A strong restaurant website is important for anyone who owns an eatery. After all, many people research restaurants online before deciding where to go. But you may not know exactly how the site you’re building can draw more people into your actual restaurant.
Jetpack offers a host of themes cooked up especially for restaurants. Coupled with the Contact Info widget and other great features, you’ll give customers the information they need to decide just how soon they should reserve a table at your place.
Read on to learn how WordPress and Jetpack can help you create the perfect restaurant website in five easy steps.
Start by choosing a theme
Confit is just one of many themes designed for restaurants and other foodie websites. Browse through the extensive theme offerings by going to Themes > Add New and selecting the Feature Filter button.
Check the Food & Drink box, and click Apply Filters for a list of all the available food-focused themes.
There are a variety of food-based themes to choose from. Each one can be customized to represent your unique brand and dining experience.
Add inspiring images and photos of your food
Most food-focused themes allow you to customize a background image and header area. This helps to create positive first impressions for visitors checking out your restaurant for the first time.
To customize the primary background image of your site, go to Appearance > Customize > Background Image.
You can opt to add a logo by going to Appearance > Customize > Header Image.
Visitors will want to see pictures of your food, and there’s more information on how to do this in the menus below, but images also set expectations about the type of venue and food you provide.
Be sure that diners know what cuisine you serve, how they should dress in your restaurant, and the kind of dining experience they’re likely to have. Do you have a maître d’, or is your establishment a seat-yourself diner? Great images on your pages and blog posts will help to set the tone.
Don’t forget that potential diners are not your only audience. Looking to recruit staff members through your website? Remember to include a great team photo in your About Us page so that new chefs, wait staff, and managers can visualize the team they’ll be working with.
Craft your menu with Jetpack
Confit, and many other restaurant themes, can style menus for you. This makes it easier to add your dishes into a great-looking menu page. This also adds a download button for foodies who want to save this information for later.
If you’re using a theme that doesn’t include menu styles, you can use Jetpack’s Simple Food Menus custom content type to add menu support.
Your site’s menus will work on phones and tablets, allowing diners to explore your restaurant while they’re out and looking for a place to stop into for a bite.
Find the menu options in the main dashboard under Food Menus.
Begin with Menu Sections to set up your different menus (breakfast, lunch, dinner) and subsections (starters, main courses, desserts). These operate similarly to WordPress categories. They give your menu items a home.
Next, add some menu items to your sections. It’s easiest to start with the Add Many Items option to get a feel for how this works.
To add food pictures, go to each menu item and add a featured image.
To make a downloadable PDF menu available, go to Appearance > Customize > Theme Options and upload your PDF. The download link for the PDF menu will appear on the menu page as a button.
To see your menu in real-time, create a page for it and select Menu Template from the page attributes. You don’t need to do anything else, just click Publish to see your site’s new menu.
Display your hours and location in a convenient spot
After patrons read your menu and decide to stop in for lunch, they’ll need to know where to go and when you’re open. This is where Jetpack’s Contact Info Widget comes in.
Go to Appearance > Customize > Widgets and add Contact Info & Map (Jetpack) to include opening hours, contact information, and a map in an attractive widget.
In order to get the map working, you’ll need to get a Maps API key from Google. Google has a handy guide that will help you do this.
Finally, consider making reservations an option
Your eager diners can avoid queues and table shuffling by booking an online reservation. Consider accepting table reservations through your website by embedding an OpenTable widget into the sidebar.
Head to the link above and sign up for OpenTable if you haven’t already. Then search for your restaurant, copy the code, swap the single quote marks for double quote marks (from ‘ to “), and paste them into a Custom HTML widget.
Go live with your restaurant website
Now you have all the necessary tools to set up your restaurant’s site. It’s only a matter of time before your patrons begin making dinner reservations, so make sure to stock up on fresh ingredients in the meantime!
If you’re a restaurant owner using Jetpack, let us know of any tips you’ve uncovered during your journey online — we’d love to read your comments.