Archive for July 9th, 2007

Restaurant websites often undercooked

152 Aldeburgh – Tel: 01728 454594

Why sub-editing or (even a spell-checker!) is important… I hope their cooking is better than their spelling (and it’s good according to this). The missing hyphen is forgivable*, but a restaurant that can’t spell restaurant! First impressions and all that…

Also the wines page could do with a spruce-up, as it currently says ‘Andrew recommends…… House wines.”

It’s a shame that after almost 10 years of the ‘digital age’ in the UK most small businesses still suffer from poor web presence. That’s fine when you run a hardware store or MOT garage where people just need your name, location, opening hours, and a phone number, but restaurants should make a little more effort. After all, they’re selling an emotional experience and the promise of a good time. Small places like this are often labours of love with a single owner – what Americans would call ‘Mom and Pop’ places. If you go in most nights you’ll see the owners working there. It’s this personality that more smaller operators should make more of, I think, even if it’s a big cheesy grin photo and some nice welcoming words.

Here’s the website for the Hungry Monk in Jevington, Sussex. Whilst it’s not going to win any design award and hardly uses cutting-edge web tech, it does have all you need to get a sense of the place. Address, directions, reviews, menus, prices, and some images of where you’ll be eating.

For bigger, more urban places, there’s other things you can do to capture web users. Restaurant Magazine had an article on restaurant podcasts and blogs the other month – even if it’s your head chef chatting about what’s in season, or taking a delivery from a supplier, or the head waiter talking about a visit from a celeb. Yes, it’s a lot more effort than having a continuing ad in the local rag… but those days are gone.

*A friend once saw ‘Hand cut skin on chips’ on a menu, all without hyphens.

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These are my personal views and not those of Channel 4 or the BBC
July 2007
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