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Web Development Tips for Creating an Effective Restaurant Website

written by: Haley Montgomery•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 10/29/2009

Are you a web developer who is making a restaurant website? You want the website design to enhance the restaurant's marketing and attract new customers. This article offers five web development tips for creating a more effective website for your restaurant client.

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    5 Tips for Effective Restaurant Websites

    A website is an essential part of a restaurant's promotional efforts. It can offer a great opportunity to attract more customers, encourage repeat restaurant visits and promote specials and events. How can web designers create more effective sites for restaurant clients? These five web development tips for making a restaurant website can help.

    Communicate the style of the restaurant. A restaurant website should show visitors what to expect from the menu and atmosphere of the restaurant itself. In addition to the verbiage you choose to describe the restaurant, use colors, photographs and font styles to communicate whether it is a casual or fine dining spot as well as the types of food available on the menu.

    Offer "insider" information. Web designers can build a following of existing restaurant customers by using the website as a way to provide information that isn't found by eating a meal in the store. Offer website content sections about the management and chefs and special facts about the restaurant's history. Give advanced notice of specials or new menu items for web users. This type of content will make visitors feel like they are preferred customers.

    Provide tools for customer interaction. A restaurant website can be a great vehicle for letting dining establishments engage customers and reach out to them in online media. Make sure any social networking profiles are linked to the website. Features like search, calorie calculators and surveys offer ways for visitors to customize their online experience with the restaurant site. Features like online comment forms or live chats offer ways to get immediate feedback from diners and email opt-in lists allow restaurant to communicate with customers more regularly.

    Make it easy for online visitors to become in-store diners. Getting customers to come to the restaurant or order food is the primary goal of any restaurant website. Consider implementing features like online ordering or online reservations to the site to help customers make the leap. These features are often available as subscription services that can be easily interfaced with existing website programming or customized to match an existing look.

    Don't forget the kids. If the restaurant client offers family-friendly dining with discounts for children, a kids website section can be very effective. Parents often respect businesses that offer safe and fun online opportunities for their children. Providing activities for kids that introduce them to the restaurant atmosphere or food can be a great way to encourage family dining with the establishment.

    These five web development tips offer ideas for how web designers can build a restaurant website that is a good companions to a dining establishment's marketing efforts. Use these content suggestions to make your next restaurant website development project more effective.