Choosing the right
restaurant website builder

A guide for making a cost efficient choice and kickstarting your online business

It can be a bit tricky getting your site up and running but having a restaurant website builder at hand can cut down both time and costs. It’s only a matter of deciding what you want and starting from there.

Decide what you need

Before getting into research about tools, you’ll have to think about your prospects and what you want to achieve. If you start thinking about the costs firsthand, you’ll end up with something that can hurt your business, instead of helping it grow.

For this, there are a few topics you need to consider.

Website hosting

Think about how much traffic you expect on your web page, how many domains you need and if the web hosting service offers backup in case something goes wrong?

Is this something you are willing to pay for and maintain?

Will it be a custom design?

Think about how you want your website to look. Do you want something designed and built from scratch or do you want to go with a template at first and see how it goes from there?

If your business is still new, we’d recommend going with a service that includes ready-made website templates, at least for the first year. If you have the time and a bit of extra budget, you can still customize it to better fit your brand.

Restaurant website design

Keep in mind that a good restaurant website design can be pricey and in some cases, it doesn’t include the implementation as well. You can, of course, opt for cheaper alternatives like finding a creative freelancer on sites like 99designs or Fiverr but don’t expect the same results an agency would deliver.

Out of the US based agencies we found online, the prices range anywhere from 3K to 10K so think about whether or not you’re willing to pay up this sum from the start.

Will you do online ordering?

If so, think about your requirements. Try to write them down – even if you don’t go for something custom built, think about what you need it to do.

Before you go on and opt for something custom and built from scratch, bear in mind that costs will vary from agency to agency, depending on your requirements. A more complex ordering system means extra $$$. And we’re talking thousands of US dollars. Unless you’re a huge restaurant chain with deep pockets, we would like to recommend using those hard earned money to invest into a delivery car. Or anything else, really.

There are already many plug & play solutions for online ordering on the market, including our very own system – it’s entirely free without any commissions, no matter if you opt for our website builder or our competitors (though we’ll be sad if you go with them).

Restaurant website with online ordering

How much time are you willing to invest?

It simply isn’t enough to buy a domain, slap a template, your logo and hope for the best.
Website builders out there ensure you’ll have your website up and running faster than building it on your own but keep in mind that some require you to maintain it as well. Not to mention that customers won’t simply land on your page, just because.

In order to get steady traffic to your website, you’ll need to be aware of search engine optimization (SEO) in order to rank higher in search results.

You also need to consider the time spent on updating it – the menu items can constantly change so bear in mind that you need either someone keeping it up to date or having a solution in place that simplifies the process.

Go for a restaurant website builder that simplifies your life

Every builder out there has pros and cons and don’t worry – even if you go with one of our competitors you can still use the free ordering system absolutely free of charge.

We’re mentioning this because, while there are some nice builders out there like WIX or Weebly, try and find out beforehand how the online ordering works with them:

  • Is it integrated with a 3rd party solution like GrubHub or ChowNow? While the builder itself may not charge commissions, be mindful of the costs per order and setup fees from the ordering system;
  • Can you include images in the online menu? This helps increase your online sales and average order value.
  • Do they keep the traffic on your site or redirect your customers somewhere else? For example, orders placed on restaurant websites using GrubHub will be redirected to the latter. This can disrupt the flow and confuse customers, not to mention you’re basically creating traffic for someone else’s website and paying them to do it.
  • Do they have a nice design that blends in with your brand?

If you already know SEO and have a bit of of design and basic development skills, builders like WIX or Weebly offer you a nice range of templates you can choose from, while the latter can be an option for someone not necessarily tech-savvy, but more technologically inclined. Or at least able to make a bit of time to play with the settings and not be afraid to take them for a test drive.

For those who want a little extra and have the means to hire a designer and developer, your best bet would be with Squarespace as it has plenty of development tools and offers full code control. They offer the option to start from a template as well if you want to have a starting point.

Pro Tip

No matter the builder, always be cautious of the website templates out there! Most of the time you can easily modify them but just make sure they adhere to SEO best practices. For example, some templates could have the main headline as a H2 instead of a H1 (this is a real example and it made the author of this article very frustrated). This becomes a problem as we want the restaurant’s website to rank as high as possible in search engines.

If you want something that’s ready-made and fixes all of your problems, take our builder up for a spin. You can easily generate a website that’s optimized for conversions and fits your brand. It’s as customizable as you want it to be or with default, SEO optimized content. It also comes with built-in online ordering, which is free and always will be.

At the end of the day, you need to decide what works for you and remember – it’s not set in stone forever. If something doesn’t work with you, simply change it for your convenience. Progress is made when you step out of your comfort zone!

Responsive restaurant website builder

Create your own restaurant website

Get Started