It may be hard to believe given how much time we spend online these days, but 45% of small businesses don't have a website.
And if you're a small business owner running a restaurant or food product company, it's even more critical to have an online presence. A well-designed food website can make visitors' mouths water and convince them to make a purchase or run to your location.
If you're unsure where to begin, here are seven qualities that the best food websites have in common.
1. Appetizing Photographs
The right photographs are your most important marketing tool when it comes to promoting your food business. Flattering photographs that show off your food encourage your prospective customers to imagine what your offerings smell and taste like.
So take photos that make your food look appetizing. Natural light works best; you can even take the food outside for a photo session, or photograph it indoors next to a window.
Experiment with different angles. Try taking pictures from overhead and then at table level. Don't be afraid to tilt the camera and get creative.
Photograph when the food is freshly prepared. You can also include a beverage, napkin, or cutlery in the photo which creates the impression that it's ready for the viewer to eat. Adding a bit of garnish can also complete the look.
Create a slideshow or photo gallery for your site that highlights your tastiest looking dishes or food products.
Your photographs should also accurately depict your food. There's nothing more disappointing than visiting a restaurant expecting a dish to look one way but then receiving something that looks completely different from the image.
2. Show Some Atmosphere
If you own a restaurant, you're not just selling food; you're selling an experience. In addition to showing off your culinary creations, make sure your restaurant's atmosphere is being represented as well.
If you have a back deck with a great sunset view, a funky looking bar area, or classy main dining area, by all means, include photos of them for your website. If you specialize in coastline BBQ, grab some water shots to give guests a preview of what they can expect.
3. Pleasing Color Palette
In addition to flattering photographs, your website's color palette can also make or break someone's appetite when they land on your site. Consider that 85% of shoppers rate color as a primary reason for buying a product. The right palette for your site design can be very persuasive.
Dull and dark shades can be depressing while brighter colors set a festive tone and put people in the mood to celebrate and eat. You can borrow hues from your standout dishes or food products by grabbing them with photo editing software and use them throughout your website.
Texture can play a part in your website's layout as well. If you operate a steakhouse, think of incorporating a rustic wooden background that calls to mind a cutting board as one example.
4. User-Friendly Navigation
Don't frustrate visitors to your site by making it difficult for them to find information. Ask others to test your site's navigation to make sure it has a logical order and that you haven't omitted anything by mistake.
Do the menus display clearly, and does the location finder (for restaurants) work properly? Have you included a way for visitors to contact you, and links to your social media channels?
Putting yourself in your customers' shoes as you test the site's navigation and links will help you determine which areas could use some fine-tuning.
5. Easy to View Menu
While you definitely want to include your menu on your website if you're a restaurant owner, you need to take it a step further by making the menu easy to view. This means you can't upload the PDF file of your menu if a visitor has to zoom into it and move it around to read it.
Instead, take the time to create a custom menu for your website. Yes, this can require some extra time but you won't turn off potential customers this way. Everything that they wish to see should be available without having to click on multiple links or juggle a PDF around on the screen.
6. Clean, Impactful Copy
Your website's copy also needs to strike the right tone with visitors. You can have a lot of fun if you own an ice cream shop or casual restaurant, or keep it more conservative if you operate a high-end establishment.
Make sure your website's font choice is easy to read and that your copy is error free. Keep in mind that most people tend to scan web copy, so avoid long blocks of text and large paragraphs. Use bulleted lists when appropriate to create more white space on the page.
7. Mobile Responsiveness
When searching for a place to grab a bite to eat many people reach for their mobile device, particularly if they're not at home. Make sure your website is mobile friendly, which means it displays properly on phones, tablets, and laptops. You don't want a potential customer passing you by because your website didn't fit their screen.
Food Websites Should Follow These Tips For Success
Your website is a powerful promotional tool and the first thing people search for if they wish to learn more about your business and what you have to offer. The best food websites use all seven of these design elements. Incorporate them into your own site to make your visitors crave your food-related products or service and keep them coming back for seconds.
Weebly has a professional website template for every kind of food business, whether you own a restaurant or are selling your own homemade goods. Browse our beautiful design themes to find one just right for you.