The restaurant business is experiencing a significant revolution. You can easily order your favorite delicacy online and deliver it to your home in minutes.
Food industry reports highlight that restaurant delivery and online food ordering maintained more than a 20% growth rate in the last five years. Statista projects that the global online food delivery revenue is estimated to hit $339,257m this year, translating to an annual growth rate of about 8.29% through 2026.
The food industry is changing fast, and restaurants must keep up with all the changes to survive the market.
With 42% of the overall food orders being placed online today coupled with a good 25.3% user penetration in online food deliveries, it is increasingly essential to bring your restaurant business online.
But is Shopify for restaurants any good? Here are more reasons why you should take your food business online using Shopify.
- Why Should You Take Your Eatery Business Online?
- Best Shopify Practices For Restaurant Websites
- Give more order options
- Offer quality customer support
- Prioritize earning your customers' trust
- Automate order management
- Consider onsite optimization
- Best Shopify Themes For Your Restaurant
I. Why Should You Take Your Eatery Business Online?
With the eCommerce boom set to continue growing at 12.7% this year, Shopify still stands out as an essential eCommerce solution for any business looking to start selling their products online.
Established in 2006, Shopify is now a significant marketplace that allows businesses to quickly create custom-branded digital storefronts and keep essential customer data for better marketing in the future.
It is an easy-to-use eCommerce platform that features numerous affordable DIY solutions for restaurant businesses to sell their delicacies, among other menu items, online.
Given that 90% of potential customers tend to research an eatery online before dining, hosting your restaurant website on an excellent e-commerce platform like Shopify can help you attract more new clients from the word go.
Wait! Don’t you believe me? Here are four actual stores using Shopify for their restaurant businesses:
Sakara is a typical local food delivery business that delivers nutrient-dense meals prepared by professional chefs. Ideally, they often provide their orders in coolers to keep them cool and fresh for up to two days of ordering.
In contrast to other restaurants online, the Sakara website features a more subdued color scheme. It is more elegant and has a high-end feel thanks to the deeper colors and typefaces.
Furthermore, it automatically detects clients’ location and gives further information about the brand once you land on the site. For those outside the U.S., they still manage to offer a warm welcome and encourage you to learn more about them despite not being able to deliver food to your location.
Luke’s Lobster is a family-owned online seafood business that primarily sells authentic, high-quality lobster rolls. Their website is sleek, gorgeous, and straightforward.
The design and layout used are clean and minimalistic. Using color blocking on specific sections helps make products stand out.
The use of white space is well balanced, and they’ve made sure to include detailed product descriptions to accompany the many great food images. This gives you a clear sneak peek of what to expect and assures you excellent quality.
It’s also good to note how they’ve featured a recipe section to keep visitors interested. Once hooked, the design encourages you to sign up for their newsletter, order your favorite seafood, or book seafood catering services. A clever way to upsell, right?
Well, you must be feeling inspired to start creating your restaurant website now, right? But for your online restaurant website to be successful, here are some crucial must-have elements you should know about:
- A unique story to engage and connect with all your patrons
- An easy to search and accessible but appetizing menu to keep customers interested
- Basic contact details, working hours, and physical addresses on your homepage to help build trust with customers from the word go
- Links to social media to connect and engage with a broader customer base
- Relevant responsive layouts for more conversions
Now, before we get to how to set up a Shopify restaurant website, here is a quick review of Shopify for restaurants.
01. Shopify for Restaurants Price Review
Using Shopify to create and run a restaurant online means you will need access to sales channels and design flexibility, among many other website features – but how much will all these cost you?
For starters, running a Shopify store involves several factors that you might think. These often include subscription costs, other initial costs for setting up your store, and payments for any additional features you may need.
If you wonder how much it costs to launch and run an online restaurant on Shopify, here is a detailed breakdown to help you estimate the actual cost.
a. Subscription Costs
Shopify essentially has the following three main pricing plans:
i. Shopify Basic - $29 per month
Starting a brand new online restaurant business or trying to create an online storefront for an existing restaurant? Shopify Basic is your plan if the restaurant is small and you only need basic eCommerce functionality.
ii. Shopify - $79 per month
If your restaurant business proliferates, so will your need for a robust restaurant website. This Shopify plan offers a more granular reporting data platform and features like abandoned cart recovery and gift cards. A small online business would not miss such features but will as it progresses. It is a mid-tier plan suitable for mid-sized restaurants with or without an existing website but wants to track sales and improve marketing.
iii. Advanced Shopify - $299 per month
Think of this plan as a medium for large online businesses to keep on growing. If you intend to grow your Shopify restaurant business ten times more, the Advanced Shopify plan promises rock-bottom transaction fees, stellar shipping, and more advanced reporting. It is specifically designed for restaurants with extensive inventories that want custom reporting.
Ideally, your Shopify subscription will only help keep your restaurant website up and running. Here are other additional costs to consider when opening an online restaurant on Shopify:
b. Initial Costs for Setting up the Website
Setting up a food website on Shopify costs money. Of course, you will need to pay up for things like branded domain store names, high-impact themes, essential apps, plugins, etc. Let’s delve more into some of the leading initial expenses that you are likely to incur:
i. Domain Name
Shopify often includes this provision as part and parcel of all its plans so that you don’t have to host or install your own. You are at liberty to choose from a long list of free myshopify.com domains available.
But if you prefer having a custom domain, this will cost you anything between $11/year and $81/year. If you might already have a registered domain name, Shopify will let you link it to your store for free. The best part is that the entire process is fully automated, and you can buy and register your preferred domain name for your Shopify restaurant website in minutes.
A good website design often goes a long way in attracting, converting, and retaining customers. While choosing a premium theme is entirely optional in Shopify, you must remember that free ones often have limited functionality and might not help your restaurant stand out from the thousands of other online businesses already using the same freemiums.
Thankfully, Shopify has plenty of premium themes. The best part is that they are all fully customizable, and you can tweak them around however you like to match your brand. Otherwise, you can spend roughly $150 to $350 for a premium-quality Shopify theme for your restaurant.
Like many other software platforms today, Shopify needs add-ons and different essential integrations to serve many businesses with varying needs fully. The platform lacks on its own, but you can easily find an app for all your needs with the different app features.
Shopify boasts of more than 7,000 apps in the Shopify app store, ready to help you enhance store functionality. With an abundance of apps, the average monthly cost of using a premium app on Shopify falls between $15 and $60.
c. Shopify Transaction Fees
Another additional cost that might influence your total running costs is the Shopify transaction fees. Ideally, this is usually charged on every transaction made through a third-party payment service.
However, its percentage will depend on your preferred subscription plan. So, expect a 2% transaction fee on the Basic plan, 1% on the Shopify plan, and 0.5% on Advanced Shopify. But you can avoid all these unnecessary expenses by choosing to use Shopify Payments from the word go.
d. Shopify Credit Card Rates
As part of your total Shopify costs, you must factor in other variables that will affect your profit margin, like credit card rates.
Shopify typically charges a small commission whenever payments are made via credit cards. Sadly, it’s usually higher relative to other payment methods due to the risks involved.
Credit card rates generally depend on subscription plans. But you can broadly expect an average charge of 2.9%+ $0.3 and 2.7% for all credit card payments on Basic Shopify both online and offline, respectively; 2.6% + $0.30 and 2.5% on the Shopify Plan; and 2.4% + $0.30 and 2.4% on Advanced Shopify.
While it is hard to say how much you might need to open a Shopify restaurant, you can easily estimate a precise cost using a Shopify pricing calculator. I know that the review makes it easy to categorically state that Shopify for restaurants costs at least $100 (or even less) in total, but it would help if you first identify your exact needs and then budget for them in advance.
Now that you have a rough idea of how much Shopify for restaurants costs, here is a quick Shopify pros and cons review:
02. Shopify Pros and Cons Review
Shopify is a leading e-commerce platform whose most significant benefits revolve around providing the necessary flexibility to grow an online business. Considered the easiest-to-use platform for small businesses and large enterprises, Shopify offers all the tools you will need to build a beautiful restaurant website.
While Shopify might not be the cheapest platform to use, they provide cost transparency, more than 100 responsive themes, numerous extensions in the Shopify app store, a super responsive 24/7 customer support service, and the opportunity to sell offline with Shopify POS.
Its other main drawbacks often include product limitations, customization restrictions, coding difficulties, and the constant need for app installations to run critical functionalities. Although its benefits seem to outweigh the cons, considering each one of them will go a long way in helping you determine whether Shopify is the best fit for your restaurant project.
Now, let's dive right into the meat of the matter.
II. Best Shopify Practices for Restaurant Websites
To run a successful restaurant business on Shopify, your store must meet the different basic requirements that your customers might have. With numerous apps to choose from in the Shopify App Store, it can be daunting to pick the right one to ensure all your online orders work smoothly.
Here are some of the best design practices and top-performing apps for running a successful restaurant website on Shopify.
01. Give More Order Options
Like any other business, your restaurant should be centered on addressing essential customer concerns. It would be best for the food business to give your customers more order options— either with takeaways or by delivery. The Store Pickup + Delivery App can help you quickly create these options on your website. This also will give you a comprehensive understanding of which orders are due for local pickup or delivery. It's straightforward to navigate the dashboard, and you don't have to worry about confusing your orders!
02. Offer Quality Customer Support
It's common for customers to have questions, especially about your menu items. This may vary between whether certain foods are vegan and whether some contain gluten. It would help if you made it easier for them to ask and get answers, and one of the best support channels to consider is a live chat setup. Live chat will essentially help you boost customer retention, as it works to provide them with ready information and support.
Shopify apps like Tidio Live Chat & Chatbots simplify the setup process. Once set up, you are free to add automated responses so that the chatbot instantly answers all common questions if you are not available. This, therefore, means that you will only have to respond to unique questions that haven't been covered in the template.
03. Prioritize Earning your Customers' Trust
When shopping online, many customers are usually doubtful of adding their card details at the end of the checkout page. This is one of the main reasons behind most cart abandonment. So, ensure that your restaurant doesn't lose potential customers because they don't trust you.
You can easily place trust badges on the website to let customers know it is safe to check out. These additions communicate that your Shopify website is secure and equipped with an encrypted payment gateway to prevent hacking and other fraudulent cases. Use the Free Trust Badge app to enable trust badges on your checkout page.
04. Automate Order Management
Managing a food order isn't always a walk in the park with the generic Shopify dashboard. You will need a restaurant management dashboard to help you manage orders and deliveries. Foodee is a Shopify app solely built to help restaurant store owners manage their food orders better. Its dashboard presents a clear list of current orders and highlights all incoming orders, including specific items in each order for your team to manage and process efficiently. It is made explicitly for restaurant businesses and is a must-have app for better managing restaurant orders.
05. Consider Onsite Optimization
When taking your restaurant online, it would be best to retain some of the management aspects from your physical storefront. One such feature is tipping functionality. Several restaurants and food businesses often run on tips. If this is true for your brand, you should consider enabling this on your Shopify website using Tip Jar. Once activated, this app will show a tip jar on the page, prompting customers to leave a tip before checking out.
III. Best Shopify Themes for Your Restaurant
With only 50 milliseconds for you and your business to make an impression, getting the design for your online restaurant right is vital for maximizing sales online.
On the contrary, having a robust website layout does not always mean using visually appealing images and stylish color schemes.
Instead, ensuring that you maintain an exceptional user experience throughout the website for all your visitors can help hold customers' interest in your menu options and drive sales on your restaurant website.
You will need to have a good Shopify theme to pull this off, and here are some of the best Shopify themes for your online restaurant store.
Crave is a vibrant, eye-catching, and playful Shopify theme optimized for food ordering and shopping on the go. It is a slick Shopify theme ideal for restaurants, fast food businesses, and food/drinks stores.
It’s a one-style theme with a mobile-ready and highly responsive design with dynamic checkout options and online food ordering add-ons for on-the-go buyers. Its layout includes a blend of distinct shadows and bold colors that demands attention and promotes visual brand storytelling.
You can already tell that it is best for any food and drinks business that is all out for modern design. Using it will make your Shopify restaurant homepage uncluttered, spacious, and visually pleasant to customers.
The best part is that it is free to consider, try, and use on Shopify for restaurants.
Vantage is a premium but fully customizable Shopify theme to consider. It features an image-first design that will help personalize your restaurant's online presence. It's a sleek and fully customizable option that can be molded to fit your specific needs.
Furthermore, its pre-set options allow users to take their businesses online in minutes. But if you are interested in adding a custom design to your restaurant website, consider working with design experts to create an online restaurant presence that resonates with the brand of your choice.
Otherwise, it is a conversion-focused theme perfect for restaurants with both small and large inventories.
With more than 62% of mobile users buying items online using mobile devices, you must plan to leverage responsive mobile designs for more online sales. Using a mobile-friendly theme can help put you on par with other established brands.
Express is one of the best Shopify themes you can choose to use because it is fully optimized for mobile. It has few product imagery features but offers restaurants with slight to medium inventories the best chance to get a clean but professional website presence.
Besides being mobile-ready, this Shopify theme comes with product modals and collapsible cart drawers as its main essential features. If you wonder how much it costs, the Express Shopify theme for restaurants is free to use.
Fresh is a versatile option that offers an excellent starting point for eatery businesses to build an online presence. It's a straightforward design that features up to three pre-sets and has unlimited possibilities.
It's one of the best premium themes for food start-ups with extensive inventories. Its design is quite adaptable and often comes with advanced features for filtering customer searches.
Shopify for restaurants is a space on the web that offers a great deal of control in designing, creating, and managing an eatery website. If done with precision, you can easily make an excellent first impression on scores of ready-to-buy customers and still get to use it as a tool for promoting your restaurant online.
Use the tips discussed above to ensure that your new Shopify restaurant website attracts more customers and drives sales.
Now that you know about the best Shopify design practices for restaurant websites, remember to regularly revisit your business objectives and apply what you've learned to give your restaurant visitors a thrilling experience.