April 1, 2022
SF 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 San Francisco, CA, 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? We curated some of the best San Francisco websites built on BentoBox, the premier online marketing and commerce platform for restaurants. Check them out below.
Quince has evolved during its nearly 20 years in San Francisco, but it has never abandoned chef Michael Tusk's commitment to sourcing and elevating world-class ingredients. Although its menus are "guided by the season" and unavailable, its website is a wellspring of other information, including a well-structured FAQ page and an overview of its farm and non-profit foundation. It also has a detailed page for private dining and event inquiries, which guests can submit directly online.
Atelier Crenn's website is just like its menu and the world-famous chef that lends it her name: one of a kind. The homepage contains a movie studio-quality, beauty commercial-aesthetic custom video, which at once says very little and very much about the brand. This approach wouldn't work for every restaurant, but when you're a three-Michelin-starred restaurant known for pushing boundaries and putting artistry at the forefront, a website this high-concept is picture perfect.
When your entire online menu is a $365 seasonal Chef's Tasting Menu, your brand needs to radiate skill and credibility. Chef David Kinch's Manresa has built that brand through nearly 20 years of excellence, which has earned it three Michelin stars and a spot on Restaurant Magazine's list of the World's 50 Best Restaurants. Like its menu, its website is sparse on details but heavy on upscale design elements that capture its brand and prime its guests for a unique experience.
With a 20,000-square foot dining room and panoramic view of the bay, Harborview is a perfect place for large groups and special occasions. The design of its website does this justice, projecting a refined-but-fun brand with an upscale Cantonese-style menu. More than that, it's website has allowed Harborview to diversify its business with online commerce. Its direct online ordering, event tickets, merchandise and gift card pages all drive substantial off-premises revenue.
In its own words, Rich Table is "a place with no dress code, where the food speaks for itself." That's an unassuming claim for a Michelin-starred restaurant, but "unassuming quality" is central to Rich Table's brand. The restaurant's website captures that brand by also letting food do the talking, avoiding bells and whistles while using ample menu photography. The website also allows guests to view menus, submit event inquiries or buy Evan and Sarah Rich's cookbook through an online merch store.
The Charter Oak is one of the finest places to eat in Napa Valley, both in terms of ambiance and menu. Its website captures both sides of this coin impeccably. On the ambiance side, the homepage leads with regal photos of the ivy-draped exterior and the titanic steel hearth in the center of the open kitchen. On the menu side, it mentions but doesn't rely on the reputation of Michelin-starred chef Christopher Kotlow, as it also dedicates a full page to its farm and its commitment to fresh, seasonal, experimental ingredients.
The first Souvla opened in Hayes Valley in 2014, and since then it has expanded to multiple locations throughout San Francisco. It's just getting started, too, with new locations planned in Dogpatch and Marin. The fresh ingredients, fluffy pitas and rotisserie-roasted meats that have keyed Souvla's growth are on full display on its website, which uses video vignettes to show the restaurant in action on the homepage.
Amanda Michael opened Jane on Fillmore in February 2011, with the mission of serving world-class coffee, pastries, breakfast and lunch to greater San Francisco. Since then, Jane has opened four additional brick-and-mortar locations and an online to-go business, “Jane At Home,” through its website. The design of the website is also an apt reflection of its pleasant, sunshiny brand, starting with the colorful grid of images the greets guests on the homepage.
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