Restaurants just love to put Flash intros with auto-playing music and animations on their front pages. If you are trying to look at one of these sites on your mobile browser without Flash, chances are there is no way to bypass the animation and get to the information you want because the complete site was designed in Flash.
It’s not just these obnoxious animations that make accessing restaurant websites on the go a hassle, though. According to a new study by Restaurant Science, a restaurant industry information and analytics provider, only one out of eight full service restaurant chains and a depressing one out of twenty independent restaurants have a mobile website. What makes this even worse is that according to some reports, half of all visits to restaurant websites are from mobile devices.
Not having a mobile site may be forgivable for some small family businesses (though restaurant chains really should know better at this point), but the bad news doesn’t end there. More than half of the restaurants surveyed in this study didn’t even have a website to begin with (the researchers actually called all these restaurants to make sure they really weren’t online).
What most users – mobile or not – really want from a restaurants site is probably to look at a menu. According to this study, though, fewer than 40% of independent restaurants actually display their menus on their website.
Compared to other businesses, the study argues, restaurants still have a long way to go in using the potential of the Internet. That doesn’t come as a surprise to anybody who has ever tried to use restaurant websites on a mobile phone, but it’s still rather shocking that so many restaurateurs just don’t get how important their websites are for their businesses.