If you live in the City of Fairfield in Sydney’s south west, you’ll know Canley Vale Road and its wide selection of no-frills, delicious late night eateries.

Nestled among them is Fat Panda.

Owner, Jenny Dinh describes Fat Panda as “A little Japanese slash Asian fusion restaurant, we have a sushi train, and an a la carte menu as well. So, it’s a mixture of traditional Japanese with a little bit more modern dishes.”

After opening its doors in 2008, Fat Panda focused on sticking to its philosophy of simple, good, honest food made from the heart and did not worry much about marketing their business online.

“We’re just a small little restaurant, we don’t know much about any of the tech side of things,” Jenny says.

But, like many small business owners, and restaurateurs in particular, Jenny began to come to terms with the importance of having an online presence.

“We’ve been around for eight years, and six years in we still didn’t have a website, which in this day and age is like having a phone number, you really need it.”

So they embarked on building a website and made some important decisions to get it right for their target market. 

First things first, mastering your domain name

Fat Panda needed a way of sticking out in the ever-burgeoning Australian restaurant scene. So they chose to use a .sydney domain name and call www.fatpanda.sydney home.

“When the web designer offered it to us, he said, ‘you can have www.fatpanda.com.au or you can have this new one’, which was the .sydney and we took the .sydney because it sounded different,” says Jenny.

“For me, it said obviously where we were, we’re in Sydney, rather than like a .com.au, which is like, ‘yeah, you’re an Australian company’, but where are they?”

A .sydney domain name is a great way to locate your business and have it associated with a city, rather than an entire country. .sydney domain names offer a great opportunity for small businesses to own a slice of their city.

Then it’s time for responsive design

Jenny and her Fat Panda crew knew a lot of people tend to look up restaurants on the go with their smart phones, making it essential their site would be functional across all screen sizes.

A responsive website works by seamlessly adjusting the elements of a web page to fit in the best possible space. This means images are usually automatically re-sized and text is automatically reformatted on different devices.

By having a responsive website, Fat Panda’s website is accessible to all web users whether they are using a tablet at home, a smartphone on the street or a desktop at work.

Getting to the point: Minimalism

Minimalism has made it into the online realm offering peak functionality coupled with stunning design.

These websites are typified by their large striking background images that make the typography pop and their thrifty use of text.

Fat Panda’s home page, which includes six sections, from ‘About Us’ to ‘Bookings’, uses just 181 words to sell its service, any more than that and they’d risk boring potential visitors to the restaurant before they’d even walked in the door.

Fat Panda chose a site that strikes a good balance between simple, clean design and pleasing aesthetics, making it easy for users to navigate.

The end result

Fat Panda has come along in leaps and bounds since its initial apprehension about technology. The simple, honest and delicious food is now accompanied by a slick website with a memorable and relevant domain name. See it for yourself at www.fatpanda.sydney