When you read as many restaurant industry bloggers and commenters as I do, you notice a common theme. Everyone hates most restaurant websites. They complain about everything from the flash animation to the lack of availability of pertinent information. There are many complaints out there. I have even added to the list. This made for an interesting challenge when I was asked to build the website for a Kansas City Steakhouse.
I should start out by noting that it was not difficult for the owner to contact me. He signs my paychecks, I take his calls. It also explains why I really disliked the previous website. I felt like the restaurant was underserved by the website he had up. Almost from my first day I was bringing up the idea of changing the website. When he gave me the opportunity, I jumped at the chance to build something I think better represented the restaurant.
Most of the local readers of this blog are familiar with The Majestic Restaurant. It is truly classic Kansas City Steakhouse. This became the focus of the design. I also wanted to accent the live Kansas City Jazz and the quality of the Kansas City Steaks. These are the things The Majestic is known for. What most people don’t know is the history of the building. In the process of writing about that, I found some great information on the history of downtown Kansas City. I think it is a good read for anyone looking for a quick primer on the Quality Hill/ Garment District area.
All of this is nice, but it doesn’t solve any of the complaints most people have about the functionality of restaurant websites. For this I went to some of the harshest restaurant website critics in town. The DLC and Meesha were both incredibly helpful with this project. I sent them preview versions and they told me why it still failed. They are the reason you can find the hours, address, phone number, and reservation link on every page.
For the jazz lovers, you can find a jazz calendar on the site as well as videos from the Kansas City Jazz Club. For the lovers of fine beef, you can find a number of pages of great steak information. Love whiskey, there is a complete listing of the 100+ whiskeys available. Want to pick out a wine in advance so you can look like an expert? The entire wine list is online. Do you love it when your phone freezes because you tried to open a pdf file? Too bad. The website contains no pdf files. All the pages are composed of real live searchable html.
So now it is time to face the public. I feel like a food critic opening his first restaurant. I have mocked many restaurants’ websites. I am now opening myself up for the criticism. Take a look and tell me what you think. I can still improve upon it. What would you do to make it an even better restaurant website?