Restaurant Websites: You can do better. Much better.

Listen up, restaurants.

There’s a serious problem with your websites. You lavish attention on the details of food and service, but you put a website out there that would shame a first-year design student with its slow-loading graphics, clunky navigation, and forced downloads. Come on people, first impressions. Don’t you get it?

Here, in no particular order, are our top pet peeves:

Auto-play music: What is this, 1998? That’s the last time that unsolicited music that loaded with a site was kind of fun, kind of novel. Now it’s just annoying.

Flash abuse: You can do the darnedest things with flash these days. Look at all those animated special effects with the twirling, dancing logo. Love the slideshow of  arty closeups. Lucky me with all this time to admire it while I wait for the damned thing to load!

Pre-home page: The home page has finally loaded and I’ll be able to find the information I am looking for. Nope, just a lot of animated frippery and a click to ‘Enter Site.’ I thought that’s what I was doing when I typed the URL and hit ‘enter.’

Hide and seek with the essentials: Don’t make me count off the clicks until I get to the address, phone number, and hours of operation, all scattered throughout the site. Here’s a thought— how about keeping the information together and putting it all on that fancy pre-home page?

The menu: Are you honestly asking me to download a pdf of your menu? It’s not just a nuisance– if I’m on my phone, a metered data plan will make me pay for this privilege.

Get a clue about mobile devices: Hello? Doesn’t anyone in the kitchen have a smartphone?

Clean, fast-loading, logical, easy to navigate, mobility-enabled. Get it?



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7 Responses to Restaurant Websites: You can do better. Much better.

  1. The menu thing is a big one…I hate downloading a pdf from my phone, and many people do not even have the viewing capability…I would count that as a loss of customer:(

  2. Pingback: Best Restaurant Websites | Gigabiting

  3. Totally agree- flash is my number one annoyance. It really makes no difference for me if it’s all glitzy with all kinds of bells and whistles- I just want the info I needed in a simple tasteful presentation- same as the food!

  4. Ditto on the menu with no-prices!

  5. Janice says:

    Indeed, no prices is another pet peeve.

  6. Sam says:

    seconded. however, my one exception: I’d rather have a pdf of the full menu than an HTML menu with no prices
    it may seem mundane, but I’m not going to make a reservation until I know what I’m getting into.

    also: always props for links to yelp and opentable

  7. Lora says:

    well said. that pdf thing drives me nuts especially.

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