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Sep 4, 2011 07:35 AM

restaurant websites...

i had the goldberg variations playing as i clicked on a few restaurant websites only to be greeted -- well, assaulted really -- by music blasting at full volume, and no immediate visible way to turn it off.

probably not a problem specific to boston or restaurant. but seriously, an i the only one annoyed beyond all reason by this? i ready to make this a deal breaker.

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  1. I'm annoyed at ANY website that does this. Makes you wonder what they are thinking - went to one yesterday (forgot what restaurant it was) that had the music AND some nifty (sarcasm here) flash thingy that would twirl for each thing you clicked, while the background stayed the same (and the music blasted away). Great way to wake up family members at 1 am in the morning... not entirely a deal breaker for me, but I might not bother after an particularly annoying online experience.

    Makes you wonder if these companies employ their 13 year old relatives to do their websites, lol..

    7 Replies
    1. re: threedogs

      This is one of my favorites peeves.

      When I visit a resto web site, I want full complete information as quickly as possible. And I want it in a format - - not flash junk or pdf etc. - - that allows me to cut and paste it into a file of my own so that I can conveniently save different resto info in one simple document. And I want this info in one swell foop. That means not being forced into endless clicking rituals to move from one page to another, loading useless garbage in the process. That means in simple cut and pasteable format.

      Resto Name
      Phone number
      Hours of operation

      Complete menu (wine and drinks included) with prices.

      Reviews are optional.
      Photos are optional
      Music is forbidden!!!!!

      Why should this be so difficult to provide?

      1. re: VivreManger

        I totally agree!! With the smaller restaurants, like I said - I figure they are having their teenage relatives doing the sites. But the larger, more professional ones? Why don't they understand that this is just as important as the dining experience? (and that's a rhetorical question... of course).

        To keep this thread from being kicked off of the Boston site - does anyone know of any GOOD local restaurant websites they like?

        1. re: threedogs

          Coppa is one place that listened to complaints about their flash site, redesigned it and added a mobile site.


          253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118

          1. re: BostonZest

            Smart restaurant - and good site, btw. Another pet peeve of mine are restaurants who have their menu in pdf form ONLY. I hate the surprise of downloading when I think I'm just going to a page with the simple info. Now it doesn't take much effort to put the menu in my computer trash, but still - it's annoying. Heck, I'm just trying to figure out if I want to eat there, not marry the place!

        2. re: VivreManger

          i LOL at "one swell foop." i was so incensed that i typed "an i" when i meant "am i." and, i'm in total agreement about flash and pdf.

          for the record, it was cuchi cuchi and strega that got on my last nerve this morning.

          1. re: wonderwoman

            Another annoying site is Macchu Pichu, particularly the full-menu restaurant as opposed to the far better grilled chicken branch across the street. Their web site had a full length tourist advert for Peru with all the bells and whistles.

            For what it is worth last time I checked the site was down.

            1. re: VivreManger

              The website is down now - - they must have heard you.

      2. The original comment has been removed
        1. I documented a handful of most-annoying sins that Boston-area restaurant websites commit from a design, usability, and technical perspective, with a few illustrative examples for each, in a popular blog piece I did last year. The highlights of my "10 Critical Website Mistakes That Boston Restaurants Make":

          * Unwanted music: Da Vinci, Tapeo.

          * Failure to work well on smartphones, usually due to excessive use of Flash: Toro, Coppa

          * Lack of essential information on the homepage and throughout the site: address, hours, phone number, online reservations link: Meritage, Blue Ginger

          * Lack of current menu, wine list, cocktail list: Olives

          * Lack of menu prices: L'Espalier, Locke-Ober

          * Hard to use navigation controls, like little sliders you have to drag to move around: all of Barbara Lynch's restaurant websites

          * Overuse of videos and busy animations: Strega, Via Matta

          * Menus available only as big .pdf's you have to download: Miel, Skipjack's

          * Menus that are split up over multiple pages: Oishii Boston, Bokx 109

          * Use of pop-up windows to display key information: Mooo....

          * Forced browser window resizing: Eastern Standard.

          I wrap up saying that "restaurants should keep their websites lean, clean, fast-loading, and easy to navigate, especially from mobile platforms. Useful exemplars of this less-is-more sensibility include O Ya, Craigie On Main, and T.W. Food."

          1 Reply
          1. re: MC Slim JB


            Your list needs a minor update. :)

            The Coppa site has since been updated with a new mobile version and a completely flashless desktop version. It should be working fine on any smartphone, but if you find any issues with the mobile version, please let me know - I'll be happy to fix it.


          2. this topic has been around since they started putting up websites...
            flash,music and ginormous menus in pdf only format are the three top peeves usually