Restaurant website design examples and tips

Find out more about the top website builders for restaurant businesses, and learn how to turn customers from online browsers into in-house diners

Our experts

Startups was founded over 20 years ago by a serial entrepreneur. Today, our expert team of writers, researchers, and editors work to provide our 4 million readers with useful tips and information, as well as running award-winning campaigns. Our site is governed by the Startups editorial manifesto. This article was authored by:
  • Henry Williams

Our independent reviews and recommendations are funded in part by affiliate commissions, at no extra cost to our readers.

The internet is often our first port of call when we're trying to find a new location to eat at. This is particularly true post-Covid, as having an online presence has allowed many restaurants to stay open during the various lockdowns and shutdowns of the past two years.

But how do you design a successful website as a small business eatery?

Well, believe it or not, there are specialist restaurant web builders which allow you to cook up a professional restaurant website in minutes – without any need for coding skills. They permit food and drink businesses to integrate order and pay tools, book tables, and even accept takeaway orders; all without customers needing to put one foot on the ground.

Our top choice website builder for restaurants is Square Online, which offers exceptional functionality for restaurant website design, plus remarkably good value pricing plans. But there are plenty of options available, some of which might be better suited to your small business.

In this article, we'll go through the best website builders available for restaurant businesses, as well as outlining the key elements of restaurant website design and marketing. Don't worry, our treat!

Find the ideal builder for your restaurant website

Our expert team recently carried out extensive research into the top website builders available for UK SMEs, focusing on six key criteria for small businesses including value for money, customer score, ease of use, website features, design flexibility and help tools.

We identified the top three website builders below as offering the best restaurant specific templates, as well as plugins and features that make it easier to run your small hospitality business.

0 out of 0
BEST FOR
Overall Score
Based on our in-depth research and user testing
Cheapest paid plan
Visit
Restaurant tools

Square Online

Squarespace

Wix

Best value for money for small businesses

Design flexibility & businesses looking to scale

Best all-round website builder for small businesses

4.3
4.8
4.8

£0

Personal – £10 per month

10% off with code STARTUPS10

Connect Domain – £3.50 per month

  • Take online orders
  • Integration with your POS and kitchen display
  • Offer in-house delivery
  • QR code ordering sync
  • Restaurant templates category
  • Online ordering plugin
  • Menu display plugin
  • Online reservations
  • Build and customise your menu
  • Let customers book tables 24/7
  • Promote your restaurant with powerful marketing tools

1. Square Online

4.3 out of 5
  • Website features
    3.5
  • Sales features
    3.5
  • Design flexibility
    2.7
  • Help and support
    4.0
  • Value for money
    4.6
  • Ease of use
    3.9

Our most recent round of website builder research ranked Square the fourth best builder overall for small businesses – and the number one choice for hospitality-based SMEs.

This is due to a number of reasons. Firstly, it had easily the best value for money score, scoring a whopping 4.6 out of 5 in this category. That means businesses with a physical presence can get online without compromising budget for your premises. Incredibly, there's even a generous free plan to sink your teeth into for absolutely zero charge.

We spoke to the small café and organic bakery, Today Bread, which designed its beautiful website using the Square website builder. They gave us some inspiring screenshots to show you just how high-quality Square Online websites can look:

Today Bread café homepage

Today Bread café homepage

Secondly, it's strong help and support tools (again Square Online took the crown in this category with 4 out of 5) mean businesses that are less tech-savvy can launch your site speedily and without needing specialist up-front knowledge or understanding.

With Square Online, your website will be up in no time thanks to it easy-to-use interface and handy restaurant website design and build toolset.

You can sync your items with any point of sale (POS) system in your business using Square for Restaurants, a specialist leisure and hospitality product package that allows you to design the perfect management tool for your restaurant business. Use the food and drink templates to get your menu up and live in minutes – taking online orders at the literal push of a button.

As well as getting up and running quickly, Square Online also enables you to streamline your operations by manage your online and in-house orders all in one spot. Platform integration with your POS and kitchen display system means you always know the status of any order.

Plus, you can provide greater convenience for your customers by advertising and facilitating in-house delivery by your own staff online – costing just 50p per order placed.

Read our full Square Online review to learn more about the tasty benefits and appetising menu of features this platform has to offer.

0 out of 0
Price
Features

Free

Professional

Performance

Premium

£0 per month

£9 per month

£19 per month

£54 per month

Start selling online
Sell on Instagram and Facebook
SEO tools
Sync with Square POS

Custom domain
No Square ads
Customised font uploads
Password-protected pages

Professional features
Accept PayPal
Abandoned basket
Advanced reporting
Product reviews

Lowest transaction fees (1.75%)
Performance features

2. Squarespace

4.8 out of 5
  • Website Features
    4.4
  • Design Flexibility
    4.7
  • Value for Money
    3.9
  • Help and Support
    5.0
  • Customer Score
    4.5
  • Ease of Use
    4.0

Our expert researchers ranked Squarespace as our second-favourite website builder for small businesses.

But, more importantly, we gave it top marks for its design tools with a score of 4 out of 5 – and it's easy to see why. The platform has some of the best-looking templates around, and also came in joint top for its excellent design flexibility, meaning Squarespace is perfect for instilling a strong, branded website for your small hospitality business.

Squarespace menu example

Squarespace menu template example

Squarespace has a huge range of over 100 templates across various industries including a variety of sleek restaurant templates. These food-focused designs show off your cuisine while keeping key details front and center, alongside giving you the option to integrate your website with a number of online ordering platforms.

Like Square Online, you can do all of this without coding, and Squarespace has a great range of website features that means you can oversee analytics, marketing, and third party extensions easily and simply.

Handily, it also integrates with Square POS – a popular POS system with startup and small restaurant businesses. This means restaurants can benefit from a centralised system that covers customer orders both inside your restaurant and online.

The majority of its restaurant tools, it must be said, are through third-party applications, which means you'll need to download a lot of your key functions rather than having them in-house like Square Online provides. But this also means you're spoilt for choice in terms of customisability. Pick and choose any of the solutions you want, and get maximum creative control over your website.

You can also get an exclusive 10% discount if you sign up using the code STARTUPS.

Squarespace's other restaurant-focused tools include:

  • Fully-integrated sales tools to trade merchandise, food, gift cards etc.
  • Booking, and online ordering tools
  • Marketing tools
  • OpenTable integration
  • Menu templates
  • Event calendars

Want to know more? Get ready to be seated at our comprehensive Squarespace review.

0 out of 0
Price

Personal Plan

Business Plan

Basic Commerce

Advanced Commerce

3. Wix

4.8 out of 5
  • Website Features
    4.9
  • Design Functionality
    4.4
  • Value for money
    4
  • Help and support
    4.3
  • Customer Score
    4.6
  • Ease of Use
    4.4

Wix is our number one website builder for UK SMEs and we think it's an excellent choice for building a functional website in any industry. Overall, our researchers scored it 4.8 out of 5 – a total that's hard to argue with.

Wix restaurant template example

Wix restaurant template example

As well as being one of the most affordable options available, with its lowest-tiered pricing plan costing just £6.50 per month, Wix has an unparalleled list of features that means you can carry out pretty much ever function you'd like using the platform. Adding menus to your website is easy, and advanced tools mean you can guide customers by adding labels such as ‘vegetarian’ or ‘gluten free’ to specific dishes.

Or, if you need, you can set up different menus such as ‘Breakfast’ or ‘Late Night’ and make them available at specific times.

Another aspect of the platform we think is really helpful for restaurant businesses, and those based offline, is you can manage phone calls. Specialist features allow your staff to enter phone order details into the ordering system, as well as take and track phone orders

The platform offers the largest array of templates (510 at the time of writing) but only 61 of these are focussed on professional looking restaurant template designs which are fully customisable to fit the brand and aesthetics of your small business.

Where Wix is let down is its POS option. Currently, integrating Wix Restaurants with a POS (Point of Sale) system is only partially supported. You'll need to purchase Wix Ecommerce for this option, which is priced at a more expensive £13 per month.

Wix has a strong range of restaurant-focused features available with a premium plan, including:

  • Third-party table reservation integration
  • Menu templates
  • Testimonials
  • An online store
  • Marketing tools

Interested in learning more? We don't blame you. Read our full review of the Wix website builder.

0 out of 0
Price
Free trial?

Combo

Unlimited

VIP

Business Basic

Business Unlimited

Business VIP

Important features of a restaurant website

Website builders suit a variety of restaurant types. It can be challenging to choose just one, but as long as you bear in mind that beautiful restaurant website design must include the following six key features, you can’t go far wrong.

1. Essential information

Hungry customers don’t want to waste any more time than necessary browsing websites before choosing a restaurant. You need to make it as easy as possible to find out the essential information, or else risk losing them.

It's worth having a filter system, such as those offered by Wix, Squarespace, and Square Online, to create pages that answer each of the below questions:

  • What’s on the menu?
  • Can customers order a takeaway or click and collect?
  • What's the address of the restaurant?
  • What's your contact details (i.e. phone and email) and social media links?
  • What are the opening hours?
  • How can you get to/park near the restaurant?
  • What is the cancellation policy?

For some of these questions, it can also be a good idea to integrate other platforms into your site. For example, if you're trying to show customers where you are located, you can add a Google Maps plugin that will show in more detail on how to get there.

It's also a good idea to link to your social media profiles as this will encourage your customers to follow you on Instagram/Facebook/etc. and engage more with your online presence.

Today Café contact page

Today Café contact page (built with Square Online)

To aid in building your brand, you could also look to include a bit of information about the history of the restaurant, its ethos and intentions, and give background information about the owners. This is particularly necessary if you’re pushing a unique concept. It’s worth dedicating some space to a concise but compelling explanation.

2. Menu

Your food is the main thing you’re advertising, so include an obvious link to the menu on the home page.

The menu should be up to date, highlight vegetarian and vegan options, and clearly indicate other allergy or dietary information.

Today Café menu

Today Café menu

You don’t need to resort to an expensive designer – instead, you can use a graphic design tool (such as Canva) to easily create a restaurant menu for your website in a few minutes. Some website builders also include menu creation tools.

REMEMBER

Never upload your menu as a PDF file! The text isn’t readable by search engines, and the file is annoying for users to access and scroll around.

3. Gallery of high quality images

Food

High quality are the operative words here. Delicious food will look delicious on camera, right?

Well, unfortunately, it’s surprisingly hard to do food justice with photography – amateur attempts can make even haute cuisine look like slop.

Today Bread café food page

Today Bread café food page

Unless you’re a professional, hire one. These images are also great for social media usage or press junkets, so it's a good idea to have a few on file and ready for promotional stores.

The restaurant

Include up to date photographs that, as best as possible, give a taste of the style and atmosphere of your restaurant.

Photos of an empty restaurant are good if you want to give an unobstructed view of what the space looks like, but you could also get some snaps of diners having a blast to show it in all its glory.

4. Reservation function

A restaurant reservation system allows customers to check for an available table and book a slot through your website, without the hassle of a phone call.

There are plenty of popular restaurant reservation systems you can add to your website, including OpenTable, Eat App, and TableIn.

As far as website builders go, both Square Online and Squarespace integrate with OpenTable, while Wix has its own proprietary reservation management system.

Today Bread pickup reservation page

Today Bread pickup reservation page

5. Order/delivery function

This is important now more than ever. There are a number of options here, and they’re not mutually exclusive. You could register with any number of on-demand delivery services, including Deliveroo, Just Eat, and Uber Eats. The advantage here is that most of the logistics are taken care of – you just need to worry about fulfilling the orders.

Today Bread ecommerce page

Today Bread ecommerce page

However, if you don’t want to be giving away a proportion of your takeaway takings in fees to delivery services, then you could build or even integrate a third party order and pay app into your restaurant website and hire your own drivers. Deliveroo don’t disclose the commission fees they charge restaurants, but most online sources put them between 10-30%.

6. Reviews/link to TripAdvisor

Advertising this kind of transparency is good for customer trust.

If visitors can see reviews from previous customers without having to leave your website, it shows you’ve got nothing to hide – which, if you’re doing your best to give everybody a great experience, you shouldn’t have.

Restaurant website design tips

Now you know the most important elements of great website design. But here are our top tips for what to include as well of the must-haves, to make sure your website is a tantalising digital front for your restaurant.

Give the people what they want

We all know how frustrating it is to enter a restaurant and wait what feels like hours to be seated or served. As the website owner, your role is just like a manager – you need to acknowledge their presence/answer their query immediately.

Make it easy to navigate around your website by adding page filter settings to answer every query a customer has before they can even ask it. Ensuring that all essential information we listed above is front and centre will keep hungry, and impatient, visitors from going elsewhere.

Today Bread navigation bar

Today Bread navigation bar

This is particularly important now, as restaurants compete for takeaway business. Make sure ordering through your website is easy as possible with order and pay app integration or an intuitive basket and ordering function.

As you can see in our example from Today' Bread's website, the navigation links are clear and easy to find at the top of the page, with more complicated call to actions (such as the ecommerce function) simplified by the use of a simple shopping cart outline. Make sure the imagery is consistent and clear, so that each different button in the sidebar is visible to new site traffic visitors.

Stylised imagery

Today Bread example imagery

Today Bread example imagery

This example from artisan bakery Today Bread evokes a much more sophisticated establishment. It features a moody photo style that show off the high quality product, a sharp, sensible font, and a limited colour palette.

It’s a simple layout, but everything a visitor needs to know is easy to find. Those three big words are bold and inviting, and clearly link through to the food menu, the drink menu, and a reservations page.

Call to action

Today Bread call to action example

Today Bread call to action example

Can you spot the call to action? We like the way this Today Bread example isn't too intrusive. It gives the visitor the chance to learn more about the café and bakery – before using simple social media icons and a contact form to invite them to follow the business online.

Including a link to reviews in the main navigation bar is another nice touch, which (as mentioned above) helps to build trust with a potential customer.

Mobile-friendly format

We’ve all had frustrating experiences trying to navigate around websites that aren’t optimised for smartphone use. And with more than 50% of web traffic now coming from mobile, this issue is more pressing than ever.

Don’t lose customers. Make sure your website is mobile friendly, or people will satisfy their cravings elsewhere.

Helpfully, most website builders will automatically optimise your site for mobile, as shown below. With all of our top three restaurant website builders you can also edit from your desktop and mobile, and all the changes will be updated instantly across the platforms.

Monitor and analyse visitor behaviour

Analytics tools like Google Analytics can provide a goldmine of data on how many people are visiting your site, how long they’re spending there, and where they’re clicking. You can use this to assess what is or isn’t working, and make amendments accordingly.

Thanks to integrated ecommerce functionality, you'll also be able to see which menu items people are ordering most. You can use customer purchase data to inform what remains on your menu and what goes.

You could also use a keyword tool, available as a plugin on the Wix app marketplace, to find which high-value keywords you should be using on site to boost search engine ranking.


Building the perfect website for your restaurant or hospitality business

There you have it: the ingredients for a perfect website for your restaurant or hospitality business.

Feel free to put your own twist on them, depending on what feels right for your restaurant, but stick closely to the recipe above and you’ll convert those online browsers into in-house diners in no time.

Remember, the key to great restaurant website design is to answer the three essential questions: Where are you? When are you open? And what’s on the menu?

Hungry for more information? Visit our dedicated ‘How to start a restaurant’ guide for everything you could ever need to know, or any of the other pages in our restaurant suite:

Still not sure which website builder is best for your business? We've put together a handy breakdown of the top website builders available for leisure and hospitality businesses to make things easier. Start comparing website builders here.

Startups.co.uk is reader-supported. If you make a purchase through the links on our site, we may earn a commission from the retailers of the products we have reviewed. This helps Startups.co.uk to provide free advice and reviews for our readers. It has no additional cost to you, and never affects the editorial independence of our reviews.

Henry Williams
Back to Top