Restaurants, we love you. But your websites? Often, not so much. We lunge to mute your automatic music, especially at work. We skip to Yelp in an attempt to find your hours, and to Google to find a clickable phone number. We know you want to set the mood, but we don’t need an entire virtual dining experience—If we wanted that, we’d watch Guy Fieri. We just wanna get the 411. Here are some things we like not to find:
That’s what we thought we were doing when we went to your URL. Don’t keep us waiting behind a velvet rope by making us click again.
How big is your menu, exactly? Or is my computer just not hip enough to eat there?
Hitting mute within 2 seconds of hearing music (no matter how good it is) disables our alerts; jump to another tab to escape it and it starts playing again when you least expect it (No, no!). One local restaurant that shall remain nameless has taken this to another level by playing a recording of the dining room’s din and clatter. Check please!
Mobile websites’ standard “menu” button can cause confusion. Are we clicking on the website’s menu, or the dinner menu? And great as your fall 2012 menu was, we’d rather see your current one on your website than hunt it down on MenuPages, Facebook, or Zagat (or hope someone posted a photo on Yelp). And why not include all menus—cocktails, kids’, dessert? Bonus points for daily specials (in a scrolling Twitter feed, for instance).
Looping photos and pages
A picture is worth, well, you know. But not when it becomes a game of catch-me-if-you can. Just the other day, I sat through a maddening series of looping dinner-menu pages that could neither be halted nor read quickly enough.
Will we someday routinely place orders online when making reservations? Does anyone want to?