In our review of Capitol, we mentioned how we go there despite the dreadfulness of their website (but you probably missed that bit and cut straight to talking about negronis). What especially is so bad about their site? There’s Flash, contact details hidden, menus embedded that don’t even work properly (can anyone tell me what they serve for brunch? Or how much wines cost?), and in this day and age music that plays automatically. Aaaaaaaaaaaaargh! But of course, Capitol are by no means the only offenders in this area.

When I’m thinking about going somewhere to eat, I want to know a)where they are, b) what times they’re open c) if I need to make a reservation and most importantly d) what food they’re serving. Those should be simple things to find out, right? Wrong.

Feastcraft have a Restaurant Website Drinking Game, and we’re about to get very drunk.

  • Every time your iPhone gives you a lego block “Flash missing” message take a drink. Then call Steve Jobs and tell him what you think of him.
  • If music starts playing automatically – take a drink. Take two if the song is some tired stock “your genre here” song. Take another one if there’s no “mute” button or if there’s one but your selection is not memorized between visits.
  • If there’s a nifty scroller of pictures of food – take a drink. Take two if it’s in Flash.
  • If there’s no text anywhere on the landing page that shows opening hours and location – take a drink. Take two if there’s none anywhere.
  • If there’s no phone number on the front page – take a drink.
  • For any of the following words in the restaurant’s description or “about” page take a drink: seared to perfection, a dream in, French casual, fusion, delectable, eclectic, mouthwatering, seasonal, fresh, gluten free, velvety, succulent, luscious, most wonderful.
  • Find the menu. If it’s in PDF take a drink. If it’s a JPG or PNG and can’t be indexed by search engines take two drinks. Take three drinks if someone just photographed an open menu and posted that picture.
  • If the restaurant wants you to become friends on Facebook take a drink. You’re looking for food, not friends. If the restaurant wants you follow it on Twitter take another drink. Then hunt down and beat up a random “social media consultant”. Have a big gulp if the restaurant <iframe>’d their fanpage somewhere. (Actually, we don’t have such a problem with restaurants on Twitter, because sometimes it’s nice to know the people – but if they ARE going to be on Twitter, they should be responding – ahem Monsoon Poon)
  • If there’s more text about the chef than about the food, take a drink.

TL:DR – Wellington restaurants: please leave the Alistair Coxing to the decor, and get someone more practical to do your websites. Cheers!

So what good restaurants have bad sites? Who’s doing it right? Who’s doing it oh so wrong? Name and shame, people!