Pet Peeve #68: When Restaurants Don’t Update Their Online Menus

I rarely post pet peeves anymore, as I’d much rather talk about things I love or am fascinated by than things that annoy me, but I’m going to make an exception for this one.

Recently I visited not one, but two restaurants over the course of a few weeks where the online menus–like, the official menus on their website–were revealed to be out of date as soon as I arrived at the restaurants.

Normally this wouldn’t be all that noticeable, but in one of those instances, the entire reason we went to the reason was for a specific dish. The Scottish Arms had a delicious-looking duck dish on their lunch menu as listed online, but when we arrived at the restaurant–a birthday lunch for my friend–it turned out that the duck is only available for dinner. I could tell my friend was quite disappointed, but fortunately the dishes we tried instead were delicious.

The second example was a work-related lunch. I can be quite indecisive when ordering at a restaurant, so when I have a lunch meeting, I make my food choice in advance so I can focus on the conversation at the table. So that morning I looked at my go-to St. Louis food blog, Whiskey & Soba, to select a cajun pasta dish (which was, of course, listed on Schlafly Bottleworks’ online menu).

When I opened up the menu at the restaurant, I was dismayed to find that menu item was no longer there. Fortunately I had a backup in mind, thanks to Whiskey & Soba, but it wasn’t ideal (it was, however, delicious).

I understand that it’s tough to keep your digital presence synced up with the real world. I’ve been guilty of that many times. And I like that restaurants keep their menus fresh.

It makes me wonder why there isn’t a service that centralizes the menu creation and editing process so whenever a restaurant edits their menu, they can print the paper version and update the online version at the same time. And if that does exist–I’m sure I’m not the first to think of it–why don’t all restaurants use it?

Have you ever encountered this problem?