Best Restaurant Websites

And the winner is….

We know what we don’t like in restaurant website design: graphics that are slow to load; music that’s on auto-play; clunky navigation that plays hide-and-seek with the information we’re looking for.

Here’s what we want: clean, uncluttered design; fast-loading graphics; logical navigation that brings us to the content.

Every once in a while a restaurant gets it right. It delivers a website that is both attractive and functional, and even works on mobile devices. After last week’s drubbing, when we looked at the worst of the online offenses committed in the name of restaurant marketing, it’s only fair that we give equal time to recognizing the restaurants that do it best.

Four and Jack Astors are both part of the SIR Corp. restaurant group. With 45 properties, their websites are a tad formulaic, but it’s a formula that works. All benefit from good design and ease of use. The aesthetics vary, but always with a little visual fillip— the clever tour through Jack Astor, the movement of the flowers and flames on Four’s splash page.

Another Canadian made the cut– Pizzaza– love those sliders. We will even forgive the cardinal sin of menus without prices.

Mellow Mushroom does so much so well. It’s logically arranged, the audio and video is at the user’s discretion, and the graphics are so darn clever that we’re willing to forgive some slow page-loading.

It’s a Mexican restaurant in Lower Saxony, umlauts and all. Nuevo’s website is colorful, dynamic, and easily navigable; even without knowing a word of German.

Germany’s  Hoddows Gastwerk is just so simple and beautiful.

You have to appreciate a ‘dueling piano bar’ that resists the temptation to load some music on their website. We also salute Iowa’s Blue Moon for allowing us to view the menu on the site or downloaded as a pdf.

Yo Sushi won this year’s Webby Award honoring internet excellence. Check out all of the nominees and winners at the Webby website.

101 Best Websites is a showcase site featuring the best designed websites from around the world. You can submit and vote for your favorites sites, and see the latest tallies as they continually update charts of the top 101 sites in various categories.

Restaurant Websites: You can do better. Much better summarizes our thoughts on the subject.

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4 Responses to Best Restaurant Websites

  1. the best restaurants usually serve super delicious foods at a very low price ..

  2. Great post and some good choices here:)

  3. Very good observation. Most restaurants develop websites just because everybody’s doing it. Do they really need a website? Probably not. But I don’t ignore the fact that social networking websites like facebook, twitter, or myspace are flooded with potential customers. It’s a good thing to know that restaurant owners are really stepping out of their comfort zone and utilizing social networking sites to get more business.

  4. This is great info on different styles of web design! I like Hoddows Gastwerk’s and Four’s the best.

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