WordPress is the easiest CMS to get online so it’s perfect for restaurants. You don’t have to worry about technical stuff and WordPress is full of plugins that do all the heavy lifting.
But if you’re launching a restaurant site then you’ll probably need some very specific features. These might include a custom menu, a contact/reservation form, or even a map section to help people plan their route.
In this post I’ve curated the best WP plugins for restaurant websites. Many are free, some are paid, and others have freemium releases with optional paid upgrades.
But no matter what type of restaurant site you’re building this list is guaranteed to have something valuable.
It may be worth grabbing a single plugin that comes with all the main features you’d expect on a restaurant site. To me that plugin is Foodpress combining both an online menu + a reservation form.
The menu feature allows anyone to upload food photos and connect them to dishes. You can even rearrange how they appear on the site and how large the photos should be.
Each menu item has its own description with a price tag, related links, and even sharing buttons if patrons want to share their opinions of dishes. This brings social media into the mix with the potential to drive traffic directly from reviews.
The meal setups can also be collapsed to save room on the page and help visitors browse items quicker.
You have full control over the layout in the settings panel and the menus can appear anywhere on the site using shortcodes. Even non-technical restaurateurs should be able to work with this plugin.
Definitely a great buy if you’re using a WP theme that doesn’t come with menu features built into the design.
2. Quick Restaurant Menu
Anyone who needs a simpler way to create menus should check out the free Quick Restaurant Menu plugin.
Note this one does actually have a pro version that comes with some nice additional features:
- Rows & columns builder
- Searchable menu items
- Nutrition facts
- Tabbed layouts
- Drag & drop editor
But generally speaking most people would do best to stick with the free version first, then upgrade later if needed.
The reason I like this one for restaurant owners is because it’s manageable. You don’t need to edit any code or do much in WordPress other than drag & drop elements around the page. It may seem simple if you’re a developer, but you have to remember not everyone knows how to make a website.
In the free version you can also set variable menus that change based on the time of day or the weekday. By default the whole thing is mobile responsive and works great on smartphones.
It also has a small(albeit very generic) preview video that you can watch here if you wanna see more.
3. WP Restaurant Manager
Some restaurants like to take reservations online and the WP Restaurant Manager plugin is perfect for this.
Again this free plugin does have a pro version but I’d argue the free one is more than enough. It lets anyone setup reservations right from the site listing only the dates & times that are available.
The site owner can choose which times are restricted, which bookings they’ll accept, and even setup custom email notifications that go out automatically to those who sign up.
Every booking saves in the admin interface so restaurant owners can see everything right from their website. But they’ll also get email notifications once a booking is saved so they can log this for their own records.
It’s a really simple plugin for the great price of free so I do recommend this if you need to take reservations online.
4. Food and Drink Menu
This is my personal favorite menu plugin because it comes pre-styled just like a typical restaurant website. The Food and Drink Menu plugin is built for web developers and non-technical restaurateurs alike.
Naturally each menu item can split into different categories like appetizers, entrees, desserts, and general foods/drinks. You can also list details with each like the sides it comes with and the specifics of the dish.
Each menu page works like a grid system where the dishes have their own thumbnails and descriptions in a row/column format. Perfect for browsing on a mobile phone or desktop, or really any Internet-connected device.
If your menu is small enough you can even embed this into your sidebar using custom widgets. Certainly not a bad idea for smaller businesses like cafe’s and bakeries with “specials of the day”.
But if you are fairly technical you can even dig into the starter tutorials covering all the basics of this plugin. It has a ton of custom PHP hooks so developers can add features onto this for a very customized menu plugin.
And best of all the whole thing is on GitHub so it’s completely free and open sourced for the world.
5. Google Maps Widget
Every restaurant has some physical location whether it’s a take-out joint or a sit-down eatery. And it helps to give visitors an idea of where you’re located so they can find the restaurant quickly.
This is tough without a GPS but you can take the first step with a Google Maps plugin embedded into the website.
Again this is totally free and works for anywhere in the world. You just add this into WordPress and set your preferred settings. Here’s a small list of what you can do:
- Set zoom level
- Add pins for locations
- Define the map type
- Set the exact size
- Create directions for visitors(pro version)
Note this does have a pro version but I really don’t think it’s necessary for most restaurant owners. The upgrade is fantastic but it’s not a deal breaker.
Most of what you get in the free version should be more than enough to help people find your restaurant and familiarize themselves with the area. Excellent for adding a small resource onto your homepage to guide visitors right to you.
6. Gravity Forms
In the past I’ve covered form plugins for WordPress and there are so many to pick from. But my top recommendation for new site owners has to be Gravity Forms solely based on the ease of use and sheer number of options.
This does not come with a great free version so I really do recommend paying for this one.
It’s best suited for restaurant owners who want to manage their own site without help from a webmaster. Gravity Forms has a drag & drop builder so anyone can build forms without writing a single line of code.
Naturally this also comes with add-ons for ESPs like MailChimp and Aweber for newsletter signups. You can collect pretty much any information you need using this form plugin.
Technically this could even work as a makeshift reservation plugin too because you could make a “book reservations” form with ease. Granted you’d need to manually log the reservations yourself, but if you keep those in a physical book it wouldn’t be much trouble.
Anyone who owns a food business and wants to manage their own site will want a copy of Gravity Forms.
It is by far the best form builder regardless of your technical knowledge, plus it’s the only form builder I really recommend for all types of WP sites.
From the name you might not think WPPizza is a great plugin outside of pizzerias. But you can do a lot with this plugin far beyond creating a pizza website.
This is actually one of the more technical plugins in this list and it works great for all restaurants that take bookings, offer delivery, or accept custom orders online.
Here’s a brief list of the top features:
- Track all orders online
- Set specific dates/times for delivery
- Full sales reporting dashboard
- Accepts all payment gateways
- Full menu creation online
- Offers dozens of extended features
You can offer coupon codes, accept deliveries based on zip codes, and even time the orders right online.
This naturally works great for pizza parlors but it’s flexible enough to run with any delivery service. Whether you’re delivering fresh Chinese food or edible baked goods there is really no limit to what’s possible.
If you can look past the name you’ll find this plugin to be incredibly valuable for the price.
But if you have questions or still aren’t sure then check out the FAQ page for more info.
Online booking is never an easy task. Many larger sites like hotels pay developers for proprietary systems that can cost 5-to-6 figures for one project.
Thankfully WordPress has lots of plugins that’ll save you time and Bookly is one of my favorites. Note this plugin is very much a “complete” solution so it’s great for all types of restaurants.
It comes with a ton of features you probably don’t need so it can be overkill if you only want something basic.
But with a live booking process, direct connections to Google Calendar, and even connections into WooCommerce sites, this plugin goes above and beyond for online booking.
There’s even a free online demo you can test to see if you like it. The frontend is basic enough but can be customized with a little elbow grease.
Throughout the booking process customers can review their settings to make sure they’ll have enough time for everything. This includes proper time slots based on your restaurant’s availability. And the schedule auto-updates whenever someone books a time so that slot is no longer open.
I won’t say this is the only booking plugin you should use. But it’s definitely the most robust and feature-rich so it’s perfect for larger restaurants that do a lot of business through reservations.
9. Booking Calendar
On the flip side you may go for a cheaper option(read: free) with the Booking Calendar plugin.
This one enables online booking services without the hassle so you can build intuitive interfaces that are fully responsive and easy to use for everyone.
But the biggest downside is that this plugin wasn’t made just for restaurants. It works for anyone who needs to accept reservations like hotels or real estate tours.
Of course it’s still possible to customize this and get it working exactly how you want. But it won’t come out of the box ready for use on a restaurant site.
This plugin also connects into Google Calendar and lets you set the proper times/hours for bookings. It has a pro version too but for this plugin I’d suggest staying free and upgrading to Bookly if you wanna spend the money.
10. Yelp Widget Pro
All food places hinge on reviews and word of mouth. Online sites like Yelp have changed the game and made it even more important for great reviews to keep rolling in.
With the Yelp Widget Pro plugin you can embed Yelp reviews directly into your restaurant website.
This helps sell your food as a great meal and encourages visitors to hit Yelp and leave their own reviews. Hopefully the food is good enough to make it a great experience!
Aside from reviews you can also display your entire business profile including the location, phone number, and physical map with visual locations.
Just note this plugin requires some technical setup because you need to get a Yelp API key from the developers panel. This is easy enough to do with some guidance but non-technical restaurant owners may struggle to even understand what this means, let alone how to do it.
Thankfully if you do buy the Yelp Widget Pro plugin you can ask for help from the creators. They have guides and a support staff ready to answer your questions to get this all setup for your website.
11. Build A Meal
Last but certainly not least is the Build A Meal plugin unique to WordPress.
Very few restaurants add this functionality to their site because few of them support it. But you can let your visitors create their own meals from scratch with distinct categories, ingredients, and even cooking times.
Each item in the menu includes a photo with an optional description. Plus you can add nutritional info for each item to help people track macros or calories.
In fact, this plugin really doubles as a nutrition calculator so it’s perfect for embedding into your site as an extra resource for visitors. This way they can pick from your menu and figure out their calories immediately.
This might work better on a personal fitness site but I do think it’d do well on a restaurant site too. Especially if you populate the list with your menu items and all nutritional info at the click of a button.