Restaurant Design Tips: Make Your Site Shine

published on 28 August 2023

As a restaurant owner, you pour your heart and soul into creating an amazing culinary experience for your customers. But what about your restaurant's online presence? Your website is often the first impression potential diners will have of your establishment, so its design is critical. With a few simple tips, you can craft an engaging website that reflects your restaurant's unique style and leaves visitors hungry for more. Using an intuitive drag-and-drop website builder, you can easily create a stunning landing page to showcase mouthwatering photos of your dishes, share your restaurant's story, and highlight positive reviews from satisfied customers. A well-designed website is the perfect appetizer to whet visitors' appetites and entice them to dine with you. With some strategic tweaks, you'll have guests lining up to reserve a table. For more tips on creating a website that sells, check out this article on The Easy Way to Make a Food Product Landing Page That Sells.

Restaurant Design. Why it's important?

The design of your restaurant has a significant impact on your customer's experience and perception of your brand. Carefully considering essential elements like layout, lighting, and decor can help create an inviting space where people will want to dine and return to again.

Layout refers to how you arrange the physical space in your restaurant, including seating, kitchen, restrooms, and more. An open, uncluttered layout with spacious aisles allows for an easy flow of customers and staff. Group seating in a way that encourages interaction and community. Provide ample space between tables for servers and customers to navigate comfortably.

Lighting helps set the mood and ambiance. For most restaurants, a mix of natural light and soft lighting fixtures is ideal. Dim lighting tends to feel more intimate while bright lighting can make a space feel sterile. Consider how lighting will interact with your decor and use it to highlight architectural details or direct customers to key areas like the bar or buffet.

Your choice of decor, from flooring and wall treatments to accessories, should reflect your brand and cuisine. Keep the overall style cohesive but include contrasting accents to create visual interest. Use decor to subtly divide the space into sections with different feels, e.g. a livelier bar area and a cozier dining space.

An inviting, intuitively designed restaurant space elevates the customer experience and keeps people coming back. Paying attention to details like layout, lighting, and decor helps craft a memorable and engaging environment for dining. With some thoughtful planning, you can create a restaurant interior that reflects your unique brand and style.

Choose an Eye-Catching Color Scheme
Choose an Eye-Catching Color Scheme

Choose an Eye-Catching Color Scheme

As a restaurant owner, the design of your online presence is just as important as your physical space. Your website is the first impression potential customers get of your establishment, so you'll want to make it shine.

When choosing a color scheme for your site, consider your cuisine and overall restaurant theme. Warm colors like red, orange and yellow are energetic and stimulate appetite, perfect for a casual pizza or taco joint. Cool blues and greens are more relaxing and upscale, ideal for a seafood or fine dining restaurant. Don’t be afraid to use accent colors to make important elements like menus, photos, and call to action buttons pop.

Keep it clean and clutter-free

A clean, minimal layout is easiest for users to navigate and focuses their attention on your content. Remove any unnecessary elements that distract from your messaging. White space is inviting and gives the eye a place to rest.

High quality photos are a must

Professional food and atmosphere photos are essential for conveying your restaurant’s vibe. Images should take center stage, so make them large and prominent. Photos of patrons enjoying themselves or staff engaging with customers also help to tell your brand’s story.

An easy to read font

Choose a simple, legible font for your website. Elegant scripts or display fonts should only be used for headlines. A traditional serif or clean sans serif font works well for paragraphs. Ensure all text, including menus, is large enough to read easily on both mobile and desktop.

With a polished design, enticing visuals, and clear communication, your restaurant website can make visitors eager to experience the atmosphere and cuisine in person. A memorable online presence builds a connection between you and your customers, turning first time visitors into lifelong regulars.

Use High Quality Photos of Your Food

High quality photos are essential for any restaurant website. They allow potential customers to see your delicious food and get a sense of your establishment's ambiance. When featuring photos of your menu items:

Focus on your restaurant’s specialties and customer favorites. Showcase dishes that you are especially proud of and that represent your cuisine well. For example, if you are known for your artisanal pizza or gourmet burgers, make sure to highlight photos of those.

Use bright, high resolution images that make the food look as appetizing as possible. Zoom in on the dish so it is the main focus of the photo. Ensure the image is clear, not blurry, and the food looks fresh and well-plated.

Include photos of a variety of menu items. Provide a balanced mix of entrees, appetizers, desserts and drinks. This gives visitors an overview of the range of options at your restaurant. However, do not overload the page with too many images, as this can seem cluttered and distracting. Around 6 to 12 high quality photos are typically sufficient for a restaurant website.

When possible, also incorporate lifestyle shots of your restaurant space and happy customers enjoying a meal. These types of authentic photos help to convey the experience and atmosphere of dining at your establishment. They create an emotional connection and inspire people to want to visit in person.

Using mouth-watering food photos and real lifestyle images is one of the best ways to showcase your restaurant to potential customers browsing your website. High quality photos allow visitors to visualize what they might order and get excited about paying you a visit. When done well, photos can be hugely influential in driving people to become loyal patrons of your restaurant.

Include a Prominent Contact Section
Include a Prominent Contact Section

Include a Prominent Contact Section

A prominent and easily accessible contact section is key to converting visitors into customers. Include details on how readers can get in touch with your restaurant, whether by phone, email, or social media.

Contact Information

List your restaurant’s phone number, email address, physical address, and any social media profiles prominently at the top of the contact page. Many visitors will appreciate being able to call for inquiries or reservations. An email address also allows them to contact you on their own time. Your physical address, especially if you offer takeout or delivery, is important for customers to find you. Social media profiles demonstrate your active online presence.

Online Reservations

If you accept reservations on your website, include a link to your online reservation system on the contact page. Many guests prefer the convenience of booking tables ahead of time from their mobile device or computer. An online reservation system, like OpenTable or Resy, also allows you to capture contact details from guests to build your mailing list.

Response Times

Politely inform readers when they can expect a response to phone calls, emails, social media messages, and online reservations or inquiries. For example, “We aim to respond to all phone calls within 2 hours during business hours. Emails and social media messages will receive a response within 24 hours. Online reservation requests will be confirmed instantly if available, or within 4 hours if the requested time slot needs to be double-checked.” Setting clear expectations upfront leads to better customer experiences.

Mailing List Sign Up

Include a mailing list sign-up form on your contact page so visitors can subscribe to receive news about events, promotions, and deals. Building your mailing list helps establish ongoing communication with guests and is a useful marketing tool. Only ask for essential information like an email address and first name to keep the sign-up process simple.

An informative yet straightforward contact page with multiple ways to get in touch fosters positive interactions between your restaurant and customers. Devoting a prominent place on your website to contact information demonstrates your commitment to providing great service and experiences.

Share Your Story and Vision

To attract customers and share your vision, focus on telling your story. Help people understand your restaurant’s origins and mission.

Share the Founding Story

Share details about how and why you started your restaurant. Discuss your inspiration and goals. Help readers connect with your passion for the cuisine, atmosphere or experience you aim to provide. Keep this concise while highlighting key milestones.

Highlight Your Mission and Values

Explain your restaurant's mission - whether it’s to introduce people to a specific cuisine, support local farmers or provide high-quality meals at affordable prices. Discuss the values that drive your team like sustainability, community or customer service. Help readers understand your purpose and priorities.

Share Photos of Your Space

Include visuals of your dining room, bar, patio or private event spaces. Photos allow people to experience your ambiance and esthetic before visiting in person. Showcase details like artwork, furnishings, architectural elements or decor that make your restaurant unique. For extra engagement, include photos of guests enjoying themselves, your signature dishes or cocktails.

Discuss Your Menu and Cuisine

Talk about the type of food you offer and your culinary influences or specialties. Mention popular or signature dishes. Share a sample menu or photos of select items. Discuss seasonal offerings or your relationships with food purveyors. Help readers understand what to expect and entice their taste buds.

Highlight What Sets You Apart

Explain what makes your restaurant different or special. Discuss any awards or media coverage you’ve received. Share details about your chef's experience or qualifications. Mention any sustainable or eco-friendly practices you follow. Discuss amenities, services or little touches that make the overall experience memorable. Help readers understand why your restaurant deserves their valuable time, money and repeat business.

Following these steps to share your story, vision and passion will help attract new customers and build a loyal following. Use visuals and an authentic voice to make genuine connections that keep people coming back.

Include Your Menu but Keep It Simple

Your restaurant’s menu is a crucial component of your website and brand. A well-designed menu helps convey your cuisine and atmosphere, builds excitement, and ultimately drives customers to dine at your establishment. However, it’s important not to overwhelm visitors with too many options or an overly complicated layout.

Keep categories concise

Group your offerings into simple, straightforward categories like “Appetizers,” “Entrees,” “Desserts,” and “Drinks.” Avoid niche or overly specific categories that may confuse customers. Within each category, list items in a consistent format with prices and brief descriptions. Use appealing food photos to make dishes more enticing, but limit the number of photos so as not to make the page too cluttered.

Highlight specials and fan favorites

Call attention to current specials, seasonal items, or customer favorites to help guide customers to popular or temporary options. However, do not make these the primary focus of your menu, as customers still want to see your regular offerings. You might put specials at the top of your menu or in a separate “Specials” section.

Keep descriptions brief but appealing

Write just 1 or 2 sentences describing each dish. Focus on ingredients, cooking techniques, and flavors. Mention premium or homemade components to convey quality. However, avoid overly flowery or lengthy descriptions that may lose readers’ interest. The descriptions should entice customers without dominating the menu.

Offer menu in multiple formats

In addition to publishing your full menu on your website, offer a printable PDF version that customers can easily download and view. You may also want to create a shorter express menu highlighting just a few popular items to share on your social media profiles or in online listings. The multiple formats allow you to reach customers in the ways they prefer.

An attractively designed yet straightforward menu with concise, appealing descriptions of your delicious offerings is a key part of showcasing your restaurant as a premier dining destination. Carefully crafted menu options will have customers eager to visit and experience your cuisine for themselves.

Let Reviews and Testimonials Do the Talking

One of the most effective ways to build trust and social proof is by prominently featuring reviews and testimonials from happy customers on your restaurant’s website. Prospective guests want to hear from others who have dined at your establishment before booking a reservation or walking through the door.

Display reviews on your landing page, especially near your call-to-action buttons like “Book Now” or “Make a Reservation.” This placement makes them highly visible and influences guests at a crucial point in their decision-making process. You can also add a dedicated “Reviews” page where you list reviews, ratings, and testimonials from platforms like Yelp, TripAdvisor, Google, and Facebook. Ask loyal customers to leave reviews on these third-party sites to build credibility, as reviews from independent platforms are perceived as more authentic.

Reach out to regular guests via email and ask them if they would be willing to provide a short testimonial about their experience at your restaurant that you can publish on your website. Offer an incentive like a gift card in exchange for their feedback. Keep these testimonials to 2-3 sentences highlighting what they enjoyed most about the food, drinks, service, and ambiance. Use their full name and location to lend credibility, with their permission.

Refresh reviews and testimonials regularly to keep content up to date. Remove any that are more than two years old, as they may no longer accurately reflect the current dining experience.

The opinions and experiences of past guests are incredibly persuasive to future guests. Don't overlook the opportunity to build trust and improve conversion rates with authentic reviews and testimonials that do the talking for you. They provide social proof that your restaurant is worth booking a table at. Let your happy customers become your most influential marketers!

Optimize for Mobile: Your Customers Are on the Go!

To optimize your restaurant’s website for mobile devices, consider the following:

Ensure your site is responsive. A responsive design adapts to the screen size of the device, whether phone, tablet, or desktop. This provides an optimal viewing experience for visitors on any device. Utilize a mobile-first approach by designing for smaller screens first, then adapt the layout for larger screens.

Keep page load times short. According to Google, 53% of visitors will leave a site if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. Compress images, minimize redirects, and avoid heavy animations to speed up your site.

Use large buttons and fonts. On smaller screens, buttons, links, and text should be easy to tap and read. Aim for font sizes of at least 16px and button sizes of at least 44px by 44px.

Limit scrolling. Minimize the need for excessive scrolling on mobile. Keep the most important content and calls-to-action at the top of the page where they are immediately visible.

Simplify the menu. On mobile, an overly complicated menu can be frustrating to navigate. Streamline your menu to include only the most essential pages and categories. You can also use a “hamburger menu” icon to hide additional menu items behind a drop-down.

Focus on one goal per page. On mobile, it is best to have pages focused around a single, clear goal. This could be making a reservation, viewing your menu, contacting you, etc. Avoid cramming too many themes or purposes onto a single page.

Consider using an app. For an enhanced mobile experience, you may want to develop an iOS and Android app for your restaurant in addition to a mobile-friendly website. An app can provide advanced features like push notifications, loyalty programs, table management, and mobile payments. However, a responsive website is a good place to start.

Optimizing your online presence for mobile is crucial to providing the best possible experience for your restaurant’s customers on the go. By following these best practices, you can create an intuitive mobile interface that keeps visitors engaged and coming back.

Include Strong Calls-to-Action

Having a strong call-to-action (CTA) on your restaurant’s landing page is key to converting visitors into customers. A CTA is an image, button, or link that prompts the user to take action, such as booking a table or viewing your menu.

Make your CTA prominent

Place your CTA front and center on the page where visitors will notice it immediately. Use a large, eye-catching button that stands out from the rest of the content. The CTA should be one of the first things visitors see when they arrive on the page.

Choose an action-oriented CTA

CTAs should encourage the user to do something, not just click a button. Use action-oriented language like “Book Now,” “View Menu,” or “Reserve Your Table.” Avoid generic terms like “Click Here” or “Learn More.” Action-oriented CTAs are more compelling and help the user understand exactly what will happen when they click.

Match your CTA to your goal

Ensure your CTA matches the goal or next step you want visitors to take. If you want them to make a reservation, use “Book Now.” If you want them to view your menu or place an order for takeout, use “View Menu.” The CTA should directly correspond to the action you want visitors to take.

Place CTAs strategically

Include multiple CTAs in different areas of your page - at the top, in the sidebar, at the bottom. This makes them highly visible and gives visitors multiple opportunities to take action. However, avoid including too many CTAs, which can overwhelm the user and distract from the page content.

Drive visitors to your CTA

Use other elements on the page like images, videos, descriptions and social proof to capture interest and drive visitors to engage with your call-to-action. For example, appetizing food photos may motivate visitors to view your menu or book a table. Customer quotes and reviews build trust and credibility, encouraging visitors to reserve their dining experience.

Following these tips will help you create an effective call-to-action that turns your restaurant website visitors into loyal customers. Keep your CTAs prominent, action-oriented and strategically placed to maximize conversions. Drive visitors to engage with your CTAs by using compelling content and visuals. Keep testing and optimizing your calls-to-action to improve results over time.

How to Create Restaurant Design Landing Page With Unicorn Platform

To create an attractive landing page for your restaurant using Unicorn Platform, follow these best practices:

Choose an appetizing theme that reflects your cuisine and ambiance. Unicorn Platform offers stylish templates for casual diners, upscale eateries, and everything in between. Select a theme that aligns with your brand to make a great first impression.

Craft an enticing headline and tagline. Your headline should capture attention and convey your restaurant’s essence in a few compelling words. The tagline expands on the headline to communicate your unique value proposition. Keep both concise and consistent with your brand voice.

Showcase mouthwatering photos of your food. High-quality images are essential for a restaurant landing page. Feature photos of your most popular or visually stunning menu items. Photos should take up about 50-70% of the page’s real estate.

List your address, hours of operation and contact information prominently. Include your full street address, phone number, website, and hours for each day of the week. Make this information easy to find so visitors can quickly learn how to find and contact your restaurant.

Highlight what makes your restaurant special. Do you source local organic ingredients? Have an award-winning chef? Promote your unique differentiators to stand out from competitors. Share the story behind your restaurant and express your passion for the culinary experience you create.

Include enticing calls-to-action. Add buttons inviting visitors to make a reservation, view your menu, or find directions to your restaurant. Place these CTAs strategically throughout your page, especially above the fold, to prompt visitors to take the next step.

Keep your content concise and scannable. Use an informal but professional tone in short paragraphs with visual headings. Bulleted or numbered lists also make information easy to digest. Your landing page should capture the essence of your restaurant in a few quick sentences and visuals.

With a mouthwatering theme, tantalizing photos, and an irresistible story, you can craft a landing page that delights visitors and leaves them eager to dine at your restaurant. Following these best practices will ensure your page makes a memorable first impression.


Your restaurant is a reflection of your passion for food, hospitality, and creating memorable experiences for your customers. By focusing on a clean, intuitive design and highlighting what makes your restaurant unique, you'll make a great first impression and keep visitors engaged. Remember that your website is often the first interaction people will have with your brand. A professional, polished site signals to customers that they can expect the same level of quality and care in your physical restaurant space. Take the time to get the details right, choose visuals that reflect your style, and write copy that makes visitors' mouths water. With a little extra effort, you'll end up with a website as inviting and unforgettable as your restaurant itself. Now you're ready to welcome guests through your virtual doors.

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