Restaurant Website Pet Peeves

1. Places with a MySpace page as their home page. Get off your duff, buy a domain and throw something real up there already! I don’t care who has friended you or who comments on your page.

2. Sites with pseudocool trance music that can’t be turned off easily. I’d prefer no music at all, but if it’s there then please let me shut it off with a simple click from any page within the site.

3. Cutesy flash animations and navigation, particularly when they don’t work properly with Firefox. This is less of a problem lately, but it still happens.

4. Burying the phone number and address on the Contact Us page, rather than listing it at the top or bottom of each page like it should be.

5. No information about the chef. I don’t want to have to call to get the name of whoever is running the kitchen. To me, this sort of omission says the restaurant is not a serious venture when it comes to food.

6. No prices on the menu, or, worse, no menu but instead a brief description of two or three “typical” or “signature” dishes. (This is a big issue I have with Disney dining. We’re going later this summer, and yes, I know to look for menus at allearsnet, but f’real…why is it so hard to throw up a sample menu on the Web?)

7. No ability to reserve online. I often remember to make a reservation around dinner time, which is a terrible time to call a restaurant (I know, I’ve worked in them before)–or sometimes I’ll think about doing it when I can’t sleep at night, or early in the morning when a place that isn’t open for lunch might not have anybody hanging around to answer the phone. Ideally, restaurants use OpenTable reservations…but nobody in Shepherdstown or Frederick where we do most of our dining does this. At the very least, give me a form to fill out and send you with my reservation request if you’re not going to go with an OT-type system.

What are your pet peeves when it comes to restaurant websites?

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