I was reading through some of my news-y blogs today and came across a post from The Atlantic's Andrew Sullivan titled "Awful Restaurant Web Sites". He referenced a post by a Julian Sanchez, a D.C.-based writer that covers the interesection of privacy, technology, and politics.
His entire article is centered around the question: Why ARE restaurant web sites so bad? You can read the article here, but Sanchez raises a good pont -- how come restaurant often showcase "glitzy bells and whistles" at the expense of usability?
We are bombarded everyday with website content: different layouts, designs, forms, ads, videos, and more. Some blast music automatically while others obnoxiously clutter the page with Flash and animation. Sure, it's great to catch the attention of a potential or loyal customer when they're surfing the web. But more often than not, people are looking for simplicity and functionality. They want to easily be able to find your menu, hours, address, contact info, and any specials.
If you are having your website built or simply getting a facelift, be sure to integrate all of the social networks in which you have a presence: Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Urbanspoon, YouTube, etc. Place an icon on your homepage or even embed a Twitter or Facebook stream. And remember that your website should be the hub of your online presence - with your online social networks directing people to it to sign up for a newsletter, texting service, or other means of interaction.
It's safe to say that if people outside the industry notice how far behind restaurants are on the web, you can be sure customers notice the very same thing. With all of the ideas, innovation, and collective genius here on FohBoh, there's no reason for your website to be the ugly duckling. In the comment section, share some of the best restaurant websites you've seen across the web!