When Bad Websites Happen to Good Restaurants


In my job as SacMag’s dining editor, I spend a lot of time looking at local restaurant websites. So I think I’m qualified to say this: Many of them stink. You know which ones I’m talking about: They’re hard to navigate, take forever to load, blast music you don’t want to hear and, worst of all, hide the information you really want to know—namely, the restaurant’s address, phone number and hours. So I came up with a few rules for restaurateurs:
1. First of all, have a website. It’s amazing there are any restaurants left that don’t have one. But there are.
2. Don’t make me click on something to enter the site. I’m there, aren’t I?
3. Put your address and phone number on the home page. Seriously, people, this is the most important information we customers need. Don’t send us on a scavenger hunt.
4. Get rid of the Flash animation. It slooooooows everything down.
5. Turn off the music.
6. Update your menu. I want to know what you’re serving tonight—not last week, last month or (dear God) three years ago.
7. Use old-fashioned text instead of pdfs. It’s easy to read and you don’t have to load it.
8. Put your menu on one page. Don’t make me click around to find appetizers, salads, soups, entrées and desserts.
What about you? What do you think makes for a great restaurant website?