Need to create a restaurant website? If so, WordPress is an awesome solution that can do everything you need it to do, while still giving you the flexibility to make the exact changes that you want (that's not always the case with Squarespace!).
In this post, I'm going to lay out everything that you need to create a restaurant website with WordPress. I'm not going to go through everything step-by-step, per se, but by the end of this post, you should have all of the knowledge that you need to get started building your own restaurant website.
The Most Important Features That Any Restaurant Website Needs
Before I get into the how, I want to give a little theory because, quite frankly, I see a lot of poorly done restaurant websites.
Here's the skinny on restaurant websites in the modern world:
Nowadays, most Google searches are performed on mobile devices rather than desktop devices. But what's really important is that the category where that trend is most visible is Food & Beverage.
For Food & Beverage searches, nearly three-quarters of all searches are done on mobile devices.
That means the number one thing about your restaurant website is that it needs to look awesome on mobile because that's where most people will probably be viewing it.
Beyond that, it needs:
- To load fast, because mobile users hate slow loading sites.
- To have an HTML menu, because PDF menus take forever to load on mobile connections. You can still include a PDF menu if you really want - just make sure there's an HTML menu, too.
- Location and opening hours information, because most people are searching for directions and opening hours.
So the four must-haves of any restaurant website are:
- Great mobile design
- Quick page load times
- An HTML menu for easy mobile browsing
- Clear location and opening hours information
Beyond that, you might also want functionality that is specific to your restaurant like:
- Online reservations
- Online food ordering
I'll show you how to get those features as well.
3 Examples Of Restaurant Websites Built With WordPress
Can you create a restaurant website with WordPress that ticks all of those boxes? You betcha. Here are some great examples:
This one is also a good example of how you can include both a PDF and HTML menu at the same time.
The Rabbit Hole
La Pierre Qui Tourne
La Pierre Qui Tourne uses a custom theme. I just put this in to show you the types of cool websites that you can build with WordPress.
How To Create A Restaurant Website With WordPress
Below, I'll give you a high-level look at what you need to do to create a restaurant website with WordPress.
Step 1: Get Hosting And Install WordPress
Hosting is the engine that actually powers your WordPress restaurant website.
Beyond that, hosting also affects how quickly your website loads (remember - I already told you that one of the most important features of your restaurant website is quick page load times).
For that reason, you shouldn't just throw your website up on the cheapest host that you can find.
Instead, we recommend SiteGround when you're getting started. Not only is SiteGround where this website is hosted (we put our money where our mouth is!), it also:
- Is still affordable, starting at $4 per month.
- Offers great support, which is helpful if this is your first website.
- Gives you an option to pre-install WordPress, which makes things a lot simpler.
Step 2: Choose How To Create Your Restaurant Site: 2 Options
There are two general approaches that you can take to create a restaurant website with WordPress:
- An all-in-one restaurant theme
- A multipurpose theme that uses plugins to add restaurant-specific functionality
The two are not mutually exclusive - even if you use a restaurant theme, you'll still probably want to use some plugins as well.
But the difference mainly comes down to this:
- If you choose a restaurant theme, your theme will already have built-in functionality for important restaurant details like menus, contact information, hours. Depending on the theme, you might also get online ordering and reservation functionality, as well.
- If you choose to go the plugin route, you can still add all that functionality, you'll just use separate plugins to do it.
So which is better? I don't think I can answer that question.
Using a theme will usually be a bit more "plug and play". That is, you install the theme, import the demo content, add your own information, and you're good to go.
With that being said, you usually don't have a ton of options for customizing how your site looks beyond the options provided by your theme.
Using the plugin route will give you more flexibility, but you'll also have more moving parts because you'll be bringing together different plugins under one roof.
If you want to use a WordPress restaurant theme, the difficulty is mainly in...choosing the actual theme that you want!
There are a ton of restaurant themes out there. And, at least for me, I always struggle to choose when I have a ton of options (spoiled for choice!). You can check out a big list of WordPress restaurant themes here, but I've included some of my favorites below.
- Beautiful mobile responsive design
- HTML menus that look great
- Online reservation functionality
- Online ordering through WooCommerce
- Multiple homepage styles
- HTML menus
- Responsive design
- Vertical navigation that makes your location/hours super obvious
- 6 different demos
- HTML menu
- HTML food and drink menu
- Online reservations
- Display reviews
- Location/opening hours with proper schema markup
What To Do Once You Choose A Theme
Once you've found a theme that you love:
- Install the theme at your site
- Import the demo content (consult your theme's support documentation for this)
- Customize the theme with your own details/imagery (again, your theme should provide support docs that can help you do this)
As an alternative to choosing a WordPress restaurant theme, you can also choose a multipurpose base theme and build your own restaurant website on top of it.
While this method is a bit more involved on the design front, you don't need to know any code to do it.
In general, here's how I recommend that you handle things:
Use a page builder to build general layout pages like your homepage and contact page. WordPress page builders let you use a simple drag and drop interface, rather than needing to know how to code.
For this I recommend:
- Elementor for the actual page builder. Here's how to use Elementor to design a landing page (good for your homepage).
- One of these themes to pair with Elementor. They make it easy for you to customize your site.
Elementor even has a restaurant template set that can help you import already-created designs to work from.
Creating Restaurant Menus With Plugins
For your restaurant's menu, you can actually use Elementor just fine.
Or, you can always use a dedicated restaurant menu plugin. Two good ones are:
Accepting Reservations With Plugins
Check out this post for more great restaurant plugins.
Step 3: Promote Your Site And Make It Rank
Once you've built your restaurant site using one of the above methods (or a combination of methods), you'll want to make sure that it ranks in Google so that whenever someone searches for your restaurant, they can easily find your official site.
To do that, I recommend that you:
- Add proper schema markup to your site to help you be more visible in Google's search results.
- Set up a Google My Business page and add your new website.
- Get reviews, because reviews are a pretty large factor in local SEO.
Enjoy Your New WordPress Restaurant Website
If you need to create a restaurant website, you won't find an easier, more flexible solution than self-hosted WordPress.
Whether you use themes for an easy all-in-one solution or build your site from scratch using a page builder like Elementor, you should have all the tools that you need to create an awesome WordPress restaurant website.
Have any other questions about how to create a restaurant website with WordPress? Leave a comment and I'll try to help out!