Riddle me that


Two things still puzzle me, one of which is check writing.

The other is the sad little world of virtual restaurants.

storehours.jpgI live much of my life online these days. Stupid videos, social networking (a fancy term for stupid browsing and stupid videos), promoting events, looking up various data scraps, etc.

Thankfully, many businesses have recognized the value of having an online presence.

That includes restaurants and bars, though one minor detail that escapes their attention haunts my cyberjourneys.

They forget to post their hours.

How hard it to punch 33 extra keys? “Hours 11-9 Tue-Th / 11-mid F-Sat.”

The difficult part should’ve been registering the domain name, shopping for a host, designing the template, coding the Web pages and testing the overall site. Turns out, the biggest hurdle it remembering to tell people when you’re open.

Three out of five restaurants fail within the first three years — one in four in the first year alone. I’m sure very few of them are related to hungry people not knowing when, or even what day, they can visit.

I don’t even like the cutesy “open 5 till whenever” or even “5 till …” What, 5 till 5:15, you lazy fucks. Or is it 5 till 4 in the morning?!

And I don’t like picking up the phone. I went to the trouble to Google your site. I’m now on your site. I’m not going to take the phone number provided there to listen to some surly manager or dumbass busboy shout to someone else, “WHAT ARE OUR HOURS?”

Nor am I going to e-mail you for the hours. What are you kidding me??

Go look up 10 restaurants or bars that spring to mind. Did you find the hours without clicking through several screens? Were they posted at all?

They’ll post the menu. They’ll post uninteresting promo copy about the chef who won’t be there on the night you visit. They’ll post photos of empty dining rooms and perfect candlelit tables.

But they won’t post the hours.

I like to eat out. I don’t like to drive to a restaurant, only to find the lights out and the doors locked. Because a hungry me is a mean me.

The really sad part is that any restaurant, any business can put up a Web page with its domain name for under $10 a year. You don’t need a specialist, or a degree in computer science.

You end up with this little info page that is available around the clock for people to stumble upon, with your address, phone number, e-mail, type of food, and if you wanna get fancy, PDF menu and links to reviews.

And, if for some crazy reason, you’d like people to come while you’ve got servers all dressed up and food cooked for consumption, you’ll post your hours.

Otherwise, your open and close times will end up being one and the same.


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