The Best Restaurant Websites in Austin
March 9, 2022
Austin restaurants are using BentoBox to grow their brands and increase their revenue. Here are some of our favorite examples.
Across the country, restaurant operators are preparing to face the "new normal" — and Austin, TX, restaurants are no different.
To do this, many restaurants are creating best-in-class websites that meet the challenges — and seize the opportunities — of the current moment. They're investing in custom design to leave a strong, brand-first impression on future diners. They're setting up online commerce stores to diversify revenue and fight back against third-party commissions. And they're integrating websites with other technology to streamline workflows and operate with fewer, higher-paid staff members.
Want to see how that looks in action? From South Lamar to Mueller, we found some of the best Austin websites built on BentoBox, the premier online marketing and commerce platform for restaurants. Check them out below.
Suerte means "lucky" in Spanish, but the success of chef Fermin Nunez's East Austin restaurant has been driven by skill, passion and craft. It has also been supported by a beautiful website with bright colors, compelling descriptions and stunning restaurant photography. The website features traditional Mexican art and describes its focus on masa (a traditional Mexican ingredient) but blends it all with modern design — the same way its menu fuses traditional Mexican techniques with local Texas ingredients.
Less than six months after Birdie's opened on 12th Street in East Austin, the New York Times dubbed it one of the 50 most exciting restaurants in America. Beyond the world-class menu, much of Birdie's charm comes from its neighborhood feel and unassuming nature; its Instagram simply describes it as "a little restaurant & wine bar." The design of its website captures that spirit perfectly, using minimalist illustrations and casual fonts while telling the story of co-owners (and partners) Tracy Malechek and Arjav Ezekiel, who met in New York while working at Gramercy Tavern.
Lucky Lab Coffee
Lucky Lab Coffee began as a little black coffee truck, but has grown to multiple brick-and-mortar locations across Austin. Since its earliest days, the brand has been synonymous with two things: coffee and dogs. Its name, logo, signage and packaging all reference labrador retrievers, and its website is no different, putting lifestyle photos of coffee and dogs front-and-center. The restaurant's passionate audience also makes selling dog-themed merchandise a natural source of revenue, and Lucky Lab's website includes a merchandise store to sell apparel, drinkware and more directly online.
Chez Zee is known for its large, diverse menu and especially acclaimed for its weekend brunch and desserts. Its website captures this visually with a mix of food photography styles, including the "tablescape" seen above. More than that, the website offers direct online ordering with a menu that updates based on fulfillment time — a key feature that reduces confusion for both diners and staff. With item-level images and a CTA button that drives there from the homepage, Chez Zee's direct online ordering drives substantial high-margin revenue.
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Located at the Four Seasons with a patio that overlooks the river, Ciclo is one of Austin's best upscale restaurants and event spaces. Its website has an appropriately polished look and feel, including serif fonts, sharp lines and gold-trimmed illustrations. Visitors looking to host events can learn about private dining spaces, while visitors looking to attend events can browse upcoming happenings such as yoga-and-wine classes, signature menus and dinner theater.
Plate by Dzintra
Overlooking a quiet pond at the Galleria in Bee Cave, Plate by Dzintra serves some of the best New American cuisine in Texas. Owner Dzintra Dennis has described her restaurant as a mix of "European flair" and "Texas hospitality," which comes through on a website with vibrant colors but also a detailed description of the venue's interior design. The website also offers direct online ordering through an optimized, branded platform, which results in high checkout rates and more commission-free revenue.
For restaurants that appeal to out-of-town partygoers — as most venues on 6th Street do — a website is essential for branding and research. Potential guests will likely visit the site before deciding where to dine, drink or dance when they go out. Nightcap uses its website to leave a strong first impression, positioning itself as an upscale bungalow that is fun but also sophisticated. It also includes a Jobs page where potential employees can easily apply, something all restaurants need given the state of the industry workforce.
Nik's Italian Kitchen & Bar
A short drive from the River Place Nature Trail, Nik's Italian Kitchen is a popular place to wind down with a cold beer and comfort food after a hike. It's also a popular off-premises destination for Italian food lovers across Austin. Understanding this, its website is designed to maximize online commerce, with homepage CTAs that funnel users to place online orders. In addition to direct online ordering, its website uses BentoBox Pre-Order & Catering to simplify the process of placing and fulfilling bulk orders.
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