Business websites without the info — why bother?

Rocky & Carlo's Restaurant, Chalmette, Louisia...

Rocky & Carlo’s Restaurant, Chalmette, Louisiana Menu board. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve been increasingly bugged for some time by the odd phenomenon of multiple local business web sites that fail to provide basic information like where they are, days and hours of operation and the phone number.

I don’t know about everybody else, but if I’m bothering to look up a business web site those are the main pieces of information I’m looking for.  And it’s astonishing how many local businesses fail to provide some or all of those things.

Among the restaurants offering location, phone and hours of operation many bury it somewhere.  I often have to follow every link on the site to hit a page with that info — usually on a seemingly unrelated page.  If you can’t be bothered to put your most crucial info on the front page of the site, why not at least give “Location and Hours” its own tab?

The big culprits I run into often are restaurants and they have a couple more regular failures.  If I’m not trying to find out what time they close, the phone number for reservations or to get the address to mapquest I’m probably trying to look at the menu.  Most of the local places put menus up.  But they put up the first menu they ever have and then six revised menus later, the original menu is still the one on line.

One local place for some years had a special early menu. This particular menu stayed exactly the same the whole time they had it — a good deal for an appetizer, a smaller-than-usual entree and a dessert and you had set choices for each.  This special menu was NEVER mentioned on their web site.  The same restaurant also had weekly specials.  A small menu printed up each week and the same specials offered every day.

Never were the specials added to the web site.  And this is true of every local restaurant with which I’m familiar that offers specials:  NEVER listed let alone updated on the web site.  Maybe I’m unusual for this, but if they did keep the specials updated, I’d check and often choose one place over another because of something on special.

A number of my favorite places offer seasonal menus, so every three months the menu has some changes.  Do they ever update the web site to let you know what they are?  You got it — never.

If they don’t have a web site in order to let customers know any crucial information about their business and they can’t be bothered to update the site to keep customers informed of what’s new, what’s the point of having one?  What am I missing?

I know I’m usually one of Thoreau’s crowd, marching to some different drum.  But on this am I so far off the mainstream that I’m just missing something?  When you look up a business on line what information are you trying to get?  Do your local businesses provide you with what you want to know?