Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Restaurants' Poor Use of the Web

The Internet can give ordinary people immediate access to valuable, consumer-empowering information. But are restaurants still using the web as if this were 1995?

Unfortunately, the answer to that question is "yes." From what I've seen when I explore restaurant websites, too many restaurants still have outdated menus posted. In recent weeks, I have even found a few upscale eateries with "autumn" menus posted.

Hello? And why haven't restaurants taken the initiative to post their "specials" for lunch and dinner on their websites. In this era of texting and IM-ing, that's not an unrealistic expectation.

I am dining tonight at Blue Duck Tavern, and it would have been nice to be able to peruse the special appetizers and entrees hours before my meal.

Restaurant owners and managers need to understand that diners (especially we "foodies") want more from a website than their street address, their chef de cuisine's bio or the menu they posted on there two months ago.

More restaurants need to provide a means for diners to make online reservations -- or participate in sites like OpenTable.com, which make reserving tables more convenient. As lovely as they may think their recorded phone-music sounds, we are busy people and aren't willing to navigate their automated phone system just to make a rez.

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