Restaurantica presents users with a place to post and find nightlife and restaurant reviews. The site also gives users space to add coupons, photographs, maps, menus and other content related to their restaurant experience. The homepage highlights recently added and highest rated restaurants. The user’s location is automatically obtained and determines which reviews are displayed on the homepage. The user can change their location if they prefer a different community. The user reviews are detailed, including star ratings for food, services and atmosphere as well as an overall rating. Review readers can also see the price range, if the user would return and how many people were in there party when they visited as well as what meals they ordered along with their text review.Show more screenshots »
Restaurantica appeared in 2003 and was designed to give users a way to share their thoughts and opinions about visits to local restaurants. The current site has evolved into a valuable tool for users who love to dine out. Just like other similar sites, Restaurantica sometimes suffers from a lack of reviews in some areas although the current list covers many communities all over the United States. Some restaurant owners have found that Restaurantica is a helpful tool to learn more about what their patrons think about their food and service. Restaurantica was acquired by Yellow Pages Group in January 2010.
It is difficult to do something completely new when it comes to restaurant review websites. Restaurantica doesn’t offer anything innovative or unique, although the site does include a variety of information some users can appreciate. Rather than only posting simple reviews and ratings, the site also includes the specifics for each user experience. Users can include how many people they dined with, what they ate, images and menus for the restaurant. This provides much more perspective on the experience and how it will apply to the reader’s upcoming visit.
Restaurantica uses a deep red color scheme that livens up the otherwise white background. The overall feel of the site is very modern, with stylish square star boxes for each rating and clean tabs and buttons found throughout the website. There is a great deal of information, but it is sorted into organized boxes and links so the user can easily read through each area without feeling lost. The search tool bars are positioned right at the top, center of the homepage so users can get right to work checking out their favorite eateries.
Visitors are not required to sign up to search Restaurantica. Those who would like to post reviews will have to create an account. This can be done by clicking the white and black “Register” tab tucked into the upper, right hand corner of the homepage. The short sign up form appears near the center of the following page. The form asks for an email address and password. Two buttons are present at the bottom of the form for users who prefer to sign up with their Facebook or Open ID credentials. The next page advises the user that they must activate their account by accessing an email sent by Restaurantica. Users can complete their profile prior to accessing the email.
Sites like Restaurantica fare better when they offer free access to users. The user is the life force of the website. Without them, there would not be much reason to visit. Restaurantica is no different. All visitors are given the same access for free. There is no subscription fee or other charge required when creating an account or exploring reviews and features. Users can sign up for the deal of the day, however this is not a requirement to maintain an account.
Restaurantica.com offers a platform for anyone who loves to create restaurant reviews as well as those who are looking for reviews. The website is user friendly so anyone can easily find their way around. The site includes plenty of detailed information so users can get a better idea about what the reviewer’s experience was like and the factors that may have contributed to it. Along with text reviews, users can also highlight their postings with personal images taken at the restaurant.