Are you setting up your catering website, but don’t know what direction to go in? The list of successful catering websites in this article is great for drawing inspiration from. You’ll notice that there is a range of designs, which means more than one approach that can be successful.
However, there are a few key ingredients that the majority of top catering websites share. In this article we will show you that catering websites should have a simple design, good branding, information clarity, great functionality and load fast.
Information Clarity – Avoids information overload
Most catering websites offer a lot of menu items with variations that could potentially go into the hundreds. How you present the information and choices determines if clients will bother taking a look in the first place.
Simplified multi-step menus are the way to go. Consider the buying process from the client’s point of view. The menu should start off simple, but grow in complexity as the user make choices and navigates deeper.
Furthermore, menu items must be descriptive so users have enough actionable information to make a buying decision on the spot. The last thing you want is your phone lines or chat box assistants getting burdened with repetitive questions.
Paint the picture – Pictures cannot be underestimated
Take a look at the examples of top catering websites on our list and you’ll find heavy usage of stunning pictures. Images are a great way to describe your products so customers know exactly what you’re offering. They are a way of visualizing descriptions that will help you achieve bigger orders.
Close up high-definition images of masterfully created food can help you sell more. Consistency and uniformity in your picture will also contribute to the visual impact while at the same time giving the impression of balance. Therefore, invest in a professional service that has experience in food photography. They will know the backdrops to use and how to arrange the food so it speaks for itself. The cost of investing in a photography service will pay for itself in increased revenue.
Work on customer journey – Test the checkout process.
Getting a new client to visit your website is important but most important is generating the sales. Make sure your website works by testing it for yourself. Add service or products to the shopping cart and use your credit card to place an order. Errors that you uncover now will reduce the severity of teething problems once your website is launched.
Testing also applies to simple tasks such as navigating around your website. Is the customer buying journey logically laid out? It’s a good idea to “peek over the shoulder” of clients to see how they are interacting with your website. You might spot dead ends or roadblocks that you never knew existed.
Concise branding – Be consistent in your style and visual elements
Clearly convey your brand message to give clients a reason to pick you. It might be because you always deliver your service on time and as described. Perhaps you have a unique menu that competing catering companies don’t provide.
It takes only 7 seconds for potential clients to form an opinion about your brand. Therefore, your website needs to create a great first impression for first time users.
Here are a few effective ways of conveying your catering brand:
- Logo: create an effective logo that clearly depicts your brand values and blast it everywhere. However, the logo should be simple – think Apple, Nike and NBA.
- Outline benefits: consistently share the benefits of your catering company so customers understand what your brand brings to the table. Be consistent with your messaging to avoid ambiguity.
- Colours: the colours you choose should be carefully selected and consistent. It helps contribute to branding since users will begin to associate specific colours with your brand. However, keep the website background white to help create a sense of minimalism.
Deliver fast experience – Website loading speeds cannot be underestimated
37% of visitors will leave your website if it takes 5 seconds or more to load. Do you think that your website won’t fall into this category? Then you might be surprised to learn that only 15% of websites deliver acceptable loading speeds. Users want content fast and attention spans are only getting shorter as the digital age progresses. Therefore, make sure your catering website passes loading speed tests before launching to the public.
Several factors determine website loading speeds, but they can be boiled down to 3 main ones:
- Web host: The quality of the server determines how fast pages can be downloaded. For example, if you have opted for a shared server that is populated with high usage websites, then your website has to fight for bandwidth. Dedicated servers are all yours, which means you can enjoy consistent bandwidth. If you are using software as a service like Flex Catering to run your website, then this is less likely to be a concern. The software company will take care of the infrastructure.
- Image file size: images account for the largest portion of a web page’s file size. Increasing page loading speeds dramatically might be a simple case of reducing image file size. You can do this by converting the image file type and compression. There are a few good tools that allow you to compress images online. Check these PNG and JPG image compression tools.
- Code: is your website code optimized? Code is used to create web pages and the functions they perform. An action such as filling out a form could be created using 10 lines of code or 100. Longer and messy code takes more time to load. You can use tools to clean up code or hire a programmer to take a look at what’s under the hood. If you are using Software as a Service website platform, you won’t have access to the code and it is likely that the company has taken care of these aspects.
Here is our list of the Top 30 catering websites:
- Fantastic colour pallet
- The best online ordering solution of the bunch
- Easy to navigate all over
Auckland, New Zealand
- Website design driven to corporate sales and catering drop off
- Clear looks, big pictures and buttons, well organised menu
- The sliding cart makes it easy to use and gives it a contemporary feel
- Great food photography that stands out with the white background
- The images helps creating the brand statement of “Restaurant Quality Food”
- Super easy to use main menu
- Beautiful and Joyful colors on this catering site
- Great flow of information leading to call to action
- Spot on photography
- Catering website focused on online ordering conversion
- Great menu organisation, consistent pictures
- Well thought out branding
- Chain with 3 locations
- Great side opening menu and product listing page
- The photos are great and the minimalist aspect
- Very pretty, Italian style, yet efficient site
- Great artsy video header catches the eye
- Amazing photography
- Visible testimonial logos, easy navigation
- Site uses of card symbols for branding enhancement
- Consistent color palette throughout the catering site
- Nice explanation and photos on about us page
- Organised and well structured
- Great to book chefs and their respective dishes
- Professional and minimalistic colour scheme
- Clever use of a one-page design with lots of white space that guides the eye to the impressive testimonials and photos
- Focus on branding not such much on conversion
- The most minimalistic on the bunch
- Interesting use of plates to show menus
- About us page with team photo
- Unique style that highlights the food offering
- Clean design with classic looks with modern menu opening full screen
- Great display of images in PNG style
- Great conversion pages like Corporate Drop Offs
- Beautiful dark design with nice contrasts
- Catchy phrases and easy to read font
- Well positioned lead generation page
- Beautifully composed framing of the header picture
- Visible testimonials and social media
- Good call to action
- Great branding consistently and elements throughout the site
- Chain with 2 locations and online ordering for corporate catering
- The online ordering was well thought out with clear categories, easy navigation and awesome filters for dietary requirements
New Plymouth, New Zealand
- Great use of images for branding across the site
- Home page with video intro is exquisite
- Distinctive 4 Areas of service on home page helps client to find information fast
- Event Caterer in Sydney
- Minimalistic website design, good use of white background combined with attractive colorful food photography
- Elegant and sophisticated design
- Easy to navigate and read
- It seems to have a shopping cart but we couldn’t reach the actual products for sale
- Lots of white space is easy on the eye, booking form directly on the front page makes the ordering as fast as possible
New Jersey & New York, US
- Captivated the evening/elegant atmosphere
- Use of video galleries is a very good tool for lead generation
- Good use of testimonials and awards pages
Auckland, New Zealand
- Clean Layout with a simple and straightforward navigation
- Straight to the point
- Well through online ordering
- Nice and pleasing thematic around the region style
- Great call to actions (order now, subscribe to newsletter)
- Beautiful photography and easy to navigate
- High quality photography and vibrant colors
- Use of a big search box to ask what prospective customers are looking for
- Menu web page with pretty menu examples
- Classic look
- Lots of big photos
- Clear call to action button
- Sophistication and functionality.
- We love the tool that allows users to view and book the venues available based on filters Event Types, Locations and Capacity
- Complete venue information and easy to access booking form (great lead generation strategy!)
- Simple, effective USP in the header
- Clean design
- Great branding and large photos. Focus on online ordering conversion. Good product layout with the options and quantity opening on a pop up: www.thelacafe.com
- Again, beautiful dark design complemented by fitting dark pictures makes it look like luxury catering
- Good use of Instagram to promote past events and dishes
- Great website design for food ordering and catering
- Focus on the food and the easy navigation
- Allow to enter postcode prior to start choosing, so that the order is routed to the correct store
- Great menu organisation
North Carolina, US
- Interesting menu parallax (menu sticks to the top as you scroll through).
- Well positioned accomplishments
- Good structure of pages
The list of catering websites above and advice for creating your own website should be enough information to draw inspiration from. Scan the website list and look for common design denominators so that you know what features to add and website design elements you like. Also, don’t skip out on the steps above for ensuring your website can compete with other catering industry leaders.
Nowadays, you have a lot of software solutions and tools to choose from to make website design straightforward. Catering Software, Event management CRM and online ordering software should be towards the top of your investment list. See what’s out there, get the lay of the land and tilt the odds of success in your favour by investing in software solutions that will help you stand out from the crowd.