Preparation: For all levels of experience
There’s no need for delicious food to be a complex matter. With the right ingredients, you can whip up incredible creations that taste great and look impressive in next to no time. And creating an effective website using Wix Restaurants is just as straightforward once you’ve got hold of those key ingredients.
We understand that anyone running a restaurant is bound to have plenty to keep them busy, so creating a website has to be a quick and ideally cost-effective process. With that in mind, we’ve written this article to show you how you can create an enticing restaurant website – even if you’re working to a tight schedule and budget.
- Modern templates
- Menu layouts
- Table reservations
- Online ordering (for food deliveries)
- Contact form
- Photo gallery
- Video uploads
- Testimonials and reviews
- Google Maps
- Local SEO
- Online Business Card (Google My Business)
- Apps for directories (e.g., Yelp, Foursquare, TripAdvisor, Urbanspoon, Yellow Pages)
- Marketing: email/newsletters, social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat)
Step 1: Finding the Right Provider
All of the website builders (such as Wix) that we’ve tested have one thing in common – you don’t need any experience of programming to be able to create a website of your own. Although you get intuitive use as a benefit, you do lose a little of the flexibility that comes with the bigger website systems like WordPress.
When it comes to the website builders, there’s one provider that stands out from the rest: Wix. So what makes this provider so special? Although Jimdo, Weebly, and 1&1 all have designs suitable for use within the gastronomy sector, Wix have put even more thought into it.
With the “Wix Restaurants” website app, you can create a menu in just a few clicks. If you opt for the premium plan, you can even set up an online ordering service. The monthly cost for this starts at around $11. But don’t worry – you have the option of testing out Wix for free with no obligation.
If you’re on a tighter budget, Jimdo is another alternative (from $10 per month). Although the selection of gastronomy-based designs you get with Jimdo is nowhere near as wide as with Wix, it still offers a full package on the whole.
We’re going to use Wix for our examples in the steps that follow.
Step 2: Selecting a Template
Wix has a huge selection of designs for restaurants. You can’t really go wrong when choosing a template given that they all follow the same standards. Every design is suitable for mobile phones and tablets, with the option of being adapted flexibly. All you have to do is pick the one that best suits your needs, so you are left to make as few changes as possible. Here are a few examples of websites for real restaurants.
Real restaurant examples created with Wix
Step 3: Adding Content
If you find the extensive range of features on the Editor overwhelming, you just need to take a systematic approach. Don’t start worrying about fonts or colors – these have already been set up by the pros and nicely coordinated with one another.
You need to focus on the elements at the core of your website instead. Fill in key contact details, such as the address and opening times. We’d also recommend inserting an interactive route planner using Google Maps. Tell visitors to your website all about your restaurant and the team. Think about what makes your restaurant unique – perhaps you serve vegan dishes or have a special set menu?
Do you have some photos of your own that you’d like to use? It’s important that you update the placeholder images to put your own creative stamp on the website. If you don’t have your own pictures, the Wix image database features a whole host of professional photos. Don’t forget, though, that you can’t beat photos of your own, especially if they’ve been taken by a professional photographer.
And, of course, the same goes for videos. Wix allows you to add videos to the background or play them via YouTube.
If you want to include a contact form for reservations, you’ll need to make sure that your guests are sent confirmation of their bookings. You don’t want your guests to have to go home hungry because your restaurant is closed or fully booked. That’s a sure-fire way to get yourself a bad review.
Table Reservation Example
Step 4: SEO Basics for Restaurants
If you want to entice people to try out your restaurant for the first time, you’ll need to make sure that they can find you using search engines. This comes down to local SEO, which involves optimizing your website for local searches. The first thing you need to do is update the title and description for every page using the SEO settings. The title of your home page must always include the type of restaurant (e.g., Italian, Chinese, steak house) and the town or city it is located in. In other words, you need to focus on what potential customers are going to type into Google. Wix SEO Wiz can prove to be a useful resource here.
A listing on “Google My Business” is absolutely essential. If your restaurant doesn’t already appear in the relevant Google search results, you can update this through your “My Business” account. You can then update all the most important details, such as your restaurant’s address, opening times, and contact details, and add images.
You can also have your website added to major directories, including Yelp, Foursquare, TripAdvisor, Urbanspoon, and Yellow Pages, but you have to sign up for these services directly. You can even save the URL for your website here. Remember that your Google rating will be higher as more websites link to your page. Be sure to include plenty of relevant information.
The Yoast SEO blog published an excellent article on “Restaurant SEO“, featuring lots more handy hints that will help you boost your website.
And don’t forget to check out the Wix App Market. There you’ll find all sorts, including a Yelp rating app that you can use to include genuine feedback from your guests on your website. And the best part is that the ratings are completely independent.
Step 5: Spreading the Word
Wix ShoutOut Newsletter Example
Link your website to any social media networks you use. All you have to do is click on the social media icons and add your address. Not to mention that you can also link up other platforms you might use, such as TripAdvisor and Yelp. Positive feedback on these kinds of sites might encourage customers to come along to your restaurant.
It’s obviously also a good idea to be active on Snapchat and Instagram because these platforms are ideal for visual marketing. Delicious food, a pleasant atmosphere, and quirky decor can all help sway a diner’s decision in your favor.
Set up a newsletter using the integrated Wix ShoutOut email software, so you can surprise your customers with discounts and special offers. Before you do this, though, you must make sure that you have permission to send correspondence to your contacts.
A blog can be a nice touch for your website, but you’ll need to put in a lot of work if you want it to raise the quality of your website. Unfortunately, interesting posts don’t just write themselves. If you don’t have the resources required for such an undertaking, it would be better for you to focus on the steps outlined above.
Have a play around to find out what works best for you.
Sadly, a successful website doesn’t just take care of itself. Although Wix will simplify things for you nicely, you’ll still have to invest a certain amount of time into getting it right. But the hard work does pay off when you consider how far you can extend your reach once you’ve got your very own restaurant website online. You can see the benefit in particular when you don’t have many regulars and are always fully booked.
We’re obviously not saying that a website is a substitute for good food and outstanding service. But it can help you to attract new diners to your establishment. It’s important that you ask your customers for their opinion on a regular basis. You can respond by improving upon what you do online.
If you do happen to receive some negative feedback, take the time to look into the reasons behind it. We all know that different people have different tastes, but criticism can be the motivation behind improving the service on offer, updating a particular dish, and so on. You just have to see it as an opportunity! Nobody is going to recommend a poor restaurant, but you do still always have the chance to respond appropriately online.
We wish you every success and hope to be dining at your restaurant one day in the future!