There is practically no limit to what you can do when designing your restaurant website. Keep it simple and straightforward or jazz it up with fancy music and graphics, it’s your choice! But before you spruce it up with all the exciting features, here’s a question. Does your restaurant website have what your customer needs? Restaurant websites have a reputation for doing things the wrong way and creating unfavorable first impressions.
Why are restaurant websites so bad? There are many factors that cause restaurant websites to drive customers away. Many of them offer outdated, inaccurate, or irrelevant information. They may also make it difficult for customers to find what they need. Annoying loud music, ugly special-effects, and flashy colors are some of the other factors that overwhelm visitors. Bad restaurant websites are also notorious for slow loading, layouts that are difficult to navigate, and irritating pop-ups.
An average customer doesn’t like to spend more than a minute on a restaurant website to find what he needs. Unless you address his requirements immediately, he will most likely skip to another website that meets his expectations. And there goes the chance of this person visiting your restaurant!
Let us take a closer look at the different factors that make restaurant websites so bad.
Main Reasons That Make Restaurant Website Designs Bad And How To Avoid Them
If you are designing a new website for your restaurant, take note of the pitfalls that will damage your chances of success. And if you already have a restaurant website, you may like to reassess the design if you notice any of these glaring mistakes.
So without further ado, here are the main issues that make restaurant website designs bad…
1. Too Many Flashy And Loud Distractions
Imagine the embarrassment when a customer opens your website at his workplace to hear annoying, loud music!
Background music is not just unnecessary, it can also slow down your website.
Similarly, extensive use of stock photos, slide shows, and Flash content can annoy customers.
Focus on a clean, uncluttered, and straightforward design. Keep it relevant and deliver exactly what the customer seeks. Anything else is just a distraction.
2. Inaccurate Or Unavailable Information
The main reason a customer visits your website is to obtain information about your restaurant. So, the wisest approach is to make information easily accessible and not send him on a treasure hunt.
Your website should immediately offer pertinent information like working hours, menus, location, and contact numbers.
Try to place this information on the Home Page itself, so your customer can find what he wants without even having to scroll. Also, this information should be correct and updated.
Continuous website maintenance is necessary to make sure that the content is relevant, and the restaurant website doesn’t look outdated. Don’t forget to archive past events and news stories to keep the website fresh and active. If you have an online menu, update it promptly to reflect any changes in prices or new additions or omissions in the menu.
3. Inaccessibility On Other Devices
Most users do their browsing on their mobile phones. Unless you optimize your website for most mobile users, you will lose out to your competition.
Invest in responsive website design for a fast-loading, mobile-friendly website that caters to the needs of customers.
Also, make sure that all the website information is readily available. Your customers may not have the patience or inclination to download pdf versions of your menu. Provide such information directly on the website, and it will enhance overall usability.
If your restaurant website has an online reservation option, make sure that it is easy to find and use.
4. Long Loading Times, Annoying Pop-Ups, And Broken Links
Most customers will not wait if your restaurant website takes too long to load. They will navigate to other sites if your website keeps them waiting. And if they must wait for a long time to find important information, it can frustrate or annoy them.
Broken website links are equally bad for your business as they affect credibility and create an unfavorable impression for the business.
Similarly, pop-ups that interrupt the browsing experience can also be annoying. Since many customers disable pop-ups, you may like to reconsider using them to highlight any important information.
5. Poor Website Layout And Navigation
Not all customers who visit your website will be tech-savvy. So, a simple and obvious layout and website navigation strategy is highly recommended for restaurant websites.
Avoid crowding the website with too many links in the header or footer areas. Instead, place them logically in such a way that a customer can find them easily.
When designing your website, keep the interest of your audience in mind. Choose standard fonts and colors that do not confuse. Size your content in such a way that it is easy to access on screens of all sizes.
Recommended Further Reading:
- How Much Does A Restaurant Website Cost? (Actual Facts & Figures)
- 15 Best Restaurant Website Color Palettes That Will Wow Everyone!
- What Makes A Good Restaurant Website? – These 9 Factors!
6. Poor Quality Content
Most customers search on Google for new restaurants. Good quality content will directly increase the ranking for your restaurant website on these search engines. Fresh, regularly updated, and engaging content will increase your online reach and help you get noticed by more customers.
Unfortunately, most restaurant owners overlook the importance of good quality content. While including flashy buttons and pop-ups, they turn a blind eye to the quality of the content on their websites. As a result, these websites fail to create the desired effect.
To fix this issue, pay close attention to the accuracy and relevancy of the content on every web page. Keep the wording simple and straightforward. Avoid jargon. You may want to hire a professional to prepare good-quality, SEO-friendly content if you are unable to handle this task yourself.
Consider adding a blog or news page to add more personality to your website. You can also use your website to showcase promotions, upcoming events, and special dishes to establish yourself as an expert in this industry.
7. Poor Quality Photos
Browsing a restaurant website is like window shopping. Customers visit restaurant websites to get a feel of what the restaurant has to offer. So, the type of pictures you display will greatly influence their idea of your restaurant.
Poor quality pictures will discourage them from checking you out. However, with good images, you can nail the first impression and encourage potential customers to visit you.
Photos are also essential branding tools. So, pay close attention to the type of images you display on your restaurant website. Avoid stock photos. Hire the services of a professional photographer to click real photographs, if necessary. Also, pay close attention to the color palette you choose for your website. This will help you showcase the images on your website in the most attractive way.
To Wrap It Up…
A restaurant website is a virtual representation of your business. Hence, you should be careful with the design, so that you do not turn customers away.
An aesthetically pleasing, informative website is an asset. By providing customers quick and accurate information, it can direct more customers your way and increase business profits.
However, it is easy to go overboard with restaurant website design. Unfortunately, this will only hurt your business and growth. Focus on user expectations and steer clear of the potential problems that spell disaster for a restaurant website. This will make sure that your website delivers its full potential.