Restaurants and web design: best practices and showcase

Creating a website for a restaurant or for a gastronomic activity in general may be very stimulating for a designer and, certainly there are many ways to be inspired.

We begin from the supposition  that in similar cases we’re not dealing with selling or presenting one single product but promoting through images and sensations  a real form of art (culinary, but it’s always art) therefore give space to images, colours, flavours and everything that in one way or another tickles the user’s appetite.

It’s not a case that websites of restaurants generally are vivid and full of life, as we’ll soon see.

But let’s start from the beginning. You’re designing the layout  for a restaurant and you need a small input? In this article we’re going to see some of the best practices/trends in vogue  in the sector and in addition an exhaustive showcase of inspiration from which you can take with both hands to find the right idea.

Creating a website for a restaurant: best practices


We talked about it also in this article on the meaning of colours, a small look at it could be a good idea:

For example, red and orange are known as intensive emotional colours, that stimulate the increasing of heartbeats and of breathing. Moreover – this probably  less known – these colours applied to the food industry encourage consumers to eat more and more quickly.
A sort of emotional stimulators of the appetite.

You understand now why many of the industry choose the red colour for their company brand , for the colour of the curtains and tablecloths of the restaurant. If for some this may be a coincidence, it surely isn’t for many.

Most all of the websites related to the gastronomic industry have chromatic shades tending to red and orange, or however prefer warm and vibrating colours.

Only in rare exceptions, mostly in the confectionery sector , the trend varies, preferring softer colors, almost pastel, in a style that recalls  – certainly not a case – “candy colours “: pink, light blue, pale green.

Also black is a color that has many consents, especially if the intention is to highlight the elegance of a sophisticated restaurant, of haute cuisine  and certainly not cheap.


In these sites the images have the highest priority: a trend, probably a bit abused but always of great impact,inserting the images in the background, visualized at full screen. The information and the textual contents become less important and are often inserted in semi-transparent sections, usually aligned at the left or at the bottom in order to leave more space for the background images.

When not inserted in the background, the images continue to occupy  the place of honour of the page: the headings become this way more evident and once again captures the user’s eye.

Satisfies the sight and at the same time informs

The majority of the users that visit a website of a restaurant look for four basic information: the opening/closing time, telephone number for reservations, the map in order to reach the place and the menu.

This because:

  • If you already know the place, you’re certainly searching for the telephone number for the reservation or you’re interested in the menu;
  • If you don’t know the restaurant, you’re, without doubts, interested in the menu, the opening time and eventually, how to reach the place.

Obviously it’s a good thing to insert photos of the place, photos of tempting dishes, news and whatever, but the priority must be given to these four elements as if these aren’t found quickly, the chances that the user contacts the restaurant will be really low.

Putting the telephone number in the Home Page may be a good compromise, giving immediately a simple way to contact the restaurant.

Intrigue and catch the attention with additional services

Once captured the user’s attention with images, use astuteness to intrigue the user in an original way pushing him to return to the site and back into the restaurant.

A good idea may be in creating a sort of “calendar of events” where to mark some small events or special promotions: March 8   free drink for women, April 29 a special sweet and so on. Man is a social being and according to his nature is made curious by novelties and by what is unknown… take advantage of it!

Another way to attract the attention and at the same time inform? A video.
Put in the home page a video, obviously not amateur, that shows the inside of the place, or the kitchen (with the chefs cooking), or also a video presenting the staff.
Whatever the contents of the video may be, it has to be dynamic, short and outside the lines, to talk – and get talked – about itself.

The pizzeria “Pizzarelli” did something like that, showing with a video the entire work process that lays behind their pizza, and I must say that among the many sites I visited today it’s the one that stroke me most. Is it just a case?

Ultimately, a way to get talked about could concern the creation of a blog theme, where one can leave recipes, cooking tips and news related the gastronomic industry. Users this way can see  personally the professionalism and the experience that the staff of the restaurant have and at the same time interact with them, asking for advices, leaving feedbacks and comments. A way like another to establish a relationship with an audience of potential clients and consumers

A bit(e) of inspiration: a delight for the eyes (and for the palate)

Japanese, Spanish, Mexican &Co restaurants


Ristoranti vari

Articles recommended

Inspiration: 45 newsletters and e-mails related to the food industry

Sweet web design: 25+ sites of confectioneries,chocolate industry & co

Create an attractive layout for a website of a pizzeria

Showcase: 11 sites of pizzerias from which be inspired

Showcase: 16 sites of pizzerias


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The Author

Web designer, has been working in the field of graphics and web development for six years and at the moment besides collaborating with a web agency successfully manages her freelance activity under the name of mascara design. Like many freelancers she is used to handling more roles, ranging from paper graphics to the development of html and css codes; nonetheless this passion of hers remains, always and however, web graphics.

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