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How to Optimize Your Restaurant Website for a Visual Audience

Any chef knows: presentation matters. We consume our meals with our eyes first, and a delicious-looking plate of food will automatically taste better than one that is poorly presented. So is it really a surprise that the same is true for restaurant websites?

When marketing your establishment online, you have to convince your audience that they should visit you rather than the countless other options in your areas. And in designing your website, the best way to do that is to focus on effective visuals.

The Importance of a Visual Website

Studies increasingly show that without a website that is focused on visual cues, your digital marketing efforts become much more difficult. Research shows that colored visuals will increase your audience's willingness to read your online content by 80%. It's no surprise, then, that content with visuals increases readership by 94%.

Imagine yourself in the eyes of potential guests. When researching your restaurant online, they will enter your website eager to learn more about the establishment and the type of food that you offer. You could try to explain both in big paragraphs of text - or you could convey the same message in just a few pictures.

Capturing Your Audience's Attention

Visuals also matter because as a society, our online attention span is consistently dropping. In fact, a 2015 study found that it's now shorter than that of a goldfish; if content doesn't capture our attention in 8 seconds or less, our focus turns elsewhere.

In the restaurant industry, you cannot afford that to happen. Too many other eateries vie for audience attention, seeking to draw your potential guests to their venue instead. Text on its own cannot keep your audience's attention on your restaurant; effective visuals in the form of images and videos, however, can.

Showcasing Your Meals and Restaurant

Of course, establishing that you need visuals is only one part of the equation in successful restaurant web design. The other is understanding which visuals will actually work, and incorporate them into the core fabric of your digital presence. Here are a few ideas you could use for your website:

  • Showcase your meal. Regardless of the type of cuisine your restaurant offers, you probably want to let your audience know about your focus as quickly as possible. A few, strategically-placed images of your meals accomplish that goal.

  • Introduce your staff. Almost as important as the food your guests will eat is their experience while doing so. Introduce and showcase your staff, from waiters to the head chef, to give guests a better idea of who will take care of them.

  • Give glimpses behind the scene. Increase guest intrigue, and create a more personal connection, by using your website as an opportunity to show guests what they wouldn't see during their meal. Show off your kitchen, create tutorial videos on some of your most popular meals; the sky is the limit.

  • The venue. Of course, you also don't want to neglect the actual environment in which your guests will enjoy their meal. Do you offer outside seating? A bar area? How about dining room alternatives and closed spaces for private events? Your website is the perfect outlet to showcase visually just what your guests can expect from a visit.

Especially in the hospitality industry, your website should be the centerpiece of your marketing efforts. Potential guests will seek you out online, and their decision to pay you a visit will depend entirely on whether they like and can relate to your website. Through effective visuals, you can help to ensure that they will choose you, and become loyal patrons. To learn more about designing your restaurant website specifically to help attract guests, contact us

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