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Now Serving Squarespace: The Essential Ingredients for a Successful Restaurant Website

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Just like how delicious food can tantalize taste buds, a restaurant's website should whet the appetites of potential customers. Squarespace can be a perfect platform to build a beautiful and informative website that will have them booking reservations in no time.

This post will walk you through the essential ingredients for your restaurant's Squarespace website, ensuring it leaves a lasting impression.

Setting the Scene: Essential Pages for Your Restaurant Website

A Squarespace website allows you to connect with hungry patrons, showcase your culinary creations, and establish your restaurant's unique identity. Here are the key pages to get you started:

Home Page: The Appetizer

The Home Page is the digital welcome mat of your website, the first bite visitors will take of your online presence. Here, you have the opportunity to capture their attention and set the tone for their virtual dining experience.

  • Hero Image: This is your website's centerpiece, a high-quality visual that grabs attention and encapsulates the essence of your restaurant. Consider a delectable close-up of your signature dish, a warm and inviting image of your dining room bustling with happy diners, or a captivating video showcasing your chefs at work, preparing culinary masterpieces.
  • Tempting Description: In a few concise and captivating sentences, highlight your culinary focus, whether it's a specific cuisine, locally-sourced ingredients, or a unique dining experience. Briefly mention your restaurant's atmosphere, enticing visitors to delve deeper and explore the rest of your website.
  • Clear Call to Action: Don't leave your visitors wondering what to do next. Tell them clearly what action you want them to take, whether it's browsing your menu, making a reservation online, or ordering takeout for a delicious meal at home.

Pro Tip: Squarespace integrates with OpenTable & Tock! 

Menu Page: The Main Course

The Menu Page is the heart of your website, the star of the show. Here, you'll showcase the culinary creations that will tantalize taste buds and have visitors eager to make a reservation.

  • A La Carte or Categorized: Organize your menu in a way that is clear, easy to navigate, and visually appealing. Consider presenting your dishes a la carte or categorizing them by course (appetizers, entrees, desserts) or type of cuisine (pasta, seafood, vegetarian options). This user-friendly approach allows visitors to quickly find the items that pique their interest.
  • High-Quality Photos: Every dish deserves to be visually celebrated! Include mouthwatering appetizing photographs of each menu item. Invest in professional photography that captures the vibrant colors, fresh ingredients, and artful presentation of your food. A well-placed photo can be the deciding factor for a hungry visitor, turning their browsing into a craving for your culinary creations.
  • Enticing Descriptions: Don't just list the ingredients - tell a story! Craft brief but compelling descriptions for each dish, highlighting the fresh, seasonal ingredients you use and the unique flavor profiles diners can expect. Use descriptive language to entice the senses, mentioning savory sauces, perfectly cooked proteins, and delightful textures.

Pro Tip: Hosting a PDF of your menu is a fast way to get it on your site, but it won’t be searchable, clickable, and it might be difficult to read on smaller screen sizes.

You can avoid all those headaches by using the Squarespace menu block. This content block will display your menu in a text based format that matches the rest of your site. It also has a cool feature that lets you display a category of menu items, so people can quickly toggle between lunch and dinner, or even highlight your unique vegetarian options in their own category. For more info, check out this support article: support.squarespace.com/hc/en-us/articles/206544087-Menu-blocks

About Us Page: Sharing Your Culinary Story

The About Us Page is your chance to connect with potential customers on a deeper level, inviting them into the story behind your restaurant. Here, you can weave a narrative that captures the heart and soul of your establishment, fostering a sense of connection and trust with your audience.

  • Tell Your Restaurant's Story: Where did your culinary journey begin? Was it a lifelong dream, a family recipe passed down through generations, or a passion for a specific cuisine? Share the inspiration behind your restaurant's creation, the values that guide your approach to food, and the unique philosophy that sets you apart. Let your visitors understand the "why" behind your restaurant, the driving force that fuels your dedication to providing a memorable dining experience.
  • Introduce Your Team: Put a face to the name! Showcase the talented individuals who bring your culinary vision to life. Feature your chefs, wait staff, and any other key members of your team. Briefly highlight their experience, their areas of expertise, and their passion for creating exceptional food and service. This personal touch allows potential customers to connect with the people who create the magic behind each dish they'll enjoy at your restaurant.
  • A Glimpse into Your Ambiance: Let your website visitors experience the atmosphere of your restaurant before they even step through the door. Include captivating photos of your restaurant's interior and exterior. Capture the warm lighting, comfortable seating arrangements, and any unique design elements that contribute to your dining space's character. Showcase photos of satisfied customers enjoying their meals, creating a sense of vibrancy and community that will entice potential diners to join the experience.

Contact Us Page: How to Find Your Table

The Contact Us Page is the bridge between the digital world of your website and the in-person experience you offer at your restaurant. Here, you'll provide all the essential information potential customers need to connect with you, make reservations, and plan their visit.

  • Making Connections Easy: Your Contact Us Page should clearly display your restaurant's address, phone number, and email address in a prominent location. Consider incorporating a map integration to visually guide visitors to your doorstep. Additionally, if you utilize an online reservation system like OpenTable, embed the reservation content block directly on the page, allowing visitors to seamlessly book a table with just a few clicks.
  • Social Butterfly: In today's digital age, social media is a powerful tool for connecting with potential customers. Include links to your active social media profiles on platforms like Instagram and Facebook. Showcase stunning photos of your dishes, share updates about special events and promotions, and engage with your audience to build a sense of community.
  • Open Communication: Let your visitors know you value their feedback! Consider including a contact form on your page, allowing them to send questions, comments, or suggestions directly to your team. Make sure you update the post submit form text to let people know their message was sent and when they should expect to hear from you.

Extra Flavor: Features to Spice Up Your Website and Attract New Diners

The essential pages we've covered provide a solid foundation for your restaurant's website, but Squarespace offers a treasure trove of additional features that can elevate your online presence and attract a wider audience of hungry customers eager to discover your amazing food. Let's delve into some of these features and explore how they can add "extra flavor" to your website, transforming it into a powerful marketing tool.

Tempt with a Blog: Share Your Culinary Expertise and Passion

A blog on your restaurant's website is more than just a digital recipe box. It's a platform to showcase your culinary knowledge, share your passion for food, and engage with potential diners on a deeper level. Here are some key benefits of adding a blog to your website:

  • Content is King: Search engines reward websites with fresh, informative content. Regularly updated blog posts can improve your website's ranking in search results, making it more discoverable by potential customers who are searching for restaurants in your area.
  • Showcase Your Expertise: Share your culinary knowledge and creativity through blog posts featuring recipes, chef interviews, or food pairing recommendations. This content positions you as an authority in the culinary world, building trust and credibility with potential diners.
  • Fuel Curiosity and Cravings: Use your blog to tease upcoming menu items, highlight seasonal ingredients, or share behind-the-scenes glimpses into your kitchen. This creates a sense of anticipation and excitement, enticing readers to visit your restaurant and experience your culinary creations firsthand.
  • Build Community: A blog fosters a two-way conversation with your audience. Encourage comments and questions on your blog posts, allowing you to connect with potential customers and address their specific interests. This interaction fosters a sense of community and loyalty, drawing diners closer to your restaurant.
  • Targeted Marketing: Your blog content can be a powerful marketing tool. Promote special offers, announce upcoming events, or highlight new menu items through blog posts. This targeted approach allows you to reach potential customers who are already interested in what your restaurant has to offer.

Order Pickup Options: Convenience is Key in Today's World

In our fast-paced world, convenience reigns supreme. Offering online ordering through your website allows customers to seamlessly place a pickup order from your restaurant, satisfying their cravings without the need for a phone call. Here's how online ordering can benefit your restaurant:

  • Increased Sales: By offering online ordering, you remove a barrier to entry for potential customers. Those who might hesitate to pick up the phone can easily place an order with a few clicks, leading to a potential increase in sales.
  • 24/7 Ordering: Your website never sleeps! Online ordering allows customers to place orders outside of your regular business hours, capturing those late-night cravings and spontaneous decisions to enjoy a delicious meal at home.
  • Improved Order Accuracy: Online ordering systems minimize the risk of errors that can sometimes occur during phone orders. Customers can customize their orders exactly as they like, leading to a more positive dining experience.
  • Data Collection: Many online ordering systems capture valuable customer data, such as order history and preferences. This information allows you to personalize marketing efforts and target promotions to specific customer segments.

This Squarespace feature is not the same as home delivery programs like DoorDash or UberEats. Check out this article for more information on local pickup options that are built right into Squarespace: https://support.squarespace.com/hc/en-us/articles/207100347-Local-pickup

Showcase Your Reviews: Building Trust Through Social Proof

Positive customer reviews and testimonials are like digital gold for your restaurant. Featuring them prominently on your website can significantly impact your ability to attract new diners. Here's why showcasing reviews is a recipe for success:

  • Social Proof in Action: Positive reviews from satisfied customers act as social proof, validating your restaurant's quality and trustworthiness. Potential diners are more likely to patronize a restaurant that boasts glowing reviews from others.
  • Building Trust: Reviews offer a glimpse into the real-life experiences of your customers. Showcasing positive reviews allows potential diners to trust that they'll have a delicious and enjoyable dining experience at your restaurant.
  • Addressing Concerns: Negative reviews, while not ideal, can be an opportunity to showcase your commitment to customer satisfaction. By responding promptly and professionally to negative reviews, you demonstrate your dedication to resolving issues and improving your service.
  • A Conversation Starter: Reviews can spark conversation and engagement on your website. Encourage customers to leave reviews and respond to comments, fostering a sense of community and interaction.

Events Calendar: Keep Customers Informed and Engaged

Does your restaurant host special events, themed nights, or cooking classes? An events calendar on your website is a fantastic way to keep potential customers informed and engaged. Use an events page inside Squarespace to showcase any special events or theme nights you’re hosting. These event pages can be easily added to a calendar with a click, and you can feature content blocks like OpenTable, Tock or a custom menu for the event! 

Picking The Perfect Template

Squarespace offers beautiful pre-made templates designed specifically for restaurants, but all of the features mentioned in this article can be added to any site! Here are a few template suggestions that you’ll find in Squarespace, and from talented Squarespace designers:

Proud of your menu? Show it off with Pine: https://pine-fluid-demo.squarespace.com/
Ready for reservations? Tantillo is designed for that: https://tantillo-fluid-demo.squarespace.com/
Have an engaging origin story? Share the savory details in Eldridge: https://eldridge-fluid-demo.squarespace.com/
Show how simple elegance can be stunning with Juniper: https://juniper-fluid-demo.squarespace.com/

If you liked this article, be sure to follow me here on the Squarespace Forum and on my YouTube channel at youtube.com/insidethesquare.

I’ve got a lot more to share about all the creative ways you can make Squarespace uniquely yours, and will be posting often! Next up: photographers, authors, and individual service providers.

Please Share Your Thoughts:
Is there a restaurant tip you want to share, or an epic template we can add to the list?
What industry should we talk about next?
Take a second to let me know - I’m excited to read your thoughts 😊

Edited by inside_the_square

🤓 Creator of InsideTheSquare.co
SQUARESPACE CIRCLE LEADER SQUARESPACE EXPERT SQUARESPACE EMPLOYEE EDUCATOR CERTIFIED CUSTOM CODE EXPERT

🗺️ New to Squarespace? Get your free roadmap: insidethesquare.co/roadmap
🙋‍♀️ New to CSS? Learn the basics for free: insidethesquare.co/learn
️ Ready to go pro? Get my custom code collection: insidethesquare.co/css

 

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