OK restaurant owners (and takeaways / hotels / bars etc.) I recently read a guide to website design for the hospitality industry and to be honest it was absolute rubbish and didn’t list any really important elements needed on a restaurant website.
So as a regular user and often frustrated customer (and because it’s Friday) here’s a totally unscientific list of my pet hates about the websites you hope will attract my custom:
- Doesn’t work on a mobile phone – yes even though more searches and bookings are now done on smartphones and tablets than on desktop machines, hundreds of websites still aren’t designed for mobile use. My eyes aren’t great, don’t make me read your website in a nasty shrunken version of what it would look like if I happened to have my PC with me. It doesn’t make commercial sense either and it doesn’t cost very much to have your designer put one together for you.
- Designed to frustrate all users – if I can’t find the menu / address / table booking form because I have to hunt through some beautiful but ultimately annoying graphics I will book elsewhere. I want to look at the food / prices / interior more than I do your branding so make it a nice looking site by all means, but don’t go mental.
- Crop marks are for printers – if you don’t’ know what crop marks are there’s a picture on the right, they’re the little marks around the edge of the page. When you have your menu designed, they will be there for the printer to know where to cut etc. Please don’t put your menus online like that – ask your designer to give you a pdf that works online – it will take them a few minutes to do. And please make the pages work for viewing online – don’t make me rotate my head through 180 degrees because that’s how it’s going to be printed as a folded takeaway menu.
- Turn it to silent – that music you are autoplaying is horrible and annoying. It slows down your website, is useless on a mobile and attracts no one but the criminally insane. On the upside though at least you can tell what your colleagues/staff are really doing at work on a Friday.
- Authentic / Award Winning – If you’ve won something good then tell me about it, but there aren’t enough awards in the world to fill all the claims people make. And as for “Authentic” this can apply to anything, but is usually applied to Chicken Tikka Masala or some other made-up dish. Please tell me about your ingredients, chef, cooking style, that’s all good, but drop the authenticity claims.
As I said this is very much personal opinion, so please feel free to share your pet hates below and I will publish them (if they’re clean). Then we can improve the viewing / deciding / booking experience for everyone.