Hangry. When we are hungry, the fuel tank sputters vapor and the first warning light to flash is patience. Good web designers understand that.
It’s especially important when searching online for something to eat.
At this point, the hangry client in us is silently crying-out deep down “Please don’t make me hunt for a menu or phone number to order right now! I’ve just done that in my fridge, and it’s empty!”
So if kindness is the new classy, design kindly, and grace that first glance with comforting answers. There will a resounding world of subconscious ‘thank-yous’ and a sense that someone on the other end understands.
Speed of access is not the only valuable commodity when looking for our next good meal.
We also want beauty.
Since the beginning of time, we can’t get away from the fact that we are motivated by our eyes in making food choices. It is recorded that Eve pushed past all good advice and ate an apple off the wrong tree in the Garden regardless of all because her eyes told her it was beautiful.
It’s no joke; green eggs and ham really are a turn off.
Yes, even on the fast food side of town, we want what we are eating to look as though we’ve made a worthy choice. While that may not be possible to accomplish in reality, where a burger is flopped into a wrapper and squashed by three others on top of it, jammed into paper sack, and slung around until it’s finally handed off to you, we at least want to know what it might have looked like, if fast food wasn’t so fast.
The far greater expectation for eat-in restaurants and their online plated food photographs is perfection. Whatever the creation might be, it must look especially appetizing to engage partakers. That’s because people assume that if food looks fantastic, it will taste just as good. Just check out these before-and-after photos from a professional food stylist who knows about design style on the plate.
Seeing the essential role that speed and looks play for online restaurant website design narrows down the list of must-haves to just a couple of key features: the menu, contact information, and a booking system. These keys are mastered here in the fantastic restaurant website designs below and they’ve won rave reviews. See if you agree?
When developing your client’s website, ask ‘How can we get the fastest access to the menu?’
The Pastaria does two things to get you to the menu quickly and easily. Firstly, they present the ‘MENU’ in an unconventional way, inside the attention-getting orange circle and secondly, even better, by just scrolling down the visitor can see the entire menu in this one-page web design.
Fast menu access is epitomized by BackYard Burgers. You already see the lovely food right as the homepage opens, but the kicker is that simply passing your mouse over the “MENU” starts opening up your options immediately. No scrolling, just a mouse movement gets you one step closer to helping you make your choice.
In the fast food market, cutting to the menu-chase is satisfying as we are drawn into menu categories with tempting visuals like demonstrated on the Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) website front page.
The Point of Contact
Where is it? Where’s the phone number to order my pizza?
Have you found yourself there? Having finally settled on a pizza with special toppings, now it’s order time and you have to play hide-and-seek with the phone number? The last thing to do is order and you can’t? What a frustration!
The Craft Restaurant has gotten this right by including a phone number in a classy, subtle but well-placed font right up at the top. There is still an online reservation system, a contact page, social media access, and street address. But the phone number assures us that the folks at the Craft consider us welcome!
The exciting restaurant Michi Ramen does a great job of keeping it simple and delightful! A ‘how to do ramen’ help, plus a short-cut menu and link to the full menu are all available on the front page. Mostly, we like how they tucked that all-important phone number right under their business name – front and center on the main stage.
Make a Reservation
One of the most important aspects of good design in restaurant websites is providing a place to book a table. These websites include the priority with style.
With simplicity and elegance, Lupa in New York uses a minimalist layout that holds the ‘reservation’ button static in the top right of the site as you scroll down through the rest of their engaging portraits layouts.
At the Blackhouse Restaurant, it’s there in black and white, or shades of grey, rather, but it’s strongly done. Other than the engaging photos in the front slider, the first thing that catches your eye is the BOOK ONLINE button. The shading stands out perfectly.
Elegant Beauty & Creative Interest
Special mention deserves to be made for the lovely, elegant website design of Astrid & Gaston in Lima, Peru.
Their muted colors, minimal, centered display gives off an atmosphere of sophistication and class. The map and contact information appear on the bottom of the home page, with the reservation information at the top, over a lovely set of dishes that invite and invite… what does it cost to fly to Peru?
For the website with the most creative interest, the honor goes to Arzak in Spain, not because of its captivating Basque history, but because… the home page’s opening video of kitchen-action overlaid with text looks like… a dish being seasoned with pepper!