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5 Reasons Why Every Restaurant Needs a Website (And How to Find a Great Web Designer)

If you own a restaurant, then your website needs to be top-notch. You want customers to find your website quickly when they search online, and you want that first impression to be good enough to convince them to come in and try your food or visit your physical location instead of one of your competitors’ restaurants.

Here are five reasons why every restaurant needs a website, as well as tips on finding the best web designer for your restaurant's specific needs.
1. Restaurants need websites because it's 2023
In this digital era of social media, blogs, and Yelp!, restaurants need websites to stay competitive.

Here are five reasons every restaurant needs one and how you can find a great web designer.

1) Websites allow diners to learn more about the restaurant: including its menu, hours, location, and contact information- without having to go through the trouble of calling or visiting in person.

2) Restaurants need websites because they're an online extension for branding: Websites give restaurants an opportunity for online marketing, which is significantly cheaper than other types of advertising, like television commercials or radio ads.

Plus, these ads will be seen by people all over the country.

3) Websites provide access to data that could not otherwise be obtained from a restaurant's phone number or physical address: Since websites have search engines attached to them, it's easier for potential customers to find what they want by using keywords related to their preferences.

For example, if someone searches for coffee shops near me, the website would show up on a list of places with coffee shops in close proximity.

4) Finally, websites make it easy for customers to get in touch with businesses even when they're closed! While restaurants usually close at night and on weekends, some do stay open late into the evening. These establishments need websites so that people know where they are located and can stop by when they please.
2. Restaurants need websites because they're easier to update than print menus
Restaurants need websites because they're easier to update than print menus. And these days, it's no longer just about being able to update the menu; you have to have an online presence if you want customers to find your restaurant.

Restaurants that have websites tend to do much better than those that don't. It doesn't take much time or money to get a website up and running, but it can make all the difference in your success.

Below are five reasons why every restaurant needs a website:
1) To provide updated information on the menu: A printed menu will quickly go out of date as new dishes are added to the kitchen or seasonal specials come around again.

You'll need to order new menus every year or so at considerable expense and waste ink on printing pages with outdated items.

2) To show off photos of food: When people visit restaurants, they often look at pictures of food online before making a reservation for dinner there. If your website doesn't show off what your restaurant has to offer, then potential diners will probably assume you don't have anything worth trying.

3) To list hours of operation: If people know when you're open and closed, then they'll be more likely to stop by during their lunch break instead of waiting until evening when most restaurants are closed.

4) To promote other events and services: Events such as live music performances or craft beer tastings should be promoted on your website. 

Websites also provide a way for customers to contact you outside of traditional business hours, which may help boost sales.

5) To bring in additional revenue: With one person spending 8 seconds looking at a site, it's not surprising that many restaurants turn to e-commerce options from their sites.
3. Restaurants need websites so that customers can find them online
If you own a restaurant, there's no question that you need an online presence. You want your customers to find you online, check out the menu, or call ahead for reservations. The only way they can do that is if they can find your website. 
A website makes it easy for customers to find information about your restaurant and what you have on offer. It also provides a platform for getting reviews and advertising specials.

It has never been easier to create a professional-looking website with everything you need including menus, maps, contact information, hours of operation and more.

Now is the time to get one of these sites up so that people who are looking for your restaurant can find you quickly!
4. Restaurants need websites so that people can order online
Restaurants need websites so that people can order online. This is especially true for restaurants with take-out or delivery options, as that is the best way for customers to get their food.

If your restaurant has good reviews on sites like Yelp, you have an advantage in having people come from other areas because they will see all your ratings and reviews.

Having a website also allows you to showcase specials or events happening at your restaurant. You could also set up features such as group ordering, which would be ideal if you have catering services for parties. In short: every restaurant needs a website!
5. Restaurants need websites so they can share their food photos online
Restaurants need websites so they can share their food photos online with hungry people all over the world. These pictures not only make diners want to visit your restaurant but also allow customers to explore your menu and see what you have on offer.

Plus, it's an excellent way for restaurants with multiple locations to share the same website and make their business easier to find. 
What a Restaurant Should Look for in a Web Design Proposal
Finding a great web designer is the first step to getting your restaurant online.

Ask for a proposal and look for these five things:

  • What are the costs?
  • How long will it take? What is the design timeline?
  • What is their SEO strategy? Will they do any marketing on our behalf?
  • What are the technical requirements of my website? Can they help me with hosting or anything else I need to be successful online and off?
  • Do they offer training after the project is complete? 
  • Do you have references from restaurants similar in size to mine, who would vouch for them as well as being satisfied with their work? 
  • Will I have access to what's been done so far, if there's an issue later down the line? -Does the company use free themes or will we have to pay more for one of theirs?
  • Can I change colors, fonts, and content on my site without worrying about breaking something that was already coded by them?
  • Who owns copyright to the website when it's finished--does the designer retain all rights, or do we own all rights to our own content? -Are there any legal implications associated with this project? For example, has the designer contacted an attorney about trademark infringement? 
  • How much experience does the company have working with restaurants like mine? 
  • Is everything included upfront in my price, or am I expected to make payments throughout the process? Does the price include revisions or touchups once the design is finished? Does the designer have personalization packages available for purchase that can get me started quickly? 
  • Finally, how experienced is your team with designing websites for restaurants?
The web design proposal is the first step in getting your restaurant a website and will show you what you can expect.

Here are 5 things that should be included in the proposal:

  • Layout plan: The website layout is critical to the success of your site. A good designer will have several layouts they can show you, with different page styles and navigation options.
  • Functionality: Important features like ordering online, reservations, social media integration, live chat, or mobile compatibility need to be shown on the layout. You want the features that will make it easiest for you and your customers to get what they want quickly. A well-designed web design proposal includes all these elements so both parties can see how it works together.
  • Search engine optimization: Search engine optimization isn’t something every company needs for their site, but if yours depends on search engine traffic, then this is an important feature to include. 
  • Technical specifications: Web developers know what coding languages work best with which platforms and browsers. They can tell you about the web hosting providers that offer free domain names, unlimited bandwidth, and 24/7 customer service. They also know about various hosting environments, including shared hosting, VPS, and dedicated servers. They might even provide their own recommended web hosting providers or negotiate rates with them as part of the offer.
All these technical details might sound confusing at first, but they are all explained during the web design proposal process by someone who knows what he’s talking about.

Try to Get a Free Website Mockup if Possible
Websites are a dime a dozen, but finding one that suits your business is difficult. In the meantime, you should keep a few things in mind before hiring a web designer.

First, find out if they offer a free website mockup. This will allow you to get an idea of how your site will look before making any commitments.

Second, don't be afraid to ask for references or talk with people who have worked on sites similar to yours. It's always better to work with someone who understands what you're going for and has experience working with businesses like yours. 

Third, try and negotiate a package price upfront instead of paying by the hour - it can save you money!

Finally, research what makes up a good website design proposal and make sure that's part of what you're asking when selecting your web designer.
In Summary
It's no secret that the internet is a huge part of everyday life, and it impacts every aspect of our lives, including the restaurant industry. With more than half of all restaurant searches now starting online, it's not enough for restaurants to have a great website anymore. If you want your customers to find you, you'll need a professional web designer who knows what they're doing and can help make your restaurant stand out from the competition.