I’ve always enjoyed looking through awesome website designs on platforms like Awwards. The websites that are nominated there are the best of what the web has to offer regarding beauty and functionality.
As much as I enjoy looking at web-design masterpieces, I still notice that in my everyday experience I’m faced with websites of a different kind. As a user, I buy, book, and browse content on pages that don’t resemble Awwards nominees. Some of these websites are beautiful too; they even make me stay a few seconds longer to enjoy the experience. Other ones look half-baked, ancient, or tasteless.
This got me wondering: “What websites would I encounter if I lived in Paris and wanted to go out for dinner with friends? Would they look better or worse than the restaurant themes that we are selling at TemplateMonster marketplace?”
So, in this article, I will examine ordinary websites that belong to the most popular restaurants and cafes in Paris. I hope that the capital of high cuisine will surprise us with excellent web design.
All the websites are taken from the Trip Advisor rating, just like anyone would do while searching for a place to eat. These are the sites that get most real-life visitors; some of them are amazing, some aren’t. The battle is real and fair.
As you move through the post, compare the websites to similar restaurant templates from the TemplateMonster collection. I did my best to pick equivalent themes, but this was not always possible (spoiler: our templates turn out much more functional).
I’ve divided the websites into six sets and dropped a few tips on creating a good restaurant website here and there.
Have fun and don’t forget to pass the survey at the bottom of this blog post!
Food has a unique charm of its own, so many designers create restaurant websites that look minimal and have much white space. This doesn’t mean the sites are simplistic. On the contrary, original photos of dishes and interiors stand out better against the ample negative space.
The term “whitespace” is not limited to the white color alone. Below, we will see beautiful samples of black and colored designs where there’s much space between elements. These are whitespace designs too.
I have noticed. However, that white, black, and beige are the colors most often used for restaurant websites. I suppose these colors make best frames for enticing food images.
Beautiful typography goes hand in hand with whitespace designs as well. Unlike more colorful and eclectic ones, minimalistic websites usually contain very subtle and elegant fonts. Without good enough typography, the sites would look half-baked and faceless.
Restaurant websites often need to display much information without distracting visitors from their hunger. No one goes to restaurant websites to read. For this reason, whitespace designs are perfect for food-serving venues - they let you cram much copy into a homepage so subtly that visitors will see it only when they need it. Important UI elements, however, need to be highlighted with bright colors, or they will never draw visitors’ eyes and clicks.
Templates like China Town - Sushi Restaurant Shopify Theme are much more powerful than the websites you see above. Apart from elegant design, this responsive theme features multiple currencies, a product carousel, and wishlist functionality.
If you don’t want to launch an online delivery, Viva Veggie - Cafe & Restaurant WordPress Theme will still surprise you with a smart menu, OpenTable functionality, custom reservations form, Intuitive Page builder, and many other options.
These two websites impressed me with their beautiful typography. As you can see, the designs are straightforward, but the graphic elements and custom types make them look exquisite. The logos are smart, balanced, and appropriate. They communicate a playful attitude, enticing visitors to find out more about the brand.
Four psychological types of fonts can be used in website design:
As you could have guessed, old-school types like Georgia, Helvetica, Cambria, and Times New Romans fall into this category. The look familiar to anyone and communicate trustworthiness.
These have clean lines, sharp edges, and excellent legibility. These types look more geometric than hand-written, so they create a more modern and innovative look.
Typefaces like these create an impression of solidity and robustness. When used in website design, they serve to emphasize a stable and defined brand.
You won’t confuse these curves with a font of any other type. Curvy handwritten typefaces convey a sweet retro feel. Just like in our Venice template.
These fonts look eccentric and custom-made. The two restaurant websites I’ve shown above used this tactic to communicate how special and unique their brands are.
Look how in our Vegan Food Restaurant template, bulky and bold type add up to colorful photos to create a fresh look. The theme is super popular because it also has rich UI kit, more than 35 ready-made HTML pages, blog, and e-commerce page templates, etc.
Venice Restaurant - Cafe & Restaurant Responsive Website Template is such a beauty also. You will appreciate its responsive layouts, powerful gallery, and various working forms.
Personally, I’m not very fond of golden elements in web design, but my research shows that French web designers wouldn’t agree with me. To my mind, the two websites above look somewhat old-fashioned. And what do you think? Write us a comment!
Speaking of colors:
So, having analyzed the colors, I see that our alternative to the somewhat antique designs of the two French restaurant websites above is to use warm and friendly orange palette.
There’s a color that is always on trend. Yes, you guessed right - it’s black. Black saves the impressions of power, mystery, authority, and elegance all to itself. Black creates a perfectly deep background for whatever you want to pinpoint in your design but requires a certain mastery of all elements. With a black website, you won’t get away with anything.
In the above designs, we see black backgrounds contrasted by high-res photos and elegant white typography.
Kei Restaurant combines photo elements with graphics to create a harmonious look, bravo. PUR Restaurant relies on a screen-wide photo of its interior which is meant to impress future visitors. Everything, even the call to action button in beige, both the logo and the typography are subtle. The website looks very balanced. L’Arcane has a combination of black and grey backgrounds with smaller images on sliders.
In our European Restaurant Responsive Joomla Template, we are using a homepage photo slider and high-resolution responsive background images together with simple and smart typography. This is a perfect recipe for a restaurant website.
Coffee Shop - Cafe Bar Pub Restaurant WordPress Theme and features an interactive logo, excellent visuals, slide-in menu/sidebar, and more than 670 Icons.
With more than 30 ready-made pages, Avenue Restaurant Responsive Multipage HTML Website Template makes best of black and white contrast, responsive background image, and elegant types.
Beige and pastel colors let our eyes rest. Web designers use calm and neutral beige backgrounds to speak about simple pleasures like good food, tasty chocolate, and a nice cup of cappuccino.
Vintage logos and badges, like in our two templates, are still popular when combined with flatly designed sidebar elements and a couple of lovely photos. The primary task here is not to overload the design with elements and choose appropriate fonts.
Desvouges has a somewhat old school homepage layout with a slider at the center and a grid. The site also functions as a blog, so the primary focus is on the content. A washed-out beige palette serves as a perfect background for blog posts with colorful photos.
Le Cappiello has an awesome logo that is replicated in the background photo. The site is simple but looks fantastic.
Our Chocolate - Cake Store WooCommerce Theme is much more functional than these two websites because it offers online store functionality. You can see a slider at the center and two interactive grids to display products and blog content. In fact, the theme offers an unlimited number of page layouts, banners, sliders, and an admin panel. It is SEO-optimized, fully responsive, and supports multiple languages.
Coffee Place OpenCart Template is also perfect for a cafe with online delivery. It has a flat, cozy design, dynamic layouts, and sketchy graphics. The theme also has a set of gallery layouts and full PSD files included in the package. You can use Google fonts and 1500 awesome icons to make it look perfect.
In the last set of restaurant websites, we have colorful, functional designs, rich in features. Contrasting colors and fonts together with dynamic complex layouts create an excellent impression.
Our templates, like Seafood Restaurant Shopify template, offer much more functions and can be used as online stores. I also think that they look way nicer and more like 2018, but it’s up to you to decide.
One more important detail: our Grill Restaurant Premium Moto CMS 3 Template offers a drag-and-drop website creator that is a life-saver for entrepreneurs who don’t want to hire a web-designer. The template has many pre-made pages, so basically you will get everything you need to create an innovative website right from the package.
Fooder Pizza Restaurant MotoCMS Ecommerce Template offers simple and wise product management, unlimited options for each product, and many payment and stats options. And you’ll have 14 days of free trial!
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