Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Restaurants' Unwieldy Websites

Restaurant websites are my latest gripe. Too many of them are so Flash-heavy that it takes much too long for them to load. In addition, one usually needs to click past the landing page because it only provides a pretty "concept" image, instead of helpful links.

I sympathize with Jennifer Maiser who wrote this post at Bay Area Bites about restaurant websites that were far too theatrical:

A couple of days ago, a friend was asking me for a restaurant recommendation. Easy task, I thought. I had some restaurants in mind and just needed to check and see if they were open and send her the websites. What should have been a 5-minute email turned into a half-hour nightmare as I slogged through websites that are more intent on impressing me with movies, music, and other annoyances than on giving me direct information.

But my biggest beef with restaurant websites is that so many of them aren't updated regularly. Several of the wines shown on their online wine list are gone. They display menu items that have been replaced. Just a few weeks ago (late May), I was stunned to find a menu with what were obviously autumn dishes on it (hearty entrees, root vegetables, etc.).

Are these outdated websites the result of cutbacks in restaurant staff? Maybe. But it shouldn't be that tough for a restaurant to periodically update its website. The wine list isn't such a big deal, but menu items shown on a website should all be current.

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