People who follow me on Twitter are no stranger to my <140 character rants about restaurant web sites that abuse Flash. Farhad Manjoo at The Slate nails it:

While lots of people have noted the general terribleness of restaurant sites, I haven’t ever seen an explanation for why this industry’s online presence is so singularly bruising. The rest of the Web long ago did away with auto-playing music, Flash buttons and menus, and elaborate intro pages, but restaurant sites seem stuck in 1999. The problem is getting worse in the age of the mobile Web—Flash doesn’t work on Apple’s devices, and while some of these sites do load on non-Apple smartphones, they take forever to do so, and their finicky navigation makes them impossible to use.

This isn’t about being pro-Apple or anti-Adobe. It’s about being pro-useful.

I don’t visit a restaurant’s web site for pleasure. I want the same thing I want at any site: information. Sadly, information just isn’t in the design spec for most restaurant web sites, and I often give up trying to find information within a couple of minutes of arriving—whether I have a device that runs Flash or not.

I can find menu and nutritional information far faster with a simple Google search. Thank God third party sites have filled the HTML void left by the restaurant industry, which still seems content spending small fortunes on Flash-drunk web designers who build web-based cartoons.

(H/t to Andy Howard)