What Does a Fast Food Restaurant Website Need to Have? | W3 Lab

What Does a Fast Food Restaurant Website Need to Have?

It is time to redesign your fast food restaurant website and you know it. But you don’t know what is trending at the moment.

You may be creating a new fast food restaurant website and don’t know where to start or how to make it stand out from the sea of other fast food websites alike.

different types of websites - different websites - website types - single page websites - multi page websites
Website designs

If this is the case, you are in a perfect place.

IN THIS GUIDE YOU WILL LEARN:

  1. The basics for your fast food website design
  2. The importance of knowing your brand
  3. How to carefully choose your homepage image
  4. How to build trust It’s all in the details 

A layout, colors, and fonts are very important and you should choose them with great care. Some details attract and some deter customers.

You want to evoke a certain feeling when the visitors come to your site. This feeling will then transfer to how they feel about your fast food business.

Consequently, this determines if they decide to give your business a try. It is all up to the good website design.

1. The basics for your fast food restaurant website design

There are some basics to which you always have to go back to when you are building your fast food restaurant design.

Here are the basic rules we would recommend you follow with when designing your fast food restaurant website:

  1. Start with a template
  2. Be mobile-friendly
  3. A simple design is the best design
  4. Focus on essential info
  5. Update often

Go for simple, well-designed pages that will make things for visiting customers very smooth and effortless.

1. Begin with a template

It will make your life much easier if use a restaurant website template.

You can rely on a template to get you started. It will allow you to create a professional-looking website very quickly.

WordPress - website plugins
WordPress plugins by Stephen Phillips on Unsplash

Tools we would suggest are Elementor Page Builder and Visual Composer templates. These are separate plugin WordPress page builders that include drag-and-drop functionalities.

They have redefined already great WordPress which supplies more than 40% of all existing websites.

All of these templates will have a polished and well-designed welcome page together with a contact page and a dummy menu page.

It is a solid base that will enable you to add your descriptions, imagery, and create a unique identity of your restaurant.

2. Be mobile friendly

mobile friendly - fast food - restaurant - website
Mobile friendly website by Maxim Ilyahov on Unsplash

A basic requirement for a website is that it looks as good on a mobile device as it does on a desktop computer. Even though this is a requirement many fast food restaurant websites fail to meet it.

In the first quarter of 2020 mobile devices made up to 51.92% of all web traffic worldwide (excluding tablets). Since the beginning of 2017 global website traffic was consistently hovering around this mark.

This tells you that your website must be mobile-friendly. A website that is unreadable on a mobile phone will seriously hurt your business.

The website for Rolling Pizza is an excellent example of a mobile-friendly design. You will see the same information on the mobile and desktop with a change in format to stay readable on both devices.

People won’t sit down at a desktop and research restaurants. They do it on the go from their mobile devices.

3. A simple design is the best design

The expression “The more the merrier” does not apply in this case. The goal of a fast-food restaurant website is to attract more customers.

To do that you don’t want to bombard them with tons of data. You want to keep it simple with a handful of pages or even a single page visitors can scroll through.

This is not minimalism for the sake of it, it is a CLEVER DESIGN. 

How do you achieve perfect simplicity?

You achieve it by being smart with the use of whitespace, good pictures, and a small selection of fonts.

A website of any type of business must have the location, phone number, opening hours, and the list of offered services.

It can be challenging to create a minimal design and provide all the information the customers need.

Especially when you must inform your customers about your offers in just a few seconds. You must include what kind of food and meals you have on the menu.

To portray a special meal or offer many fast food restaurant websites change their front page daily or at least once a week.

Use whitespace

 A space between the elements of a website is whitespace or negative space. Not only does it increase legibility and make things easier to navigate, but it also helps highlighting things.

So, if you want a customer to look at something, your special offer for example, just make the whitespace around it bigger so it will stand out.

The size and font of the letters

display fonts - google - website
Display fonts on the google font website

The size and the font of the letters are important too. They are used to show hierarchy, that something is more or less important than the other thing.

Some parts of the text must be bigger than the rest. It is usually the name of the fast-food restaurant and the special offer.

Choose the font wisely

When you are choosing the font make sure that it matches the brand of your fast food restaurant. Don’t use overly intricate fonts. They can be hard to read.

NEVER USE MORE THAN THREE TYPES OF FONTS. If you choose more than that it will make your website appear disorganized and unappealing.

4. Focus on essential info

As previously mentioned, you have to include your address, telephone number, working hours, and menu. This is essential info your fast-food restaurant website cannot go without.

You want to make it easier for people to find you and come to your restaurant.

You will do it by making essential info prominent on your home page. Don’t bury it away in some dark parts of the site where they are hard to spot.

If people can’t easily find out where you are, how to contact you, what you offer, and when you open and close your fast food restaurant, they will choose another.

5. Update often

As you already know, the internet is constantly changing. Domain names move, and the hosting services have to be renewed in what seems a blink of an eye.

Update - updating is important - website
Updating your website is important – Source

You have to constantly check if everything is up to date, form opening hours to the menu. Special offers change often, so should the website to display them.

You should refresh the design of your website regularly too. It has to reflect your fast-food restaurant brand and evolve with it. You don’t want to fall behind and have an outdated website.

2. Know your brand

When you are making your fast food restaurant website you should think about your brand and its unique identity. In short, KNOW YOUR BRAND.

  1. Take color psychology into consideration.
  2. Choose the right tone (light or dark colors) to fit your fast food restaurant identity.
  3. The right font will help cement your identity as long as you don’t go overboard and forget about legibility.

A fast-food restaurant that sells pizzas has a different look and feel to one that sells doner kebab. The website should portray that to the customers online too.

Many customers will come in contact with your fast food restaurant for the first time through your website. You should make their first impression to be good by presenting them with helpful, informative, and unforgettable experience.

1. Take color psychology into consideration.

Many fast-food franchises use colors yellow and red in their logos. This isn’t a coincidence.

According to the color psychology red color brings up feelings of hunger, stimulation, attention-seeking. Yellow is a color we refer to when we think about happiness and friendliness.

But you don’t have to rely on these colors alone. When you are designing a fast food restaurant website choose the colors that will persuade people that the restaurant is clean and that it offers delicious food.

2. Choose the right tone (light or dark colors)

When it comes to the tone of the colors on your website you should decide on primarily dark or primarily light images and backgrounds. If you are using dark background opt for light letters. It will make them stand out or vice versa.

3. Choose the right typeface

When you are deciding on the typeface and font sizes you have to think about your brand. If you are a street vendor you may go for bold, chunky letters to represent the outdoorsy nature of your business.

If you are selling barbeque you would want to use a blocky, chunky typeface with almost no curves. It will associate to butch, masculine stake you may have as your main dish.

Knowing your brand is very important for your fast food restaurant website design.

3. Carefully choose a featured image for your fast food restaurant website

The choice of images can make the difference between people coming to your fast food restaurant or going somewhere else.

It goes without saying that you should choose the photos that portray your fast food restaurant and food in the best way possible.

Which pictures should I use to make my fast food restaurant website pop?

A photo of your best-selling mouth-drooling dish should be used for the homepage. Get professionals to do the photoshoot of your meals, if you haven’t already.

You can also use a photo that will represent a feature of your restaurant that you are known for. It can be a vintage design of your interior or amazing view you get from your patio.

Sometimes you will find pictures of fresh ingredients instead of meals as a featured image. This is because these restaurants take pride in using fresh produce in their meals.

4. Build trust

To build trust with your customers you have to incorporate UX (user experience) and UI (User Interface) design into your web design.

What are the UX and UL designs?

USER EXPERIENCE (UX) DESIGN includes all interactions that a potential or active customer has with a company. In its core, it applies to anything that can be experienced.

What can users experience when they visit a website? The answer is design.

You should think about how visitors feel when they visit your website and is it easy for them to accomplish their desired tasks.

User experience is a collection of tasks that focus on optimization, in the case of your fast food restaurant website, to create effective and enjoyable use.

THE GOAL you should be striving towards in the UX design is creating relevant, easy, efficient all-round experiences for the visitors. This type of design is all about the overall experience, it is NOT about visuals.

USER INTERFACE (UI) DESIGN compliments the UX design. It makes sure that users are intuitively guided through your website.

UL design focuses on the visual interactive elements of your website (buttons, icons, spacing, color schemes, typography, and responsive design).

The goal of this design is to create INTUITIVE EXPERIENCE that will visually guide the users without them thinking too much.

UL design takes the brand’s strengths and visual assets and transfers them to your website in a consistent, coherent, and aesthetically pleasing design.

Do you remember when we were talking about the photos of your best meal being on the homepage of your website? That is a part of UL design.

To build trust with your customers the UI design must always be consistent. This consistency will help you with building familiarity with your customers. The more people are exposed to something the more they tend to like it and trust it.

User experience

The trick is that the pages that sell products continue to do so, they should maintain a similar look and feel just like the main landing page.

Try to have the same experience online as you have in your brick and mortar store.

As you can see here Kentucky fried chicken displays that it understands its user’s needs. By just clicking on the button you will get all the nutritional information on any item on the menu. This is mimicking the experience at the real store, creating consistency, and building familiarity.

To anticipate user needs you should create user personas and user stories.

Try to figure out who your ideal customer is and why they are using your site.

Try to map how the ideal customer would use the site and lead visitors to use the site in that way.

If you want to gain trust with your customers figure out who they are and what their goals for visiting your site are.

 In that way, the user experience will bring you loyal customers who always come back for more.

5. Integrate social media on your fast food restaurant website

social media - min
Social media

Social media, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are perfect for promoting your meals and fast-food restaurant online. This is why you must include social media icons on your website.

When it comes to the popularity of social media for fast-food restaurants, and restaurants in general, Instagram is the most popular.

A subculture of foodies who love taking snaps of amazing meals they have and posting them on Instagram is the reason why.

You should update your Instagram feed daily. It will provide your customers with an idea of what the atmosphere and food in your fast food restaurant are like. The other thing people do when researching a restaurant is checking out to its hashtags to see the pictures other people snapped.

Some would suggest using IGTV too, but we would advise against it. It started out as a good idea but ended up not being a success.

Social media makes for an alternative way through which people can contact you and find you. This is why it is very important to include them on your website.

5. It’s all in the details

When you are designing a fast-food restaurant website, little things can make a huge difference.

You don’t want to rush the designing of your restaurant website in the same way you don’t want to rush the preparation of your food.

It is important to address even the smallest things and make sure that your website is up-to-date.

  1. Menu is important
  2. Define online order policy
  3. Do you have more than one location?
  4. No autoplay
  5. Review the website and cut out the unnecessary 

1. The importance of the menu

fast food - restaurant menu
Restaurant menu – photo by Catherine Heath on Unsplash

It is common knowledge that updating your menu online is a tedious task. But this is precisely the reason why you would stand out.

You can tweak your menu from time to time adding seasonal ingredients. This will reassure customers that you are always trying to improve your fast food restaurant and be the best.

PDF menu is NOT A GOOD IDEA. 

It will indeed make updating fairly simple, but it will at the same time make the menu more difficult to go through. Most customers will just give up when they see a PDF menu without even reading it.

You know the popular saying “The customer is always right.”. In modern times one thing is added to it “The customer is always lazy”.

You want to make your customers happy by updating the website menu seasonally. It can be a bit tedious but your customers will appreciate it.

2. Define your online order policy

Not all restaurants have the same policy and it has a huge impact on the website functionality and design.

Some restaurants allow customers to order through the website for delivery or pickup for example.

If this is the case the prices in your store have to be up-to-date and clearly marked. If this is not the case, the customers will most likely not order from you.

3. Do you have more than one location?

In case you have more than one location, it has to be made clear on your homepage.

Some franchises will have more than one domain and website for each location. You don’t have to do that.

You can just list all your locations and addresses in a header across the top of your homepage.

Depending on the number of locations, the header space you get might not be big enough.

You don’t want to make the header space extremely complicated with all the phone numbers and addresses.

Instead, you can just list the names of the cities where your fast food restaurant is located at the homepage making it simpler and more minimal.

4. No autoplay

Yes, we all love music. But none are exhilarated by opening a website and being greeted with loud music, especially if we are wearing headphones.

The same goes for low volume. It is frustrating when you hear music but don’t know where it is coming from.

You may feel that it is appealing to have autoplay on your fast food restaurant website. It may complement the ambient of the restaurant, but AUTOPLAY IS NOT A GOOD IDEA.

It is a very big reason why people automatically click out from a website by extremely annoying. Steer clear from it.

  • Review the website and cut out the unnecessary

Once you have done all the steps in creating an amazing fast food restaurant website you want to do one last thing.

Go back and cut out all that is not serving its purpose.

Some frills like music players, animated graphics, and lengthy profiles of the employees may seem like a good idea to attract customers.

But this is doing the opposite. All the extra embellishments to the site are confusing your customers and taking the spotlight off of your food.

The food should be the focal point of your website.

Of course, you must have the essentials too – address, phone number, working hours, menu.

Conclusion

If you want to have a successful fast food restaurant, you must have a website.

Not only that it helps people get information about your business, but also it provides the first contact with you and your customers.

This is why the website has to be perceived as an extension of your business into the online world.

The website must be easy to navigate because “The customer is always lazy”.

The minimalist approach and carefully done UX and UI design are the best choices for providing the ultimate experience to the visitors of your fast food restaurant website.

Staying on top of all these elements can sometimes be a tiring task. 

CONTACT US if you need support in the process of building the ultimate fast food restaurant website.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *