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What's wrong with restaurant websites: an example

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morimotorestaurant.com

 

This is THE Morimoto, not some little dumpy pretender.

 

You'd think era of this stuff was long gone, but it lives on in lots of restaurants. I blame consultants.

 

What's wrong?

 

Music-NSFW use

Splash page-irritating

Multiple clicks just to get through the dinner menu

Tiny font- try reaqding this on a mobile

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Most websites suck.

 

Get rid of the stupid landing page and put the most important stuff (menu) on the first, and preferably only, page.

Most restaurants don't need more than one page.


Edited by DiggingDogFarm (log)
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~Martin :)

"Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, self-reliant homesteader, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse, curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!"

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it! 

 

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morimotorestaurant.com

 

This is THE Morimoto, not some little dumpy pretender.

 

You'd think era of this stuff was long gone, but it lives on in lots of restaurants. I blame consultants.

 

What's wrong?

 

Music-NSFW use

Splash page-irritating

Multiple clicks just to get through the dinner menu

Tiny font- try reaqding this on a mobile

 

I agree with your comments about this site.  Irritating ... the music is distracting as are the images moving around the page.  I like a simple, direct site, easy to read, and with nice sized, contrasty type.  However, there is a direct link to the dinner menu:  www.morimotorestaurant.com/dinner.pdf


Edited by Shel_B (log)
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 ... Shel


 

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Most websites suck.

 

Get rid of the stupid landing page and put the most important stuff (menu) on the first, and preferably only, page.

Most restaurants don't need more than one page.

 

I don't mind seeing pics of the restaurant - it's sometimes helpful if you've not been to the place before.  And it's definitely helpful to have a page for the address, phone, hours of operation, and maybe directions or a map.  The directions and map came in handy when Toots and I went to a new place up in Lake Tahoe last month on our vacation.  Pictures of the place were also welcome as I was looking for a certain atmosphere and setting, as well as good food and service.


 ... Shel


 

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I agree with your comments about this site.  Irritating ... the music is distracting as are the images moving around the page.  I like a simple, direct site, easy to read, and with nice sized, contrasty type.  However, there is a direct link to the dinner menu:  www.morimotorestaurant.com/dinner.pdf

This link is nice as far as it goes, but it would be more effective as a web page in html. When I see that 'pdf' extension, I know I'm going to have to go through an extra download step before I can open and read the thing. That may not apply to every web browser, but it applies to mine.

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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This link is nice as far as it goes, but it would be more effective as a web page in html. When I see that 'pdf' extension, I know I'm going to have to go through an extra download step before I can open and read the thing. That may not apply to every web browser, but it applies to mine.

 

Agreed.  Much prefer the HTML page, for several reasons ...


 ... Shel


 

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My smartphone pulls up the mobile version of the website and I have to say I think it's pretty good - links to menu, reservations and directions all on first page - no scrolling necessary. 

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The meal was very good. Tempura rock shrimp with a hint of orange, wagyu dumplings, Miso black cod, Duck, duck, duck,  wasabi rice, Yuzu meringue tart.

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It's hard to believe web design and web sites were in their infancy just 20 years ago.  It was something new as anyone could do it

if they had the skills.  Back then it was HTML and note pad and the sites were mostly black and white.

 

But as Photoshop, Digital Cameras, Scanners, and other wizard-work software evolved just about everybody and his dog were

cranking out sites with little understanding of what they were doing in this "power to the people" movement.

 

Some of the best web designers & developers I've met understand HTML 5 and CSS3 and have no issues with WYSIWYG web editors like "Dream Weaver".  Before the internet arrived these people worked in Photography, Technical Writing, Graphic Design,

Print Publication and even had business marketing experience. 

 

There are all kinds of "artsie" types out there.  Just visit an Art Museum and you can see where their minds are.  Unfortunately

this has carried over tot the technology of Web Design.   Who can forget the "Dancing Hamsters" site in the late 90's. I've seen a reliance on "Templates" in so many sites and shudder at the Photoshopped collages where I've seen shadows actually running towards the light source.

 

I'd say anyone wanting a web site should be able to sketch out the 5W's the Newspapers relied on.  The Who, What,Where,Why,

and When.  Who we are,  What we offer, Where we are located, Why we pursue this kind of dining experience, and our hours.

This can be done with one page, a Photo of the front of the establishment and parking lot, and a Google Map screen shot or two that show where it in in the area and a close up which shows the access from a main highway or interstate.  The rest can be the current menu, At the bottom of the menu there could be some encouragement to the view to check back often as the menu changes frequently.  Of course those things which are daily standards or specialties of the house could be indicated in the menu.

 

When you consider something that is "The Straight Skinny" it is a refined essence and  it's harder to do than it looks.  This is where those with the experience I mentioned above can make the cut and the others are producing pages of nothing of interest to the customers.

 

Just my thoughts. 

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This is something that really bugs me. 

 

There are many truly hideous or dysfunctional restaurant websites.  Especially at the top end of the restaurant scale.

 

The thing is the owners know nothing about web design so they hand the job over to "web developers". "Web developers" are generally tasteless geeks who like to throw in every trick they have recently learned, whether it is appropriate or not.

 

Landing pages which only say "Enter Site" should be a hanging offence. That was what I was trying to do before you got in my way.

Excessive "Flash" and Javascript left, right and centre. Grrrr!

I have a strict policy of never employing "web developers" who just want to show off (while not realising that what they are showing off is utter crap) or "programmers"" who are even worse.

 

Get a designer with marketing skills then give a precise brief to the site developers and don't allow any deviation.

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At least there is a menu. I understand that for some restaurants, the menu changes regularly (although, realistically, they usually have a pool of 'base' dishes from which they spin off many a riff) and that maybe they don't want to futz around updating the website on a daily/weekly basis, but really. A menu, even one a few weeks old--i.e. one branded, clearly, as a 'sample'--gives me an idea of the price point and the sort of food I might find if I walked in for lunch today. It's bewildering how many websites still manage to tick all of those horrid boxes: no menu, difficult-to-find location details (i.e. if I need to click half a dozen times to get the address, you're doing something wrong), a booking page that directs me to the phone or regular email. Or, you know, some fruity proprietary e-booking system that ... doesn't ... fucking ... work.

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Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org

 

I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between

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I'm not a fan of websites with a bunch of unnecassery stuff. But, I much rather go to those websites than those without useful information. Websites without menus are annoying, but not as annoying as the ones that don't even have opening hours listed! :angry:

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I would not be going there based on the website because I was unable to read it.  Typeface too small and also a difficult font.  Not to mention the fact that things were zooming around.  So unpleasant that it needed to be closed.  Then there was the very irritating music...

 

But perhaps we aging boomers are not the target customers for this restaurant. 

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Then there are the websites where you wade though the mud about their "concept". The concept is you are a restaurant! My "concept" is I want food. Pretentious gits. 

 

Then they provide a sample menu which you are unlikely to ever see in the actual restaurant. But omit the prices.

 

Grrrr!

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In the past some Web Designers used Dreamweaver and set their clients up with Adobe contribute so they could upgrade certain

parts of their site themselves.  Such as the menu for that day or week etc.  Rather handy if someone associated with the Restaurant

had the skills to use "Contribute" to make those updates.  Thus the Web Master wasn't  constantly having to do those updates.

 

But with Dreamweaver CS7 and Muse (which replaced Contribute as I understand)  there had been some issues.  But the concept

was ideal.  Those involved with updating the site would have areas in the site to add or delete information to keep the site current.

 

It has been mentioned regarding the aging population who have the money to dine out but lack the vision to read small type or flashy type faces,   The graphics designers I've spoken to say never more than 3 type faces to be used in any composition. 

Type faces should be clean, crisp, and readable at a glance.  If the eye is confused it will want to look away.  Perhaps tot he Restaurant down the street with a better designed site. 

 

All the site needs to do is attract the customer to the business.  Those with sales experience know better than to over-sell.  This is probably the root of the problem with so many sites.   It also has to be remembered that so many of the older set don't really know how to tuse the GUI of their browser.  (Internet Explorer and Firefox dominate the browser usage)  They don't know hot to click

"View" and drop down to "Zoom In"  and enlarge the point size of the type so they can read it. 

 

I see so many older seniors now days using smart phones and iPhones with confidence.  They are "mobile" with broadband and

they may be the ones leading their less computer literate friends to the restaurants.   So having a site that plays well with the Cell's has to considered. 

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Agree fully. The rules for a restaurant website should be:

 

1. Eliminate splash pages (and music - good god)

2. Hours

3. Address

4. Phone number

5. Reservation link / email address

6. Menus and wine list

7. Photos of the interior

 

All of 2-5 should be clearly and immediately accessible from the home page - ideally listed directly on the home page.

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Here's what I think (my personal opinion) is one of the most useless and pretentious websites.  IMO it is even worse than what it was a couple of years ago, because even the gallery of "sketches" of some dishes (by the chef-proprietor) appear to have disappeared.  There were people who defended it as reflective of the philosophy etc of the chef (and who had, of course, eaten there and communed with the chef) and who had written verbiose & gushing reviews of the place and food.

 

That place is one of those "high-end" places referred to by another poster here (and, in fact, is regarded by some as the best "Frenchie" place in that nation)

 

On this side of the world, the website for Le Bernardin is one that I don't mind, as one example, if we are talking "high-end" places, even if it does have flash content.

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It also has to be remembered that so many of the older set don't really know how to tuse the GUI of their browser.  (Internet Explorer and Firefox dominate the browser usage)  They don't know hot to click

"View" and drop down to "Zoom In"  and enlarge the point size of the type so they can read it. 

 

 

This.  I do know how to enlarge the type but I mostly won't bother to do it unless I REALLY want to see something.  Usually a too small font or a difficult to read design (white on black, anyone? my eyes strobe) causes an instant backout.   If the market is hip 20-somethings, then fine, be crazy.  But if the market includes older folks, test out the design on a few people with older eyes, or use a designer who knows. 

 

 

ETA:  And Huiray, that Andre website is AMAZING.  Didn't even realize it was a restaurant until I somehow managed to click on a picture of some guys working in the kitchen.  As to what is served at Andre, apparently it's bull puckeys. 


Edited by SylviaLovegren (log)

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ETA:  And Huiray, that Andre website is AMAZING.  Didn't even realize it was a restaurant until I somehow managed to click on a picture of some guys working in the kitchen.  As to what is served at Andre, apparently it's bull puckeys. 

 

 

Link.

 

:-) 

 

p.s. If your menu changes daily or weekly or whenever, it still is VERY useful to show representative dishes of the sort you would serve and the price points of such dishes. Declare them SAMPLES.  Hiding behind the facade of "oh, everything changes daily" is NOT an acceptable excuse for not displaying some sort of menu.

 

ETA:  And no, I REALLY do not want to do browser maneuvers and whatnot to "read" your fanciful webpage.  K.I.S.S. is still a very good operating principle.  I want to see the basic required information on a non-moving non-mutating front page when I go to your website.  Anything else speaks to the fanciful bloated notions of the web developers preening and ruffling their feathers.


Edited by huiray (log)

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I'm just curious - how old are you, ChefPip?  Do you have customers who are older than you?  Does the term "old fogeys" occur in the daily discussion?


Edited by huiray (log)

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I'm at a mature age. :laugh:   My cafe is located in an Appalachian Heritage Park and people who visit are those with an interest

in "older" things.  They bring their kids and grand kids to this "Time Machine" to show them how their older relatives lived and what they had when building the community they are growing up in..  Imagine something like "Colonial Williamsburg, Va".

Special event weekends are held such as the "Cast Iron Cookoff" held recently to showcase Pioneer Cooking techniques.

This helps to attract people of various ages.  I have culinary students helping out from local schools during these events. 

 

Yes, I have customers who are much older than I am.  This is why my menu is a revival of the Pre Fast Food restaurant fare similar to that of the 40's and 50's. 

 

"Old Fogeys" isn't as common as hearing, "I feel like a kid again"..   And there is the constant buzz about the things that they see

here that they haven't seen since childhood.

 

One of the assets I have is the team of researchers associated with this operation who look for old recipes & menu's to go with

the database I've been building for the past decade.  We have older IT people and web masters who bring a lot of experience to the table.  Some of these same people wear "Period Costume" and also work as artisans.

 

My goal is to offer cuisine that can't be found within a 50 mile radius so that those who visit can have a dining experience on par with their tour of the park. 

 

Now, I'm not a big Android user, but I see so many of these older folks toting Smart Phones and Tablets that it surprises me.

Especially when I see tablet users on the Net and I realize someone is sharing their Cell as a WIFI node.

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Okay I might get bashed for this BUT I think its a GUY THANG.

Women are more logical...

 

Case in point, my Fathers best friend married his sister. They had 4 kids. One son was one of the big computer whizzes of the 80's

Computer whiz had a son who also loves computers.

My uncle had one of the most successful restaurants in my area.

Guess who did the MASSIVE and COMPLICATED website?

Son of ComputerWhiz.

 

I think they wanna show their internet muscles and bravado...meanwhile all diners want is to see the menu, directions and the phone number


Wawa Sizzli FTW!

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Okay I might get bashed for this BUT I think its a GUY THANG.

Women are more logical...

 

Case in point, my Fathers best friend married his sister. They had 4 kids. One son was one of the big computer whizzes of the 80's

Computer whiz had a son who also loves computers.

My uncle had one of the most successful restaurants in my area.

Guess who did the MASSIVE and COMPLICATED website?

Son of ComputerWhiz.

 

I think they wanna show their internet muscles and bravado...meanwhile all diners want is to see the menu, directions and the phone number

n-1=0

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Could be the incest!

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Any REALLY good restaurant websites that y'all can share? 

I'm tellin' ya they all suck!   :wink:


~Martin :)

"Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, self-reliant homesteader, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse, curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!"

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it! 

 

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