1st August 2022

Responsive web design for restaurants

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Lauren Irwin

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There’s never been a better time to consider a website refresh for a restaurant or bar, with a surge in consumers returning to normality and searching for venues for socialising. Moreover, since the pandemic, there’s much more demand and expectation for digital, user-friendly experiences.

That means ensuring that your restaurant or bar website is performing, optimised and offers the same great customer experience as your venue does. When a website can be the first impression for so many businesses, it’s key to ensure it’s a great one!

That’s why responsive, accessible and branded websites are just as important as Instagramable dishes and venues.

There are two key areas every responsive restaurant website should consider...



These days, there are so many different devices to access the internet. Still, for industries such as hospitality, responsive web design is an absolute must when consumers predominantly access their websites from mobile devices. Just think—restaurants and bars are more often found through social media on mobile apps.

Many agencies are now taking a ‘mobile-first approach’ to website design, meaning mobile templates are designed first to ensure they will display on a smaller screen, as desktop website design doesn’t render well on smaller screens. It isn’t accessible to audiences, not to mention that search engines such as Google have separate desktop and mobile indexing, which means it’ll rank a user-friendly mobile site first.

Responsive resturant website design

Mobile-friendliness often means:

  • Stacking components

  • Ability to swipe components such as carousels

  • Mobile-friendly navigation

  • Larger text and iconography

  • Content can be kept to a minimum

  • Larger, touch-friendly buttons

  • Clear and prominent calls to action (i.e. book)

  • Image and page optimisation for faster load speeds

  • Less micro animation

Positive experiences online are a must for restaurant web design. It could be the difference between a customer choosing your restaurant or another based on design, user experience, load speeds, search visibility and clear brand identity. As so many restaurants and bars have become synonymous with quirky branding and interior design, customers expect that to be translated onscreen—that’s why stagnated restaurant templates are becoming a thing of the past, and websites are as bespoke as venues.


Content Manageable Menu

Another component often found on restaurant and bar websites that have become outdated are PDF and downloadable menus. The problem with a PDF menu is that, due to so many consumers using their mobile devices, downloading the menu is time-consuming, often uses up mobile data, and when it has been downloaded, it’s not responsive.

These days, creating content manageable restaurant and bar menus that can be updated in seconds as a web page is possible.

There are some big benefits to this for both the content manager and the customer:

Content manageable menus can be updated in minutes from a desktop or mobile device. That means that restaurants no longer need to have PDF designs updated and reuploaded to a website—they can make any changes themselves instantly. No longer serving a dish? Remove it. Has the cocktail menu changed for the season? No problem, change it in minutes. Content manageable websites mean that a developer isn’t required to make simple changes like menu updates or swapping out photography either.

The great thing for customers is that they can access the menu easily online and on the go, or even when they’re in a restaurant, and there aren’t enough menus to go around. It’s common behaviour for consumers to view menus long before they’re even at the restaurant, and content manageable menus make that even easier.

What’s more, PDFs aren’t readable by search engine crawlers. They’re able to read the saved URL but not the menu itself. Having a digital menu as a website page, it opens up more opportunities for keywords locally.

If you're looking to empower your content managers and customers with a responsive restaurant website that stands up against your venue, get in touch, and we'd love to discuss how we can create a website with Craft CMS that works incredibly hard for your business.

Want to see examples of our website design for restaurants and bars, check out The Beeston Social and Peggy's Skylight.

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