Slate’s Farhad Manjoo recently wrote a scathing takedown of the state of restaurant industry websites. He summed up the common user experience when visiting restaurant sites: awful house music, confusing Flash-heavy navigation, lack of basic information such as prices and hours, and cringe-worthy design flaws.
Effective public relations means taking advantage of every communications tool and resource available, and the top draw these days is the client’s website. For any established restaurant looking to stay relevant, or new restaurant fighting for distinction, the website will almost always be the first place any interested media turn to for more information.
No doubt, the temptation is to make a restaurant website slick, Flash-y (forgive the pun), maybe mysterious to appeal to cosmopolitan senses. Our advice? Don’t be a lemming – ignore the urge to create a website that’s a maze of cheesy sound effects and many-layered drop menus.
Critics, diners, event planners, investors, and other interested audiences don’t have much patience when it comes to getting restaurant information. Appreciate the communications value of the restaurant website and remember the point of the online storefront: to bring business through your doors!