Recent years we have shown significant growth in the food and beverage website design industry that is primarily driven by “craft” purveyors as opposed to restaurants and dining establishments. Since 2003 our Toronto web designers have dabbled in website design for food and beverage companies, but in truth, it’s been an uphill climb and very sporadic until late. With craft anything in vogue right now startup owners understand the need to invest heavily in custom website design and creative to ensure their product has a certain “wow” factor in giving their brand a leg up.
Adversely, traditional restaurant owners still seem to be most comfortable with a minimal investment in their digital branding that they can ride out for the next decade or longer. Restaurant website design, in general, is very template driven and slow to evolve. It is painfully common to experience display issues or have trouble navigating food and beverage websites, especially on mobile devices.
With the recent surge in craft food and beverage startups, our Toronto web design company decided to compile our collective web design and UX experience to create a list of best practices for food and beverage web design.
Food and Beverage Website Design Best Practices
Create a Focused Website Design
A common issue we find with food and beverage websites is their lack of focussed design. In many cases, the user interface is over-designed creating general confusion and distraction with viewers. Distractions often include overuse of vibrant colours, textures or interactive elements that do not necessarily offer value to users but instead create somewhat clunky or misguided user experiences.
When a web designer can recognise these common mistakes made within an industry they can provide the necessary guidance early on in the project to address them to deliver a final website design that stands out from the competition and meets or exceeds the business owners goals.
Instead of over-designing food and beverage websites, our professional web designers take a more focused approach from our initial strategy work, through wireframe and interface design. This process ensures that the focus remains solely on the product or experience offered rather than unnecessary design clutter or distractions.
A design element that is uniquely sensitive in food and beverage web design is colour choice. Colour plays a vital role in website interface design across all industries; however, when presenting food or beverages to viewers, colour can make or break a sale. For example, a website focused on selling a product that is marketed to be pure and fresh should avoid dull browns or warm colours and instead explore lighter, paler colours like greens and blues.
Texture also plays a significant role in a food and beverage website design. For example, if your business offers an elegant fine dining experience, showcasing a website interface with rough or busy textures can quickly send the wrong message to the view. Instead, you would want to consider soft, smooth elements throughout the digital branding to better convey the experience offered.
A minimalist design can work well in any industry. However, the minimalist web design strategy carries extra emphasis in the food and beverage industry given the market saturation of over-designed complex interfaces. Utilising a clean and clear interface design is particularly useful when you want to focus on a product. The website is then clear of distraction and is often much more comfortable to navigate without the clutter.
A simple interface is also much more user-friendly across multiple devices and allows for more responsive or adaptive user experience. Understanding the importance of mobile-friendly web design is paramount in the food and beverage industry given that many customers are searching for a place to eat on their phone while they’re out and about.
High-Quality Professional Photography
Photography is everything on a food and beverage website design. Showcasing food that is full of life, colour and texture creates a mouthwatering effect in most people. If your photography is subpar, you are likely to send the wrong impression about your product and may not get a second chance. Employing a professional photographer that understands lighting and food presentation will pay dividends when drawing attention and comments from the viewer.
Clear Next Steps
Lastly, after investing so much time, effort and money in a custom website design that attracts the right audience and gets their mouth-watering, you want to offer clear next steps. Depending on the type of food and beverage business you are running the next steps may differ. For example, a restaurant website design should focus on collecting reservations. Ensuring that users have quick access to your menu with stunning photography of your most popular meals and experiential imagery of the environment should naturally lead to a “Reserve Now” call-to-action. Alternatively, craft food and beverage companies will focus on direct sales. If your business is set up to sell its products online a “Buy Now” call-to-action ensures that the audience has a clear path forward to the next step.
About Parachute Design
At Parachute Design, our Toronto website designers have helped numerous food and beverage companies within the GTA and across Canada build successful brands through our custom website design and development process. Whether you operate a startup or an established business, we would love the opportunity to discuss your project and work with you and to create a custom website design tailored to your business!
For more information on website design for food and beverage companies or to have us prepare a proposal for your business, contact Parachute Design and complete our online quote request form, or call our website design experts in Toronto at 416 901 8633.