Web Design

8 Calls to Action for Restaurant Websites

Use these 8 primary and secondary calls to action (CTAs) on restaurant websites to increase conversions.

Close-up of a woman's finger on a scrolling on a laptop trackpad.

Verbs and brevity create the most effective calls to action.

A call to action (CTA) is usually a button that starts with an action verb, but could also be a hyperlink or text that's located in prominent and logical locations on your website. It prompts users to take action. If you want to learn more about CTAs, read my post How To Create an Effective Call to Action Button for Your Website.

Most website audits that I conduct are missing calls to action above the fold and sometimes there’s not even a single call to action on the homepage. To generate more leads and convert visitors into customers and customers into advocates, you need a primary call to action (e.g. Make Reservation) and several secondary calls to action (e.g. Learn More and See Menu) on your restaurant website. Otherwise, visitors won’t understand how to accomplish the goals of your website.

In this post, I’m going to share 8 calls to action for restaurant websites.

1. Make a Reservation

Close-up of a sushi roll with a "Make Reservation" CTA.

Taka Sushi and Passion (see image) employs a "Make Reservation" CTA in the menu bar as well as the hero section, making it clear what users should do. This primary CTA is repeated four times throughout the homepage. Since users often need to encounter messages several times (i.e. The Rule of 7) before taking action, this call to action works well.

Alternative Reservation CTAs

  1. Book Now
  2. Book Online
  3. Book Table
  4. Find a Table
  5. Make Reservation
  6. Reserve Lunch/Dinner
  7. Reserve Now
  8. Reserve Table

2. Order Online

3-course shrimp feast with an "Order Now" CTA.

Red Lobster's primary CTA is to "Order Now" (see image). Adding "Now" after CTAs uses urgency to entice users to take action immediately.

Alternative Online Ordering CTAs

  1. Order Lunch/Dinner
  2. Order Now
  3. Order Pickup
  4. Order Takeout
  5. Place Order

3. Learn More

Various entree ingredients and a "View Menu" CTA.

Learn more CTAs prompt users to learn more about your restaurant. These are often the most common types of calls to action because they provide a variety of secondary options for users who require additional information or aren't ready to make a purchase yet. In the example above, 18 Seminole Italian Bistro's website (see image) uses this secondary CTA to "View Menu."

Alternative Learn More CTAs

  1. Discover How/Why
  2. Explore [Topic]
  3. Learn About [Topic]
  4. Learn How
  5. See How it Works
  6. See/View Details
  7. See/View Features
  8. See/View Map
  9. See/View Menu
  10. See/View Specials
  11. See/View Tour
  12. See/View Wines/Beers
  13. Take Tour
  14. Tour [Topic]
  15. Watch Video
  16. Watch [Topic]
  17. Why [Restaurant's Name]

4. Find a Location Near You

Two people eating salads and a "Find Closest Location" CTA.

For restaurants that have multiple locations like Gusto (see image), it's common to have a "Find Closest Location" CTA. While Gusto's CTA is very clear, the yellow button would stand out more if the background image were a darker shade. Light colors like yellow don't contrast well against other light colors.

Alternative Location CTAs

  1. Find Closest Location
  2. Find Your Location
  3. Find a Location
  4. Find My [Restaurant's Name]
  5. Get Directions
  6. See/View Locations
  7. Select Location

5. Contact Us

Two women catering an event and a "Contact Us" CTA.

Contact CTAs convey a restaurant is ready, willing and capable of answering questions. Farm Burger's catering page (see image) achieves this with a clear "Contact Us" CTA that leads users to a contact form — not a linked email address. Always avoid linking your email address because it increases spam, you can't ask specific questions and sent emails can't lead to thank-you pages.

Alternative Contact CTAs

  1. Call Now
  2. Contact [Person's Name]
  3. Contact [Restaurant's Name]
  4. Inquire About Private Dining

6. Sign Up

A large form and a Sign Up" CTA.

Outback Steakhouse knows that "Sign Up to the Newsletter" isn't persuasive enough with users anymore. Instead, they incentivize users by giving them 50% off every fourth visit (see image). Offering something of immediate value brings in new customers and keeps current customers loyal.

Additional Sign Up CTAs

  1. Join the Community
  2. Join the Newsletter
  3. Send Me Discounts
  4. Sign Me Up
  5. Sign Up Now
  6. Sign Up and Save
  7. Subscribe Now
  8. Subscribe to Our Newsletter

7. Join Now

Various illustrations that list the benefits of Starbucks Rewards and a "Join Now" CTA.

If your restaurant has a loyalty program, you'll want to encourage users to join. The Starbucks Rewards' program uses a "Join Now" CTA for their program (see image). I like how they employ two CTAs for this on each side of the page, but it doesn't pop off the page as it should. If the buttons were larger, it would be more obvious where users should click.

Additional Join CTAs

  1. Become a Member
  2. Enroll Now
  3. Join Free
  4. Join Now
  5. Join [Program's Name]
  6. Register Now

8. Shop the Store

Three people eating fondue and a "Shop Now" CTA.

Restaurants that sell gift cards or merchandise use CTAs like The Melting Pot's "Shop Now" CTA (see image). You may also notice the primary CTA — "Book A Table" — scrolls with the user. This is another effective way to keep your primary CTA front and center.

Additional Online Shopping CTAs

  1. Buy Gift Card
  2. Buy Merchandise
  3. Purchase Gift Card
  4. Shop Gifts
  5. Shop Merchandise
  6. Shop Now
  7. Shop Online
  8. Shop Our Store
  9. Shop [Store's Name]

Wrap Up

You just learned 8 calls to action for restaurant websites. Start converting visitors into customers and customers into advocates with more effective calls to action.

8 Calls to Action for Restaurant Websites first appeared on the Bento Sites Blog by Jeff Shibasaki.

Close-up of Jeff Shibasaki wearing a black hat.

Jeff Shibasaki

I’m an Atlanta web designer that specializes in website design and development on Webflow and Squarespace.

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