, people, and space using the gallery feature on the home page.
New Orleans’ Seaworthy restaurant uses this template to give customers a look inside the restaurant.
This elegant Squarespace template puts images front and center.
Montreal’s Le Butterblume uses Blend to showcase their beautiful dishes, inviting interior, and smiling team.
5 Wix Restaurant Website Templates
This grid gallery homepage lets you highlight key aspects of your food and restaurant. A fun feature of this template is that the restaurant name remains in place as you scroll down the page.
The demo website uses beautiful images to show what a plant-based restaurant’s website might look like with this template.
Fun photo blocks and animations make this Wix template quirky.
Sea Salt, the fictitious San Francisco restaurant created for this template’s demo, uses a simple beige and navy theme, charming illustrations, and beautiful photos to bring the restaurant to life.
The Asian Restaurant template lets photos tell a restaurant's story. A reservation widget makes it easy to get bookings.
In Wix’s demo, Fang’s Noodles’ site shows off the restaurant’s wares using large images. An eye-catching red theme weaves the site together.
The simple homepage of this template lets you display a hero image while linking to important pages like menu and reservations.
Madre, the fictitious restaurant on the demo, uses a maroon and mustard color theme throughout their site. The online order page is sleek and intuitive to use.
This template features a static hero image background with one vertical bar of content on the homepage. The demo shows how customers can make reservations from the home page
The demo restaurant, Alex G., uses the template’s simplicity to convey the restaurant’s elegance and luxury.
Get Your Restaurant Online or Get Left Behind
Having an online presence is crucial for the longevity of your restaurant. Website design and hosting platforms like WordPress, Squarespace, and Wix make building a website simple - even with no coding experience. If you use one of the themes we recommend for your restaurant’s website, send us a link!