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November 21st, 2004

What Every Restaurant Site Should Have

Most restaurants, even small ones, are represented on the web today. And most of them do a really good job in getting across the information that a visitor and potential customer needs. One new restaurant nearby, though, has the world’s worst site, where not even a menu is available online. So, I’ve put together a list of important information for restaurants to make sure they include on their sites.

  • Menu: You wouldn’t put a store online without saying what you sell, right? So you should expect a site visitor to be able to get a full, up-to-date look at your offerings and prices.
  • Directions: There should be a whole extra page dedicated to how to get your eatery. These should be non-Map Quested and offer up directions in conversational tone, complete with information about nearby landmarks and parking. If you’re in the city, include information about public transportation.
  • Photos: I cannot stress how important it is to have professionally shot photos of your restaurant are, inside and out. If your interior decore isn’t terrible interesting, do some artsy shots where the food is in focus in the foreground and the background is out-of-focus.
  • Coupons: Rewards your web visitors, even if it’s just a free dessert or coffee or something.
  • History/Owner info: Give your restaurant a face and explain the background. People are going to be more likely to visit if they feel like they have some inside information.
  • Contact info: It seems obvious, but someone should be checking and replying to your e-mail daily.
  • Online reservations, but…: … only if you’re well-equipped to take them and deal with them.

Am I missing anything?

Posted in Miscellaneous

FROM: Chris
DATE: Sunday November 21, 2004 -- 1:14:43 pm
And if you do post coupons...make sure your staff knows about it. I can't count the number of times I've used a coupon printed off the web and then had to convince the waiter / cashier that it was legit.

Also - child friendliness. When dealing with non-chains it is sometimes difficult to decide if kids are welcome. The kids menu, or an explicit statement on your web site will be helpful.

FROM: Cat [E-Mail]
DATE: Sunday November 21, 2004 -- 1:57:27 pm
Hours! And I'd like the name of the head chef, too--but that's because I'm all snobby and stuff.

FROM: Heather
DATE: Sunday November 21, 2004 -- 7:54:20 pm
Continuing on the subject of coupons, if you do have one and you don’t intend to honor it on certain days and at certain times, state that on them very clearly.

We took a coupon from the web and had our waiter tell us they only accept them Mon-Thurs. between 12-4pm. Since there was nothing printed on the coupon except the words “Good for One Free Brazilian Lemonade” I was a bit peeved when they gave me their above mentioned restrictions…

FROM: ken
DATE: Tuesday November 23, 2004 -- 1:35:34 pm
they should also list what credit cards are accepted.

FROM: Drew
DATE: Saturday April 2, 2005 -- 7:13:26 pm
How healthy is the restaurant and its workers? The health inspector raid the place about avery 2 weeks to see if there are major health risks involved.

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